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» Exclusive Interviews, SES Conference Coverage, Web Analytics » Exclusive Interview with Bill Mungovan, Senior Director for Omniture SearchCenter

Exclusive Interview with Bill Mungovan, Senior Director for Omniture SearchCenter

Bill-mungovan-omniture SemGeek is proud to present an exclusive online interview with Bill Mungovan, Sr. Director for Omniture SearchCenter. This interview is brought to you in cooperation with the Search Engine Strategies' Pre-SES San Jose 2009 Blog & Q&A Coverage.

About Bill Mungovan:
As Sr. Director, SearchCenter, Bill Mungovan runs day to day operations
across the SearchCenter business, including functions in Sales,
Marketing, Product, Engineering, Consulting and Client Services. Previously, he helped build the search engine marketing practice at Carat, working directly with major agency clients in exceeding their ROI and branding goals through search.

Question #1. With many software companies creating more and more applications to help automate and streamline the PPC Process, how has Omniture’s SearchCenter adjusted to all of this new competition?

Answer: Omniture has built optimization applications on top of an industry-leading analytics foundation, giving us a much broader view of the PPC world than any of our point-solution competitors. It is our belief that Search Engine Marketing is about both PPC and SEO, so our solution measures both. Within the PPC world, we believe any application focused solely on one type of automated bidding, or solely on streamlining the management process, or the reporting process, or landing page optimization, or any number of other smaller pieces of the PPC world is not seeing the whole picture.

Omniture is focused on the broader world of online business optimization through the Online Marketing Suite. Although we have best-in-class reporting (thanks to our online analytics foundation through Omniture SiteCatalyst), rules based bid automation and portfolio optimization, and exceptional management reporting capabilities, we have built SearchCenter with that broader picture in mind.

Question #2. Speaking for the majority of us in the PPC Industry, Google’s Quality Score is the tactic of choice to keep the CPC’s down and ROI on the increase. How is Omniture dealing with this, especially when SearchCenter’s core applications are Bid Management and overall PPC Management? 

Answer: In a release earlier this year we began tracking Google Quality Score for our SearchCenter customers. Although Google will only tell you so much about what goes into the QS, as an industry we’re all aware of how to optimize it.

We have many features that help advertisers optimize their QS: to name just one example, we know splitting keywords into highly targeted ad groups helps optimize QS, but those ad groups may not be optimal for bid optimization. So SearchCenter allows you to create “Custom Groups” so you can automate bidding and reporting on your keywords regardless of how they’re grouped in Google.

Question #3. Can you describe for our audience, what does SearchCenter offer its customers that is unique and more valuable than the rest of the competition?

Answer: There are three areas where we differentiate from our competitors. 

1) Omniture SearchCenter takes a holistic view of SEM, well beyond simply PPC bid management. That includes measuring and optimizing not only across both PPC and SEO, but across Display, Email, Affiliate and other advertising channels.

2) We have flexible service offerings giving us the ability to manage campaigns for customers, train them on our tools so they can take it in-house anytime, or manage them for any period of time and then turn it over to them. We are not an agency and don’t rely heavily on services to achieve results for our SEM customers. We have the ability to manage PPC or SEO campaigns for our customers to get them up and running, but we allow our customers to bring their SEM campaigns in-house whenever they want. Unlike our black box or start-up competitors, we are a large enough organization to be able to provide any level of SEM services our clients may need.

3) We have the ability to factor in offline data sources for true “profit optimization”. Thanks to Omniture’s 140+ accredited Genesis partners, we are able to optimize across offline data sources as well. As discussed in the cover story of SES Magazine, we call this “profit optimization.” For example, for Lead Gen clients, only Omniture SearchCenter can follow leads completed on a Web site through to the CRM system in which they are closed, and tie the closed leads back to the original keyword. For retail clients, we can tie in COGS (cost of goods sold) data back to the original keyword and optimize for their most profitable products.

Question #4. For some SearchCenter users, there has been a “love vs. hate” relationship. On the one hand, it’s an amazing software application that makes it easier to manage PPC Accounts. However, I am also hearing concerns about the slow response to communicate problems and fixing issues before a client or agency has to alert them to a problem. What is Omniture actively doing to fix this? 

Answer: In the past year, we’ve made significant investments in our SearchCenter business. I was hired out of the agency world to help run the business; Matt Belkin was promoted from within Omniture to be our SVP, General Manager; Ron Belanger was also hired at the executive level from Yahoo! to run our agency strategy as Vice President of Agency Sales; and we’ve hired more than a dozen search experts in various SEM support and consulting roles.

Perhaps most importantly, we’ve built out a new “Search Specialist” team, led by recently hired Nidhi Modi (previously a Director at both Carat and to focus on getting quick, complete answers to our SearchCenter customers. We acknowledge that a general customer service team isn’t optimal for answering PPC questions, so we built up an entire team of search experts from the search engine and agency sides of the SEM world to provide our SearchCenter customers with improved service. We’re already seeing huge gains in customer satisfaction since this team has been put in place.

Question #5.  In this struggling economy, many advertisers are cutting back on their PPC Budgets. Can you tell us how Omniture SearchCenter has adapted to this shift in Ad dollars?

Answer: Overall, we’ve taken advantage of the recent economic downturn by helping our advertisers measure how the performance of their other advertising channels impact their PPC campaigns. Because Omniture is able to track performance across Display, Email and any other online or offline advertising channel, we have seen some advertisers cut back on PPC budgets but we’ve also seen plenty of advertisers increase them, particularly in the last quarter.

As an independent third party, we simply provide our customers with the data they need to run their entire online business optimization efforts and let them find gaps in the market to best spend their advertising dollars.

Question #6. For existing SearchCenter customers as well as others who are interested in trying Searchcenter, are there any new and exciting enhancements in the pipeline that you would like to tell them about?

Answer: We will be demo-ing a new version of SearchCenter at SES this year that includes a full integration with our advanced MVT and A/B landing page testing technology, Test&Target. This functionality pushes SearchCenter into a much broader space and will force Search Marketers to actively test their landing pages to increase conversion rates. LPO has long been ignored because it is complex and, previously, involved coding. But with the new version of SearchCenter marketers will be able to automate landing page optimization and take the performance of their search campaigns to a new level.

Extended Bio of Bill Mungovan:
Bill brings a broad range of skills in search marketing including strategic paid search planning and execution, SEO, and account management to his role. He previously served as Director, Client Relations at LookSmart where he was overseeing the day-to-day operations of the Account Management and Customer Service teams.

Prior to joining LookSmart, Mungovan worked for Snap/NBCi in the Search and Directory space, and also worked at CNET in San Francisco.

Mungovan has shared his search expertise as an invited panelist at several industry events, including Search Engine Strategies, WebMaster World and OMMA West. He holds an MBA from the University of San Francisco and a B.A. from the University of New Hampshire.


Twitter: @bmungovan

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