A few days ago, I wrote about a new trend in SEO which is Zero-click searches. It’s interesting because it’s a direction that Google is taking. Google wants to make it easy for users, but not necessarily easy for marketers.
The second interesting trend is more about the focus on contextual search. Google has developed technology that tries to interpret the intent behind how people search. They call it “BERT = Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers“. It is Google’s latest algorithm update. Its focus is to deliver results based on real search intent, considering context and natural language.
All marketers need to do is to publish high quality content that could actually answer customer’s questions. This will help with optimising for user intent and giving the most complete answer — which is what Google wants.
There have been a lot of changes in the world of Google search. Unfortunately most of the changes that Google made is to make things simpler for users. It means we, marketers, have to work harder and smarter.
One of the interesting trend in 2020 is “Zero-Cllick Searches”. It means most of the searches don’t end up getting clicked. This is because Google shows the answer to a search query directly on the SERP (search engine results page). It’s easier for users that they could get a quick snapshot of their answers without having to click to another (or other) websites. It of course makes marketers’ job more challenging.
Google plans to roll this out more and more to the search results.
Do you know the differences between marketing with search and social? We all have to do both but understanding the differences would help manage your expectation. There is actually one major difference, only one.
I recently started using a Travel ad program from Expedia. I also promoted the same Ad through Facebook ad. The immediate result was different. The Travel ad generated far better results than the Facebook ad. There could be many explanations but the major difference is “customer’s intention”.
In search (i.e. Travel ad), customers have an ‘intention’ to do something. They were looking for a place to holiday. They did the search to fulfil their intentions. In social, customers don’t normally have intention or efforts to take purchasing action. They might like your photos or your offers. But, they are likely to save those offers for later days.
Social is more suitable for building up brands, spreading awareness, or introducing your product. As I said above, we need both. But, knowing the difference would help you manage your budget and your expectation.
I talked about the differences between customers and consumers the other day. My long term mentor saw the post and share his input with me. As it’s Friday, I would then like to share his thoughts with everyone. He is an expert in many things and retail marketing is one of them.
“In multi- national FMCG, Pharma etc, customers are the trade like Coles, Woolis, Target etc. Consumers are the individuals making the purchase decision. And users are the individuals consuming the product. So in your examples, a Toy might be bought in Target. Target is therefore the customer. The consumer is the purchaser (Mom, Dad, Friend, Uncle etc.) and the kid is the user. While companies use other terms, it is usually always the same 3 stage marketing process. Trade Marketing is a big and real department in FMCG. It involved category management, shelf planograms , merchandising and most importantly pricing and promotional pricing implementation. Consumer Marketing is focused on brand developing and creating demand. And in the case of kids as users, driving pester power is a key strategy. “
Great insight! Thank you so much.
Are they the same? Not really.
Online marketing focuses mostly on tactics. It’s a mix of direct marketing techniques e.g. SEO, SEM, social media advertising, etc. It’s easy to do and it’s easy to measure results. A lot of marketers do it (myself included) to drive short-term performances.
Marketing online, on the other hand, is an act of doing marketing – providing solutions to customers – in an electronic form. It starts with a good strategy – understanding the audience you serve and offering solutions to them. It’s harder. It’s time-consuming.
I get stuck in the ‘online marketing’ world now. It’s very hard to get out.
You all know the difference between customers and consumers. I thought I do too but it wouldn’t hurt to get into a little detail.
Customers are the people who purchase your product. Consumers are the end users who use or consume your product.
It seems intuitive but who you target marketing efforts to. Not all cases that customers and consumers are the same person. A classic example is toy products where customers are parents and consumers are children.
A little detail could make a lot of difference.
There is a creative designer at our company. She is amazing and I have been working with her for more than 10 years. She is super talented. Unfortunately, her skills and times are mostly used to create presentations for our executive team. I personally think it’s a huge opportunity cost. Her skills would be worth a lot of money if we could use those skills to drive marketing activities.
Design is important in marketing (every area really). The one thing I’ve never done is I never ask her (the designer) to share her input in our strategy. She would add different perspectives. A consistent design is a life-blood of how you want your brand to be remembered.
People know what a good design looks like when they see it. A good design is hard to quantify into $$ amounts. But, it does play a crucial role in our marketing efforts. Her skill shouldn’t be used to create presentations.
Do you know who Sara Blakely is? I didn’t until I came across this article – 10 Marketing Lessons From Sara Blakely. She is a founder of Spanx, Inc., an apparel company that focuses on pants and leggings. She introduced a footless pantyhose.
What are the 10 lessons we can learn from her? The article is a good read (and you should read as it takes only under 5 minutes). The key takeaways I got are the following:
- Be unique. I like that she suggests that you should be able to tell yourself in 30 seconds how you or your product differ from others.
- Failure is nothing more than just a signal to you that you are in the wrong path. Embrace it and try again.
- Plan and setup goals. I do it every week. I list what I need to achieve each week and each month.
- Think big. You may or may not achieve it but you should set a goal to achieve something bigger than yourself. Something that could change the world. Something that would help customers have a better life.
I summarise her points from 10 to 4. I think my next move would be starting up my own company. I have been working for other people for too long.
The biggest challenge in my career is how to balance between short-term and long-term to drive a sustainable performance.
The issue is to be sustainably profitable you need a group of true passionate customers who believe in your brand. To achieve this level, it requires a continuous, smart, strategic brand and ‘know your why’ investment. Many companies are always under a pressure to deliver a right-now performance. To deliver the right-now performance, we have to concentrate most if not all resources to short-term sales and marketing activities.
And, because you have to come up with new promotions all the time to sustain the short-term results, you wouldn’t have the time and the energy to invest in the longer-term future. Worse, the cost of doing business is getting more and more expensive because you have to target new customers all the time. It’s basically a death spiral. We would keep on doing it until it eventually ends.
If people at the top don’t understand this dilemma, it’s going to be hard to change.