Good Help Is Hard to Find

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Finding the right person or company to help small businesses with their search engine marketing (SEM) is also part  of the problem of small businesses getting on-line.  Now there are literally thousands of SEM  companies on-line–that is not the problem, the problem is many small business owners are not on-line to begin with.

If they are not on-line, where do they look–off-line, with companies that “know” and “trust”.  A logical place would be the advertising company that have been using for years. I read an interesting article last year, Ad Agencies Partnering with Search Marketing Firms (or Not), which talks about SEM marketing firms and the traditional ad agnecies and how the two can  or should work together.

Though it would make sense for these two types of companies to partner up, it is not that easy.  Amy Auerbach, former VP Group Director, Media Contacts  was quoted in the article, “..she believes that partnering with search experts is absolutely necessary. But, the bigger question is, will the ad agency bring the SEM firm into the project at the appropriate time…”

Small business need to read this article, to understand the dynamics that might be happening behind the scenes.  The articles points out there are can be creative disagreements and cultural differences between these types of companies which hinder the partnering process.

Search Mojo mentioned this topic on their blog and believe is important to partner with traditional ad agencies. They state, 21% of their revenue in 2006 was from such partnerships.

Small business do not have the time to waste or to be in the middle of a battle. Now I am not saying these partnerships do not exist but right now it would seem, the small business owner will need to work with 2 different companies when it comes to on-line and off-line advertising.

SEM companies should partner with the traditional ad agency (and vise versa) to provide a comprehensive solution for both company and client.  As the article concludes, the author states, “this [will work] best when all marketers involved realize that they each bring different skills to the table,  find synergistic ways to work together, and check their egos at the door.”

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