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The Paradox of Exceptional Marketing

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The Paradox of Exceptional Marketing Rand Fishkin | Individual Contributor | Moz


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Why is the Night Sky So Quiet?


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The mathematical odds of Earth being the only life-bearing planet in the galaxy are exceptionally low. Milky Way Galaxy: 200-400B Stars ~100B Planets ~11B Earth-like Planets Orbiting Sun-like Stars SOURCE: Planetary Habitability Laboratory


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If life can form on other planets (or if meteors/ comets can pass life between planets), there are millions of life-bearing candidates. 13.8 BILLION YRS AGO


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Two Possibilities: 1) We’re alone (for now) 2) We’re unable to perceive whomever else is out there (and they’ve decided to ignore us)


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A civilization colonizing enough of the galaxy to be perceptible to us here on Earth doesn’t take long on a cosmic time scale. Type III Civilization


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If any such civilization existed in the last 13 Billion years (and their wave emissions lasted long enough), we could perceive them today.


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Something must be filtering out any life that could colonize the galaxy


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The Great Filter Commonly achieved evolutionary leaps The Great Filter An evolutionary leap that no civilization has passed (yet?). Type III Civilization Species Origin


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Maybe We’re the First?


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Maybe We’re Extremely Rare?


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Or, Maybe, We’re F#@%d


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Fermi’s Paradox


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It is no good to try to stop knowledge from going forward. Ignorance is never better than knowledge. -Enrico Fermi (1901-1954)


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To Learn More Read: Wait But Why – The Fermi Paradox


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A Similar Paradox Exists in the Web Marketing World


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The Average New Startup Won’t Last 2 Years source


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The Web is Huge 200+ Million Active Websites


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Most People Will Only Ever Visit 200-2,000 (1-10 in a Million)


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The Millions of Search Results Beyond Page One Are Practically Invisible


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Recent Data Suggests Searchers Are Less Biased By Position #1, But As Unlikely As Ever to Visit Page 2+


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Nearly Every Web-Connected Human Adopted Social Networking in Its First 7 Years of Existence


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But standing out in the ever-increasing stream of social sharing is an enormous challenge.


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Data Via Forrester Research Avg Brand Engagement Rate 4.21% 0.073% 0.069% 0.035%


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There are ~100X as many non-spam emails sent each day as there are Facebook messages and posts


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Data Via Mailchimp’s Benchmarks


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5.3 Trillion display and retargeting ads are served annually: 1,700 per Internet user per month.


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In North America, less than 1 in 10,000 ad views result in a click


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Being Signal, Rather Than Noise, Is An Immense Marketing Challenge


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INVISIBLE KNOWN & LOVED Our Job: Take Companies from


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But, those immense marketing challenges stand in our path Us


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We Need to Identify, Understand, and Break Through These Filters if We’re to Create Lasting Companies & Great Marketing


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AUDIENCE COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE SERENDIPITY FLYWHEEL COST MESSAGE Six of Marketing’s Great Filters


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Ability to Reach the Right Audience


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Tip #1: If You Have Great Customers Today, Find Ways to ID & Target Their Clones Eric couldn’t have been more literal!


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Tip #2: Know What Your Audience Does Before They Search For You/Your Solution Long before anyone searches for this They search for this


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Tip #3: Even a Small Element of Virality is Worth Repeated Investment and Testing Even one person passionate about the service can get it in front of many others


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Tip #4: Early Adoption Gives an Unfair Advantage Mark was among the first to create a comprehensive guide to Ello. Timing + content = domination.


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Crafting a Message that Resonates


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Tip #1: My Best Content and Stories Always Resonated Offline Before I Made Them Online.


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Tip #2: Apply The CRO You Learn in Paid Media to Your Inbound Efforts If you know that this headline works better, change your page title and social shares, too!


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Tip #3: Consistency of Message Matters. Consistency of Format is Boring.


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Tip #4: Powerful Messages Are Simple


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Tip #4: Powerful Messages Are Simple


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Tip #4: Powerful Messages Are Simple


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Tip #5: Promoting Your Self/Company is Hard. Promoting a Cause/Mission is Far Easier. Fitbit isn’t selling “what,” they’re selling “why.”


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Cost of Customer Acquisition


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Tip #1: Break Out Costs of Marketing vs. Sales Paid Marketing Spend All Marketing Salaries All Marketing T&E All Brand-Focused Spend + + + Sales Spend All Marketing Tech Costs + All Sales Salaries All Sales T&E Deal-Closing Spend All Sales Tech Costs + + + +


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Tip #2: Spend Early in Unpaid Marketing Channels Trying to build competence here early is far easier than building it after your paid marketing machine is running.


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Tip #3: Measure Acquisition Channels by CLTV (not just conversion rate)


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Tip #4: If Possible, Enable Customer Qualification that Scales Without Salespeople A free trial may initially show worse converting customers than a demo, but if you follow up w/ right-looking trialers, you can drastically improve close rates & CLTV


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Enabling Serendipity


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Tip #1: Increase the Potential Vectors of Exposure Conference Dinner Phone Call Coffee Volunteering Email Reply Things You “Really Don’t Have Time For”


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Tip #2: Things You Hate Probably Won’t Bring Serendipity And that’s probably why the Batman won’t show up


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Tip #3: Know Something About People Before You Interact Fullcontact FTW!


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A Story: Some Recent Serendipity


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Find Your Competitive Advantage


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Tip #1:


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Tip #2: Consistently Ask “Could We Do That 10X Better?” “We could make a better version of that” “We can do something 10X better than any of these”


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Tip #3: Don’t Get Bogged Down By Your Weaknesses SEO PPC Content Community Email Display Retargeting Twitter Social Ads Video LinkedIn Facebook Google+ Partnerships Affiliate Trade Show Booths Whitepapers Content/Native Ads Strengths Weaknesses Spending time getting up to speed on these may be a net loss.


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Tip #4: Don’t Get Complacent About Your Strengths SEO PPC Content Community Email Display Retargeting Twitter Social Ads Video LinkedIn Facebook Google+ Partnerships Affiliate Trade Show Booths Whitepapers Content/Native Ads Strengths Weaknesses Hitting cruise control on these, rather than pressing an advantage could seriously hurt, too.


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A Flywheel That Scales Without Friction


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Publish Amplify Grow network Rank for slightly more competitive terms & phrases Get links Grow authority Earn search traffic


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Tip #1: Anticipate the First Few Revolutions of Any Marketing Flywheel to Be Insanely Challenging Plan for a traffic graph like this and you’re doomed.


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Tip #1: Anticipate the First Few Revolutions of Any Marketing Flywheel to Be Insanely Challenging This is much more realistic. (via Crain’s Detroit)


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Tip #2: Relentlessly Search for Your Flywheel’s Friction Publish Amplify Grow network Rank for slightly more competitive terms & phrases Get links Grow authority Earn search traffic Our social efforts never grow our audience… that’s what’s missing.


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Tip #3: Once a Flywheel is Moving, Any Additional Force Pushes it Faster – Leverage Those Forces! Because Moz has had a lot of success driving organic traffic, re-targeting is a huge additional force on our flywheel


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There’s Another Possibility


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There is a Type III Civilization, But They’re Not Friendly. The Great Culling To prevent competition, a civilization may be killing off any who make it too far. Type III Civilization Species Origin


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“(Messaging extraterrestrials is) deeply unwise and immature… The newest children in a strange and uncertain cosmos should listen quietly for a long time, patiently learning about the universe and comparing notes, before shouting into an unknown jungle that we do not understand.” - Carl Sagan (source), 1934-1996


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The 800lb gorilla competitors do not, however, appear to be the great filters in our world. Source Competitors: 19% Competitors beating you in your own marketing channels: <19%


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Marketing (especially through inbound channels) appears to be a rarely contested and, thus, uniquely powerful way to build a competitive advantage and barrier to entry.


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The Paradox of Exceptional Marketing Rand Fishkin | Individual Contributor | Moz


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