Fun Times In Las Vegas, Summer 2012 Edition

Jul. 31

The weekend before last, Nicole and I visited Las Vegas. We both work extremely hard, basically around the clock. Lately, our careers have been super busy, but in a good way. As such, it was a very well deserved vacation for both of us! The corporate world of marketing is an intense career path and everyone deserves a break, once in a while. Such vacations are the perfect way to recharge and come back more empowered and productive than ever before.

Vegas Bellagio Conservatory

Ian & Nicole at Bellagio Conservatory

After visiting Las Vegas back in 2011 (check out my 2011 Las Vegas Recap), we decided to return to the MGM Signature Towers. It was my third time to The Signature, and Nicole’s second. This time, we stayed four nights: Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. We’re certainly happy we extended the weekend as long as possible, and will definitely do this again next time. Instead of going home Sunday night, we enjoyed the extra day and went home (super) early Monday morning.

The Signature offers a variety of benefits. It’s a quiet non-gaming condo hotel, meaning the hotel is clean and smoke/noise free. It’s connected to the MGM Grand so you can easily enjoy all of the benefits of that major gaming hotel. Signature guests have access to pools at The Signature and at MGM Grand. And, the rooms are really nice, complete with whirlpool bathtubs and many with balconies.

This time around, we lucked out and got an Upper Penthouse Suite on the top floor, floor 38. Our suite faced the Las Vegas Strip and you can see a picture of me on the balcony to the right/below. We checked in late Thursday night and then ordered some room service. It was better than we had remembered, a great start to our Las Vegas Vacation!

Vegas Signature Towers Balcony

Signature Towers Upper Penthouse Suite

After waking up the next day, we decided to head over to the Bellagio Cafe for lunch. I’m a huge fan of the Bellagio hotel, and enjoy the cafe quite a bit because of its placement in the conservatory. After lunch, we walked around the Bellagio conservatory and took some great pictures. You can see one of them to the right/above and another at the end of this post. We enjoy the beautiful conservatory each time we visit Las Vegas.

Next, we went around to a few different casinos. I had not yet visited the Cosmopolitan so we went over there and joined the Identity program, the player’s club at the Cosmopolitan. We gambled a bit and then headed around to a few other casinos. You can see a fun picture of Nicole in a shoe at the Cosmopolitan to the right/below! After a long day of gambling, we went shopping at The Miracle Mile shops and ate dinner there too. Day one was quite the fun day of sight seeing, dining, shopping, and gambling.

Vegas Cosmopolitan

Nicole At The Cosmopolitan

The next day, we slept in and then headed over to the buffet at MGM Grand. We got buffet passes for free as part of our deal with The Signature. The buffet was really great, with more food than you could imagine. I have been to Las Vegas so many times over the years, more than I can count, but surprisingly enough this was my first time at a Las Vegas buffet! Next, we headed over to the MGM Grand pool. It was busy, but we were lucky enough to get some really great lounge chairs near the pool. We enjoyed some really great frozen drinks and relaxation at the pool. Day two ended with some really fun times at Tournament of Kings, the medieval dinner/show at The Excalibur. The food there was really good, a true feast!

Day two was so much fun that we decided to repeat it on day three. We started out with the MGM Grand Buffet and then went to the MGM Grand pool. It was 105 degrees out, perfect pool weather. After a fun day at the pool, we enjoyed dinner at the Rainforest Cafe, and then did some shopping. Instead of heading home on day three, we stayed an extra night so we could fully enjoy day three, a very smart move. The next morning (Monday morning), we got up really early and took the first flight out of Vegas back to the Bay, just in time to head back to work. Vegas was a ton of fun and we can’t wait to go back soon! Do you like to visit Las Vegas too?

More Pictures From Our Las Vegas Vacation

Vegas Tournament of Kings Show

Vegas Tournament of Kings

Vegas Bellagio Conservatory Garden

All images in this post ©

I’m a Kenshoo Celebrity

Jul. 24

Back at SMX Advanced, I had a blast catching up with my good friends Geoff, Chad, and Claudia from Kenshoo. What is Kenshoo? It’s one of the best Digital Marketing Software platforms around. In addition to offering search marketers an invaluable suite of tools, Kenshoo has one of the most amazing marketing teams around. Their new “How Do You Kenshoo” campaign rocks. Recently, Kenshoo revamped their Facebook fan page and I’m honored to be featured in their main profile picture. Check it out below and then don’t forget to visit and like the new Kenshoo Facebook Page. Thanks, Kenshoo, it’s a true honor!

Kenshoo Facebook

Image in this post © Kenshoo

Growing Your Marketing Career With Golf

Jul. 20

Earlier this week, I was lucky enough to attend my company’s leadership team offsite. It was held in the Sacramento area at Thunder Valley Hotel and Casino. After an incredibly productive and intense offsite, we went over to the Granite Bay Country Club for a round of golf. This marked my second big work-related golf outing in the last few months (I played in the Randy Cross Invitational at Stanford Golf Course back in May). And, I’m already set to play in another tournament in September, again at Stanford Golf Course. I really enjoy these golf opportunities, and highly recommend them for anyone in the online marketing career path. Following are some of the main reasons I love these golf outings…

  • They present an amazing opportunity to really get to know your co-workers. After a round of golf, you can truly get to know somebody.
  • Golf presents a great way to meet co-workers who you may not work with on a day-to-day basis.
  • If you’re on an upward career trajectory (as I’m sure you are since you’re reading PPC Ian), golf helps build leadership skills. Golf helps make a name for yourself at your company.
  • Oftentimes, golf tournaments benefit charity. It’s an honor and privilege to represent your employer in that capacity. Giving back is so important. Remember to donate whatever you can afford as well, whether that’s time and/or money.
  • Golf is a great way to connect with partners and clients. Marin Software took a co-worker and I to the US Open recently. It was an amazing experience, thanks Marin! If you work at an agency (side note: I recommend Rocket Clicks and PPC Associates, they truly rule), you could leverage golf to connect with your clients.
  • It’s great fun and super exercise. You can enhance your online marketing work by staying in great shape. Golf keeps your mind clear.

As a closing tip, I wanted to point out that our golf event had players of all levels. It doesn’t matter if you are a beginner. Get out threre and have fun. Even if your score is not great, just remember to have fun and keep a great attitude. Follow these tips and you’ll be on your way to career success, while having a blast!

PPC Ian Golfing At Granite Bay

Image in this post ©

Going Above and Beyond In Your SEM Career

Jul. 16

Hey Everyone,
I have been posting less frequently lately. Why? Since I got promoted to Vice President, Search Marketing back in March, I have been pushing my SEM career harder than ever before. I worked all day Sunday, all day and night today, and pretty much every waking hour over the past week. The last week has been intense for sure. It has also been incredibly rewarding, my team and I are accomplishing so much.

Long story short, I am doing everything I can to go above and beyond in my search marketing career. I’m giving my company and my team my 110%, nothing less. I have found it to be an amazing cycle. The more you give, the more you get. It only works in that order. Also, I love what I do and I love working at my company so as a perfectionist I find it hard not to give my 110%.

These days, search marketing is becoming more mature as a career path. There’s more competition. It’s just like the Google AdWords landscape. While CPCs rise and new competitors enter the market, you see new SEM experts growing their careers in our wonderful field. How are you going to maintain your edge? Just as you maniacally optimize your SEM accounts, invent new strategies, and push the envelop of online marketing, you need to do the same with your own career. Go all in! Don’t hold anything back, even if it’s at the expense of other priorities. (Of course, this only works if you love what you’re doing.)

Personally, I need to catch up on some sleep and also work out a bit more. That said, I have made some conscious tradeoffs and it’s this type of attitude that will really take you places. Get out there and grind harder than you ever thought possible. That’s how you can go above and beyond in your SEM career. Just remember to also reward yourself, everything goes in cycles and you’ll need an “off” cycle from time to time.

Wishing you all the best!
All the best,

How To Optimize Search For Mobile Devices

Jul. 09

In 2012, it’s all about mobile search. Mobile search advertising on both smartphones and tablets is truly taking off. Both Google AdWords and also Microsoft adCenter provide a multitude of options for mobile search advertising. It’s so easy to segment out by device and even operating system. It’s exciting! It’s just like desktop-based search back in 2003-2004. We’re still in the early days of mobile…

Mobile Advertising

Mobile advertising can be quite different than desktop/laptop-based search engine marketing. When it comes to strategy, you’ll want to clearly think through your mobile smartphone and tablet strategy in terms of: bidding, keyword selection, match type selection, and landing page experience. This brings us to the topic of today’s post: Adobe’s Brand New Mobile Matters On-Demand Webinar.

Recently, I wrote all about Adobe’s Going Global In A Social World whitepaper. Now, they’re back at it with their brand new on-demand webinar. In Adobe’s Mobile Matters webinar, you’ll learn all about: Recent trends in mobile advertising, best practices for mobile search campaigns, mobile landing page tips, and so much more. The best part: You can watch the webinar on your own time. It’s an on-demand webinar so you don’t have to wait for a specific date/time. One thing’s for sure: It’s all about mobile advertising in 2012. Watch Adobe’s Mobile Matters webinar today and dazzle your organization tomorrow!

Image of mobile advertising © iStockPhoto – pressureUA