Every Action is an Expression of Belief

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Our companies are nothing but the collection of action every one of our employees take.

What beliefs do your employees have about the organizations goals and vision?

In Alan Stein, Jr. new book Raise Your Game he quotes a famous Inc. magazine survey that first asked executives what percentage of their employees could name the company’s three top priorities.

The executives guess 64%.

When the researchers conducted the survey of the employees, the actual number was a sadly, only 2%.

“Two out of 100 employees knew what the company stood for. If you stop and think about how a company’s priorities are literally the reason it exists, you realize just how mind-boggling that number is.” – Alan Stein, Jr.

It is vital for an organization to align their values and beliefs into an internal narrative that can be shared through the power of storytelling.

When we left our agency almost a decade ago this is what we discovered was the trait that almost all of our past successful clients and students had continued to leverage in their careers. They mastered the ability to tell the story of their customer’s journey though their customers eyes in a way that made it empathetic and relevant for the whole organization.

Today we lead workshops helping teams get in alignment.

P.S. I had an opportunity to jump on a call with my friend Chris Brogan recently. During the conversation I made some bold predictions, I wonder what you think of them.

The post Every Action is an Expression of Belief appeared first on Bryan Eisenberg & Jeffrey Eisenberg.

January 29th 2019 Uncategorized

Super Affiliate Handbook Updated for 2019

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A lot has changed since I started affiliate marketing in 1999 and wrote the first edition of the Super Affiliate Handbook in 2003.

Super Affiliate Handbook cover

Back then, there were no blogs and no Google.

I coded every bit of my first web site in Notepad. Dancing babies, spinning globes and the whole nine yards of ugly elements.

In 2019, new webmasters can install their first blog in just minutes and creating content is now as easy as playing with kids’ building blocks. Indeed, WordPress has moved to using block content to make content building easier for every webmaster.

Granted, getting ‘found’ online nowadays isn’t quite as easy as it was when I started my 1st website back in 1998. Back then, I submitted my site to Yahoo! and umpteen other directories with site submission services just to get my site noticed and it worked.

Now, Google is King of the Castle and webmasters MUST abide by his rules.

Considering the way the Internet has evolved, in my humble opinion, that’s a good thing.

Google rewards those who are consistent.

I’ve been so gratified to see bloggers in the travel, food, mommy (parent), pet, fashion and beauty industries earn MILLIONS from their efforts in very short timeframes, i.e. 4 years and less.

The point is, that if you blog about a specific topic on a regular basis because it is your desire to share your knowledge about that topic, you WILL be rewarded with results on Google.

Moreover, when you add social media elements (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest) with the same focus and passion, your efforts will be rewarded even more greatly.

So, if you have something to share for which there is an audience, you can count on being able to build an online business… even in 2019.

To learn more about becoming a successful affiliate marketer, read the Super Affiliate Handbook: How I Made $436,797 in One Year Selling Other Peoples’ Stuff Online – the 2019 version!

Best of success to you!

The post Super Affiliate Handbook Updated for 2019 appeared first on ROSALIND GARDNER.

January 24th 2019 affiliate marketing

SEO Tips for Small Businesses

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SEO resultsSearch Engine Optimization (SEO) refers to the techniques used to improve a website’s search engine rankings.

When someone enters a search term in the search box, google will return a list of pages considered the most relevant (and authoritative) with respect to the user’s query.

Authority and relevance are evaluated by the google’s algorithm using a myriad of parameters and factors. Such factors include the content a site has published online as well as the type of links it gathered from other websites.

Google likes to promote so-called authority sites at the top of its result pages. So if you run a business and you have a website, and if you want to rank high in google, you should create in-depth articles that can become authority pages in your niche. This involves not only writing informative and useful content, but also content that responds to the questions people have about a specific topic. If you keep on publishing such great content, over time Google will pick up authority signals and increase the rankings of your site.

But this is only half of the equation. In order to rank at the top of google, a site must also acquire a good quantity of quality backlinks. Such backlinks serve as reference, or votes of confidence for a specific page, indicating that the content of your page is valuable and can be trusted.

It is by mastering your content and your backlinks (your on-page and off-page profile), that you can hope to be rewarded with higher rankings in google.

The above is just a brief overview, as SEO is a broad and complex field. In a nutshell it can be broken down into two main categories – on-page and off-page optimization. To help you understand the techniques you need to adopt in order to rank well and gain traffic and sales from such increased visibility, read the pointers below.

I. On-Page Optimization

This is the part of SEO covering everything on your site. This part is 100% within your control. It commonly refers to optimizing the pages of your site.

1. Content

You probably heard the expression “content is king”, which has a lot of truth in it. But did you know that your content serves two purposes. It tells your visitor what your business is and what products or service you provide. But it also shows google what your site is about. Because google can understand (to a high degree) the text on your site, they can infer what your website is all about and how good your content is.

So the goal of producing content is twofold, as it serves both users and the search engines, and they will each interpret it in their own way.

Read below some tips to deploy great content that the search engines will like.

a. Produce Content for Customers

Although some black hat techniques can boost your ranking rapidly, most of them are frown upon by google. If caught with unorthodox techniques your site could get penalized and lose all its credibility and the hard work you have poured onto it. There is also a possibility that you will never recover from such sanction imposed on your site.

So do not use short-cut methods like article spinning and keyword stuffing. These are outdated techniques that may work for a while but can get you into big trouble later on. Only publish very high quality unique content with real value. This is the safest route.

b. Use Keyword Variations

Keywords or key phrases are critical to the google algorithm. It helps it understand what your content is all about via a concept called Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI). Using variability in the terms you employ instead of a small range will give your site a wider clout within your niche and make it more authoritative. Since you know your business better than anyone else, you need to use keyword variations to describe your niche, products or services.

Just make sure to stay away from repeating similar phrases as your page may appear to be stuffed with keywords. Google is smart enough to know that “house painter” and “house painting” refer to the same thing. Just pick your keyword variations and naturally insert them into your content. If your content is about your SEO services for Oklahoma City or London SEO, then do not repeat London SEO all over the page, other terms could be digital marketing, SEM or online marketing for example.

c. Take Advantage of Titles and Headings

For google, the URL, title and headings are crucial pieces of information regarding what a page is about. Any piece of content can only have one title, but it can have multiple headings and subheadings. The most important among these three is the title as it is the one that shows up in the Google search results. It should contain your primary keyword and make it compelling enough to attract visitors by making them click on your link. Then headings and subheadings are there to help your readers see the main points while reading your content.

d. Tailor the Page URL

The URL is the most important on-page factor, so make sure to make the best choice with respect to your keywords.

You may find that your default page URL is based on the title of your post. Most content management systems like WordPress use your title post as the default page URL. If you find that your post utilizes an alphanumeric URL, make sure to edit this and use your titles instead. This is not just better for your rankings, but it also increases your chances of getting clicked by a user.

2. Add Your Name, Address and Contact Details

Your business name, address and contact details should be displayed on every page of your website. The easiest way to set this up is to place the details in the site’s footer. If you operate in multiple locations, you need to have a different page for every address and contact details.

It is vital that google knows you have different branches in various places as google searches depend on location (geo-located). To take this concept to another level, you can use a schema markup. It is another concept in SEO that allows you to label your content in a way that google understands best. As markup is a special coding mechanism designed specifically so that google could understand concepts (like an address), not just words.

SEO work

II. Off-Page Optimization

Now that the essentials regarding your website itself are covered, it is time to look at off-page optimization to help you rise in the search results (SERPs). To improve your rankings, you need to work on relevant links, social media presence, and citations.

1. Getting Relevant Backlinks

Getting more backlinks will be essential in boosting your rankings. Whenever a reputable site links to one of your pages, it means some trust is transferred to your site, thereby elevating your rank. However some link building strategies can hurt your rankings. There have been numerous strategies years ago that are no longer acceptable today. So you have to be particularly about the way you get backlinks, as this is a double-edged sword.

The best way to identify a good link is when it is created naturally. But these types of links take time to acquire, so you may have to take matters into your own hands. One way of doing it is by writing guest posts.

Do not waste your time submitting guest posts to unrelated websites though. Only write for sites in your niche. As you build your guest post portfolio, you can begin applying to the more reputable sites with good domain authority. Sites like these are the most powerful when it comes to link juice transfer.

When guest posting, you will often be provided an author byline where you can link to your blog and social media accounts at the bottom of the page. Other link building techniques you can use are infographics submission, blog commenting, posting in niche forums and email outreach to influentials.

2. Social Media Presence

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and Pinterest are the raging social channels you must be seen in. These media have engaging users that you can potentially attract to your own business. Therefore it is essential that you claim your brand name on these major sites regardless of the amount of time you spend on it.

There are two reasons why you should set up your own account on these channels. First it helps google further identify what your brand is all about. Second having these gives you the opportunity to gain more quality backlinks and visibility.

3. Citations

Websites such as Manta, Yell, Foursquare, and Yelp are trusted business directories where you can and should list your site. Often you can also acquire backlinks from citation sites. Signing up for these citations is especially beneficial for helping your site show up in the map listings that are on some local searches.

Conclusion

Getting ahead of the competition is not easy. And it will get harder!

But if you study and execute the suggestions listed above, you will surely find your site gaining more traffic soon. If you belong to a highly competitive industry, implementing these primary measures will not be enough to propel you further up. This is where proper services from the experts come in to help you out.

So give us a call at 020-7261-1848 for a free consultation.

January 13th 2019 SEO

Is Your Blog Showing a “Not Secure” Warning in Google Chrome?

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Have you noticed that your blog is showing a “Not Secure” warning in Chrome browsers?

Mine was.

'not secure' warning
Site with ‘Not Secure’ warning

I was concerned about what that “Not Secure” warning label meant and how visitors would perceive my site by result, so I started doing a little research to find out why that was happening and what I could do about it.

The reason you see a “Not Secure” warning is because the web site or page you are on does not provide a secure connection.

The difference is between HTTP and HTTPS, not secure and secure.

And nowadays, it doesn’t matter whether your site collects sensitive data, like credit cards or social security numbers, or not. Google is flagging ALL unencrypted websites, meaning those that show HTTP (do not have an SSL certificate installed) will cause the “Not Secure” warning.

The “Not Secure” warning means that the site lacks an SSL certificate. An SSL certificate is a digital certificate that authenticates the identity of a website and encrypts information so that passwords, addresses or credit card numbers can not be intercepted or read by anyone other than the intended recipient.

By the way, SSL stands for ‘secure sockets layer’.

So, to remove the ‘Not Secure’ label meant having to find out how to get an SSL certificate.

In my case, that was pretty easy.

I host my blogs with WebSiteManagers , and under ‘AddOns’ in their client area, I found SSL certificates that cost $29.95 per domain, per year. I bought one for my personal website, just to see whether or not it would work.

Jim, the owner of the hosting company, sent me an email message to say that the SSL certificate had been installed and also reminded me that I needed to change my URL’s in the WordPress Adminstration Panel.

That’s what I love about hosting with a company like WebSiteManagers. Their service is always super quick and personalized. We know each other on a first name basis and Jim knows me well enough to send me a reminder about what I need to do, without having to go through the ticket system. I also know that if I hadn’t made the changes required in a reasonable timeframe, he would have phoned me to gives me the heads up.

Too, according to one of our readers, Michael K., HostGator offers free SSL certificates with their hosting packages, and you just give them a telephone call to have it set up. Too, you also need to install a plugin.

Here’s how the original URL’s appeared under General > Settings in the WordPress Adminstration Panel.

Site without HTTPS
WordPress URLs – HTTP

And here is how they appear now.

site  With HTTPS
WordPress URLs – HTTP S

And lo and behold, my site is no longer showing the ‘Not Secure’ warning!

Site with an SSL Certificate

After seeing it work, I purchased SSL certificates for each of my other 5 domains, which worked out to a total of $179.70 for all of my domains for a year. Not bad, considering that’s a drop in the bucket compared to what those domains earn. Not only that but their earning potential INCREASES by having those SSL certificates!

So, WHY is having an SSL certificate important?

When some surfers see ‘Not Secure’, they runs way from your site, whether or not you really have a need for encrypted information.

Moreover, showing that your site is secure gives you an advantage over your competitors who have not yet converted to HTTPS.

So, is your site secure or not? Please feel free to leave a comment, question or suggestion below.

The post Is Your Blog Showing a “Not Secure” Warning in Google Chrome? appeared first on ROSALIND GARDNER.

January 12th 2019 Uncategorized

Is Your Blog Showing a “Not Secure” Warning in Google Chrome?

No Comments »

Have you noticed that your blog is showing a “Not Secure” warning in Chrome browsers?

Mine was.

'not secure' warning
Site with ‘Not Secure’ warning

I was concerned about what that “Not Secure” warning label meant and how visitors would perceive my site by result, so I started doing a little research to find out why that was happening and what I could do about it.

The reason you see a “Not Secure” warning is because the web site or page you are on does not provide a secure connection.

The difference is between HTTP and HTTPS, not secure and secure.

And nowadays, it doesn’t matter whether your site collects sensitive data, like credit cards or social security numbers, or not. Google is flagging ALL unencrypted websites, meaning those that show HTTP (do not have an SSL certificate installed) will cause the “Not Secure” warning.

The “Not Secure” warning means that the site lacks an SSL certificate. An SSL certificate is a digital certificate that authenticates the identity of a website and encrypts information so that passwords, addresses or credit card numbers can not be intercepted or read by anyone other than the intended recipient.

By the way, SSL stands for ‘secure sockets layer’.

So, to remove the ‘Not Secure’ label meant having to find out how to get an SSL certificate.

In my case, that was pretty easy.

I host my blogs with WebSiteManagers , and under ‘AddOns’ in their client area, I found SSL certificates that cost $29.95 per domain, per year. I bought one for my personal website, just to see whether or not it would work.

Jim, the owner of the hosting company, sent me an email message to say that the SSL certificate had been installed and also reminded me that I needed to change my URL’s in the WordPress Adminstration Panel.

That’s what I love about hosting with a company like WebSiteManagers. Their service is always super quick and personalized. We know each other on a first name basis and Jim knows me well enough to send me a reminder about what I need to do, without having to go through the ticket system. I also know that if I hadn’t made the changes required in a reasonable timeframe, he would have phoned me to gives me the heads up.

Too, according to one of our readers, Michael K., HostGator offers free SSL certificates with their hosting packages, and you just give them a telephone call to have it set up. Too, you also need to install a plugin.

Here’s how the original URL’s appeared under General > Settings in the WordPress Adminstration Panel.

Site without HTTPS
WordPress URLs – HTTP

And here is how they appear now.

site  With HTTPS
WordPress URLs – HTTP S

And lo and behold, my site is no longer showing the ‘Not Secure’ warning!

Site with an SSL Certificate

After seeing it work, I purchased SSL certificates for each of my other 5 domains, which worked out to a total of $179.70 for all of my domains for a year. Not bad, considering that’s a drop in the bucket compared to what those domains earn. Not only that but their earning potential INCREASES by having those SSL certificates!

So, WHY is having an SSL certificate important?

When some surfers see ‘Not Secure’, they runs way from your site, whether or not you really have a need for encrypted information.

Moreover, showing that your site is secure gives you an advantage over your competitors who have not yet converted to HTTPS.

So, is your site secure or not? Please feel free to leave a comment, question or suggestion below.

The post Is Your Blog Showing a “Not Secure” Warning in Google Chrome? appeared first on ROSALIND GARDNER.

January 12th 2019 Uncategorized

Deliver Step Change Impact: Marketing & Analytics Obsessions

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Some moments in time are perfect to reflect on where you are, what your priorities are, and then consider what you should start-stop-continue. In those moments, you are not thinking of delivering incremental change… You are driven by a desire to deliver a step change (a large or sudden discontinuous change, especially one that makes things better – I’m borrowing the concept from mathematics and technology, from “step function”).

In those moments – common around new years or new annual planning cycles – the difference between delivering an incremental change vs. a step change is the quality of ideas you are considering. In this post, my hope is to both enrich your consideration set and encourage the breadth of your goals.

My professional areas of interest cover Customer Service, User Experience and Finance, though here on Occam’s Razor my focus is on influencing incredible Marketing through the use of innovative Analytics. To help kick-start your 2019 step change, I’ve written two “Top 10” lists, one for Marketing and one for Analytics – consisting of things I recommend you obsess about.

Each chosen obsession is very much in the spirit of my beloved principle of the aggregation of marginal gains. My recommendation is that you deeply reflect on the impact of the 10 x 2 obsessions in your unique circumstance, and then distill the ten you’ll focus on in the next twelve months. Regardless of the then you choose, I’m confident you’ll end up working on challenging things that will push your professional growth forward and bring new joy from the work you do for your employer.

Ready?

First… The Analytics top ten things to focus on to elevate your game this year…

The Step Change Analytics Obsessions List.

A1. Improve the Bounce Rate of your top 10 landing pages by 50%.

(Improving Bounce Rate results in reducing it. :))

You'll be surprised by the steep drop in Cost per Acquisition.

Google Optimize will be one of your BFFs in this quest. You’ll know you’ve moved beyond basic improvements when you start setting Custom Objectives – they require deeper thinking, which is a good sign.

A2. Eliminate 40% of the numbers from your dashboard.

Take the newly-created white space to explain what to do based on performance of 60% of the numbers that remain.

What your boss wants most this year, more than love, is to be told what the data wants her to do. Don't leave her guessing.

(Bonus, with actionable ideas: Smart Dashboard Modules.)

A3. Take your first steps towards unlocking smart algorithms.

Learn what Session Quality is in Google Analytics, then learn how to use it in your campaigns to improve conversions. In the Audiences section, go to the Behavior folder.

Learn what Smart Bidding is in Google Ads, then learn how to use it in your campaigns to improve outcomes.

Machine Learning algorithms will make our data smarter in unparalleled ways; Session Quality and Smart Bidding offer early clues about the scale and type of intellect. In both instances, it is immensely valuable to really understand how a smart algorithm uses billions of data signals to calculate likelihood of a conversion.

Across all your analytics data, algorithms will take you places humans simply can't. This should be the year you invest in an expansion in skills and practice to take advantage of these possibilities.

A4. Take a class in data visualization. It will save your life.

Anyone can make a complicated visual, it takes someone very special (you!) to draw out the essence of the story data is trying to tell.

My recommendations:

Free Courses: Data Visualization and D3.js and Data Analysis and Visualization at Udacity.
Affordable: Data Analysis and Presentation Skills at Coursera.
Occam’s Razor: Start with this one: Closing Data's Last-Mile Gap: Visualizing For Impact. And, there are five more linked to here.
 

Through all these courses remember the most important thing about data visualization: It’s not the ink, it’s the think. Obsess about improving the think, just as much as I’m encouraging you to improve the ink.

A5. Obsess about what happens after campaigns end.

In our analytics practice we tend to celebrate victory too early (at the end of the campaign) or with insufficient breadth (the full scope of impact).

Did you get customers with high lifetime value? How long did the brand lift – say Awareness – last? What was the average order value of the second purchase by people you acquire via Search, compared to those via Retail?

Is there a difference in behavior between people who signed up for email over the last year vs those who did not? What the cost of getting a retail customer to make subsequent purchases over mobile apps lower?

A6. Understand your personal impact, obsess about improving it.

Grab the revenue number for the company. Now work out how much of it is influenced by you directly. Make a note of what it is (likely to be a couple percentage max).

Double that number this year.

What are the first five things on your list?

None of them will be easy, but converting insights into action via influence rarely is. But, you don't have to stretch too far to see how amazing it would be for you (and data too!) if you double your impact.

A7. Run one super-large controlled experiment.

To prove what your Executives believe purely from their gut. Or, to disprove it.

Does Facebook advertising really work better than TV? Can you create premiumness for your brand using digital? Is a 15% coupon now better than 20% off the next purchase? Does swapping out male model posters for cute animals triple sales?

Does sponsoring a fashion show lead to an increase in brand equity? Does free pickup in store result in higher attach rates?

A8. Identify four relevant micro-outcomes to focus on in 2019

(In addition to the macro-outcome of revenue).

Businesses win when you optimize for a portfolio, because at any given time only a tiny fraction of people want to buy. Solving for micro and macro-outcomes is directly connected to the holy grail of solving for short-term AND long-term success.

Employees also become smarter when they have to optimize for more than one thing. 🙂

A9. Throw away your custom attribution model. Embrace data-driven attribution.

For some things, humans are already less smart than machines. Trying to guess what might be happening across millions of touchpoints on and off site, on and offline, is one of those things.

Skip the first five steps of attribution’s ladder of awesomeness, jump to DDA. From the tens of hours saved per week, figure out how to feed offline data into your data driven attribution model.

With an obsession with data-driven attribution, you are also solving for a portfolio rather than a silo. Super cool, super profitable.

A10. Hire an experienced statistician to be a part of your analytics team.

There is too much goodness in modeling that you are not taking advantage of. From segmentation models to identifying incrementality to predictive modeling to survival analysis to clustering to time series to… I could keep going on and on.

2019's the year you get serious about serious analytics.

A11. Bonus: Reporting kills, analysis thrills.

If that is true, and it is, :), then what % of time are you personally spending between Data Capture – Data Reporting – Data Analysis?

data_capture_data_reporting_data_analysis

Outsource or eliminate half of your data capture and data reporting responsibilities, and allocate it to data analysis and driving action.

You'll be surprised at the increase in your salary and bonus (oh, and the company will benefit too!).

In context of Analytics are you aiming for something special in 2019 that I've not covered above? Will you please share that with me by adding a comment? Thank you.


Switching gears, here are ten things to obsess about to collectively deliver a step change via your Marketing game this year…

The Step Change Marketing Obsessions List.

M1. Improve the Bounce Rate of your top 10 landing pages by 50%.

(Improving Bounce Rate results in reducing it. :))

Same as the #1 on the Analytics list. 🙂 Far too many Marketers ignore this simple strategy to make lots more money. You work so very hard to earn attention, why then let your ads write checks your website can’t cash?

An additional delightful benefit: I find that getting Marketers to obsess about landing pages forces them to audit the user experience, something worth its weight in gold.

M2. Put up or shut up time for your social media strategy.

99.999% of corporate social media participation yields nothing.

Your CMO wants people to love your brand and organically amplify its goodness. It genuinely is a good thought. Except, a cursory glance at your social contributions show nothing of that sort over the last three years.

So, why are you spending all that money?

I recommend using that money to buying your team iPhones every Friday, I assure you that'll have a positive ROI.

Or. Focus on social media primarily as a paid media strategy. Bring the same discipline to the application of accountability to social media ads that you bring to your Display or Video ads anywhere on the web.

Here are five brand and five performance metrics that'll be your BFFs in 2019, as you social strategy lives up to that now famous mantra: Show me the money!

M3. Keep control of creativity, give up control of the creative.

Machines are much better at optimizing the latter for short or long term.

(For now) You are still better at the former – do lots of it, then hand it over to smart algorithms.

It is hard, especially for creative types who confuse creativity with creative. But, with every passing day you are harming your bottom-line more if you don’t follow the formula above.

Also consider the Machine Learning opportunities for Marketing beyond creative.

Aim to shift 25% of your marketing budgets in 2019 to opportunities that are powered by ML algorithms and rejoice at the boost in profits that results.

M4. TV works, solve for each factor that drives success.

Most TV campaigns are sold and bought based on reach (GRPs FTW!).

In my experience you should optimize for reach AND one overarching story AND creative consistency AND ensure each successfully tested creative has enough frequency to wear-in.

And, if you can't solve for three ANDs… Shift money to max out the Performance Digital opportunity, then with the left over money buy every person in your team – and at your agency – a new car. Your TV budget is big enough , and trust me when I say that giving out a new car will have very high motivational and bottom-line ROI.

M5. Seek to understand the customer journey.

What drives the first purchase? What drives the second? What drives the support calls in between? What does using the product really, really feel like? What drives advocacy?

All advertising that fails does so because the Marketer behind it understands only one sliver of the experience, then solves for that sliver with heart-breaking short-term focus.

When the Marketer understands the answers to the above questions, it influences the creative, it influences targeting, it influences retail store displays, it influences frequency, it influences product design, it influences…. it changes everything. Including profits.

Journeys are better than tinder dates.

M6. Solve for intent. It is more possible and more critical with every passing day.

See-Think-Do-Care is a great intent-centric business framework, if I may say so myself, for challenging your current marketing strategy.

What intent is your current marketing content (tv, digital, ads, emails) targeting? What happens once your ads meet that intent? What meaningful content are you publishing, on and offline, to engage audiences before and after the BUY NOW (!) moment? Is your measurement aligned with the intent your marketing is targeting, or are you judging a fish by its ability to climb a tree? How do you know?

Shifting to See-Think-Do-Care is the single biggest force multiplier when it comes to your marketing. Help shift your organizational thinking to the current century in 2019.

M7. Your marketing budget allocation can be improved anywhere from 50% to 50,000%.

Allocating budgets is the hardest decision a Senior Marketer will make. Most will use strategies like Digital had 27% of budget last year, this year we should do between 28 and 30%. History, gut-feel, inter-company-politics, etc. are primary reasons why this silly mindset is pervasive across companies.

A better way? Profitable opportunity size.

I don't think you can argue with the first part: Invest where you make more profit. The second part takes a bit more work. It comes from plotting diminishing margin curves with confidence intervals. In English: How high can the investment goes before every $1 you invest returns less?

You are a Marketer, so it's unlikely that you'll plot these curves. Make it a priority for your Analytics team to do so; without them massive chunks of your budget is being flushed.

(Also, see obsession #10 on the Analytics list.)

M8. A grandmother's Marketing strategy for grandmothers only.

A bit provocative, but I want to challenge how most Marketers just make little tweaks to their strategy. The bigger the company, the more that this pernicious problem exists. Don't let that be you, and allow me to share two views that'll challenge your reality.

Here's the average time spent per day by US adults with media devices…

average_time_spent_media_devices_age

My humble description of a "grandmother's marketing strategy" is the bar on the right (65+).

It is eminently sensible for our marketing for our fellow 65+ aged Earthlings to be reflective of the implications of that right-most bar.

The problem arises when our entire marketing strategy is an extension of that right-most bar. For our entire marketing strategy to be structured on that 6:55 you see above, when our products and services are not 65+ centric is… A bit silly. Perhaps even reflective of failing our fiduciary duty.

Note the difference in total media consumption (time, place, device, more). Note the products and services your company currently offers. Reflect on this: How misaligned is your current marketing strategy?

I get really excited about something super-cool, but subtle, in the data above: The implication of the difference between active vs. passive consumption!

The difference between leaning-back and letting content wash over us vs. leaning-in and pulling content you desire is huge. It dramatically changes what your marketing should be solving for (beyond the obvious investment alignment by platforms issue).

One more reality-check for your 2019 Marketing strategy: Here's a helpful deep drive into the shifts in consumption of TV across US adults – in just six years (!!)…

us_time_spent_watching_tv

This possibly explains why Toyota's entire Marketing strategy seems to be TV-centric (with the incredible frequency of 48 per day per person here in the bay area!). It seems Toyota is only trying to sell cars to 65+ (whose TV watching has actually increased).

In 2019, resolve to align your marketing strategy with your 1. products 2. goals 3. audience, and 4. amount of expressed intent on the platform.

Credits: Originally created by Sara Fischer of Axios, the first graph is via my buddy Thomas Baekdal's newsletter. 100% of you need to sign up for it. The second chart is from the lovely team at The Economist.

M9. Suck less more.

Every campaign you are currently executing can be made to suck less – especially if you think end-to-end experience.

Ex: Expedia's emails are so long they always trigger "[Message clipped] View entire message." Suck less and maybe use my past behavior to send shorter emails so I know you care about me?

Ex: Nordstrom sends me one email a day with exclusive deals – how many clothes do they think I need? Suck less and maybe send me one a month? Or, base it on shopping patterns in store to deliver delight and not just a deal?

Ex: Macy's email I just received (titled "Resolution #1: get an extra 20% off before it ends") has promotions for Women, Men, Shoes, Bed & Bath, Kids, Juniors, Jewelry, Plus Sizes, Handbags, Home, Kitchen, Beauty. All above the fold. Below the fold: Large pictures with promotions for White Bedding, Biggest Underwear, Biggest Mattress (yes again), Best Face Forward, 25% off Adidas, Macy's presents the Edit, Fresh Pastels (the image does not make clear what this is), Free, Fast Pickup. PHEW! This can be unsucked at so many levels, with just a little bit of love and focus.

Ex: Even really good programs can use sucking less. Companies like Google and Microsoft have so many divisions. Each team/department optimizes for itself, emails are pretty good, hence each thinks they are doing really well. But, if you flip the lens to me – the recipient – I get a lot of email from each company. I wish someone at G/M would track Emails Sent/Humans Sent To, and reflect on the sad reality. It would create a culture of Marketing with me at the center instead of a company department – you can imagine the benefits.

I'm using email marketing as an example of activating the power of suck less because I love email marketing. It is an effective and profitable strategy. It has loads of behavioral data available. It needs a comparatively small team to execute well. Yet see how much opportunity there is to suck less at even the largest companies.

Substantially bigger opportunities to suck less exist in all other Marketing you are doing. TV. Print. Radio. Display (omg, sooooo much opportunity!). Video. Website. Mobile app. Everything else.

All you need to do is take a quick peek under the covers.

Your 10x goal for 2019: For every $1 invested in chasing a shiny object (VR ads! Influencer marketing!!!), invest $10 in sucking less in existing large clusters of your Marketing.

Profits that follow will also be that lopsided.

One last bit, culture eats strategy for breakfast. Create a quarterly Most Unsucked Team award, and celebrate this dimension of success. Incentives matter.

M10. Bring your great taste and expectations to work.

You can easily recognize when something is mediocre – even when others put lipstick on the pig and run it around the organization as the greatest success of the month.

You know what exceptional looks and feels like – you are not just a Marketer, you are an intelligent customer.

Yet, my experience is that most Marketers stay in their lane. Often, company cultures encourage that non-beneficial behavior.

In 2019, speak up.

You have great taste. Don't leave it at home when you leave for work.

Speak up.

When you see low quality work being pushed out by your Marketing organization… Create alternative mocks. Push for your version of the brand's tag line (not the generic MBA buzzword puke-fest). Ask for a better balance between Earned-Owned-Paid marketing. Politely challenge your Leader's assertion that creative x is better because he feels like it will be. Recommend experimenting with reckless ideas, instead of directly putting 30% of the budget on them. If you see lipsticked pigs being paraded around as exceptional examples, humbly, privately, flag the corrosive implication on culture to the most senior leader who'll listen to you.

Speak up.

You deserve to be heard.

When you speak, it'll give others around you the courage to speak up as well. Smart people tend to run in packs.

That’s it. 🙂

A slight repetition: Reflect deeply on the impact of the 10 x 2 obsessions in your unique business environment. Then, distill down to a total of ten you’ll focus on in the next twelve months. Finally, put a start and expected end date for each item. If you get through the list, you would have contributed a step change to your company’s bottom-line, and discovered unexpected personal joy.

As always, it is your turn now.

If you had already identified obsessions for Analytics and/or Marketing for the next twelve months for yourself, what obsessions did you choose? I’m super curious. Are there a couple in my lists above that would be particularly impactful in your company? Some of my recommendations are quite straight-forward, what do you think get’s in the way of focusing on them?

Please share your obsessions, tips, culture-shifting strategies, and critique via comments below.

Thank you.

The post Deliver Step Change Impact: Marketing & Analytics Obsessions appeared first on Occam's Razor by Avinash Kaushik.

January 7th 2019 Uncategorized