Search, Data, & You…According to Derek Mabie


Derek Mabie. Photo Courtesy of: Evolve Digital Labs

Derek Mabie, the President of Evolve Digital Labs in St. Louis, graced the classroom to help us better understand the marketing side to internet presence in search engines. “If we can’t help our customers, or with their customers, our company is irrelevant,” Mabie told the class, so that we would know exactly what Evolve is all about. While we did go over some information that Mabie talked about, there was way more new material than old. Everyone’s favorite being a secret he shared with us that you could make one million dollars in 10 years if you became an Excel expert…. however, that still isn’t enough money for me to sit and play on Excel all day. Other than that fun fact, his speech was still very relevant to the marketing keys in all those fancy codes the non-gifted don’t understand.

Making Lives Easier to Accomplish What They Want

“We look at what customers want and need and empower them. If you empower them online, they will use the brands that are their clients.” Right off the bat, we began to understand exactly how important customers are, and that a company’s online presence is almost entirely based on what they want and look for online. The best way to know what they look for is by looking at their search data, which goes back on to earlier lessons we’ve learned in class about digital footprints we leave on websites. What they do  with the data collected, is to get customers to get plugged in to gain even more customers, allowing the job to get done better and cheaper. All of this allows for products to be improved and even create new ones.

“People do not buy drills, they buy quarter-inch holes.”- Theodore Levitt

Basically the quote above is saying that customers do not care about what they are buying, they are buying based on the outcome they will receive. To really work with this ideology, Evolve Digital Labs uses a three step process: Audit, Strategy, and Growth. Most companies hope that when they hire a search engine marketing agency, they hope they already have creative ideas to show right away. Derek Mabie told the class, that before that step can happen, they have to first develop a strategy that will lay out what the agency is doing. To do that, they have to create business goals and objectives, and understand the market. If you don’t have a clear idea for a strategy, then you won’t have an effective one. Look at blueprints that is most important to the company and the agency and be sure to identify the primary customer, market size(demographics are irrelevant here), competition, on-site analysis, and the cost of online market share. Mabie told the class that keyword research is what they use to find the marketing size, which sounded quite familiar to what we learned in class, and especially during our keyword research assignment.

Photo Courtesy of: Google Images

Photo Courtesy of: Google Images

Making Money for the Company

One of the terms I learned from this lesson that plays a critical part in the money making is, click through rate. That is what companies and agencies are looking at to determine exactly what is being clicked on and how popular it is making their ad to help control and engage expenses. The Acquisition Model which is part of Evolve’s process, lets them determine the total number of dollars invested to get “x” amount of customers. When companies are going through hard times, the first thing they typically do is cut expenses. Mabie re-insured us that what they are doing is a lead in marketing online, “A lead is an asset to an organization to a company. It’s not an expense, it’s an asset.” Because they are helping measure their profit, when companies need to make cuts, the agency won’t be one.

Search is Who We Are As People

“Search is vital. It’s ingrained in how we live,”Mabie said as he began to close the discussion. Just like most technology, everything constantly changes, and SEO is not the same as it was a couple of years ago. One thing is for certain -search will never go away. Mabie explained to us that Google makes us create content and user experiences on what customers want, not just what they search. With his last statement, he told us that as a job in that area of marketing, you can either be a creator or an analyst. If you’re interested in making the most money the quickest way possible, be an analyst. You’ll have the greatest impact and there is a shortage in that field. So remember, if you can handle becoming the next Excel guru, save some of that million dollars for me.

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