Add3.com

Paul Uhlir CEO of Add3

From a recruiter’s page on LinkedIn: “We define a Rockstar as someone who has serious talent, they exceed key performance indicators, are a reflection of your businesses core values and culture and they act as an advocate for your business 24/7.”

I know, I know, the term “Rock Star” is pretty overused by now but damn if it doesn’t just ooze that edge and tone when describing a true blue kick ass person.  And like any world class rock star the details and DNA make all the difference.  Both inherent DNA and learned DNA components, I always say hire 51% culture and 49% smarts.  You can teach someone with decent smarts almost anything but the culture part, well, whatcha got is generally whatcha got.  And when I say culture I mean many of the things below, the stuff that makes you a professional versus just another cog in the machine.  So, after almost 15 years buying and selling in the Interactive Media space, here are some key attributes that make up the total package.

Search Marketing Rock Stars…

1. Seek Knowledge

Search Marketing Rock Stars are students of the industry.  You know those cool flat dry sponges that expand 20 times their size when you hydrate them.  I like people that can come in every morning like that flat little dry sponge and after a cup or two of coffee and cranking away all day, walk out with a brain full of new ideas and inspiration.

2. Rock the Data

Search Marketing Rock Stars understand that for direct response ROAS efforts, budgets are for chumps.  They’re tracking first & last click conversion, tying it to revenue, margin and spend and measuring your ROAS.  Real deal hardcore Direct Response tracking.  The client gives them a budget that is less than the available search query inventory and they work with them to understand that there are no such things.  Like you, they realize that if you put one dollar in the machine and 2 come out then you want all the machine will give you.  There are caveats to this for sure but in essence, budgets are usually a legacy of offline media (because it’s primarily wasted spend).  Real rock stars know the difference.

3. Network

A Search Marketing Rock Star’s LinkedIn network is at 500+.  Cardmunch is one of their favorite apps for productivity.  At the end of the day we are advertising professionals and knowing people is at the heart of it.  Relationships count.  Trust is the currency of making things happen.  Rock stars chip away at LinkedIn every week.  They endorse others and don’t let a single contact they have met slip through the connection cracks.  There are ALWAYS 2-3 business cards on them even on the weekends. Go ahead – connect with me on LinkedIn

4. Are VIP’s

A Search Marketing Rock Star can call Google and Bing and get a human.  None of this 866 2-GOOGLE nonsense.  They have people they can call.  Why?  Because you have been doing this long enough and you know intimately how the account/support teams are structured.  In house or agency, you have people on the inside.

5. Are Creative

Search Marketing Rock Stars know that search platforms are creative.  Text, display and video are amazing conduits to the message and user experience.  CTR is the cornerstone of Quality Score and they know how to massage copy to pre-qual the user but temper it with spicy offers and calls to action.  It’s a fine balance and means no  wasted dollars because they have creative scars from hundreds of campaigns that have failed and succeeded.

6. Are DJ’s? (Use Data. Love Copy.)

Search Marketing Rock Stars are both right brain AND left brain.  It’s a magic combo and what I have found over the years might surprise you.  DJ’s make AWESOME search marketers.  Why?  Because they create with music and have to have an amazing catalog in their head of things that work together and have contextual relevance to what they are trying to achieve.

7. Let The Ideas Flow

Search Marketing Rock Stars come up with brilliant ideas while shampooing their hair or cutting their fingernails.  “Let’s see should I use the Aveda Rosemary Mint one or the Dove…. I know! Maybe I should run a promo in our ad where we buy customers a hamburger if we don’t have what they are looking for and tie in Burger King with a coupon redemption!”

8. Work Together

Search Marketing Rock Stars cherish listening and collaboration.  They understand that the most powerful things you can  learn in meetings occurs when you just shut up and listen.   Simple.  That’s it.  Just shut up and listen.  You don’t even need to do the Harvey Keitel in Reservoir Dogs (“After that he’ll tell you if he wears ladies underwear. … I’m hungry. Let’s get a taco.”).  Rock stars ask open questions and listen.  From there they are masters at getting everyone on the same page and collaborating.  They can build on the collective room’s strengths and hit people’s hot buttons using emotional intelligence.

9. Focus on the Bottom Line

Search Marketing Rock Stars get that paper. Dolla Dolla bill y’all! Wu Tang style.  Business is money.  Search is money.  Rock stars don’t go 24 hours without thinking about green backs, for themselves, for their clients and for the simple reason that if you kick ass and do great work the Benji’s will roll.   Never do the wrong thing for money and never forget that traffic stats and fluffy brand metrics are great but sales and conversions are the grease that keeps the internet lubed up.   Tim Armstrong, my old boss at Google, used to call it “Making Donuts” and our revenue tool was the Donuts Tool.

10. Have a Positive Mental Attitude

Search Marketing Rock Stars are like Unicorns. Sunshine and Rainbows.  Not always, but frequently, these two things shine right out of their ass.  And in a good way.  Positivity can overcome a lot of tough obstacles.  Can-do is a huge factor in hitting it out of the park vs. another pedestrian throw out at first.  And to my earlier point in the opening paragraph, you just can’t teach this quality.  It is innate.  It is infectious.  So go find it!

See those comment boxes right below this?  I would love to hear what you think makes a Rock Star search marketer so please, by all means, let it fly!













Dan Sundgren

About Dan Sundgren

Dan Sundgren is the Chief Evangelist for Add3. He is a 15+ year veteran of interactive marketing having held positions at Winstar Interactive, AOL, Intelius and Google where he managed some of the world’s largest paid search advertisers. Dan has been active in interactive marketing since the early days of 468 banners and 88×31 buttons. He also founded SeattleNetwork a thousand member group in 1998 which grew into the largest Internet Trade Association north of San Francisco for 3 years and pioneered such events as “VC/Startup Speed Dating”, “The Demo Lounge” and a “Stock Option Burning Contest/Pink Slip Party” on the heels of our last great bubble. Dan is religious about networking, learning and helping others and holds board positions on both NWIAG and the Seattle Interactive Conference.

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