Archive for March, 2012

On Being Relevant in Digital

“Social” claims or has been claimed to do everything and it really has become quite the game changer.  In fact, did you know that it can actually boil the ocean? OK, so I’m kidding, but the point is this-One thing that social media does and has done, is that it has spurred or enhanced or magnified relevance in everything that online and offline touch now.

Even if you were not relevant before, now you have a chance to be, thanks to digital and social.

But step back from every situation and I mean every situation, and it’s really less about social and more about an age of relevance. Social is just the lipstick.  Chew on that a bit.  Yes, we definitely live in a digital age now and yes, we definitely live in the age of social media and yes it’s definitely all about the conversation.  But, what digital, social and the conversation have definitely done  is that they have snapped a piece of relevance onto everything that we now come in to contact with. It’s actually a two way street. Relevance shapes our social and digital engagements and our digital and social engagements become more relevant the more hyper focused they are to what we are all about and what we want and demand.

It surprises me that others have not really focused on this. Until Now.

Accenture Interactive has just come out with a couple of pieces of thought leadership on the “Era of Relevance.” (Full disclosure-Accenture is a client of mine) Though Accenture Interactive is talking about relevance at scale for the enterprise, the underlying theme remains unchanged-when you or I are marketing, conversing, buying, shopping, or selling-relevance is the tipping point in the transaction or transformation.

I would highly recommend reading the pieces from AI because they really do focus on one of the larger straws that stirs the drink.

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Four Areas that Digital Marketers Need to Continue to Focus On

Should we be amazed anymore at how fast digital is moving? Honestly no. But what should we be thinking about as we watch it go by? When I was a kid and I would see a train go by, I always wanted to be on that train. I didn’t really care where it was going, I just wanted to be on it. With a little foresight and hindsight you can be on that train that we’re calling digital right now-and know where it came from and where it’s going. We sort of know where it came from, but here’s 4 stops on that journey.

  1. Figure out Big Data- Mark it down. Big data is going to be big business. It makes sense though, you have these large organizations collecting terabytes of customer data but not knowing how or what to do with it. Enter the age of Big Data and marketers finally doing something with that data.. IDC predicts that the market for Big Data technology and services will reach $16.9 billion by 2015 up from $3.2 billion in 2010.
  2. Focus on the Customer. If you think you’re doing enough with your customers, then chances are, you are not.  Some recent Accenture research reveals that retailers can respond with mobile capabilities designed to create value for both customers and themselves  if they understand who is shopping in their stores, how they shop, and how mobile influences their shopping behaviors.
  3. Go Get a Tablet– It’s hard to ignore the mobile and tablet markets. If you don’t own a tablet, you probably have it on your wish list of things to get. That’s a good decision. Why? It’s where your customers, clients and colleagues are going. Need the data to prove it?  After less than two years, U.S. mobile subscribers were using almost 40 million tablets, according to ComScore. In contrast, it took smartphones seven years to reach that level of adoption.
  4. Twitter ain’t going anywhere-From cars that tweet, to marketers figuring out newfound ways to leverage the power of microblogging and actually driving awareness and making money-Twitter is hitting some good times. Need more proof? Twitter didn’t buy Posterous just to spend money and collect a toy. They have plans. Big one’s.

We could have added more, but the point here is not to inundate you with all the things that occur every day in the tech world, it’s too much and can be overwhelming. The point is to help you focus on the areas that continue to mature and evolve-For marketers large and small, we need to learn how can we adapt and adopt to things that will be around in 6 months to a year. We have to get away from our fixation on the new and shiny and focus on the smart and profitable.

A Bunch of Littles Can Make a Big Difference-KONY 2012

Just watch the video…and then jump on over to Invisible Children

The Problem with Blending Organic Results with Social Information

Hey Google, you know me, but do you really know me? I know, I know, you have all that customer data and you’ve just changed, refined your privacy policy so I know you really know me but… we’ve known each other for at least 10 years and we’ve grown on each other but…I have a beef.

Just because I have people in my Google Plus Circles doesn’t mean that what they “might know” or talk about is necessarily the  search result information that I was looking for or need. That’s great that you now make it come up above the fold, but that doesn’t always mean it’s going to benefit me. What it really means to me is that I now have to scroll through a bunch of stuff that may not matter in order to  to get to a hopefully organic result.

Part of the attraction of Google has always been its simplistic interface tied into an algorithm that really understood that what we were looking for was the best, most relevant search result. Now what we get is a search result tied into a) Google’s latest foray into social and b) someone’s  Google + social affiliation to me. This means that if I’m looking for information about violins. I may have to sift through a search result that incorporate’s my Circle’s random observations, musings, photos and videos of violins, when what I was looking for was where I could buy one in my city that was inexpensive and durable.

Google isn’t enhancing the search process with tying it into Google Plus, it’s assuming that it knows me and my circles and what is best for me when I search. You don’t want that, what you really want is this…

What we may have to start doing is redefining what a Google organic search result is. Sometimes, actually more times than not, I need and you do too, a search result that isn’t or hasn’t been influenced by nothing more than pure relevance to the topic at hand. It may not happen today or even next year or the year after that, but at some point, someone will build a better, cleaner search engine that will be what Google was when Google first launched.

Business Myopia-The Need To Realign Hope And Reality With Your Social Business

A lot of companies are going to transition to becoming a social business and fail horribly at it. It’s not entirely their fault. You might be sitting there and asking why not. Look no further than their website. It starts there. Here’s a real world example. 3 days ago I was on the phone with a prospective client, before I got on the phone I did a little research. First I wanted to look at their source code. I wanted to see what they thought of themselves. Regardless of who built the site, the meta tags that lie underneath can tell you a lot about what a company thinks they are, of how they view themselves.

I know, in the grand scheme of things meta tags don’t matter, but ahhhh, they do. It let’s people like me get a quick understanding of whether a client or company gets the rudimentary element of knowing who they are and how they want to be perceived online. you know why? Metas matter but not in the sense that we were all told or taught years ago. Metas matter because they drive the creation of content, the creation of bios, and the creation of hyperlinks from Tumblr and Twitter to YouTube and Pinterest. Metas are your descriptors of you and your company.

If you can’t tell me who you are with hyperlinks, geo specific hyperlinks,160 characters in a Twitter bio,25 characters for an adwords title, and or 70 characters for ad text, then how are you going to do it for your customers? The point being that search will continue to love social but before you even get to the point of cranking valuable content about you and your business. You have to have your act together structurally, internally and digitally.

Go look at all of your digital touch points and see if they pass the smell test. Are you painting the right picture of how search views all of your current content. Understand that part of being a social business is that, regardless of whatever social channel your choose-the digital content that you will create, has to align perfectly with what you do offline and what you currently have online.

When customers or prospects do a search, the results that they get back tell more of a story about you and your business then you may be aware of, and sadly the results may contain content that you had no control of. By the time you see it, or become aware of it-it’s too late, it’s been indexed and it’s virtually impervious to reputation management fixes.

Don’t wait for that to happen, go check your digital house and see if it’s in order. Align reality with perception and make sure that as a social business you understand that you are now searchable and accountable for content everywhere, starting with something as simple as your source code. Metas might not matter in search, but in reality, they can tell us what you think your business is.


The Deets

Marc Meyer is a Digital and Social Media Strategist at DRMG. This is my personal blog where I share observations, thoughts and opinions that are all my own.

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