Now that Bruce has provided his dream agenda for SEOs, Matt for PPC, Jessica for the in-house crowd and Disa for the beginners, here’s a track for the business manager who needs to stay on top of the macro issues, develop investment cases and report back to HQ on future trends. You can have a peek at it now, or wait until you read through the below.
Sunday, Arrival Day
Five out of five search experts agree: Sunday’s SMX Meet & Greet is the way to kick it off. I am with Jessica in that social activities are a must. Meeting people and learning from their experiences is as important as attending sessions. I am all about putting the “confer” back into “conference.”
Monday, Day 1: Shiny New Toys
Since your job probably requires understanding new investment areas, now is the time to brush up on mobile, local and maps. Long considered the Internet marketer’s shiny new toy, mobile, local and mapping are here to stay. The morning session, Mobile Search Ads, will review the various paid search opportunities that your firm could be utilizing as either an advertiser or an agency building out a mobile competency. Later in the day, Ranking Tactics for Local Search will break down how to win big in local listings today…and down the road. For the app-obsessed, Mobile Search Apps & Opportunities will answer marketers burning questions around this new means of engaging with the customer. Finally, Maps, Maps, Maps! Will detail how the various search engines and local search services integrate mapping technologies.
At the end of day 1, pull out the mobile device of your preference and navigate on over to the SMX Expo Hall Reception, followed by the Internet Marketer’s Charity Party@SMX East.
Tuesday, Day 2: The Agency Decision + Attribution
Step 1: Lots of coffee. Remember, last night’s party was great…and we raised lots of money for charity!
I’ll spend Day 2 covering two big topics for business managers: agencies and attribution.
I’m eager to kick my day off with a new session, When An Agency Just Won’t Do. For some companies, the search challenge does not fit into an agency’s typical scope of work and a strategic investment scenario must be developed. This was the case for LexisNexis when they needed to deliver search marketing services to thousands of small lawyers. The lessons learned, from building an internal competency to integrating a scalable technology infrastructure, are a good fit for companies that service SMBs, agencies that need to build out a search marketing competency or anyone who feels that the search challenge is too big for a standard agency relationship.
For those who love their agencies, Search Marketing & The Ad Agency will reveal how the large, traditional agencies are building their search competencies, be it through partnering, building or buying a search competency.
Later in the day, we will move on to Case Study: Integrating & Measuring Search As Part Of The Marketing Mix. For starters, who doesn’t love a good case study? More importantly, the panelists will cut to the chase, providing specific examples, how to’s and results for integrating search into the mix.
For those who are currently integrating and measuring, the next question is “who gets credit?” In The Cross Media Attribution Battle I will do my best to broker world peace between search, display and any other faction that seeks to win budget based on attribution.
And since I love shiny new toys, Real Time Search: Opportunity Or Hype? (from which I will tweet every money quote) and Evening Forum With Danny Sullivan are a must.
Wednesday, Day 3: The In-House Decision + Management
Following a day of agency talk, in-house sessions Bringing SEO In House: How To Be Successful! and Bringing PPC In House: How To Be Successful! are advised. Like any investment decision, there is no right or wrong to the agency vs. in-house question. However, it is key to understand the talent, technology, management and cultural requirements for each option.
If you are large multinational, Managing Search Across Business Units is a must. Search engine marketing’s rapid rise has created new challenges in the form of company culture and communication. Learning how to garner input and buy-in across company stakeholders is as important as the hard skills.
And since this is a dream agenda, I’d be able to attend a few sessions simultaneously, especially the shiny objects. Social Media, Search & Reputation Management and Analytics For Social Media are calling my name.
If I may extend the dream a little longer, the conference will end with the delightful surprise that my email inbox would be completely empty, my clients content and Thursday and Friday declared national holidays.
Still need to register for SMX East? The countdown has begun – less than two weeks left!
Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.