It’s very apparent based on my wonderful experience at SMX West 2011 today that the search marketing industry is absolutely on fire. There is no time like the present, the SEM career path is the best career path in my opinion. Today, I’m looking forward to sharing with you some of my favorite SMX West 2011 conference highlights!
SMX West Had Some Great Advanced Content
SMX West has historically been more of an introductory conference, one geared towards those newer to digital advertising. I consistently attend each year because it’s in San Jose, just a short half hour drive from my job. By contrast, SMX Advanced has been more advanced (as the name implies).
This year, however, I was pleasantly surprised. SMX West 2011 totally delivered and included great content both for beginners and seasoned industry veterans like myself. I was definitely at the edge of my seat, taking diligent notes! In terms of advanced content, it was especially exciting hearing all about Microsoft’s adCenter quality score algorithm directly from Microsoft product managers. Moreover, I was totally floored when a panelist on the Google AdWords Extensions seminar predicted that Google will be launching sitelinks on an adgroup level (they’re currently set on a campaign level). In my opinion, this would be a tremendous opportunity to fine tune ad copy to the next level, now that sitelinks are showing up on many generic queries.
A few other exciting topics from SMX:
- I learned all about Google product feeds. I used to be in retail back in 2004-2006 when I managed SEM at comparison shopping giant NexTag. Since then, however, I’ve been in services-oriented verticals. A lot has changed over the years and it was really great to pick up some product feed insights.
- Efficient Frontier presented some truly amazing industry trends. Basically, they compiled data across all their clients and reported it on an aggregate level. An incredibly important part of our jobs as SEM professionals is answering questions about macro industry trends. Efficient Frontier helped me out quite a bit with their data points.
SMX Is Great For Networking
What’s my favorite part of search conferences? It really comes down to networking. Whether it’s catching up with old friends or making new friends, conferences like SMX West are ideal for networking. When it comes to your long term career within search engine marketing, a strong network is everything. It’s because of my strong network that I’ve made it this far in the world of SEM and I continue to invest in relationships each and every day.
As you can see throughout this post, I had the great opportunity to catch up with my close friends from Acquisio, Kenshoo, and Marin Software. If you’ve been reading PPC Ian for a while, you’ll know that I’m totally obsessed with SEM automation. Acquisio, Kenshoo, and Marin Software are three of the absolute top leaders when it comes to search marketing software, and I’ve been incredibly fortunate to establish close relationships with all of them. It was really great catching up with my friends!
I had a real blast chatting with Marc Poirier, Co-Founder and CMO of Acquisio. I had the opportunity to chat with Marc at length about my personal career trajectory and truly enjoyed it! Also, I scored two of those amazing Acquisio t-shirts (one for myself and one for my wife). I will be highlighting them in a future post. Side note: Make sure to check out my exclusive interview with Marc Poirier.
As you can see in the image on the right, Marin Software really went all out this year. They had, in my opinion, the most impressive booth at SMX West. It was truly great catching up with Matt Lawson, VP of Marketing at Marin Software. Side note: Make sure to check out my exclusive interview with Matt Lawson. Making their booth even more enticing, they had an Xbox giveaway!
Last, I had an amazing experience chatting with Geoff Shenk, Managing Director of Kenshoo North America. Kenshoo has a new product called Watchdog that’s truly amazing and I’ll be blogging about it soon! While I don’t have a interview directly with Geoff here on PPC Ian, I recently interviewed Chad Baldwin – Kenshoo’s VP of Sales.
This Year, I Just Went To The First Day
This year, I decided to just attend day one of SMX West. Why? I’m in a leadership position and it’s my responsibility to balance conferences with my day-to-day responsibilities. As such, I decided to share the excitement and am having my team cover for me the rest of this conference. This will be a tremendous experience for my team, and I’m truly excited that I got an opportunity to enjoy day one of SMX West while still leaving myself time to get my important projects done! Did you attend SMX West this year? I’d love to hear your thoughts!
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