Why Retailers Should Be Day Trippers to SES Chicago

Okay, so I’m an old Beatles fan. But there are lots of very current reasons why retailers should consider becoming day trippers to Search Engine Strategies Chicago next week.

Hidden in plain sight on the rates & registration details page is this nifty option: “One-Day Package” for SES conference sessions is $895. I’m not making this up. Check it out for yourself.

And which day might a retailer consider being a day tripper? Check out the SES Chicago Agenda Overview and retailers will see two options.

The first is Tuesday, Dec. 9. You can start with the morning keynote presentation by Bill Tancer, General Manager of Global Research at Hitwise and author of “Click: What Millions of People Are Doing Online and Why It Matters.”

Bill is going to talk primarily about what search term data can tell us about the economy and consumer sentiment. He’ll also spend some time on finding insights on the effect of an economic downturn on search. You could get an ROI on your day trip just by attending the keynote.

But wait! There’s more!

Tuesday features a Retailer Track. There are three sessions focused on:

Squeeze More Sales Out of Your Existing Online Campaigns
Given the economic downturn, learn how companies are using the latest tools, like Google Website Optimizer and others, to maximize online sales without increasing their ad spend. Three internet retailing companies will discuss how they are increasing the ROI of their ad campaigns in these tight budgetary times.
• Moderator: Kayden Kelly, CEO, Blast Advanced Media
• Speakers:
Chris Benson, CTO, AudioEditions.com
Todd Curry, VP of Marketing, ifbyphone
Sandra Niehaus, VP, User Experience and Creative Director, Closed Loop Marketing

Google Site Search: Fast, Relevant, Customized Search Results for Your Website
Over the past decade, website search has increased in importance from a technical feature to a core marketing and sales asset. End-users are increasingly losing patience with multiple navigation options on websites and are looking to search as the answer. To this end, Google’s Nitin Mangtani will be discussing how customers are using Google Site Search to grow their businesses and how you can do the same for yours in this sponsored session.

Rebecca%20Lieb.jpg A Case Study From American Greetings: Rethinking Optimization
What happens when you combine thousands of keywords across 2 engines with 3 products and a single, optimized landing page? Nothing much really. In this session, attendees will learn how American Greetings became post-click marketing mavens by discovering the inherent value of AdGroup-level testing and iteration for increased lift. American Greetings and ion interactive will explain how and why they moved from a single optimized landing page to testing over 40 landing pages tightly matched to each individual search AdGroup–enabling them to deliver the right content to the right people in the most compelling format. Attendees will hear real American Greetings examples — what worked and what didn’t — that achieved increased engagement, increased conversions and increased behavioral data that impacted their bottom line. Session takeaways include best practices for running simple, high-impact A/B tests that any front-line marketer can easily implement and understand.
• Moderator: Rebecca Lieb, Contributing Editor, ClickZ
• Speakers:
Tessa Fraser, Marketing Manager, Online Media, American Greetings
Anna Talerico, Executive Vice President, ion interactive

Now, if retailers have a conflict on Tuesday, then they should check out what’s being offered on Wednesday, Dec. 10.

The morning starts with a keynote by Josh James, President and Chief Executive Officer of Omniture. The title of his presentation is “Avoiding the Chasm of ‘Anticipointment’” To drive to the next level of conversion and optimization, Josh thinks it’s time for online marketers to consider the entire marketing value chain and bridge the gap between ads and a personalized, relevant online experience for each visitor.

Then there is a Vertical and Retail Track that features sessions on:

Advanced B2B
Forget consumers. You want leads! Leads that become opportunities that convert into booked business! Join our seasoned panel of B2B marketing professionals as they share the latest tips and trends in using search to find those niche decision-makers that drive your business.
• Moderator: Aaron Kahlow, Chairman & Founder, Online Marketing Summit
• Speakers:
Karen Breen Vogel, President and CEO, ClearGauge
Patricia Hursh, President & Founder, SmartSearch Marketing
Adam S. Goldberg, Chief Innovation Officer, Clearsaleing

Getting Vertical Search Right
The need for specialized search capabilities has never been more prevalent than it is today. Established leaders and experts in vertical search application and execution will discuss the state of the industry, positive and negative experiences, and best practices for answering needs of today’s demanding searchers.
• Moderator: Elisabeth Osmeloski, Founder, AdventuresinSearch.com
• Speakers:
Paul Forster, CEO, Indeed
John Ellis, Senior Online Marketing Manager, ResortQuest
Jeff Tinsley, CEO, Reunion.com

Shopping Search Tactics
Learn how content from your e-commerce or merchant site can – and should! – be included in shopping search engines.
• Moderator: Brian A. Smith, Analyst, ComparisonEngines
• Speakers:
Greg Hintz, General Manager, Yahoo! Shopping
Jonathan Ashton, VP of SEO & Web Analytics, Agency.com
Dave Moran, Sr. Manager Search Marketing, Performics
Aaron Shear, Partner, Boost Search Marketing

In House: Lessons Learned & Victories Won
As Search Engine Marketing (SEM) grows in popularity, many companies are attempting to handle the SEM function in-house despite the inherent complexity and challenges. Join us for a spirited discussion and get a chance to meet some of these intrepid do-it-yourselfers behind the in-house movement, as we debate the pros and cons of developing and training a dedicated in-house team. Laying the foundation for in-house SEO success, long-term cost savings, gaining project support at the executive level, leveraging innate knowledge and creating accountability are just some of the topics to be discussed.
• Moderator: William Flaiz, VP, Search Engine Optimization & Web Analytics, Razorfish
• Speakers:
Olivier Lemaignen, Group Manager, Global Search Marketing, Intuit
Jessica Bowman, SEO Strategist & in-house SEO Expert, SEMinhouse.com
Maura Ginty, Senior Web Manager, Web Content Team, Autodesk, Inc.
Mark Ruzomberka, Traffic.com

Oh, and the exhibit hall also happen to be open Tuesday and Wednesday, so retailers can what’s new on the show floor.

I think these are some pretty compelling reasons why retailers should consider becoming day trippers to SES Chicago next week. Of course, I’ve got a ticket to ride for the entire week. So, I also think there are some pretty compelling reasons for attending the entire conference and expo.

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