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SEM Professionals Form Search Marketing Association UK

Staff Writer
Published: 2004-10-25

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A working group of search engine marketing professionals in the UK has come together to plan the formulation of a UK based trade association.

The proposed Search Marketing Association UK (SMA-UK) will provide a platform to inform and educate the marketplace of the benefits of search marketing in the overall marketing mix, as well is giving its members an industry voice.

Barry Lloyd of search marketing firm MakeMeTopÔ is acting Chairman of the group, with Andy Atkins-Kruger of search marketing firm Web Certain as acting Deputy.

The Chairman and Deputy Chairman were elected by a secret ballot, single transferable voting system monitored by the Electoral Reform Society with votes being cast by the members of the working group.

"We intend all elections will be held in the same manner in the future, with early elections from the full membership to be held as a matter of urgency" said Barry Lloyd.

"Presently, we are a group of people working to create an association, but we felt it was important to sidestep the trap of being seen as self-appointed so we chose to use the Electoral Reform Society to conduct an independently verified secret ballot of the group to elect the Chairman and Deputy Chairman" added Andy Atkins-Kruger.

An existing US based association was not seen by the group to be appropriate in its operations for the UK market. Barry Lloyd, commenting on the reason for a new UK based association said: "The UK search engine market is currently the second largest in the World outside the United States. After looking at the way trade associations are being developed internationally it has became apparent that the UK should have its own association for this growing sector, set up in a manner to reflect the specific way that both businesses and trade associations operate in the UK and other parts of Europe."

Andy Atkins-Kruger sees the first priority of the working group as rapidly developing a strong membership base: "Now we have an embryonic organisation, a set of objectives and a direction - we need more professionals to come and support our already enthusiastic group to help make the association successful."

The current members of the working group are:

Barry Lloyd - MakeMeTopÔ [Supported by Penny Lloyd

Andy Atkins-Kruger - Web Certain

Paddy Bolger - Top Pile

Richard Gregory - Corporem Global

Edward Cowell - Neutralize (**)

Colin Irwin - Spex Internet

Simon Collingridge - BizCom Services

Jason Cartwright - GCDM

Ammon Johns - Propellernet

Mike Grehan - Smart Interactive

Among the many objectives the working group has already identified are:

· To be a central representative body to put the views of search engine marketing companies and professional consultants to Government departments and agencies, Parliament, the European Commission and Parliament and other relevant organisations.

· To be a research and statistical centre, to aggregate and publish statistics, and to provide analysis on search engine marketing and other relevant market information.

· To be a technical centre, providing commentary, guidance and advice on all legal and other regulatory developments of relevance to search engine marketing.

· To provide a forum for the exchange of non-competitive information.

· To promote the search engine marketing industry.

· To assist in representing search engine marketing professionals and companies with suppliers to the industry.

· To promote best business practice guidelines for dealing with clients of search engine marketing services.

· To promote the development of education and training for search marketing professionals.

· To promote and support affiliations with other international search marketing trade organisations that have similar objectives to the SMA-UK.

Supporters of the proposed new association from all areas of the search engine marketing sector including, practitioners, agencies, vendors and media companies are encouraged to contact the working group with their thoughts and ideas for further development.

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