Search Engine Marketing 101

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					  Working with Ad Agencies:
How to Play Nicely in the Sandbox
             (or Not)
               Sara Holoubek


• Introduction
• The ecosystem
• The continuum
  – Being a business partner
  – Playing nicely in the sandbox
  – Feeling Threatened
• Tips
The Ecosystem


      SEM                Large Agency
The Continuum

                          SEM Agency

  business partner          plays nicely     threatened by agency

                     wants search,
 wants no part                        only offers    threatened by
                      but doesn’t
  of search                              PPC              SEM
                      know how

             Interactive or Traditional Agency
Being a Business Partner
• Deal structures
   – Referral
   – Preferred outsourced partner status
   – White label SEM service

• Works best when
   – “Ownership” of SEM project is agreed upon
   – Information on goals and budget are freely shared
   – Both parties work together to grow program

• Beware of
   – Making the agency (or any other media format) look bad
   – Agencies that aren’t equipped to properly sell your services
Playing Nicely in the Sandbox
• Deal structures
   – Client seeks an SEM, even if agency offers same services
   – SEM is the incumbent and agencies switch hands
   – Agency only offers PPC

• Works best when:
   –   Senior management on both sides are aware of the dynamics
   –   There is a mutual agreement on who “owns” budget
   –   Partnership might lead to acquisition of SEM
   –   There is full transparency

• Beware of
   – Repeated requests for search 101 sessions
   – Agency politics
   – Clients that “play” both sides
When Threatened
• Deal structures
   – Forced situation
   – Advertiser insists on SEM
   – Political preferences

• Works best when
   – Each party has a formal contract with the client
   – Each party has direct contact with client
   – Client is aware of the dynamics, and manages all agencies

• Beware of
   – Agency politics
   – Competitive blocking
Tips for Success
1.       Understand the annual budget planning process
     –      Agencies and vendors can get a seat at the table
     –      Encourage folding search in early (so you aren’t begging for
     –      Work with partners by providing annual proposals early

2.       Pay attention to politics
     –      Within the agency and between the agency and the advertiser
     –      Large conglomerates
     –      Career ambitions
     –      Typical client/agency friction

3.       Learn to speak CMO
     –      The "search is better than all other media" argument will get
            you nowhere
     –      Focus on search as complementary to the overarching plan