Interview with Keith Wilson

Posted on Tuesday, November 30th, 2010 by Print This Post Print This Post

Categories - Featured

Tell us a little about your background and how you ended up in search marketing.

Like most people, I don’t really utilize the specifics of my degree.  I have a B.S. in Agricultural Economics and started my career working with Accounting, Order, and Inventory management systems sales and implementation for the perishables industry.  In the early 2000’s, our focus was web enabling these processes for large retailers.  My interest in the web eventually took me to the marketing side of the business at United Online, focusing on customer acquisition. Since 2003, I have been focused on optimizing customer acquisition programs and media buying processes for online businesses.  Search marketing is a significant piece of that puzzle.


You were recently named the Vice President of Business Intelligence.  Can you please tell us a little more about the Business Intelligence Group and your new role in the organization?

The primary function of the BI group is to enhance our analytics, standardize our processes based on the latest evidence, and provide thought leadership in the ever-changing marketplace.

Why is the BI function so important?

Organizationally, we believe there is always a better way of doing something.  The formation of the BI group reinforces that principle by dedicating resources to improving our analytical processes and proactively understanding the impacts of broader industry changes by applying the principles of evidence-based marketing.

What are your goals in this role?

Our aim is to make clients more informed and improve outcomes across all our campaigns.  Better insight leads to better decisions and better results.

On this note, you were involved in a recent TSA study tracking the effects of Google’s switch from “Sponsored Links” to “Ads” on click-through rate. In your opinion, why did searchers click on a higher percentage of ads after Google made the switch? What prompted the double-digit increase in CTR?

The key takeaway is that the change made on Google is not materially impacting our clients in a negative way.  We referenced a study by Prof. Edelman, which suggested the potential for a large negative impact to CTR as a result of identifying search listings as “paid advertisements”.   We plan on doing an additional 30-day analysis as follow up to the article that tracks the impact based on a larger data set.

What are some of your interests outside of the office?

Big shocker for those that know me… The data shows that I can be found at a golf course working on my game or playing a quick nine holes with my 4 year old son Kemper.  I plan to invest more of my time figuring out how not to lose to him at games like Candy Land and Chutes and Ladders.

2 Responses to “Interview with Keith Wilson”

  1. Barbara says:

    Agricultural Economics…what did you think you were going to do with that degree if it wasn’t SEM Business Intelligence? Glad you made the switch.

  2. Keith Wilson says:

    RE: Ag Econ degree… my thinking at the time was that “agriculture/food” was a recession proof industry… who doesn’t need food?


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