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Search marketing for marketing executives

I thoroughly enjoyed meeting with a few dozen marketers from the New Jersey Marketing Executives Networking Group (MENG) in Morristown (NJ) this morning. (My slides on Step by Step Search Marketing can be downloaded, if you are interested.) It’s always good to talk to marketers about search marketing, but I always like the time after the speech, when people come up and ask questions or provide me with further insight.

Today was no exception. I have been talking for years about the importance of applying direct marketing techniques to Internet marketing (and to search marketing in particular), and I think I always assumed that folks with direct marketing skills were being snapped up by savvy interactive marketing firms.
Sad to say, my experience today leads me to believe that online marketers are missing the boat.
I spoke to several direct marketers this morning who are looking for new positions. It looks like the cost of direct mail and catalogs might be starting to shrink the investment in traditional direct marketing, which I expected, but what I did not expect is that these experienced direct marketers might have trouble moving over to the new online world.
If I ran a digital marketing company, I would jump at the chance to hire direct marketers to run my Internet marketing. I am always hearing people complain about how expensive these skilled online marketers are, and how tough it is to find them. A smart interactive marketer would hire a few direct mail veterans and train them in a couple of months and have a much lower-priced crew of very loyal Web marketers.
Direct marketers understand in their bones what Internet marketing is about—response. And they understand the idea of measuring everything. And experimenting and testing until you get the best conversion possible. They just need to be shown how to translate all that experience into the online world.
I don’t know why no one is doing this. If you never thought of it before, now you’ve lost that excuse.


Mike Moran

Mike Moran is an expert in digital marketing, search technology, social media, text analytics, web personalization, and web metrics, who, as a Certified Speaking Professional, regularly makes speaking appearances. Mike’s previous appearances include keynote speaking appearances worldwide. Mike serves as a senior strategist for Converseon, an AI powered consumer intelligence technology and consulting firm. He is also a senior strategist for SoloSegment, a marketing automation software solutions and services firm. Mike also serves as a member of the Board of Directors of SEMPO. Mike spent 30 years at IBM, rising to Distinguished Engineer, an executive-level technical position. Mike held various roles in his IBM career, including eight years at IBM’s customer-facing website,, most recently as the Manager of Web Experience, where he led 65 information architects, web designers, webmasters, programmers, and technical architects around the world. Mike's newest book is Outside-In Marketing with world-renowned author James Mathewson. He is co-author of the best-selling Search Engine Marketing, Inc. (with fellow search marketing expert Bill Hunt), now in its Third Edition. Mike is also the author of the acclaimed internet marketing book, Do It Wrong Quickly: How the Web Changes the Old Marketing Rules, named one of best business books of 2007 by the Miami Herald. Mike founded and writes for Biznology® and writes regularly for other blogs. In addition to Mike’s broad technical background, he holds an Advanced Certificate in Market Management Practice from the Royal UK Charter Institute of Marketing and is a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. He also teaches at Rutgers Business School. He is a Senior Fellow at the Society for New Communications Research. Mike worked at from 1998 through 2006, pioneering IBM’s successful search marketing program. IBM’s website of over two million pages was a classic “big company” website that has traditionally been difficult to optimize for search marketing. Mike, working with Bill Hunt, developed a strategy for search engine marketing that works for any business, large or small. Moran and Hunt spearheaded IBM’s content improvement that has resulted in dramatic gains in traffic from Google and other internet portals.

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