US Postal Service Sponsors Direct Marketing
Originally uploaded by jzawodn.

Last weekend I traveled to Atlanta to participate on a panel about "Harnessing the Buzz Power of Blogs" at the annual conference for the Direct Marketing Association. These are people who live and breathe marketing, often controlling millions of dollars worth of advertising dollars every year.

While I was at the conference less than a day, I came away simultaneously shocked and hopeful.

The Shock

In talking to some of the Search Engine Marketing folks that were in sessions on Saturday, I discovered that the vast majority of DMA folks are very, very, very new to Search Marketing. I'd go so far as to say many of them are incredibly clueless about the process, benefits, costs, etc.

Here's an example. One presenter said that many folks stopped him early on his presentation and asked him to explain or define things that he thought were common knowledge already. When the session was over, a few came up to ask questions one-to-one. At least one of them asked what the difference between "organic" results and "sponsored" results was. In other words, they didn't understand why some links are on the right or are at the top in a different color.

I was shocked by this. But it just goes to show the differences between the tech-savvy west coast bubble I live in day to day and the real-world.

The Hope

Thinking about this on the plane ride home, I realized the other half of this news is quite good. There are millions and millions (and millions) of advertising dollars being controlled by folks who've never tried search marketing yet.

In other words: There's A LOT of growth left in this industry.

Posted by jzawodn at October 21, 2005 03:53 PM

Reader Comments
# John said:

What upcoming conferences are on your calendar?

Also, why doesn't Yahoo show up at Ad-Tech? Seems especially relevant now that Yahoo has their own ad network.

on October 21, 2005 05:56 PM
# John said:

NM, looks like Yahoo will be there this year (weren't last year in SF).

on October 21, 2005 06:05 PM
# Adam said:

Fine, Jeremy, but if your YSM folks don't clean up their act, all of these peeps are gonna advertise with Google instead. I work with a client who spends over $150,000 a month on PPC advertising, and both he and I are often tempted just to give up on YSM. The interface is 1995'ish and just generally awful, the service is inconsistent, and the feature set is about 10 miles behind Google. I mean, please, you guys (well, Overture) CREATED this space! What happened?!

on October 22, 2005 04:13 PM
# said:

This is an amazing article. The other side of this is that when the whole market enters bid prices will likely rise. I'm glad to be in early.

on October 23, 2005 10:42 AM
# arthur said:

jzawodn you are so on the money! SE bids are 4% of advertising or less. Growth of 90-200% per year year over yr. is expected as quite reasonable by my research. My own ad space has grown from one ad per week to 16 ads per week.

Brick and Mortar biz should shrink at a true recession pace for next 18 months and the quick amd the smart will increase their digital brand now to reap the harvest.

on October 25, 2005 07:12 AM
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