Emily Scott: When dealing with millions of viewers, just using Excel becomes pretty unwieldy, especially from a bid management standpoint, but also from an overall campaign management standpoint. Platforms are important when it comes to bid management because it allows you to reset the clock after you've made a bid change. So instead of having to make sweeping brush strokes in terms of matching keywords and changing bids every other day or once a week, it allows you to make changes as needed, and then have data accuracy when making further changes.
Kenshoo's platform includes functionality for social, display and email, too. Is that something that you were thinking about - scaling into other channels?
Emily Scott: Definitely. I think that having a single platform, from a tracking and attribution perspective, is definitely a long‑term goal. Given where the industry is now, it's not as seamless and as simple as it might sound. There's still a lot of moving parts. But I did appreciate the way that Kenshoo is approaching the industry and all of the moving parts because they're doing so with a vision to bring things together and give visibility and insight across channels.
Is search engine marketing (SEM) limited today in that there is primarily one way to go – Google? Does the social channel start to open things up beyond SEM?
Emily Scott: Social presents an interesting opportunity, but in terms of Google being the only player, I don't discount the Yahoo/Bing partnership. It is smaller, but it still represents a sizeable portion of the marketplace, and it is to some extent, unduplicated. We're not exclusively Google players.
But social is interesting, and I think it will become increasingly so as the analytics and the ability to measure performance improves. Kenshoo's platform's positioning itself in a way to help us better understand how we can use social, but we're still in the early innings with that.
What about a traditional side to your marketing mix? As an online company, where does TV fit?
Robert Birge: We began heavy investment in brand marketing in late 2009. And what we've stated is that we intend to continue doing that, and that does include television advertising. And we've been able to grow our brand awareness significantly since we began that.
By John Ebbert