Thursday, February 26, 2009

SMX West: Solution to Marketer/Developer Relationship Barrier - WebProNews Video

The relationship between developers and marketers has recently been a hot topic at industry events, and SMX West was no exception. An entire track was devoted to the topic at the recent show. In this video, Nathan Buggia of Microsoft Live Search says the barrier between developers and marketers goes all the way back to the very definition of each.

Marketers need data such as customer information. They need to have the ability to run experiments and update the text and content on their site. Developers also need data, but they need keyword and audience research. In addition to that, they need to be given all the details and structure of each project and then adequate time to complete them.

As business gets more competitive, especially online, Nathan emphasizes how the need is even stronger for developers and marketers to work together. He says that business success really depends on marketers and developers working together effectively.

The barrier between the two is more difficult for larger companies because there is usually a large marketing department and a large development department. Smaller companies are able to come together more often and be more open about the overall business strategy.

So, what is the solution to breaking down the barrier? Nathan says communication is the answer, and ideally, it starts from the very beginning. He and Vanessa Fox have created a conference based solely on this idea of building a strong and effective relationship between marketers and developers. Everyone is invited to attend the first O’Reilly Found Conference taking place June 9-11th in Burlingame, CA.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

John Battelle Predicts the 2009 Search Industry - WebProNews Video

Predictions are exciting. They’re even better when they come from a credible source, someone such as John Battelle. He has been giving yearly predictions on the search, technology, and media industries since 2004 and has been quite accurate. WebProNews caught up with Battelle at SMX West and asked him about a few of his predictions for 2009.

has been the topic of a lot of people’s conversation this year, so it is really no surprise that the company made Battelle’s list of predictions. Specifically, the prediction reads:

“Microsoft will gain at least five points of search share in 2009, perhaps as much as 10.”

The giant company now stands in third place behind Yahoo and Google with a 6-10 percent holding. So how are they going to gain search share? Battelle says the company is very serious about winning the search game.

He also points out the company has a lot of money and that the world is essentially driven by money. One way Microsoft could increase their search share is to buy Yahoo, AOL, or even Firefox. Another option he discloses is that Microsoft could make a deal with a company such Dell or HP.

Yahoo makes another one of Battelle’s predictions. Speaking on behalf of all the recent dire news about the Sunnyvale-based company, Battelle says:

” I think Yahoo’s coming out of a long winter.”

He says Yahoo’s new CEO, Carol Bartz, is a very capable leader for the company and will help to revive its purpose. He still suspects Yahoo will make a search deal with AOL or Microsoft, but says:

“I will not count them [Yahoo] out.”

Although it’s not one of his direct predictions for 2009, Battelle talks about a new form of search that will become more and more prevalent with time. As he explains in this video, search is our interface to the Internet and the way we navigate. The new interface would allow Web users to search in forms other than text, in forms such as image, video, and sound.

As stated earlier, John Battelle has been very accurate in his yearly predictions, so it will be interesting to see how 2009 plays out.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Micro Campaigns to Target Customers and Make the Telephone “Ring” - By

Is your website under performing? Not producing enough targeted traffic, leads or sales? Then it is time for a change of online marketing tactics. You should consider developing niche micro-site campaigns to target customers and make the telephone or email “ring.”

First let’s define the problem. You may be a medium to small company with a number of products or services. The questions I ask my clients are: Do your products or services relate to each other? Is your customer base the same for each of them? Or do customers need to be marketed to differently? What are your unique selling points? Are your messages clear, concise and quickly understood?

To address the above concerns, here are 8 strategies to get better results and boost sales:

1. Look at the Big Picture: Keep it simple
The old adage, “less is more” holds true for the web. Visitors view a website in chunks, scanning to see what catches their eye and engages them. If there are multiple messages or conflicting ones, the viewer won’t take the time to sort them out. They’re gone in less than 10 seconds. It is counterproductive to jam everything into a website, all that does is make it cluttered and confusing.

Your micro campaign should be direct and to the point. They are single page or 2-3 page websites that target a specific product or service. If you need to have a lot of content to explain your products or services, consider a 1-2 minute video. Make your pitch concise and simple. Visitors will appreciate the clarity and you will project a professional image and instill confidence . They will react positively, recognize that you are not wasting their time because they can understand it quickly. Then they are more apt to respond to your message or call to action.

2. Think Out of the Box: Be creative and innovative
Never get too comfortable with what you are doing or how you are selling your company’s products or services. You need to reach those customers that aren’t responding to this method or approach.

You can tailor a mini-campaign just to those potential new customers (i.e. a more youth oriented audience). This does two things: it won’t isolate your more traditional viewers and it won’t conflict with your current offers or messages. In marketing terms, we call this the low hanging fruit — ripe for the picking, providing you get there before the competition. Again, get creative, think out of the box, make an impact, and take a risk!

3. Make an Immediate Impression:
Campaigns should get their attention with a sense of urgency, a timely call to act now!
Now that your message is clear and concise and you have their interest and attention, close the deal with a sense of urgency. If you are selling products, have time-dated specials with real value and savings; for a service, offer something value added and have the first 10 people to call will receive… Use of a flash element to draw their attention can be effective. Graphics should enhance the branding, never overpower it.

4. Target New Customers: Develop new markets.
People like to think of themselves as unique, individuals, and not part of the herd mentality. You can capitalize on their self-image by addressing new customers in ways that will appeal to them. Whether it is a lifestyle, the dream of a better quality of life, or as a means to an end — making their life easier. Remember, different markets will require alternative approaches. Tailor your branding and customize your message. Then of course test and track your sales approach. Get feedback from customers, new and old, how they use your products or services and then create a niche campaign directed to their specific needs.

> Get the other 4 strategies at:

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Matt Cutts Explains “Canonical Tag” from Google, Yahoo, Microsoft - WebProNews Video

Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft announced today a joint effort to help reduce duplicate content. The three major search engines came together to allow users to point out their preferred version of a url. As Matt Cutts explains in this video, this format offers users more control.

Duplicate content has been a challenging issue for a long time. Websites containing a lot of content such as a retail site, could end up with several urls for each page making it difficult for search engines to crawl.

Google gives an example on the Webmaster Central blog.

Watch this video of Matt Cutts at SMX:

For more information, each of the search engines have explanations and examples in their own announcements:
Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Privacy and social networks from

Bruce Nussbaum recounts a Davos discussion including Microsoft's Craig Mundie and Hamid Arkhavan of T-Mobile on how privacy concerns affect the adoption of social networks...

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