Here's what the executive vice president of La Jolla, CA-based interactive agency SiteLab told attendees yesterday at ad:tech New York.

"The generation of software we have both at the low end and the high end suck," Todd said to an audience of small business marketers looking to bone up on search marketing.

Todd should know. Besides her job at SiteLab, she is president of the Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization.

Her admission was refreshing. And it added that much more credibility to the tips she offered small businesses that wanted to use search.

Todd's advice was directed to attendees whose companies generate $1 million to $15 million in yearly revenue. About 40 million to 50 million businesses nationwide operate in this revenue band. Their average annual budget on advertising is $5,000.

With such limited resources, small businesses have to think more strategically, Todd said. They must pick a search specialist even as they pick their battles. These firms must know their base dollar values: lead focus, visitors, sales and e-mail options. They should spend small and reinvest. And they must use their talent wisely.

Get the full story at