Interview with Matt Lawson (And Last Chance For Hero Conf Early Bird Discount!)

Don’t forget that Friday, March 9, 2012 is the last day to register with the Hero Conf early bird discount!  Register now to save $150 on the general pass, and $190 on the conference + workshop combo!

Today we are delighted to share an interview with Matt Lawson, Vice President of Marketing at Marin Software.

PPC Hero: Tell us a bit about yourself and what you do for a living.

Matt: In a word – marketing.  I head up marketing for Marin Software.  We market a product that helps online marketers improve their marketing efficiency on publishers like Google, Yahoo, Bing, and Facebook.  That’s a lot of marketing!

PPC Hero: Is your professional background solely in the online/paid search industry?  If not, what are your other areas of expertise?

Matt: I’ve spent the past 8 years working on online media.  My first experience with the paid search industry were at Coremetrics where we developed one of the industry’s very first paid search automation tools.  The software tools for managing paid search have come a long way since then!  At Marin, we now manage over $3.5 billion in search and social spend through our platform.  Eight years ago when I started, that would have accounted for all of Google’s revenues.

PPC Hero: How did you end up working for Marin Software?

Matt: Like all great jobs, I found this opportunity through a friend.  Wister Walcott, one of our company’s co-founders, and I knew each other from previously work together at Siebel Systems.  We met for coffee one morning and the rest is history.

PPC Hero: What do you believe are the most important developments in PPC recently?

Matt: Certainly the increase in of mobile activity we saw in the back half of this year is an important development.  From Q3 to Q4, the click-share of mobile as a percent of total paid search clicks doubled.  If that trajectory continues, look for mobile to make even bigger headlines in 2012.

PPC Hero: What are your thoughts on the hype about mobile?  Should advertisers be taking notice of this trend?

Matt: With mobile, I don’t see hype, I see reality.  In Q4 of this past year, 10% of our clients’ paid search clicks came from mobile devices.  That’s significant.  Advertisers need to do more than take notice of the trend, they need to get out in front of it.  More importantly, because it’s still early, the advertisers that get in first will likely see favorable performance relative to desktop search.

PPC Hero: How soon, if ever, would you predict for mobile advertising to take over desktop? Why?

Matt: I think the lines are going to quickly begin to blur.  Consumers are going to use a variety of devices – laptops, tablets, smartphones, touchscreens, and interactive televisions.  Sometimes those devices will be tethered, sometimes they won’t.  Will advertising dollars directed towards phones and tablets overtake laptops and desktops at some point?  Likely.  Will we be able to distinguish between mobile and desktop at that point?  Hard to tell.

PPC Hero: Thanks for taking the time to talk with us today, Matt!

Matt will be speaking at Hero Conf 2012 on April 16-17 in Indianapolis. For more information, check out our awesome speakers list, our justify your trip document, or the agenda!


Matt Lawson is Vice President of Marketing for Marin Software , provider of the leading platform used by advertisers and agencies to manage search, display, and social advertising.  At Marin Software, Matt is responsible for worldwide branding, demand generation, and product marketing. Prior to Marin, Matt was an executive at Spock Networks, a venture-backed people search engine. Previously, Matt held marketing and product leadership positions at Coremetrics, one of the early innovators in web analytics and paid search marketing.

Matt is a regular speaker at Search Engine Strategies, Search Marketing Expo, Ad:Tech, and Search Insider Summit. He writes a column for Search Engine Land, and has contributed articles to Search Engine Watch, MediaPost, Adotas, and other publications.

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