Marketers To Quit Fiddling With Corporate Brochure Sites in 2009?

SEO, Blogging, and PPC are at the top of marketer’s priorities for the next 6 months hinting that companies are becoming more familiar and comfortable with new media as a prime directive. In addition a shrinking emphasis on the corporate brochure site provides hope that reaching out to the customer has finally arrived as a marketing technique.

SEM Agencies as Educators, Innovators in the Growing Search Field

The North American SEM industry grew from $9.4 billion in 2006 to $12.2 billion in 2007, exceeding earlier projections of $11.5 billion for 2007 and marketers are finding more search dollars by poaching budget from print magazine spending, website development, direct mail and other marketing programs.

The SEMPO study released today offered some good news for Agencies, as 53% of advertisers outsource their organic SEO because it is to hard to stay up-to-date with best practices in-house. 37% say they don’t have the right tools, and 33% say they get more bang for their buck with an outside provider.

But overall, a trend to in-house these efforts is still strong. Forrester research shows least two-thirds of U.S. businesses prefer to keep SEM in-house. In-house training and education efforts will probably continue to improve and drive performance gains.

Designers Often Overestimate Users’ Abilties

Jakob Nielsen’s latest Alertbox post “Bridging the Designer-User Gap” is almost a follow up to the “Myth of the Genius Designer” which I consider one of my favorites from him.

Red emphasis mine.
….There’s a big gap between designers and the majority of users. …. Generally, if you’re a member of a design team, you are not representative of the target audience. I don’t care if you’re the interaction designer, the graphics artist, the information architect, the writer, the programmer, or the marketer. All of these people:

know too much about the product (be it a website, intranet, application, phone, whatever);
are too skilled in using computers and the Web in general; and
care too much about their own baby (so they can’t imaging visitors bouncing after scanning the homepage for 30 seconds — but that’s what outside users do).

– Jakob Nielsen