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Michael Lee of Doubleclick Performics on digital marketing

Performics, launched in 1998, is a longtime search marketing agency that was first acquired by Doubleclick and then swallowed whole when Google acquired Doubleclick itself. Many in the industry have decried the conflict of interest in Google owning a search marketing agency, and Google has announced plans to divest Performics later this year. I thought it would be interesting to catch up with Michael Lee, the Director of Strategic Partnerships at Doubleclick Performics, who was a bit reticent to comment on the Google acquisition, but ready to talk about all things Internet marketing.


Me: What’s your background? How did you end up in the job you have now?
ML: I began working with DoubleClick Performics eight years ago when it was known as Dynamic Trade. I work on the partner side of our business—overseeing and managing our distribution relationships that include search engines, tier ll, content and other symmetrical adjacencies to search. In addition, my group incubates and onboards new distribution for our search and emerging media divisions.
Me: People must be asking you a lot of questions about Google’s acquisition of DoubleClick. What is the most frequently asked question you get and what is your answer?
ML: Typically people ask if anything has changed since the acquisition and the reality is—it’s business as usual. We are just focusing on driving results for our clients.

ML: Ninety-nine percent of the time a client will dictate how and where they choose to spend their budget; however, we are here to assist them in making those decisions and provide direction based on our knowledge of the marketplace, new opportunities and our expertise managing online marketing campaigns
Me: What’s the biggest challenge you see for marketers as their advertising choices become more and more dizzying?
ML: There are a dizzying amount of opportunities for clients to consider, many of which provide varying degrees of return against high effort, but it’s important to expose and test brands and products with new forms of media. I’m a big advocate of testing and incubating new distribution. There is value in being first to market and getting fresh eyes on your brands and offerings. Some of these opportunities may be diamonds in the rough.
Me: How do customers decide between search marketing, display ads, and other choices?
ML: Most decisions come from a return on effort model; if a lot of time is spent on an opportunity that isn’t generating a lot of return, it’s most likely that less effort and resources will be dedicated toward that opportunity. Another issue to keep in mind is the client’s competition and what tactics they have employed in the marketplace.
Finally, we think it’s also important to continually think big picture and ask what kinds of opportunities are and will be growing in the future. For example, mobile may not have the highest return for a client right now, but in three to five years the opportunity will be a large advertising initiative.
Me: Can you explain to people what behavioral targeting is and why marketers ought to pay attention?
ML: Behavioral targeting is essentially targeting ads to consumers based on their habits and sites they visit. It’s important for clients to understand that the more they know about their consumers (respecting privacy, of course) the better they will be able to advertise and target to them
Me: Do you have any tips to give marketers who might be struggling to keep up with all the changes that happen each year in Internet marketing?
Clients partner with agencies such as DoubleClick Performics in part to keep up with the industry and act as a filter for the new opportunities. We stay up to speed and make sure we bring relevant ideas to our clients. The marketplace is only going to get more complicated and faster paced—we stay on top of that for our clients.
Me: Do you have any predictions for where Internet advertising is going?
ML: It’s unbelievable how quickly innovation continues to happen and how quickly things come in and out of vogue. In the future, it’s only going to move more quickly with more and more options for advertisers. I don’t think my prognostications are earth shattering, but believe that social media, mobile and AdExchanges will be the next most likely vehicles where there will be significant proliferation and participation.
Me: Thanks, Michael for sharing your answers with my readers.

Featured photo credit: https://edubirdie.com/

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Mike Moran

Mike Moran is an expert in internet 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, ibm.com, most recently as the Manager of ibm.com 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 ibm.com 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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