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Direct Marketers are from Mars, Brand Marketers are from Venus

And how far does the orbit of paid search extend? I just got back from my first Ad:Tech, in Chicago where I gave a talk on website conversion tactics. The talk went well. But as a search marketer, throughout the show, I often felt like I was indulging in a bit of space travel.

For someone who came up in the direct marketing, conversion ratio world of "what you spend vs. what you get" Ad:Tech is a different galaxy. Much discussion about brand, little or none about efficiency.

RKG spends a lot of time brewing the sauce, virtually none shaping the bottle. And for better or worse, we may have a lot to learn about spin. Earlier this year, we released a study showing that bids on broad search terms fail to funnel toward conversion, despite buzz to the contrary. How weird to listen in at Ad:Tech as another SEM presented similar results from a similar study, only to shrug off the data and counsel the audience to buy the clicks anyway.

Strange too, to hear our other lips mouth our own oft-repeated mantra: orders derived from a marketer's trademarked brand name should be viewed quite differently from those coming in on competitive terms. It would be less lonely in space though, if someone would join our conversation on how SEM agency fees should be regarded in this light. Anybody out there?

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