What else are your clients interested in?

The IAB UK recently held their Engage for Search conference. There are some interesting takeaways.

The first thing to note is that the IAB does very well at bringing client side companies to their events and Engage for Search was no different. 70% of the audience came from a client side company which meant 30% where either agency or supplier.

That's a challenge SES and SMX both face. SES has the advantage due to their history. Interestingly, the A4U Expo does quite well at bringing in the merchants as well as agencies and affiliates.

This was a search conference (SEO and PPC) but the IAB asked the attendees a number of questions - one of which was "What else are you interested in?"

Some pretty interesting figures in there;
  • More marketing managers are interested in social media than in branding
  • More marketing managers are interested in affiliate marketing than creativity
Another takeaway from the event was that most of the clientside attendees had generic job titles like "marketing manager" rather than one which included the word "search". Feedback also suggested that some attendees needed quite a lot of handholding.

I noticed a similar typology at SES London this year. My conclusion was that brands were experimenting with taking Search in-house and so where sending marketing staff to Search Conferences to learn. However, some of the questions we had from the crowd where worringly basic and this would suggest to me that some clients are rather expert in Search but just as many are at Search-101.

It'll be interesting to see whether this pattern repeats at SMX London.

I sit on the IAB's Search Council and help maintain our Search Centre so if you're interested in joining (agency or client) then let me know and I'll point you at the right people (or them at you!)

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