bradgeddes-webToday’s guest expert in our Intersections series is Brad Geddes, the founder of Certified Knowledge, an online paid search training and toolset provider, and co-founder of AdAlysis, an automatic ad testing platform.

Brad is the author of Advanced Google AdWords, what could be the most advanced book ever written about Google’s advertising program. As one of the first Google Advertising Professionals and Microsoft adExcellence members, Brad is truly an expert. He has written extensively about internet marketing for more than a decade and has worked with companies who manage tens of thousands of small PPC accounts and other companies who spend millions on marketing each year.

One of his trademarks has been demystifying the complicated aspects of SEO, PPC, and Internet advertising. Not one to hold secrets, Brad prefers to educate his readers on the various aspects of crafting successful marketing campaigns to ensure the success for all parties involved.

How have you seen the investment in social from advertisers change in recent years?

The areas we’re seeing increased investment in social are centered on support functions and content amplification. Brands are not just thinking about the combination of search plus social but how other media like TV can be influenced by the conversations happening on social.

What are some of the challenges then that may be hindering full search and social integration?

It’s not that advertisers are opposed to this cross-channel integration. In fact, most are thinking about search and social at the same time, just not truly integrating these two channels. Many simply can’t do it because there are still business silos in place prevent deeper adoption.

Additionally, the analytics are not quite there when it comes to a true attribution model to understand the full picture across social.

Technology is needed to prove the value of social beyond metrics such as likes and tweets.

We saw display move in this same pattern – once attribution management was established to show the impact of the channel, the adoption and investments from marketers increased.

You were in the local space for quite some time. How do you see the intersection of local and social influencing strategies?

In the SMB space, I think it’s still true to say that there are more small businesses that have Facebook pages rather than websites. Social can be a tough renewal on the local side, particularly for resellers when their clients expect it to perform like other channels. They’ll look at performance and see they drove 300 new likes and 20 phone calls but what they would really like to see is more phone calls.

So what’s to come for search and social and the future of digital?

I think the next big area to watch will not be just cross-channel but also cross-device. Solving the mobile to desktop integration is going to be huge. If attribution modeling can be used to show an advertiser how a user interacts with the business across multiple channels and devices and then can tie that information back to sales, sentiment, and other business objectives, then they will be more confident in their advertising channels.

What advice would you give to search marketers looking to invest in social?

Marketers looking to get into social need to understand that it is a channel for engaging with people and should go in with the right mindset. Finding success in social requires us to redefine our success metrics — what is used to gauge performance on search does not always translate to social.

There is a reason companies spend large amounts of money on building their brand. When someone knows a brand, they are often more likely to be brand loyal, spend more money with the company, and generate sales from top-of-mind awareness. Social is wonderful for building sentiment, providing support, and engaging with the community. Those factors often lead to a consumer spending more with a business over time.