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An international expert in Internet marketing, search technology, social media, Web personalization, and Web metrics
Mike is a freelance consultant and professional speaker who serves as a senior strategist for Converseon, a leading digital media marketing agency based in New York City. Prior to this position, Mike spent 30 years at IBM, rising to Distinguished Engineer, an executive-level technical position. Mike held various roles in his IBM career, including eight years at IBM’s customer-facing Web site, ibm.com, most recently as the Manager of ibm.com Web Experience, where he led 65 information architects, Web designers, Webmasters, programmers, and technical architects around the world.
Mike is the co-author of the best-selling 2005 book Search Engine Marketing, Inc. (along with fellow search marketing expert Bill Hunt), which is now in its Second Edition (2008). Mike is also the author of the acclaimed Internet marketing book, Do It Wrong Quickly: How the Web Changes the Old Marketing Rules, named one of best business books of 2007 by the Miami Herald. Mike founded and writes for the Biznology blog (www.biznology.com), and regularly blogs for Search Engine Guide and ChamberofCommerce.com.
In addition to Mike’s broad technical background, he holds an Advanced Certificate in Market Management Practice from the Royal UK Charter Institute of Marketing. He teaches at Rutgers University, UC Irvine Extension, and is a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. He is a member of the Search Engine Marketing Council of the Direct Marketing Association, and a charter member of the DMA’s Interactive Marketing Advisory Board. He is also a senior fellow for the Society for New Communications Research.
Mike worked at ibm.com from 1998 through 2006, pioneering IBM’s successful search marketing program. IBM’s Web site of over two million pages was a classic “big company” Web site that has traditionally been difficult to optimize for search marketing. Mike, working with Bill Hunt of Global Strategies International, developed a strategy for search engine marketing that works for any business, large or small. Moran and Hunt spearheaded IBM’s content improvement that has resulted in dramatic gains in traffic from Google and other Internet portals. Their IBM Press book Search Engine Marketing, Inc., shows any business the steps to search marketing success. Both Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and paid search techniques are explained.
Mike managed numerous projects at ibm.com, including continual upgrades to the ibm.com search engine. Mike is an expert in search technologies, developing technology at IBM Research, Lotus, and other IBM groups over the years, at one point serving as product manager for IBM’s OmniFind search and text analytics products. In 1989, he led the product team that developed the first commercial linguistic search engine and has been granted four patents with several more pending. Mike developed the business model for search technology at ibm.com, justifying investment with the increased revenue from more customers finding what they are looking for. Mike introduced automatic categorization technology in 2001 and multifaceted search technology in 2003.
Mike also developed Task-Based Navigation for IBM’s site-wide redesign in 2004 and led the personalization of those tasks in 2005 and 2006. The ibm.com home page now shows a list of tasks that customers commonly need to perform–following those links gets customers to their goals far more frequently than in the past. Visitors from select IBM clients have their tasks personalized by industry and other characteristics to speed their task completion.See keynotes with Mike Moran
What is the message you hope people take away from your presentations?
Digital marketing is full of new things that can be a bit overwhelming sometimes. But the most important thing that marketers need to know is that digital marketing is still marketing. You still need to know your targeted market segments, you must know what they want, and must develop a message that is relevant to them. If you do that, online or offline, you’ll be successful. Sometimes when we do digital marketing, we make the mistake of focusing way more on the digital than the marketing. The marketing is always the point. Focusing only on the digital part is like riding the elevator for the music.
What is the feeling you would like people to take away?
I want people to feel as though I have changed their lives. Wait–changed their lives for the better. (You almost tricked me there.) And they should feel that I am kind to animals and an all-around nice guy. And a snappy dresser. I am not actually any one of those things, but I would really like it if people thought I was.
How do you prepare for speaking engagements?
I typically shower and get dressed, although not always. Lots of people practice their speeches over and over again, but I don’t. I like to use slides that let me say different things every time I use them because I can’t actually remember what I am supposed to say. I find that spending some time understanding the audience helps me pitch the message in a way that resonates. And I think the showering really helps.
What do you gain personally from being a public speaker?
Not everyone knows this, but I get paid to do it. (I hope I haven’t shattered your illusions.)
What are the top three trends within the digital marketing field, that people should be aware of, and which you elaborate upon in your speeches?
I hate answering these kinds of questions, because if you wait 10 minutes, there will be a new trend that comes along. To me, it isn’t important what the trends are. Don’t do anything just because all the cool kids are doing it. Instead, figure out what your business needs and do that. Just remember who the cool kids were in high school and ask yourself how well they are doing now. Don’t be trendy and cool. Do something radical, like making money.
How are your keynote presentations unique?
One time I removed my pants, but those people really reacted badly and they didn’t invite me back.
Do you have any unique memorable moments in your speaking career?
Once, the slide projector broke and I had to do my entire speech without referring to any slides. I’m Irish, so you can just wind me up and I can talk for 45 minutes, but the audience was dazzled because they thought this was so impressive. I’ve tried to destroy the slide projectors at my speeches ever since, but they always catch me first.
Can you give some examples as to how social media can be used professionally?
Absolutely … OH, you wanted me to list them. (Sorry.)
Most of you are waiting for me to say to blog, to use Facebook, and blah blah blah. But I won’t. (You can’t make me.) What you really need to do is to ask yourself what your purpose is in social media. Are you trying to be viewed as an expert? Then it makes sense to pour your expertise into a blog. Are you trying to find a job? LinkedIn might be your best friend. Are you trying to create brand awareness for a new software product? Demo it on YouTube. Every situation needs a different approach. Don’t settle for cookie cutter solutions (unless you are selling cookie cutters).
How much does humor factor into your keynotes and other speaking engagements?
Not at all. I don’t find humor to ever be appropriate. I believe that humor is the sign of a speaker that just doesn’t know his stuff.
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