Showing posts with label business tech. Show all posts
Showing posts with label business tech. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Search Engine Land + A Decade of SEO

There is no doubt that Search, specifically SEO, was my first love and entry to digital marketing. When I started my MBA thesis in 2006 the 1998 Tim Berners-Lee concept of the semantic web caused me to view it as a disrupter to replace to the Yellow Pages. I saw this as being accomplished by semantic programming language on websites aided by emerging mobile phone technology fascinated me.

What seemed like sci-fi marketing tech futurism at the time, is possible now. Through advancing in content tagging (rich snippets) and artificial intelligence, we're seeing a preview of of a different type of marketing. A smarter type of marketing.

Keith Hanks MBA Thesis (2007) Cover Providence College. Thesis titled, "Non-Traditional Marketing Impacting Multi Collaborative Networks"

Recently Search Engine Land featured an article, 8 ways SEO has changed in the past 10 years. It was a trip down memory lane and caused me to dust off the old thesis remembering an example, about how local search for pizza restaurants, would look in the future.

  1. The rise of content
  2. The death of link schemes
  3. The reshaping of local
  4. SERP overhauls
  5. The rise of the Knowledge Graph
  6. Mobile prioritization
  7. The soft death of keywords
  8. Update pacing and impact

#3, "Local Search" as a vocab term was not listed in the thesis, and would not become common terminology with marketers for several more years. This was just as much triggered by advances in algorithm sophistication, new taxonomy portals to document local listings online, and arguably by a decline in traditional Yellow Page industry revenue.

Source: Keith Hanks 2007 MBA Thesis (pg 58)

What's the next decade hold? In my opinion the innovation will have challenges duplicating the last decade. Instead of pure technology advances I predict we'll see growth focused around HOW the tech advances of today, or rather, the last few years, will be applied and democratized from big budget brands down to the SMB markets.

While that sounds exciting, there's a catch... sophistication. For upwards of two decades we've enjoyed the prospects of a high school student, and at times, a middle school student, being able to help a mom and pop business with digital technologies such as websites, and other marketing disciplines. While technical emersion will happen at a much younger age the idea of being able to 'read a few books and blogs, then create something' is going to have a much stiffer barrier.

Search is a much more mature industry today, and it appears to be shifting into two directions. The first is an integration with more traditional copyrighting and content disciplines. The second, is much more technical and programmatic. The later is white collar today, but very easily can become more vocational, the carpenters, plumbers, and electricians of our generation.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Ready for AI Marketing 1.0? Mapping Out Programmatic Basics

Many marketers find themselves 'chasing' the next thing, when really, the ingredients for a satisfying frittata are right in front of them. (image:

Those close to me know I love metaphors. For all my marketing friends that are also foodies (aka lots of them), this post is for you!

Dish: "Keith's Programmatic Marketing Frittata"

Overview: Inventory the media in your 'marcom fridge' -- preheat the oven to 350 -- ready a prep board and a few oven skillets.

Serves: Several hundred - to - several million guests

Directions: on a clean surface lay out your ingredients. Since each frittata has different ingredients use the following guidelines to prepare.

  • Wash and tenderize in-house SMEs.
  • Using your analytics team, apply ROI effective vendors to a "customer journey mixing bowl." 
  • From your strategy team, take marketing architecture, including APIs and connect them into the same mixing bowl. Don't be nervous if it looks like a mess right now, we'll fix that in a second. 
  • For the right color and texture, consult with your creative team. Don't be surprised if they are little busy and suggesting not just "A" list of ingredients, but also want to test a "B," "C," or even "D" for a multi variant culinary experience. 
  • Lead nurture with a whisk until ingredients blend. If e-commerce, don't be afraid to add a dash of cart abandonment -- the recipe will have a better chance of converting your audience, in addition to having them often returning for a second helping (or more). 
  • Brush a thin layer of butter into the "executive sponsor cooking pan." When buttering up the pan, you don't want to be too greasy, or use too little and risk burning. 
  • Plate & Serve **
** Don't forget the mobile app experience! When serving the frittata each guest might want to eat it differently. Some will eat at their desktop, others on the run and prefer a mobile experience.

Takeaways for AI: Marketing tech continues to grow in complexity, often at a much faster pace annually than what teams can implement. Like a frittata, look for items (techniques, media, etc) that compliment each other. For a frittata to be great you don't need an entire serving of each ingredient, you just need to connect the ingredients together. 

What did this recipe do? Essentially it mapped out by hand, programatic marketing could look like if automation was applied. That's the key lesson, there's no one recipe. Before you can think AI, you'll want to test the recipe out, make sure the tastes blend, and the guest experience is great whether eating at a traditional table (desktop), or on the run (mobile web and/or mobile app experience). 

As always, play to your strengths as a 1.0 baseline. Not all the ingredients will make sense together; some may be almost lost sitting in a pantry, where others might be fresh, but perishable. Within your SMEs, vendors, and data, seek additional ways to get more. Look for overlaps in how data is captured, stored, queried and usable for actionable messages. 

What do you think? Any other recipes, marketing, or else wise, you'd like to share?

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

The Post 140 Twitter World

Will lifting the 140 character limit allow for more robust user experiences? Yes. Will it be the type of move that shifts significant ad dollars to Twitter? Maybe.

Via theverge.comBeginning September 19th, the company will cut down on exactly which types of content count toward the platform's 140-character limit. Media attachments (images, GIFs, videos, polls, etc.) and quoted tweets will no longer reduce the count. The extra room for text will give users more flexibility in composing their messages.

If you hold Twitter stock, the news has your attention. If you're a marketers, you're wondering what to do next.

In Time for the Holidays: 
While those aren't months away, this is one of the busiest periods for marketers. Media plans, strategic approaches for the 2016 holiday season and budgets for 2017 calendar year are being discussed. Twitter could win big if it can shift juuuuuust few dollars from current social media into Twitter, or tap discretionary marketing budgets in reserve.

Personally I like this move. As Twitter has matured, enhancing a tweet has been challenging because of the characters absorbed from incorporating such functionality. This update, in theory, should make Twitter more compelling, true to the initial mission of micro blogging and able to stay ahead of the times enhanced media within social posts. Helping further will be trend towards larger screens to consume content.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Marc Benioff Quits FB, calls it Overwhelming

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff recently said, "I deleted my Facebook account completely. I found it was just overwhelming me." via

My Take:

  • I'd hypothesis that Facebook needs to take a lesson from Google
  • Gmail Tabs allow users to better segment user experience
  • Facebook keeps tinkering with an algorithm, while great for maximizing sponsored posts is causing headaches for users. 
  • Improving how posts, and FB friends can be filtered, both via desktop and the mobile app would allow users to quickly dive into topics of interest the same way one would bounce from website to website
  • If Facebook wants to be stickier and a destination for various online experiences, and longer content experiences, it must make tailoring posts and viewing segmented groups easier.
  • Items like "top posts" are still relevant, but within each category, like Instagram, and like Gmail, content should be organized, or the option to easily filter in chronological order.