Strolling the Exhibit Floor at SES Chicago

Exploring the exhibit hall at SES Chicago 2007.

SES Chicago 2007 Day 3

SES Chicago 2007 - Google Booth

SES Chicago Exhibitors

SES Chicago attendees

SES Session: Personalization, User Data & Search

Personalized Search Panel - SES Chicago 2007

Whether you’re part of the search industry or just affected by it, you’ve probably not only grown used to change but are excited by it.

Attending a session this morning about personalized and universal search, we had a panel full of excited folks and audience members all bursting at the seams to discuss what these two types of search bring.

Panelists included:

Greg Jarboe, President and Co-Founder, SEO-PR

Dave Davies, CEO, Beanstalk
Jonathan Mendez, Founder and Chief Strategy Officer, OTTO Digital
Richard Zwicky, Founder and CEO, Enquisite
Aaron D’Souza, Software Engineer, Google
Bill Barnes, Co-Founder & Executive Vice President, Enquiro Search Solutions Inc.
James Colborn, Director, US Trade Marketing, Microsoft Corporation

SES Chicago Session: Are You Ignoring the Power of Images?

Social Media Panel - SES Chicago 2007

“Of all our inventions for mass communication, pictures still speak the most universally understood language.” Walt Disney

Jennifer Laycock Editor-in-Chief of Search Engine Guide helped the audience understand the value of images and 3 benefits to submitting photos to image sharing sites, like Flickr.

She made an excellent point by demonstrating what impacts people the most:
Copy OR Images

Let’s try it. What impacts you more, the description of how I dressed my dog up for Halloween OR the picture of it?

Description: For Halloween, I dressed my pup up as an angel.


Without the image – or having to include a lot more copy – questions are left unanswered. In this example, questions that are answered through the image, but not the copy include:
-what Wrigley looks like
-what color(s) he is
-what kind of dog

Snowy & Festive at SES Chicago

It’s snowing here in Chicago making for a beautiful night & ensuring to get anyone and everyone in the holiday spirit.

John Hancock Building
John Hancock building decked out with holiday colors at the very top.

Snow Chicago - SES
Chicago River.

Michigan Avenue
Snowy & Twinkly Michigan Avenue.

Michigan Avenue sign in snow
Michigan Avenue sign covered in snow.
Happy Holidays, Everyone!

View more images from our time here at SES Chicago.

SES Session: Actionable Social Media

Actionable Social Media

By 2010, 70% of all content online will be developed by individuals, so claims iCrossing’s Adam Lavelle, articulated during the session “Actionable Social Media” today at SES Chicago.

The session, moderated by Anne Kennedy, included on its panel:

  • Lavelle
  • Todd Parsons, cofounder of Buzz Logic
  • Jennifer Laycock, Editor in Chief of Search Engine Guide
  • Tamera Kremer, Wildfire Strategic Marketing
  • Steven Marder, CEO Eurekster

The panel’s discussion reviewed the most popular social media methods, tying everything back to the main notion that we humans, truly, are social animals. The web has evolved naturally, but a breakneck pace to support this type of behavior.

Everything from blogging, to image submissions, to social bookmarking facilitate our tendency to sort ourselves into likeminded communities, either by finding them or creating them.

SES Chicago Session: Big Site, Big Search

Big Site, Big Search

Search Marketing within large organizations, often presents a unique set of problems back to the search marketer/marketing firm.

It’s nothing that’s does on purpose (for the most part), but rather it simply comes along with large, complex organizations.

The panel for this session outlined what they see as the most frustrating components of working for large organizations and how search marketers can adapt to reach the end objectives.

The panels’ top frustrations include:
1. Uneducated individuals
2. Resistant individuals
3. IT Departments that say NO

SES Chicago 2007 – Seth Godin Keynote on 14 Trends to Avoid a Meatball Sundae

Seth Godin SES Chicago 07

Day two at SES Chicago opened with a keynote speech from Seth Godin talking about Meatball Sundaes.
So what’s this Meatball Sundae all about?

Let’s break it down first: The meatballs are the core of the organization whether it’s products, services or traditional marketing.

The sundae, the whipped topping, nuts, sprinkles and cherry is what new marketing provides including channels like social media.

I’m sure we can all agree that a meatball sundae does not sound appetizing, but they’re being created across organizations with marketers trying to force traditional messages into new online channels.

Seth encouraged the audience to embrace what the web wants and architect your messages accordingly.

SES Keynote Speech – Rodney Dangerfield School of Search Marketing

SES Chicago 2007 - Magnifying GlassWrapping up the day was Don Shultz, Ph D and professor at Northwestern University, who introduced attendees to what he calls the Rodney Dangerfield School of Search Marketing“.

As a search marketer, do you ever feel like you’re under the magnifying glass to produce bigger, better, faster results? And results that don’t fit into traditional marketing measurements?

Don motivated the crowd by insisting that search engine marketers need some respect from traditional marketers within organizations. So, how do we get respect? Here are Don’s ideas on how we can change the marketing world.

Transition from static to dynamic marketing

Don talks about the 3 different types of marketing organizations:
1. Product driven – i.e. General Motors
2. Distribution driven – i.e. Wal-Mart
3. Customer-driven – i.e. Dell

SES Chicago: Catering to Clients both Big & Small


I’m off to Chicago, Illinois (my home state) this week to cover SES Chicago and will be posting session and event coverage here on Online Marketing Blog as the week progresses.

Attending conferences is a fantastic part of working for TopRank. Conferences are a learning opportunity like no other and help spark new ideas, approaches and tactics. I’m particularly excited about SES Chicago as it combines two things I absolutely love: Search Marketing & Chicago.

Over the past few weeks I’ve been asked what I’m most excited about with the conference. Below are a few thoughts on that:

Let’s start with Search: Gleaning ideas to further customize SEO programs to clients both big and small. The two sessions below seem primed to help: