I often am asked to explain search marketing to people with no digital marketing background, and it helps to have some shortcuts. I've found over the years, that an especially helpful kind of shortcut is to categorize a particular kind of technique in terms that veteran non-digital marketers understand, because once you do that, they bring
all sorts of knowledge to a subject that they thought they knew nothing about. One of my favorites is to explain how search keywords are market segments.
If you know search marketing, this might not strike you as the first way you'd explain keywords to the unversed. I mean, isn't it better to explain that keywords are the things that get typed into the search box, and that Google shows pages and ads in response to the ones that were typed, and that you need to know which keywords that your customers are using so that your marketing message will be seen?
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Well, yes. You should explain those things. But after you do, you have only enlightened the neophyte a tiny amount.
But when I explain to them that search keywords are their primary means of market segmentation for search marketing, they bring a enormous amount of knowledge to the party. Because marketers know what market segments are. And they know what to do with them.
You might have to explain it with a few examples, because they are accustomed to market segments being demographics or firmographics (for B2B), and they might never have thought that segments could be anything else. But you can give them an example, such as how the owner of a bed and breakfast might target "lodging" as their keyword rather than "hotel" because his customers are expressly looking for alternatives to hotels, which is why that segment of searchers uses the more unusual word.
Then the marketers get it. And they understand why some segments (keywords) might be better targets than others. they know why they would want to analyze conversion rates and click rates and other metrics by segment, because they are always doing the same thing when they use market segmentation for any other reason.
Don't overlook the need for people to latch on to what you are talking about by bringing to bear a concept they already know. You might find that they start to teach you ways of looking at the subject that you had missed before.
Mike is an expert in search marketing, search technology, social media, publishing, text analytics, and web metrics, who regularly makes speaking appearances.
Mike's previous appearances include ClickZ Live, RKG Summit, Ticket Summit, Webdagene, the CiTE conference, and the Forrester Marketing Conference.
Mike also founded and writes for Biznology, is the co-author of the best-selling Search Engine Marketing, Inc., and sole author of Do It Wrong Quickly, named by the Miami Herald as one of the 11 best business books of 2007.
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