Search is sexy
Hands down - Paid Search is the most exciting and best advertising channel ever! :)
And Search is sexy, I tell you. So much has changed over the last two decades that has kept things fresh and always different.
Search listens to you like a good partner and gives you the results you are after. You can choose from so many options and the results always change, so freshness is guaranteed. :)
Loving Search Still after Over 20 Years!
I still love search, even after all these years. Never ever before has humanity had so much information available at their fingertips. It is amazing how far technology has come and change is ongoing.
Let me tell you my search story. When I was at school I never had a computer, I only ever discovered computers and the internet when I started university and that was well before Google even existed. I ran my first paid search campaign in 1999 during an internship in Paris for a small boutique hotel agency that was advertising to the US market. My monthly budget was $100 and the campaigns were run on GoTo which later became Overture. At that time an advertiser set a cost per click and the highest bidder showed in position 1, the 2nd highest in position 2 and so on. Relevancy wasn't a thing back then.
I finished my studies and after a lot of searching (see what I did here? :)) I started my first job at: Overture. It was pure coincidence as I had wanted to get into FMCG (fast moving consumer goods) marketing (I know, looking back this would have been the worst step I could have taken), but this role came up and it sounded perfect. I moved to Munich in 2003 and started as an account manager. The team was like family and we had so many great outings and team events together, celebrated every additional Euro we made with cake and prosecco and had a lot of fun along the way. The month I joined, Yahoo! bought Overture and 2 years later we became Yahoo! Search Marketing.
Paid Search is Fun
I moved to Australia in 2007 and joined Downstream Marketing, a digital performance agency based in Sydney where I had a blast managing Paid Search for large clients like Suncorp Group, daily deals sites and ecommerce stores, travel sites like EscapeTravel (part of Flight Centre) and many more.
After 4 years the business was acquired (for some reason this tends to happen to me over and over again) by Efficient Frontier who were acquired by Adobe, so I ended up at Adobe. I was still focused on full performance advertising agency services and ran teams of up to 20 people, and more and more our focus shifted towards the technology side of things (Adobe Media Optimizer, now Adobe Ad Cloud).
I moved into a business operations role before my team was acquired (again) by Starcom and Publicis Media. Not sure why I always pick companies / teams that are being sold off, but hey, that's the way it is.
After 3 years there I decided to leave the corporate world and start my own business to help conscious organizations who are doing good or are on a journey to doing better for our planet and enable them to get the word out about the good they do.
I Have Seen It All (And Done It All)
I have learned Paid Search from the beginning in a very hands-on way. I have worked with the best and my focus has always been on delivering the best possible service for my clients and ensuring their paid search campaigns are running at their most efficient, are well set up and are in line with their targets and objectives.
From creating campaign structures, brain storming keywords, defining the best landing pages, setting up tracking, writing ad text, optimizing and monitoring campaigns on a regular basis, setting up reporting templates and providing insights to our clients, preparing and presenting strategic reviews, managing the bid management platform and applying best practice, training others and getting training to stay up to date on what is going on, expanding into social and programmatic display advertising, the list goes on and on. On top of that add all the changes that platforms like Google or Bing made and that the whole team needed to be across. What a journey!
When I started at Overture in 2003, we were competing with Google Adwords already and at that time there was even a third player called Miva / eSpotting still. At that time we educated people a lot about the benefits of paid search and why Overture. Digital Advertising was a thing, but far from being as important as it is today. People dabbled in paid search, tried a lot to see what they might get out of it if anything. I ran a lot of trainings (including training for the new Panama platform which was introduced in 2007), strategic sessions and worked with internal editors and support teams to get our clients the best results possible.
Moving to an agency like Downstream meant I was a lot more in the deep-end (especially as our focus was on Google Ads, but I came from Yahoo!), so I had to quickly learn the specifics and do's and don'ts. We built tons of tools internally to drive efficiencies, ran trainings and best practice sessions to ensure the whole team was aligned and to share knowledge and monitored out campaigns closely.
At Adobe I continued doing what I had before, but in many ways started from scratch educating a massive corporation that was selling tech on how agencies work, what full service means, what digital advertising is and especially paid search. This was a major cultural shift for everyone involved and I learned so much about global business and sales teams and delved a lot deeper into our technology Adobe Media Optimizer, now Adobe Ad Cloud.
Media agency life at Starcom / Publicis Media again was so different and I focused my efforts on where they were most needed, the process and business operations side to ensure teams worked together, applied best practice and were held accountable. While I shifted away from Search as a focus, it still remained close to my heart and I kept doing account health checks and audits and remained in close contact with our Google and Microsoft reps to ensure the team got and attended all relevant training certifications.
Why do I Love Search?
I am analytical and I have always loved numbers. And this is an absolute must if you want to be successful in Paid Search. Attention to detail is another trait that is super important. But don't despair, there is also room for creativity as you write ad text and come up with a strategy and direction. And often you need to be ingenuous and find solutions to the most random problems. The best thing about Paid Search is that you work as a team: With your client, your internal team, Google, Microsoft and your tech provider if you have one.
What is Your View on Paid Search? Do You Love It Or Hate It?