Adiela Aviram is the Search Engine Marketing Team Lead with DAC Group. Adiela specializes in managing highly complex, decentralized client engagements that involve multiple stakeholders and strict lead/conversion targets. She combines her agency background with experience in the not for profit sector, and has run campaigns in the education, financial services and consumer electronics spaces. Her work at DAC has received recognition as a finalist in the 2015 Search Engine Land Awards as well as at the OMMA Awards. Adeila mentor a team of Paid Search specialists, educating them on the delivery of their day to day responsibilities as well as guiding their careers. She joins us from Toronto, Canada to discuss the role of the Paid Search Strategist. You can hear our conversation in iTunes, Stitcher or Soundcloud or below now.
Paid search is inextricably linked with technology. It’s the nature of the medium. It is the only way to overcome the incredible complexity that the strategist has to deal with if brands are to fulfill their full potential. But ironically, it is not necessarily technology that will make a paid search strategist successful. The key to differentiation in the industry is the application of strategic thinking to what is otherwise a technology driven function. This thinking begins with the need to balance volume and efficiency. The questions Adiela asks herself in order to do so are extremely strategic, questions such as, ‘are clients bidding on the right keywords? Are they showing up on the right searches? What are their ads saying? Are they speaking to the right people? When the searchers click on the ads, are they going to the right landing pages? How are we measuring their conversions? How are they doing in relation to these goals that they have set?’. In order to answer these questions, particularly in enterprise campaigns that contain millions of keywords, the paid search strategist needs to determine the balance between manual tasks and the use of automation technologies such as bidding platforms like Doubleclick, Kenshoo and Adobe Media Optimizer, platforms that allow bids to be changed on an hourly or daily basis across huge campaigns.
But it is not merely bids that need to be considered in determining paid search strategy. Considerations such as the type of device used, wether mobile or desktop, the location of the user and the time of day all need to be considered. And where the paid search strategist adds value is to look beyond these individual elements for the key strategic insights. As Adiela says, ‘anybody can buy keywords, write ads or put bids into search engines’. Reliance on these functions are a way to ensuring that you become irrelevant as the technology continues to evolve. Adiela gives the example of using client data that showed that users only converted into revenue within a specific area around their physical locations around the country, and how this insight led to the hyper-localization of a paid search campaign that had previously been a national one, leading to significant impact on performance. This type of insight and action is not the type of thing that a machine can do and it truly highlights the enduring value of the paid search strategist.
It is this type of insight that reinforces the fact that, as Adiela reminds us, ‘search engine marketers are still marketers…we are fulfilling a need and are still very necessary…our strategic thinking and the thought process that is involved in delivering a search engine marketing strategy is the key. That can’t be replaced by technology’.
Of note is the fact that when she first started her career, Adiela saw herself as a search engine marketer and it is only as she evolved in her career, and through mentorship that she learned that she is ‘a marketer first and foremost…(her) job is to use marketing in whatever form…it just happens that (her) specific medium is paid search’.
Adiela’s advice to those starting out is to let ‘your work speak for itself…your work has to be beyond perfect…your execution has to be flawless and your work will do the talking for you’. She recommends combining this flawless execution with finding mentors that will give you opportunities since success in this industry is based to a very large extent on who you know.
To do this she reminds us of the importance of the human element, ‘you have to be likeable…if I don’t like you why would I want to work with you…be honest…people don’t like to work with shady or dishonest people’. These simple human dynamics, combined with the strategic focus are the keys to success in a career in paid search.
Next week on octopus, we will continue to explore the role of the digital strategist. Please be sure to comment below. I’d love to hear from you. Please subscribe for alerts about new episodes and content. Thank you for listening to octopus. I’m Nasser Sahlool.