Super Session: Search and Research on a Rail

Brett’s wife is pregnant.

Tom Hughes
He’s going to talk about brand positioning research. He starts off by taking a high level view. Putting aside CTRs and conversion. While we’re develivering website performance, we’re delivering brand experience. The website is the front line for delivering brand experience. Are we delivering the intended experience for the brand? Optimal brand performance increases thbe efficiency and consistency of communications, it gets everyone on the same page, drives strategry for search optimization, connects website efforts to sustainable business performance. Where do we have strengthgs over our competitors beware of “green fees” (if airlines started talking abtou safety, beward of things that everyone has to have to be in the game, things that ever brand has, look for advatanges that are unique to the brand) issues. What the customer’s ideal looksl ike and how can we close the gaps.
Secondary research: Syndicated studies, market data and industry reports.
Primary research: focus groups, individual interviews, surveys.
DIY: talk to customers, talk to employees gather secondary resarch information.
Get help with: questionaire design and analysis of data., leave these to the pros
He’s using jaguar as an example, every employee knew that “style” was the brand.

takeaway: a positioning and messaging template
start with position, essecnce of how you are compellingly different.
then idenfity who you are and what you do
differentiation how are you better
Siginificance why customer should care
messaging support key messages that deliver the brand (point-at-ables, what can we point at that will reinforce this)
emotional support, key motivational needs delivered by the brand

deliver optimal brand experience on the home page
incorporate pictures or taglines on sitepages that resonate positioning
define and audit search terms
launch banner ad campaigns that resonate the brand positioning
brand leve
product level
customer segment level

dell was at a crossroads for large vertical segments, use generic or vertical positioning? they conducted research to find pain points for the federal gov and they built a positioning to answer that and launched flash based ad. the browser he was trying to demo the ad on didn’t have flash installed. the first banner led you to a tour. there was a DC and a bagdad area to click, each led to seperate tours, the bagdad one to a defense oriented tour. They hit every pain point they discovered. increased click trough by over 200% and it drove buy rates over 15%. the campain was not rocket science, its about emrging web optimization and customer intelligence.
line of site on position + use it to guide web optimization.

Gord Hotchkiss
Keynotes at the show: guy kawasaki, gord bumped all the font sizes up on his powerpoint.
he also liked john battelle, he didn’t see alot of people writing his important point down, the notion of intent and how search is the navigation of web 2.0. gord says that really really really important.
Why is research important?
Search Marketing:

  1. Right message
  2. right person
  3. right place
  4. right time
  5. right experience

accept the path that the customer is in control. He’s usinig HP as an example of how not to do this, he’s showing a google SERP for digital cameras, HP is showing an ad for desktops and notebooks, the ad sends you to the main page, and there’s no cameras on that page. Gord says “what the hell”. He’s offering two hours of free consulting so he doesn’t have to keep pointing it out.
Now he’s showing a brilliant study of eyetracking that he made. Guy Kawasaki has his own entry on “how did you hear about this” on istockphoto.
Intent is key
get inside your customer’s mind
can’t do it based on query
you need to research, start simple, just do it, ask your customers, when you bought from us talk me through the process.
personas, stuff all that info into one framework.
how intent imacts searching
say your forgot to buy your brotherinlaw a brithday present, you don’t really like him
you know he likes john irving.
he lives out of town
want to spend $20 $25
you’ll likely start in the sponsored results the amazon ad matches the intent exactly.
as opposed to
you have lunch with someone who talks about the book, you read two irving books, you liked one, you didn’t like the other.
most people will look in the organic results with this intent, the second result has a good scent, its about a review.
Intent should impact scanning behavior for research type queries we would tend to “thin slice” sponsored content our of the way
for the purchase typ queriues we should focus more on the sponsored ads.
80 searchers on an eye tracking station.
a research scenario looking for info about the bellagio, another purchase scenario about making reservations.
people tend to take the top 3 and they break them off into a consideration set. sponsored ads are included. we like to have at least one organic result in the consideration set. When you’re doing a purchase the consideration set is more top heavy the reserch intent is more bottom heavy. much heavier CTR for the research queries on organic results, 100% of the clicks were in organic, in the purchase group it was split about 50/50.
The purchase group focused on the area needed to make a reservation, but ignored the text, the research group scanned the entire site. the user has control, don’t try to fool around with that. You can’t force them scan parts of the page they don’t want to scan, the user is in control.
intent is important, understand the target, udnerstand the intent, get the message in the right place, get the message right, get it there at the right time. deliver the right experience.

Glenn Alsup
he’s talking about malcolm gladwell’s book blink. and how the psychologist can thin slice the newly weds who can stay together.
the area between the user and the object casinos knnow the stats, but can’t know how the user will interact with the games.
qualitative vs quantitative
qualitative reject the idea that social science cans be measured like natural scinces, they feel that human behavoir is always bound to context
quantiative belive that human behavoir is measurable.
User research: understand situation and background, goals and objectives, use cases
tactics: strategic focus groups
model observation
case study agilent, low cost, technically complex products.
the goal of the research was ways to improve the search.
surveys show engineers prefer to do their own resarch
metholodgy:
heuristics study, qualifying questionaire, usability lab testing.
Test plan: 1st pass 27% success rate (he’s showing a video of the testing, the users are frustrated
2nd pass 53% success rate. by using cascading menus on the new design, the engineers enjoy the experience more.
the participant, the facililtaro and observer(s).
there are labs that can recomend participants for your test
the facilitator is the most important, they are the people who conduct the study. they’ve used PHDS and people with common sense.
the observers are outside the lab two way mirrors or cameras.
the denver election commisioner was recently fired, they do lots of testing on machines. there is a testing doc that has to be followed before it can be approved.
remote usability: it doesn’t have to take place in a traditional lab. they’re using the resturant at aureole at mandalay bay. they use tablet PCs for the wine list. You can actually see and here the interactions with the menus from denver. remote testing is much cheaper.
he’s talking about branding and showing the airplane tales. There are pictures of animals on frontier airline planes, when they were doing testing, people were asking where are the animals they were concerned with which animal they were flying on.

Dana Todd SEMPO
sempo does lots of research, tracking baseline data, they track and trend over 100 data points.
sizing the marketing, pricing shifts, resource allocation, click pricing, click fraud, product demand.
SEO still has strong demand as an SEM tactic.
migration of SEO and PPC is towards inhouse.
click price elasticity is nearly capped out
awareness and concern about click fraud is growing.
percent of advertisers engage in:
80% engage in SEO
78% in SEM
40% paid inclusion
more people than ever before offering SEO, the dollar value going into SEO is lower than PPC.
There is a migration of SEO and SEM inhouse, dissatisfaction with agencies is high
huge influx of training resources. a whole new big product markets.
21% say they’re tapped out on PPC budgets. 4 out of 5 could tolerate increases.
agencies are more concerned about click fraud a ful 33% its a problem they’re tracking, another 33% think its a problem but aren’t tracking it. See Gord to donate click data for fraud study
www.sempo.org 2006 survey is up, one respondent gets a prize, it runs untill nov 29th. If you take the survey you get a copy of the results.

Brett Tabke
They’re doing a follow up survey to their older customer satisfaction survey, there were a lot of surprises last time.
“The Big Question” a book:
customer satisfaction survey’s suck.
WMW is looking for a new one to do this, how likely are you to recommend product X to a friend on a scale of 1 to 10
1-6 are detractors, 9-10 are promoters.
promotors-detractors = NPS net promotor score.
he asks that question about pubcon. about 80% are promoters.

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