The Genesis of the Enquisite Campaign Idea

June 1st, 2009 by Richard Zwicky

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continued from part 1… Enquisite Campaign Launches Today

So, sitting around my campfire, I tried to count stars in the sky, and fathom how anyone could ever count them all, measure the distance from one to the next, and report that information in a concise, intelligible way. Yet, astronomers and astro-physicists have been doing exactly that for a long time. On the web, companies like Google, WebTrends, Omniture, and CoreMetrics were tracking paid search activity and effectively reporting on the value of those campaigns. My friend, Andrew Goodman had build a successful PPC agency,, focused on paid search, and he successfully proved the value delivered to his customers using reporting. Why couldn’t the organic search side of the business do the same thing? Why couldn’t organic search accurately report the crucial business and campaign information that search marketers, advertisers and business operators needed? It was at that moment that something clicked, and I started writing out a few ideas. It wasn’t that reporting it was impossible; it was that the focus of the discussion was incorrect.

Many ideas actually popped into my head at the same time. Most important: in paid search, the topic was about value delivered, whereas in organic search, the discussion was about traffic delivered. These are very different and usually incompatible metrics. I realized that the discussion needed to change on the organic side for everyone’s sake, and this would only be possible if a framework was in place to measure and value all types of customer acquisition strategies in an equitable manner.

The normal question in discussions around traffic acquisition has been whether a referral from organic search is worth as much as a referral from paid search. Most of the time, the answer is probably not. In organic search, there are a lot more informational queries and clicks, so you get more noisy traffic. The more important question, however, is whether a sale from organic search worth as much as a sale from paid search. And the answer to this question is most definitely yes. Yet, until now, organic search campaigns by and large haven’t been measured or valued in this way.

My realization was that if it were possible to put together a framework and system for estimating organic campaign potential, measuring organic campaign effectiveness, AND establishing a means to value traffic delivered equitably across channels, then we could put in place a framework by which search marketing firms could scale more effectively, and deliver even more value to clients. Such a system would need to create efficiencies within the SEM organization, and provide information for use both internally and in customer reporting, which by and large was unavailable at the time.

Continued in part 3…

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