IAC’s Ask: Search Engine Stalled, Sales Team Weak


IAC (IACI) has poured buckets of money into promoting its Ask search engine, but its market share has remained stuck at 2%. But Ask’s sales team has performed even worse, according to the annual Jack Meyers survey released this month.

All of IAC’s ad teams turned in lousy performances in the survey, which asks a couple hundred advertising and agency execs to rate 125 online sales groups. The survey’s metrics remain a bit oblique to us (the main one is something called an “Overall Performance Power Score”,) but the gist of it is clear: IAC’s sales teams are losing ground to the likes of Google and Yahoo. And the Ask group is doing particularly poorly:

In a year where most portals and search engines increased their ratings on key attributes, Ask.com declined on responsiveness of sales reps as well as value of the relationship. Usage and in person sales rep meetings have also declined over the past year. Ask.com is ranked in the bottom third of the category across all attributes. In order to become competitive in the category, they will need to increase the presence as well as perceptions of the sales organisation.

Suggestion: Shift the money from Ask’s offline marketing budget (If advertising a search engine on billboards and television worked, Google wouldn’t have 55% market share) into improving and beefing up the Ask sales team. Alternate suggestion: Put the Alec Baldwin “coffee is for closers” speech on an infinite loop on sales team PCs. JackMeyers.com

See Also:
How’s Ask Doing?  Not Well.  Forecast Bad, Too.