Saturday, December 02, 2006

Big mouth and €60m

It bolds well for the industry that a marketeer such as bigmouthmedia can get a deal of this magnitude.

I have to say that we at Weboptimiser Media Ltd have been offered a number of deals in the past few years, all of which have come to nothing. Nothing that is other than I have learnt a lot about the business and the type of deals that are possible. I could say that we walked away, we could say that the terms were not up to scratch. In the end, it seemed that the numbers offered just did not make sense, so I hope it works out for Steve and his team.

There have been several 'high profile' industry deals over the years that I can think of, Webgravity reportedly for £1m a few years back, a ppc company for £1m, Iprospect in the US for a tidy sum to a UK firm and so on, these deals are not new. Webgravity has been trying to find its way ever since, the PPC company was a client based turnover deal and I understand that there were some tremours there. I have not heard much about Iprospect since they did their deal and I cannot predict which way bigmouth will go, other than the word which is just one letter away - ego.

So good luck to Steve and his team. Like us they have had their troubles over the years and it is good to see that good outcomes are possible. There is a distinct trend of mergers and acquisitions within this industry and the future looks exciting for those that can get traction in the market. My opinion is that traction in the market is difficult to achieve. Not least of which is because Google and Yahoo have done such a fine job in convincing, allowing, co-ordinating... clients to go direct, through the cloning and suggestion of optimisation techniques.

Ultimately cloning or adopting or creating new optimisation techniques is better for the client and that is the best possible outcome for the industry in the long run. There will always be some clients who will require the services of thrid parties and the best third parties are those that focus on the creation of genuine added value - and this as well as brains takes cash and client momentum. I am certain that this is something that Weboptimiser Media Ltd has, and I can definately see it in one or two of our competitors too, but not in any of the companies that have completed deals recently. That may be their secret. Lets see.

They are of course all welcome to join the IAB UK or Europe and join us on any of the Search Task Force calls.

I am appointed chair of IAB UK Search Task Force

Wow. I am very pleased that I was confirmed Chair of the IAB UK Search Task Force.

I hope to carry on promoting the efficacy of search and it is interesting to look at search from yet another perspective, that of the UK and in some ways the challenge is to communicate with the big TV spenders that online is the way to go. This should be a relatively straightforward task and we have already narrowed it down to just three, maybe four initiatives.

So, thanksfor all those that voted and elected me as Chair and I hope that I can make a difference to the future of the UKs search industry.

The IABEurope search task force continues to grow

I am pleased to discover that I have increased membership substantially, there are nearly three times the number of members to the IABEurope search task force now, I am very pleased. More importantly the membership is starting to reflect the industry and has given me te opportunity to have a dialogue with some of my competitors which otherwise I probably never would have.

So in a sense and perhaps for my own selfish reasons the IAB is proving to be a great place for me and truly allowing the 'trade' to talk. It is a revelation to me that the channel exists. It provides a level playing field where you know that everyone else is capable of presenting an opinion and making sense of what is being said. In this way I feel that genuine progress is possible for the industry - as some would say it is all part of growing up.

However, the industry is still a child. The child is about 10 years old, and that is about how long I have been working in it. Our child has grown rapidly and in some ways recklessly. It is young and it has a lot of money to spend. It is interesting to think back on all the products, strategies and business models that have come about, I cannot profess to know them all, but I have seen many. What is more interesting is how the 'panacea' products never have been, how the 'too good to believe' services have withered and died and how, even as early as 5 the industry was talking about ethical optimisation. Although that was always a stance of my company, Weboptimiser Media Ltd.

Nowadays we are busier than ever, we have a few more things in play, about 8 projects in mobile, a range of coded seo services that range from content management systems to network management, very fast microsite creation and competitive analysis services, we work in email, display, affiliate marketing... all of which add up to a broad range of clients and a broad range of services.

The IAB Europe search task force is about to deliver on its first remit item with its first set of case studies and I am pleased to see that I am not the only provider of those as I have seen a further 8 case studies come through from Latitude. It is possible if every member country of IAB Europe posted just two case studies, then we could get the dizzy heights of 54 case studies. That would be far out. Just think what would happen if all the search marketing companies around the world pooled their case studies how big the repository would be and how convincing to people that the industry is genuine and accessible.