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For 4 years the results of shoddy contractor work have been staring me in the face. That is, until I employed a handyman last week....


The gentleman was extremely polite with a candor and general mechanical knowledge that one rarely finds in the city. (He, in fact, hailed from Iowa.) Throughout the day he revealed the errors of his predecessors. The most painful news was that the previous poor service was the clear result of rushing to get on to the next, bigger job. He, on the other hand, offered a variety of solutions based on budget and willingly went to-and-fro the hardware store as needed.
That same week I also had the opportunity to share war stories with advertisers engaged with search engine marketing agencies. These true veterans were on their second or third SEM. They agreed that top-tier search engine marketing firms are all very capable; it was poor customer service that prompted the contract termination. The agency was either not thinking enough about the business or rushing through the job to service the next, bigger client.
As search matures, the lesson for SEMs will be that the advertisers' switching costs are very low. There is an incredible opportunity to be that handyman from Iowa.

Continue reading "SEM and the Handyman" ... Read the full article

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

www.saraholoubek.com
Sara Holoubek is a free agent consultant, advising growth firms and investors in the interactive technology and advertising sector. Ms. Holoubek is also the contributing editor of the DM News' SearchBuzz newsletter, and a regular author of the DM News Optimized column.

In 2008 Ms. Holoubek was elected to the Search Engine Marketing Professionals Organization (SEMPO) board of directors for a third term. During this time she also co-founded the SEMPO NY Working Group.

From 2003-2005, Ms. Holoubek served as iCrossing's Chief Strategy Officer, building the firm's New York office and repositioning the iCrossing brand as it raised an early VC round of $13 million. Prior to this experience, Ms. Holoubek held posts in client strategy with interactive agencies Organic and Blue Dingo. Her vertical expertise covers over 10 sectors and includes work with Levi Strauss & Co, Bloomingdales, LexisNexis, Texas Instruments, Colgate-Palmolive, Century 21 Real Estate, Martha Stewart Omnimedia, as well as firms within the WPP family and the Aegis Group family.

Ms. Holoubek has contributed to and/or been quoted in publications such as Adweek, DM News, Mediapost's Search Insider, WSJ.com, The Madison Avenue Journal, ClickZ and Internet Retailer. She also serves as a frequent guest lecturer at venues such as SMX, Search Engine Strategies, OMMA, the DMA, Harvard, NYU and Baruch College.

Ms. Holoubek also brings an international perspective to her work, having lived and worked in Latin America and Europe , and is fluent in Spanish and French and conversant in Portuguese. She holds a B.A. from the University of Iowa and an M.B.A. from HEC in France. She resides in New York City with her husband, baritone Claudio Mascarenhas.


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