Is it time to confront the elephant in the search marketing industry’s living room? There’s so much demand for search these days that sometimes the main block to agency expansion is the fact that agency teams don’t have the time to do all the work that’s coming their way.
Search is obviously a technical discipline which relies on those ‘in the know’ making informed decisions based on meticulous monitoring and analysis. And we’ve had a spate of conversations with heads of search who tell us they’re just not getting the time to do the vital ‘thinking’ that is essential for delivering great campaigns.
Part of the problem – as in any fast growing new sector – is there are only so many experienced search specialists out there. And they’ve only got so many hours in the day.
But the other issue we can see is that the market for tools and technology to make search easier is still maturing. As an SEO analytics software vendor, you’d expect us to say this: but the combination of free or cheap tools, manual research and spreadsheet reporting makes for a very labour-intensive culture. And that’s exactly what many search specialists have to rely on.
The search engine market right now reminds me a little of the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) space twenty years ago. Back then, sales people were forced to spend hours managing their sales information (call histories, sales leads, meeting reports and meeting schedules) manually or via a number of separate tools.
Then innovators came along to take the pain out of tracking and using all this data (CRM firms such as Salesforce.com and Siebel). Eventually the automation provided by these new tools, allowed sales people more freedom to focus on the important part of their job: selling.
We’re hoping that professional search analytics tools such as ours will eventually help do the same for search.