Starting to Build the Campaign Platform

June 2nd, 2009 by Richard Zwicky

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continued from part 2 The Genesis of the Enquisite Campaign Idea

To make Campaign work technically, I knew we needed at least two things off the bat: (1) we needed to capture some critical information which wasn’t presently available; and (2) due to the absolute scale and magnitude of data, we needed to capture it much more efficiently than present web-based logging systems did. The first conundrum was capturing that critical information, and it was during an animated discussion with my business partner at Metamend, Todd Hooge, that we hit on a means to gather it. This led to Enquisite Optimizer’s (formerly Enquisite Pro) search engine positioning reports.

At first, I didn’t know if the rank reporting process would work the way I needed it to. So we started testing, and I kept dreaming up ideas around a better business model. I didn’t share these ideas with Todd, as we were far away from capturing the data necessary to power a new reporting system. I also suspected that if I had shared these thoughts, he probably would have looked at me like I was nuts (again), and made some comment like “it would also be nice if cars could fly.” Plus, I was still thinking about all the things we would need to build for the “finished” system, including the nuts-and-bolts implementation. Anyhow, Todd helped me tremendously to break down that first, crucial, barrier around capturing the necessary data. It may seem trivial today, but it was a big deal then. Even today it’s still a big deal to people when they get an explanation of the entire data capture system.

Once we worked out the germ of the idea on how to capture the data, we were off. I hired a developer to turn the theory into practice. Simultaneously, I started writing up some of the ideas for patent submissions. By June of 2005, we were ready to try out a basic data capture and reporting system, and I had written a phonebook’s worth of documents to file for patent protection.

When I showed the initial reports to some of my search colleagues, they all said, “When can we have it?” It was at this point that I seriously started considering building out the entire suite for a larger purpose. While at first it was an interesting and meaningful project to help me build out my search marketing firm, based on the initial reaction to the first reports (which now sit within Enquisite Optimizer), I realized we could build a system for everyone, not just ourselves.

Continued in Part 4:

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