Trada, the Colorado-based company backed by Google’s VC arm will try.
Launched in March, Trada will attempt to simplify the complex and often-changing world of search engine marketing by relying on a group or ‘crowd’ of experienced search experts to drive results for clients.
On the surface, this approach seems to make sense for most “mom and pop” type advertisers with basic goals and limited marketing budgets. My concern is how Trada will manage large, multi-million dollar search campaigns which have constantly changing metrics or campaigns which require search experts to strategically create goals with clients. While this model may be sufficient for selling things like sweaters (Trada uses this example in their YouTube demo video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MYgHxjkdq_U), I’m not sure how well the model will hold up supporting sophisticated verticals like finance or healthcare.
Paid search is successful due to how search experts align their strategies with other disciplines and develop partnerships with clients to create marketing strategies, goals and measures of success. This rationale is reflected in the increasing number of large agencies who have acquired SEM firms over the years.
It will be interesting to see how Trada evolves from simply driving ROI or sales to providing clients with competitive analysis, market trend information, attribution modeling and site analytics.
I absolutely love the idea of crowdsourcing to solve complex problems, but unless the “crowd” in “crowdsourcing” is managed properly, I see a number of potental pitfalls in ever evolving search campaigns.