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Failing grade for opinion on value of education

In his op-ed piece, "The education fallacy" (March 13, page 12), Wayne Pollard says that "the belief that educating the market will get prospects to become customers is a fallacy."

But if that's true, why are white papers and other educational marketing materials so effective?

Of nearly 1,400 business and IT professionals surveyed by the Chief Marketing Officer Council, 89% said online content influenced technology vendor preferences and selection within their organization.

The type of content most frequently downloaded and read by those surveyed? Vendor white papers.

Bob Bly Author, "The White Paper Marketing Handbook" Dumont, N.J. [email protected]


Measuring the right Web metrics

BtoB's article "Ad:tech impact explores metrics" (March 13, page 14) touched on the greatest challenges facing all marketers, not just online marketers—effective planning and accountability. In study after study over the past several years, CMOs and senior executives consistently cite measuring marketing effectiveness as the marketing department's greatest challenge. As Rick Bruner astutely pointed out in the article, "Marketers sell themselves short by not doing enough analysis," which is, undoubtedly, a big part of the problem.

In most cases, a CMO or other senior executive should never see Web operational metrics, but they almost always do. Marketers often settle for Web operational metrics such as hits, unique visitors, page views, click paths and click-through rates to measure online marketing effectiveness instead of going deeper, and establishing and utilizing measures that are meaningful to the business and tied to objectives, such as ROI, brand and purchase related metrics—measures that can be used for business objectives-driven decision-making and analysis.

With an average CMO tenure of only two years, accountability is more than just an image problem, it needs to be every marketer's priority.

Peter DeLegge Corporate Marketing & Branding Motorola Inc. Chicago [email protected]


A new breed of search marketers

I read with interest your article on the lack of availability of search engine marketers ("Hands-On: Search," March 29).

As a long-term search marketer, I think there are several market dynamics that you may have overlooked that are driving the supply crunch.

1) Training a search marketer is typically done on the job or via self-education with varying results. Agencies that train their employees in search marketing often protect their investment through employment contracts which limit the movement of talent from agency-to-agency.

2) Most SEO freelancers can make a decent living and do not have to indenture themselves to an agency or company.

3) There is a new breed of consultant emerging—a high-level search marketer with lots of search skills and knowledge who assists and trains in-house teams that are often staffed with hardworking, more junior staff.

This is the model that my business has grown on.

Amanda Watlington Searching for Profit Charlestown, Mass. [email protected]

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