Recently, I attended the South African Tourism Indaba in Durban. Interesting topics of conversation that kept popping up were "value for money", "tough economic times"; "Am I as an exhibitor getting value for money at Indaba? Am I going to achieve ROI from this event?" Many would say yes; however, there are opportunities to increase the benefits through workshops to help exhibitors and attendees with their marketing.
The question every marketing department must face is, "Where do I spend my budget this year?". A few years ago this might have been a lot easier; now they need to ask; "Do I spend it on print or online? Where online? Or search? Google, Yahoo? Or social? Which social platform?". The questions, opinions and answers would, in most cases, be subjective and varied.
The latest hype around the SEO world has been the clampdown by Google on paid link advertising. And regardless of whether you are a small starting-off company or a powerhouse that has been around for years, you are being targeted. JCPenney and Forbes.com, two internationally known and respected companies, were penalised by Google because they used paid links to advertise their websites.
The problem that we face in South African commerce right now is that very few top CEOs know what SEO, or what SEM marketing entails. Some might say, "well that's because it's not important, and how can it result in sales?" Hmmm, this attitude would make you look foolish in front of a company (competitor) that has grasped the potential which Google, Yahoo and other search engines present.
Google Instant search is annoying for some, and useful to others. One fact does remain - it runs on the same search engine and the search results are exactly the same. The difference it brings is in how the user reacts to the results they see.