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Oct 31, 2007
Event Presentation

MarketingSherpa Search Marketing Presentation 2007: PowerPoint, MP3 and Transcript

SUMMARY: Find out what 3,100 marketers revealed about costs, conversions and search marketing trends. Highlights include:
-> Dealing with the rise in click costs
-> How PPC and SEO rank for top ROI
-> Search marketing’s move in-house
-> Correlation between paid ads and natural search ranking
-> Power of short URLs
This is your downloadable version of a presentation conducted live Oct. 24, 2007, by:

Tad Clarke, Editorial Director
Stefan Tornquist, Research Director

#1. Click this link to download the PowerPoint presentation PDF including eight new data charts (yes, you may share with colleagues):
http://www.marketingsherpa.com/tele/IH-SMBG8-9386.pdf


#2. Click this link to download the MP3 audio file:
http://www.marketingsherpa.com/tele/IH-SMBG8-9386.MP3


(Audio download note: This is in MP3, which almost anyone with a PC or Mac can play. If you'd like to listen now, just do a regular mouse click (left side) and it will start playing fairly quickly. If you'd like to download and save to listen later, just do a right-click with your mouse.)

#3. Here is the transcript of the teleconference:

Tad Clarke: Good afternoon, everyone. I’m Tad Clarke, Editorial Director at MarketingSherpa, and welcome to our annual search marketing teleconference presenting our latest research data. With us today is Stefan Tornquist, our Research Director. Stefan, how are you doing?

Stefan Tornquist: Very well.

Tad Clarke: OK. We are live and Stefan has a lot of great data to present to everyone today. So we will get started in one second. Everyone who is listening in, you should have received a hotlink to the PDF presentation that was in the same email that you got in this phone-in number. If you lost that email, no problem, just call or email our service department right now. Their email address is feedback@marketingsherpa.com or you can call 1-877-895-1717 and someone is standing by to send you a copy of the presentation immediately.

By the way, we have nearly 1,600 people who signed up for the teleseminar today, so it shows you that there is a lot of interest in search. One other bit of housekeeping before we begin: Yes, you may share this presentation with your co-workers. You can print it out and such. All we ask is that you don’t cut it up into pieces or list part of it. Simply use the presentation as a whole.

You will also hear Stefan and me use some abbreviations for some common search terms. SEO is search engine optimization. That’s where you’re designing your pages to be attractive to the search engines. We may mention PPC, which is pay-per-click, paid search, or paying a price for each click that’s originating from the traffic source. And we might also say SEM, which is basically search engine marketing. That’s where we’re talking about the entire search marketing industry, both SEO and paid search.

So, let’s move on. Stefan, where did the data come from that we’re presenting today?

Stefan Tornquist: OK. Well, I know that we’ve promised only a half an hour today, and we’re going to do our best to keep to that. But between you, me and 1,600 people, I think we might run a little over, so I just wanted to let people know that.

Let’s move very quickly through this first slide. We’re on slide number two, the real-life data. Really, the only thing I wanted to point out was that this year’s survey of over 2,400 search marketing professionals and 700 search agency professionals is, by quite a margin, the largest survey of search marketers in search marketing that’s been conducted so far.

As far as the partnered research and the lab tests, we’re going to be looking at some of those highlights as we move. So let’s move on to slide number three.

Tad Clarke: OK. That’s the first slide. It's on page three of the PDF. It’s talking about spending and where things are headed. Stefan, it sounds like the numbers are going up, right?

Stefan Tornquist: Well, they are. Although globally, you’ve probably heard quite a bit about how the growth in search marketing spending is starting to plateau or people are predicting it to plateau. What we’re looking at here are those who are going in another direction and that is responding to rising click prices and expanding search programs by planning on further increases in their search marketing budgets.

What we’ve done here is split out the average -- and the average in this survey was a search budget between $5,000 and $10,000 per month -- away from the big spenders. These are the folks who are spending over $25,000 per month. As we can see for both groups and certainly more so for the big spenders, there’s a significant percentage, 45% when we look at Google on the far left. 45% of those big spenders are saying, “We’re definitely going to be increasing our SEM budget by 11% or more in 2008.”

You may be wondering why we split out Google from the rest of the top tier. And the rest of the top tier, by the way, as we’re defining it is, of course, Yahoo!, MSN, AOL and Ask. Those are the other search sites that have over 10% penetration into the market. Well, really Google is -- year after year, we look for new ways of describing Google’s dominance and so one of the ways in which that’s reflected is we’ve started to treat Google more often as a separate entity, really a tier unto itself.

Now, the rest of the top tier is also seeing significant increases and, probably most promising, we see that SEO for both the average and the big spenders is going to continue to see growth in spending beyond inflation. That’s something that we’ve been preaching for years and others have as well. It’s very gratifying to see that happening.

Tad Clarke: And you’ve got the second tier that has not seen as much growth, but still growing. Who are we talking about there, and what are the rising prices that are driving marketers into that group?

Stefan Tornquist: Well, to a certain extent, that’s happening. This group is -- and, by the way, this is a B-to-C tier, too, so these are the search networks, the multitude of smaller search players. This is distinct from the B-to-B search sites -- the KelleySearches, the KnowledgeStorms of the world. That’s a very distinct group, and we really try to separate those out. What we’re talking about here, the second-tier sites, they have, collectively, a tiny percentage of the market. That top tier really forces a fairly small audience into that second tier.

Now, we certainly speak with marketers who are using the second tier to their fullest advantage. The click prices there are far lower. It’s much easier to take top paid positions. Some companies that have essentially reached a saturation point in the top tier around certain terms have looked to grow their brand further through the second tier and there are marketers who have identified specific products, specific verticals, that for them have worked quite well.

By and large, the watchword there is really monitoring and testing. If you are a best-in-class search marketing organization and are very on top of the data you’re getting back, you really are familiar with your ROI. Then you’re in a position to go and test in these areas and come out on top. If you’re a more sort of, “Hey, we see that the ROI from search is good. Maybe we should apply it across a broader spectrum.” You may not see the kind of return that you want from the second tier.

Really, the major thing that’s stopping people is just the time and the resources to become conversant in new sites to manage whole other programs when the vast majority of traffic is taking place on the first tier.

Tad Clarke: Got you. You just mentioned ROI. Let’s move on to chart number two, which is on page four. Here, we’re comparing various marketing tactics and engaging their ROI. We’ve broken down everything from email marketing to public relations, direct mail, online ads and print ads and organic search and paid search. Stefan, I see that house email is still the number-one tactic and I believe it was first last year. So what’s going on with search engine optimization and paid search?

Stefan Tornquist: Well, when we ask this question, it’s usually a horse race between house email and SEO. If you think about the definition of ROI, there’s the ‘I’ in ROI -- the investment portion. House email, SEO -- fairly inexpensive marketing tactics in comparison with those that we see below it. But still quite remarkable that a survey of search marketers about search marketing, those folks still put email right up there in terms of the number-one and number-two most commonly used tactics. Even those folks who are so search-focused acknowledge house email gives the best ROI on the block.

Now, PPC stands out as having both -- being a strong ROI tactic and being a top budget item. As we’ll see in a moment when we take a look at an example budget, PPC often is approximately 40% of the average online budget, making it, for most companies, the largest single investment. It depends on how the Web site is budgeted.

Still, pay-per-click, a very big budget item. Nonetheless, high ROI and that’s obviously supporting growth. It also has a very low degree of uncertainty. You see only 9% saying that their ROI from paid search is hard to gauge. Now, I’m not seeing contrast with SEO where we see 21% saying, “You know, we don’t really have the analytics in place to accurately measure SEO.”

Now, when you move out of the digital realm, you see the next tactic below paid search -- public relations. People have their home runs. They may see traffic grow, but for a lot they say, “PR is great, but the results are often hard to gauge.” I think one of the most promising trends is something we’ve been writing about for several years. It’s the connection between search and public relations. We’re seeing more and more companies using the digital side of their PR to measure their overall public relations effectiveness, whether that’s, as I said, a variation in site traffic or tracking clicks from press release links.

Tad Clarke: OK. Why don’t we move on to the next chart? And on this next page, we are talking about bringing search in-house. Here, we asked a series of questions that were specific to marketers who brought their whole search marketing efforts in-house after they had outsourced it to a search agency. They became more trained to do it with the outside vendors, so maybe they’re thinking they can do it better, cheaper, something. Stefan, I think you’re going to tell us it was not as easy as one might think.

Stefan Tornquist: That’s right. You’re absolutely right, that the top reasons that people cited for wanting to bring their search in-house -- it wasn’t to cut costs. That was the number two reason. The number one reason was saying, “We think we can do it better in-house.” We hear mixed stories about the end result, but obviously for such a big budget item, people do want to have more control. They want to have ongoing, two or three staffers, maybe more, who are devoted to that. So, one of the real challenges is the aspect of hiring.

In this case, as Tad mentioned, we asked companies that had brought search in-house in the last 18 months to gauge the difficulty by the specific positions that they filled. And across all of these roles, you see that it was significantly more difficult than finding other types of skilled marketing professionals. That’s especially true in SEO where you see 64% said that it was somewhat more difficult or very difficult to bring those people in. That extends down the line, but really is most pronounced in SEO.

Now, there’s a high volatility in the state of employment in search marketing. There is a lot of money moving around. We did a salary survey. We’ve seen a significant increase in salaries. Very often, what that has created is convection in SEM professionals. They find that they can make a significant, say, a 15% to 20% increase in their salary by switching jobs.

Many are also going independent. If you think about what the core skill in search marketing is -- you’ve developed the ability to generate and drive traffic. That is a very marketable skill and one that can be done in a small shop or solo. That’s driven a lot of people to simply take their skills and go independent. So the outlook for employment in this area definitely is going to remain strong.

The last issue in terms of keeping people in these positions is that, after several years, we very often see people getting tired of the search campaign management roles, that hands-on experience, and wanting to do something else. Smart organizations are taking that search knowledge and applying it elsewhere in the marketing organization and giving them something else to do, but if there aren’t positions to move them out of that specific campaign management role, quite likely you’re going to see them go elsewhere.

Tad Clarke: OK. Why don’t we move then onto page six? Here we have an average budget breakdown. This is just one of the ways that we’ve broken things down. This is for a $1.3 million budget. I guess, Stefan, I should ask first -- Is that average? -- and give us your thoughts.

Stefan Tornquist: Well, this is, as Tad said, one of many lenses we use to look at budget. What a $1.3 million annual budget represents is typical for a company with about $50 million in revenue, so that’s fairly typical and one of the reasons that I chose this one. It also shows you that for companies of this size and with a search bias, of course, we’re now seeing 28% of marketing dollars go toward online.

Now there is some variability in that. It depends on where the Web site sits. That tends to be a major cost center. It doesn’t always fall into the marketing budget as we all know. But, here we see PPC representing 40%. I mentioned that 40% number earlier. That is fairly consistent across online marketing budgets. It’s one of the more consistent numbers. We see other things move around quite a bit more.

Now we see -- in the ratio of SEO to PPC on the far right, we’ve seen an increase in that. That’s very encouraging. Obviously, it still lags way behind PPC and we’re not suggesting that they should be equal. Paid search is an expensive tactic and, depending on the type of site, one wouldn’t expect to see SEO matching that, but it is good to see an increased emphasis on that.

Now, the budget devotion to SEO does tend to be one of the tougher numbers to pin down. A lot of companies use in-house technology resources, technology folks, to do their SEO. Those costs tend to be either shared or sit entirely in a different budget. So admittedly, it makes it more difficult to allocate resources by tactic. This does tend to be somewhat skewed by company, so the average doesn’t tell the story. We’ve used the median budgets in this study and that takes out some of the peaks. Some Web-based, Web-only companies are spending nearly 100% of their marketing dollars online and specifically in paid search. So what we’ve tried to do here is to reflect the more average reality or the more normal reality.

Tad Clarke: And we have anecdotal evidence on trying to win bigger budgets that we’ve written about in the past year by MarketingSherpa staff. One was a business group of Hewlett Packard where their efforts were trying to bring the search staff into one organization there. They’re spread across 11 different countries. They’re all running different campaigns. It was just a very large undertaking trying to get people all onto the same page, trying to get languages covered, and just trying to manage the overall budget process.

If we move on to the next chart, we will be looking at -- I believe you’re got "Your SEO" and "My PPC." This is exploring one of the oldest questions in search engine marketing: What happens if you have both high search engine optimization and high pay-per-click numbers. Stefan, can you explain?

Stefan Tornquist: Sure. It’s not just one of the oldest questions in search marketing, it’s also one of the hottest. If we think back, I was mentioning that a lot of analysts see the growth in the search slowing. One of the big question marks as to whether or not that’s going to happen is whether or not the industry can really prove a brand connection between search and consumer behavior, brand memory, all of those different metrics. What’s interesting about this study is that it begins to get us there.

Now, this is a question that we explored several years ago, and there have been other attempts, but this is really the first study that gets under the hood of the data in a way that it shows a really compelling connection between having a top-listed paid ad and a high natural search ranking. You can see that the net increase in clicks is quite dramatic, almost 92%, and also, interestingly, in that second plateau, it seems to have an ongoing effect as the person who has just clicked on the search ad moves through the purchase process. You see some orders right up there along with page views and actions being increased by that connection.

Why is that? Well, the supposition would be because as we become more sophisticated searchers, people are starting to grant that a high natural listing is a reflection of relevance, right? Google, all of the other search engines are working very hard to tweak their algorithms so that the top listings are the most relevant or at least relevant, hopefully the most relevant. People have caught on to that and they have started to do a better job of distinguishing between paid and natural listings.

So when they see these natural listings complementing a paid ad, their likelihood to click and their trust of the interaction after the click seems to go up. Now, one thing is we do not have an indication as to whether multiple paid ads would have that same effect. It’s not that we have a contraindication. The research doesn’t support that. My strong supposition would be that it would not have the same beneficial effect because it’s missing that extra trust element that natural listings convey.

Tad Clarke: OK. Well, let’s move on to the next chart. The question here was directed specifically to agency executives and what they think about search engine marketing. It looks like Google is going to be on top for quite a while, but it looks like strong interest because a change is made to Yahoo!’s Panama and MSN’s AdCenter. Can you talk us through that?

Stefan Tornquist: There is good news for Yahoo! and MSN. The improvements that they’ve made are leading agencies to think that they’ll see a higher share of budget over the next year. Anecdotally, we certainly heard that a lot of marketers are excited by aspects, such as MSN’s demographic targeting. In general, however, agencies are in a better position to experiment and learn because of the volume of campaigns and clients. We suspect that marketers doing in-house SEM are going to be slower to explore some of these new options.

Now, we probably shouldn’t move on without talking about Google, obviously a ringing endorsement from these folks. One of the reasons for that is that on the two major axes of search marketing, whether it’s the volume of people in a niche or the quality of that audience, Google still, by a substantial margin, takes the blue ribbon in that regard. The research that has been conducted around the use of Google in Information Technology, in government, in academia, all of these areas shows an even more distinct bias towards Google by searchers than in the standard audience.

While we’ve seen a little bit of seasonality around the use of Google, some strides made by the other engines, most of the data over the last year has showed that their lead has only increased. They’ve actually gotten greater market share. Overall, they’ve had an increase in the number of searchers, and we see the most rapid increase in the number of searches per searcher from the folks who use Google.

In other words, if you’re a regular Google user, I believe the number is in the 30s somewhere and that’s higher than any of the others. So, in a month, the average person who uses Google is searching about 30 times. That’s significantly more than number two, Yahoo, and we see the increase in the number of searches highest among Google users. So search is really becoming part of people’s lives. When I hear the number 30, I think, “Wow. I do that many searches in a day.” Fortunately for most people, their lives are very different, but we do see that effect occurring across the Google user base.

Tad Clarke: And back on that chart, it looks like there’s quite a bit of concern with agencies about Google’s acquisition of DoubleClick. What’s going on with that?

Stefan Tornquist: There is concern, although I want to make a delineation between concern and action. As most of the folks on the phone are probably aware, earlier in the year Google acquired DoubleClick, the preeminent ad-serving company. And there is concern, especially in agencies, that that acquisition puts too much data in one set of hands. Whether that is going to equate to less business for Google is not necessarily clear.

I do think that it’s an in-road for Yahoo. Less so perhaps for MSN, where there are also concerns about the aQuantive purchase -- aQuantive also begin an agency and ad server. So for Yahoo, there’s certainly a sales pitch to be made there, but it’s a bit of a leap to go from concern to taking action and pulling money out of what as we see they are saying is the best ROI for search dollars. So it remains to be seen whether there is going to be a really strong impact from that.

Certainly when it comes to in-house marketers, I don’t think we’re going to see any real shift when this level of concern is from agencies and, specifically, agencies that are dealing with some of the elite advertisers out there. When it comes to day-to-day marketers, what we’re hearing from them is, “Hey, if this makes it easier for me to work with Google, easier for me to buy multiple media through one channel, that’s OK by me.” Remember: Most people are more concerned with the ROI on their dollars and how they’re spending their marketing team’s time than they are with some of the politics in the industry.

Tad Clarke: All right. Let’s move on then to chart number seven, which is on page nine of the handout. It is looking at click fraud and what’s going on with that, Stefan?

Stefan Tornquist: Well, this is an interesting year because one of the questions we ask is to measure people’s concerns with various challenges in search marketing. We saw a market drop this year in concern with click fraud. Now, did that happen because click fraud actually dwindled? That seems unlikely. As some of the points on this table point out, click fraud is getting more sophisticated, probably more widespread. And so my suspicion is that for most marketers, it’s not easy to truly measure the impact of click fraud. Most marketers consider it a cost of doing business, like spam and email marketing. So for them, they look to the industry press around this issue to say, “Is it a big deal for me today? Is it going to be tomorrow?”

I think last year -- sort of the tail end of 2006 and the beginning of 2007 -- actually the last half of 2006 is really when click fraud was a very hot topic with all of the court cases coming to a head, so all of us wrote about click fraud quite a bit. When that news passed, I think a lot of the concern with it went with it. As we’ve written about it less, I think that that’s resulted in a lower reported level of concern.

Now, getting to what’s actually happening, I think some of it is really quite chilling. Click fraud is moving from the old school of human-based click farms as they were called -- that's a bunch of people sitting in a developing country being paid to click on certain ads and siphon money from one company to another -- and that’s being replaced by what are called Botnets. For anyone who’s not familiar, these are essentially networks of computers that are -- it could be your computer on your desk right now. These are computers that are, in the background, being hijacked by malicious software and those are going out and clicking on various paid search ads.

As you can imagine, it’s very difficult to distinguish the validity of a click from an individual computer. So it’s harder to trace and is driving a shift from being more concentrated in certain verticals.

One of the truths of click fraud in the last couple of years has been that if you’re in a hotly competitive vertical, one of the best examples being accident -- when lawyers chase ambulances. What’s that called?

Tad Clarke: Ambulance chasers?

Stefan Tornquist: Yeah. What’s that branch of law for which there’s a specific term that’s completely escaping me right now. That branch of law [personal injury] has some of the highest click prices around. People have a high tendency to click on something and go with that company. As a result, that was one of the areas -- that and financial services -- where click prices were creeping up $20, $30, $40 per click -- very, very appealing to click fraudsters.

What we’re seeing now is, with the Botnets, that the click fraud is getting much more distributed across a wide array of verticals and a wide array of campaigns. A single Botnet is believed to have affected approximately 50% of all search advertisers in a campaign last year. Now, that happened at a really low level -- two or three clicks per. You’d never notice it in all of the static, but in the back end, that’s a tremendous drag industry-wide. So I think there’s definitely cause to remain vigilant. Yes, click fraud probably will remain at a sort of spam-level cost of doing business, but it’s a real concern and should remain so.

Tad Clarke: Let’s move on to the next chart, one of our colorful search eye-tracking charts. We have two images here and this is really how real people interact with search pages. This time, we looked at the relevance of how a listing and how the link and nature of the URL affect a person’s attention. Remember that the brighter colors are where people’s eyes are focused, so that’s the darker reds and oranges, and the red Xs actually represent the click on the link. Stefan, what can marketers learn from this?

Stefan Tornquist: Well, we know that search is one of the more difficult tactics to optimize at the front end for marketers. There are only so many things over which we have control. There’s not very much content in a paid inclusion ad or even in a natural search listing. So we dug into the nitty-gritty and tried to look for what really matters. Most of our research was around relevance, but what I wanted to show folks today was something that I thought was very actionable.

This looks at the effect of URL length. I hope that folks find this useful. What we found that was very interesting to me, anyway, is that a long URL seems to have a negative effect on the ad of which it’s a part. And when I say a long URL, I’m talking about one of those database-driven URLs that have many letters and numbers -- a completely obscure combination of figures. What that seems to do to the human eye and to our attention is to draw a line that people bump up against. Rather than attracting attention to the ad of which it’s a part, it actually drives it to the next listing down.

So I think as searchers are becoming more sophisticated; they’re looking at URLs as an indication of relevance. They are looking at URLs to tell them, “Is this the specific page of the white paper that I searched for?” “Is this the product page for that camera I’m looking for?” rather than, “Oh, OK. It’s the homepage. I’ll just go via that route.” So the recommendations are to keep URLs short, but not just a homepage. If it’s a product, it ought to be your homepage/camera/Nikon250 and make sure that whatever comes after that main site name makes sense in English or whatever other language you’re marketing in.

Tad Clarke: So, kind of like with subject lines in email, just try to keep everything as short as possible.

Stefan Tornquist: Keep it short and have it make sense. People are definitely using URLs as another indication of relevance.

Tad Clarke: OK. Let’s go on to the next chart. This is about landing page tests and actually average ranges per page conversions, testing and optimizing various landing page elements. Stefan, walk us through what you found.

Stefan Tornquist: Sure. Well, we’ve been talking about how click prices are going up and one of the most profound ways of making your search dollars go further, of course, is to raise conversion on your site. There are a few different ways of doing that. What we’re looking at here is the tremendous opportunity in landing page testing. With each one of these ranges that we’re looking at, this is the degree, on average, that testing these specific elements can have a positive effect on conversion.

When we look at one of the most basic, over on the far left, you see form and button titles. Through aggregate study, what we’re seeing here -- and this was with SiteTuners. We conducted this research with SiteTuners and I apologize to them for not saying their name on this slide. So what we see here is an average of 5% to 15% increase in conversion as the result of a round of testing -- this is very basic stuff. We’re talking about the words that sit on your buttons and your forms. Just changing those alone can show this kind of increase or more. Ongoing testing, as we see over on the far right, can have an even much more profound effect, as with each improvement, that new improvement gets tested and added to.

So going back to a couple of these other things, phrase matching -- this is easy. This makes sense and is something that people should definitely be tracking. What we’re saying here is if someone has clicked on a search ad, or really it also applies to email, whatever the message that they clicked on should be translated exactly on that landing page. Not close, exactly the same. If it came from an email and there was artwork, that same artwork should be there.

We’ve done a lot of research around how people arrive on a page and how quickly they decide on whether they’re in the right place or not. One of the things that can tie them to the page is seeing familiar content. I think we’ve all had the experience of clicking on one thing and finding another at the end of that click. One of the ways of making people feel safe that they are, in fact, in the right place is to show a direct connection between the original message and the landing page.

Finally, removing navigation is a tried-and-true method of increasing conversion on the page. Certainly, you need to look at what the purpose of the page is and think a little bit, especially in B-to-B, about where someone is in the purchase process. If they’re very early on and you expect that they will need more information before taking an action, like signing up for a demo, then you want to give them ways to do that. But if you’re really looking to increase the conversion of that page, the more you can do to remove navigation, the more you’re going to do to reduce the distraction and the static from the user, and it’s definitely going to have an increase on your conversion.

Tad Clarke: I think we should move on to our last slide, which is talking about the future of search growth. Everyone is excited about Asia. Stefan, what can you tell us?

Stefan Tornquist: Well, and with good reason. Asia today has only 12% Internet penetration, but it represents three times that in terms of online activity. So that’s 440 million users, give or take, and that’s almost twice that of North America, and that’s with only 12% online penetration. So, as you can imagine, the mature search markets -- the mature markets in general, Western Europe, United States -- that’s not growing very fast. The growth there is happening with people who already use search simply using it more often. Asia has a long, long way to grow. For many countries, addressing this Asian market will be a real challenge, but it’s a real opportunity.

Now, there’s a lot of usability expertise that needs to be built up for Western countries to do effective search marketing in Asia. What we’ve heard from people out there is that it’s extremely valuable to use in-country translators. That’s especially true in China where dialect is vitally important. Apparently, it’s very difficult to get that kind of expertise in US or in European translation companies. As important as mobile is becoming in Western markets -- already is in Europe, but getting there in the United States -- it’s already way beyond that in Asia where cost and infrastructure issues, they really make home computing problematic for so many people, that a lot of the growth there is going to be through handheld devices.

So there, you’ve got a couple of the demands of a fixed graphic language with the usability issues in mobile that we’re facing in general, and they’re going to be real hurdles to overcome. So that’s really an opportunity for companies that can tackle that now and get in and build an expertise. I think that, right now, you’re going to be competing with only the very largest Western companies. If you’re an SMB, it’s more or less an open season, certainly in the Chinese and Indian search markets.

Now, a couple of other concerns. Click fraud is a huge issue. We had 40% of Chinese marketers say that the click fraud on sites like Baidu is so high that it’s actually affecting the degree to which they're investing. And, finally, even though Baidu is quite dominant, sort of the Google of China, it’s also worth noting that Google does have a good demographic in China, more affluent and connected users.

So that’s what I’ve got on Asia. I know we’ve gone over time, but Tad, you had a couple of special reports …

Tad Clarke: Yes. We’ve looked at Asia, specifically China, Japan and India in special reports and articles in the past year. A lot of what we’ve found is following along the lines of what both Stefan and the research team found. Just some other advice is to always familiarize yourself with the local players before you launch into a campaign.

There’s also a lot of hype in opportunity, so just be clear of what your objectives are. Know what you plan on going in and study the situation before you get launched. Like in Japan, the process is really much more about personal relationships than just trying to be first. If you get yourself in and know the players and make yourself known and do it right, you should do better.

I believe we are done with the charts. Stefan, thank you for this report. You’ve got some really great information in the presentation.

There are lots more charts that will help you with your search marketing budgeting process that’s in the actual book there and, as you can see, on page 13 of the presentation. If you have any follow-up questions from what Stefan and I talked about today or if you have thoughts about something that we should be doing research on or that we didn’t cover here, please email us at feedback@marketingsherpa.com. Again, that’s feedback@marketingsherpa.com. Someone checks that email on a daily basis, so your questions won’t be ignored.

Stefan Tornquist: One thing we'd love feedback on, folks, is in the length of the teleseminar. In the past, we’ve always done an hour. We’re experimenting with a shorter time, although it probably didn’t feel like it as fast as we were speaking. So we’d love to hear your feedback on that.

Tad Clarke: And on the last page is some information from our partner, MarketingExperiments. They’re offering an online seven-week course with research on more than two million search terms. If you’re interested in taking that first class for free, there’s the link below to click on for more information.
http://www.marketingexperiments.com/sherpa


Again, I’d like to thank everyone for joining us today to hear some of the highlights from the study. Thank you, Stefan, for sharing the research with us. And, as we said at the beginning, you can share this presentation with others on your team and we hope you find it of real use. Thank you and good afternoon.

[End of audio]
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