Expanding its New York office's search practice, digital agency Carat Fusion has hired SEM veteran Randy Schwartz and four others.
Schwartz will serve as the shop's new director of search engine marketing, said Carat Fusion. It said Schwartz's hiring, and that of the other new people, is in response to a "growing demand for search services."
Schwartz comes from Reprise Media, where he was director of strategic development and he founder of the media department. Prior to working for Reprise, Schwartz was media director with TMP Worldwide.
At Reprise, Schwartz was in charge of account strategies for Yahoo, Capital One, Palm Pilot, The New York Times and other clients. At TMP he created digital media programs for iVillage, Columbia House and CMP Publishing.
Schwartz holds a bachelor's degree from Cornell University.
In addition to his core function as SEM director for Carat Fusion, Schwartz will be in charge of integrating search initiatives with digital media, brand management and corporate communications, said the company.
The other newcomers to Carat Fusion are Sean McDonald, Michelle Zung, Thao Nguyen and Trevor Beddoe.
Schwartz told ClickZ News he accepted the Carat Fusion position because he was "looking to explore the search marketing channel within a fully integrated environment with agencies that are already vested in diversified media and communications strategies."
He said he visited many shops controlled by large conglomerates, but came away unimpressed. "While everybody's beginning to realize how central search is to consumers and how they explore brand relationships, surprisingly few of them seem able to execute," said Schwartz. "Most of them are looking at search under the label of 'emerging media,' as if this is something they need to anticipate down the road."
He said he was impressed by Carat Fusion's "strong tradition" with search and its strategic approach to SEM. "Some of the most established agencies currently approach search tactically and many still outsource their search solutions to outside vendors," noted Schwartz.
He said he believes personalized search and behavioral ad serving "are inextricably intertwined, and represent two of the most important trends in interactive advertising," and he suggested the Google purchase of DoubleClick supports his position, although he suspects Google will use the DoubleClick technology "more for contextual than search."
Meanwhile, Microsoft cannot be ignored as it can still find a way to "leverage Passport data and behavioral selects" on top of its current search markets," observed Schwartz.
"And then there's Yahoo," he added. Schwartz is excited by Yahoo's new ability to report touchpoints within a sales cycle "and recognize the value of keywords and clicks that engage the consumer along the way."
Carat Fusion, part of Aegis' Carat and Isobar -- Aegis' global network of digital companies -- has offices in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco. Its clients include Adidas, EchoStar, Hyundai, Motorola, Revlon and Wachovia, among others.
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