This week I had a great experience traveling to Boston to speak at the Kelsey Interactive Local Marketing East Conference. My overall talk was on the basics of SEO for CEO’s and building an in-house SEO department, but I also touched on the wider trends happening in search related marketing spend and how they impact local markets. Afterwards we had a panel discussion with two of the people I view as among the top experts in search (and local SEO): Will Scott and Andrew Shotland (you can find a recap of the session on the Kelsey blog here).
One of the themes I touched on during my talk was the growing importance of “Services” in the world of marketing priorities for businesses. That money is now shifting from what has always been viewed as “Advertising” (whether traditional or digital media) to a whole host of growing priorities including Search Engine Optimization, Social Media Optimization, blogs and Content Marketing.
Digiday recently wrote about this shift when they discussed a new Society of Digital Agencies survey of top marketing execs, which found that:
66 percent plan increases in outlays for paid and owned media, which are arguably the biggest opportunities for brands in digital media. When asked what would get increased priority in 2012, for instance, 61 percent said content creation like blogs, and 57 percent said mobile Web development.
The survey data showed that Marketers clearly have identified the areas of Earned and Owned media as new priorities:
Greg Sterling also commented on this trend in a recent post when he wrote: “(Local businesses) are investing in websites, social media, email and SEO and spending less on paid digital media — on ‘advertising.’ While advertising was often the sole focus of marketers offline, it’s just one of several areas of focus in digital.”
For media companies and agencies accustomed to the way the world used to work, the implications are clear. They will need to rapidly diversify into areas beyond Paid media to service the rapidly growing spend in Earned and Owned media.
Additional Photos from ILM East Session “SEO for CEO’s”: