SEMpdx SearchFest 2013 Mini-Interview: Dan Sundgren

Todd Mintz

Dan Sundgren will be speaking at the “Paid Search” session at SearchFest 2013 which will be taking place on February 22, 2013 at the Governor Hotel in Portland, Oregon. For more information or to purchase tickets, please click the following link.

1) Please give us your background and let us know what you do for a living.
I have been in the interactive marketing industry close to 15 years. I have worked at several companies including AOL/Time Warner, Google and Intelius. I had the opportunity to get on the Google bus in 2003 opening up the Seattle office and still look back at that run as one hell of a ride that I would be surprised I will see again. Currently, I am running the marketing in house for Intelius and have built the largest SEM Keyword set ever to my knowledge. I love to geek out in general on the online marketing ecosystem and build kick ass teams that are smarter than me and maybe, just maybe more fun than me.

2) What considerations should an Enterprise-level business take into account when evaluating a bid management platform?
First off, bid algo’s are NOT for every business. I sold Efficient Frontier and am intimately familiar with how they work, pricing and a lot of the smoke and mirrors components to them. My best advice would be to weigh the cost/benefit with a test if you are keen on exploring them, look at the pricing structure you are paying (usually a % of spend) and hammer that against how much REAL incremental lift the algo produces. It’s tricky in many ways because with a true portfolio managed algo approach, it will need your head terms to blend into the overall ROI metrics you establish which is somewhat counter to most in house teams that like to daily monitor Head terms and be nimble. So there is a trust there. One other tough piece is you can end up paying a fairly large % of spend and the accounts will usually reach a happy place and settle, so you are shelling out a lot of money for an algo working in a normalized market. I’ve seen it happen many, many times. Lastly, become an Adwords Editor and Bing Editor freak, they are your best friends and can do a LOT of heavy lifting across your accounts, that’s just blocking and tackling before you even consider a bid mgmt platform.

3) How can an account manager effectively manage a PPC account with tens of millions of keywords in it?
See my last sentence above. =) Google’s API costs can quickly make it a non starter so use those two tools like mad. You can ask Bing for unlimited API access and they are pretty good about that. I have spent the last 4+ years on the advisory boards of Google and Bing helping them improve the tools (and ad platforms for that matter) They are listening and putting a lot of resources into them. Hammer on them, break them, give them feedback and make them your everyday hammer. I prefer to dedicate a wicked fast desktop box with a shit load of RAM and no applications on it except Excel, those two tools and a browser for just this purpose. It also helps to put a picture of a monkey on a keyboard above said box, keeps you in a self deprecating mood when you are pushing around chunks of Keywords throughout the day.

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