What Skills Define a Modern Marketer?

Artist or Scientist? Turns out, a bit of both, with a dash of other.
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Eloqua has published a research report entitled “Defining the Modern Marketer: From Real to Ideal.”

The study found that the modern marketer persona is ideally three-fold – a hybrid of content marketer, brand marketer and web marketer. These three “marketer types” were chosen by survey participants when asked about the current modern marketer role. Successful marketing, however, includes more than three roles and should factor in the use of marketing technology (CRM systems, marketing automation), analytics, targeting, conversion (prospect to customer) and engagement (the right content through the right channels). These five marketing areas were chosen to make up the ideal modern marketer scorecard. The ideal modern marketer has the optimal percentage of all five skill areas – adding up to 100 percent.

But all the right skills won’t matter, if you don’t know the customer.

The good news? If you know your customer, you can turn to professionals with these skills. And that’s often the definition of today’s Modern Business Leader.

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Are you Kevin Bacon Close to your Customers?

Are you Chuck Norris Bacon Close to Your Clients?

Chuck Norris Bacon Number

Google just added a new search option, called the Bacon Number. Adding Bacon Number to an Actor or Celebrity name will calculate and display the other actors that have mutually worked with Kevin Bacon or your provided actor in the same movie. Or worked with an Actor that later worked with one of them. For each actor that is needed to link the original actor to Kevin, that counts as one degree of separation.

This fun little actor trivia game is based on Six degrees of separation, a concept that refers to the idea that everyone is on average approximately six steps away, by way of introduction, from any other person on Earth, so that a chain of “a friend of a friend” statements can be made, on average, to connect any two people in six steps or fewer. It was originally set out by Frigyes Karinthy and popularized by a play written by John Guare.

So, now that you have Google’s help, see if you can find an Actor with a Bacon Number greater than 3. You’ll likely be amazed how small, or tight, the “Hollywood” industry appears when viewed from a “How Connected Are They” search tool.

Unfortunately, your industry doesn’t have a Bacon Number Tool, but it is almost certainly as connected. You are probably no more than 3 degrees, and no further than six degrees, away from every client or potential client. And they are that close to each other as well.

This close connectivity within an industry, or a community, is what makes social networking so effective for businesses, even small ones. Ask your next new customer how they found out about you. If it’s a person, thank them on your Facebook page and Twitter.

Fewer Words Matter

The hardest part of any marketing task is communicating your message in just a few words.

I have been telling friends for years that a marketing degree should start with “Marketing 101: How to Describe It in 100 Words.” It would be a weekly course and every week the student would have to describe the same item, but in fewer and fewer words. The final would be a Google Adwords Ad…here is it’s format:
25 Characters
35 Characters
25 Characters

That’s less than 100 Characters, including spaces. And in that 100 characters you have to grab a person’s attention, differentiate yourself and entice them to click on your Ad among all others.

Most firms we begin helping have a tough time saying what they do in a paragraph.

One of the SEM mentors I follow posted this video, which I think sums all this up in two spoken sentences and one written one.

Can you describe your company in seven words or less? Give it a shot, you may be surprised at the results!

Google Adwords Big Change Coming?

Upcoming Adword Format Bad for SMBsWhile catching up on the latest SEO articles, a disturbing post showed up today. It appears that Google is testing the effects of showing how many clicks an Ad or Advertiser has previously gotten.

While we promote Google Adwords to many of our small business clients, there are various aspects that are real disadvantages to them. The overall complexity and several default settings are definitely an issue for SMB and independents without some type of Search Engine Marking (SEM) resource.

Well, Google is trying an Adwords experiment that may indeed be another major problem for small businesses. There are apparently two types of displays being tested, one that just says “Clicks”. The other one says “clicks from this advertiser”. In this image, notice the difference between the two almost identical Ads for the same basic product/brand:Google Adwords Click Display Experiment

Showing “Clicks for this Advertiser” in the Ad will create a very unfair advantage for large brands, big Ad budgets and National Ad agencies.

Notice that the top Ad has 156,000 previous clicks and the one below it has 59,000,000. Which would you click?

We’ve been very successful pitching SMB Ads against major brands with deep pockets. We rely on niche targets, whether time spots, longer tail keywords, more refined and selective demographics or sites. If successful, our Ad typically shows higher than the wider casting net of the big check books.

Think of it another way. A big budget allows for less granular keyword bids, less related Ad text to keywords they are bidding on and finally, paying a bit higher due to a lower quality score. If we are able to place our SMB Ad alongside the more generic text from one of their Ads, we stand a better chance of getting the click due to our more relevant copy and keywords.

Unless that other Ad has 59,000,000 clicks displayed and we only have 156,000.

The real shame? All 156,000 of our visitors could have bought a product, while 200,000 of those other clickers could have bounced away from that site’s competing product immediately without buying anything. If that Advertiser’s 58,800,000 of those clicks are for Ads that send them to another page, not that related to our client’s product, then they won’t even be penalized much. And the users that might have clicked and bought, will instead gravitate towards the Ad with more clicks due to the Lemming Effect.

This also means longer running Ads and Advertisers could have better click through rate (CTR) advantage.

LinkBuilding: Basic SEO Blocking & Tackling

The web is joined together through links. Search engines rely on links in various ways to help them navigate…and more importantly help them decide which sites should be shown for which search keywords.

Link building, or Link requesting, has been used by SEO experts to improve their sites’ rankings. Unfortunately, you have to be very careful NOT to fall into one of those horrible ‘snake oil’ pitches as Link building has been abused by the SEO ‘black hats’. Do not engage in random link ‘buying’ from some firm or person guaranteeing tons of links for little money or effort…your site will likely be penalized, not boosted upward.

You need to manually review, analyize and solicite links to and from your site…think of it as exchanging partnership ‘credits’ between your resellers and yourself. Or between your site and your vendor’s product pages.

Here’s a quick read that helps you start researching for links that make sense to point to your site.

No Repeat Business from Snake Oil Sales

I’m using another’s blog as my first opinion piece for Astute Marketing. Good, effective marketing comes from knowing who are your potential customers and getting your message to them.

If you’re looking for “get rich quick” methods or One Trick Ponies, you’ll almost certainly be looking for customers soon afterwards. Unfortunately, if you choose to dismiss SEO and SEM techniques from your toolkit, you’ll be looking for customers, too. It’ll just take longer before its obvious that you’re doing something wrong.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is definitely being pitched like Snake Oil and sold by some of the best Snake Oil Salespeople out there. Partly because it’s very important, partly because it’s somewhat archaic and partly because there is too much data and time involved in separating the meat from the bone.

Astute Marketing involves understanding the range of marketing methods and applying them in priority: least cost for most sales. Sometimes that method will be a trade show. Sometimes it’s a better email campaign. But…almost all of them should involve a bit of online, which includes SEO efforts for your web site.

I’ve posted my comment to the above SEO SnakeOil blog in my comment section…apparently the blogger isn’t interested in competing opinions.  🙂