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The Cost Of SEM Software (Letter To The Editor, DM News)

To the Editor: David Raab offers a good introduction to off-the-shelf search engine marketing software (DM News, August 21). However, marketers should consider that the direct cost of SEM software is dwarfed by two other related costs: the cost of trained staff to run that software, and the opportunity cost of using that software poorly or well. Good search engine marketers are rare, and thus justly expensive. The payroll for the folks using the tool – whether in-house or at an agency -- will far exceed the cost of the tool. Before determining which platform to run on, first determine who can run your campaigns most effectively. Opportunity cost -- the cost or benefit of a well-run search program – far exceed payroll and technology costs. For the marketer spending $100k per month in search media, a 2% change in efficiency can translate into a top-line difference of over $50K. In our agency, we experience efficiency improvements ranging from 5% to 50% by tuning existing client campaigns coming into our shop. Our tips for search marketers seeking to maximize sales and earnings: make sure the right people are running your campaigns using good tools, and make sure you pay those people fairly, but not to excess. Alan Rimm-Kaufman

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