The New Hotshot Has No Clothes

You’re a young, ambitious, and motivated marketer. You’ve read all the industry-leading books, and know all there is to know about brands.

You’ve worked for companies dealing with consumer goods or services, such as a retail brand. Then you get hired by an industrial company, looking to increase their sales through a greater emphasis on brand marketing. Great opportunity for you, right? Here is a stale, old, antiquated business who just doesn’t get how things work in these new days. They don’t even have a website, the president has never heard of Twitter, and you’re going to blow them away with all your slick and hip knowledge.

It’s time to rebrand this stodgy company, and make them attractive to the new era. We’re talking new sexy logo, websites, slick taglines, business cards, and the whole works. All the expenses are approved, because the president went to some seminar about business development and heard all the same buzzwords. You’re on cloud 9, and so are the designers and agencies you will be hiring to complete the work. The problem with being on a cloud though, it will dissipate.

Not to be expressing doom and gloom, maybe this kid will get lucky, the business will experience a boost in sales, and everyone can feel good about the events. But the most likely outcome of all this is seen somewhere in a business every day. The young hot-shot has a lot of ideas, but isn’t really dressed for this situation. It’s the understanding of a brand which is the problem. So many people have had a job in marketing, heard all the buzzwords, been to the seminars, and read the books, now believe they get what branding is about. But when someone’s idea of branding begins with “new logo” and “let’s put up a website,” nearly all businesses will suffer from what’s about to happen.

I used the example of an old industrial business, as this is an extreme case of a company most people don’t understand. We’re all consumers, and it’s easy for us to understand the retail process. Industrial sales are a different beast. Sure, the company doesn’t know what Twitter is, but if none of their customers know what it is either, then it doesn’t matter.

Most companies in specialized markets suffer from two distinct types of business failure. They either refuse to listen to a marketer from outside their industry, or they listen to the wrong marketer who doesn’t respect how different the market is. Staying inside your industry is usually going to keep you stale and eventually forgotten. But just because someone has a shiny website and radical ideas doesn’t make them a brand marketer.

No matter what business you are in, you need brand marketing and you need to be constantly growing, changing, and developing new ideas. The key to a brand marketer is they are going to ask a lot of questions, and need time to get to know your business. Shiny ideas are great, but they’re only good if they’re built around the product and the company goals. So be risky, take chances, but make sure the product comes first.

Humor Can Build A Community, But Can It Build A Tribe?

Yesterday I re-read Seth Godin’s book Tribes (We Need You to Lead Us) for my business book club I’m part of. On the way home I wrote this post using my netbook tethered to my phone. Technology is such an amazingly glorious thing is it not?

While reading Tribes I couldn’t help but take what has taken hold in pop culture and put them under the Tribeoscope. People are doing unique, interesting, and often funny things that are amassing a huge following, but are they amassing a Tribe? Take Shit My Dad Says.

Over 2,250,000 Twitter followers (including me), listed over 53,000 times and categorized as humor by the majority. Over 1,282,000 Facebook fans who comment and share everything new 10′s of thousands of times. Follow that with a successful book and a television series starring the one and only William Shatner. By most standards Justin Halpern is a success, but does he have a Tribe?

Personally, I don’t think that he does. To be a Tribal leader by Seth’s standards he would have to be a heretic. Fueled by the faith that what he’s doing is right and raging against the established religion of comedy. That he somehow has challenged the status quo and come out the hero. This has not happened.

Old people saying off beat things have been funny for a long time (hip-hop granny, or any elderly character in a Parker / Stone production for example), so that isn’t new or revolutionary. Yet it’s the greatest recent example I could think of where someone was using humor to build a community. Successful community? Yes. Successful Tribe? No.

There isn’t a rallying cry to build something better, there isn’t a give and take to make a better product, there isn’t anything going on but an audience just waiting to hear the shit Justin’s dad says next. There is no unifying purpose or goal that is driving the actions of everyone connected.

All through Seth Godin’s book he uses tons of revolutionary examples in industries big and small and yet not a single one was humor based. I’m sure they all had a good time and they had some laughs along the way (you have to enjoy your work to be passionate. about it.), but there were no entertainment examples. Funny or Die is about the closest thing I could think of to an entertainment based tribe.

However, I still see Funny or Die as more of a community and less of a tribe. Per Seth a Tribe has a goal, a focus, and is fueled by the faith in what they’re doing. Could Funny Or Die be a tribe that is dedicated t the vision of high quality, free comedy? Maybe, but with the way Seth lays out a tribe in his book the purpose has to be a bit more revolutionary than something that’s just YouTube with a theme. But then, maybe I’m wrong.

What I want to see is are examples where entertainment / humor is the product AND where humor / entertainment was used to gather and lead the tribe to achieve something it wouldn’t have without it. Why you ask? Well simply because Seth didn’t do it in his book that’s why.

What do you think? Do you feel like Justin is leading a tribe and not just amassing a community or do you have examples of your own that would fit?

Researching SEO Services To Understand Your Competitors Strategy

A nice search engine optimization illustration with a laptop and magnifying glass looking at your website in the rank 1 position.

When you are trying to come up with a search engine optimization strategy.

It can sometimes be daunting thinking of all the different options you have available to you. Firstly, you can do it by yourself or you can hire an SEO services firm. Secondly, how do you choose between doing keyword bidding, writing articles, linking etc. Or do you do them all? Well, it can be very easy to get ahead of yourself when it comes to formulating an Internet marketing strategy. When it comes down to it, you cannot miss a very important step ? researching and understanding your competitors. Obviously, as a business person, you have probably thought about the importance of competitor analysis, but do not underestimate the importance when it comes to search engine optimization. Before we go deeper, make sure you check out this Univia review for more information.
As time goes on, it is becoming much harderSEO Services to trick? the search engines by using shady techniques. Back in the day, you didn?t have to be an SEO services genius to be able to manipulate the system and trick Google into giving you a higher ranking. However, those days are long gone. Techniques like content farms and keyword spamming were everywhere and you could use them to get a good ranking, but not anymore. The top search engines are a lot more intelligent and they actually have implemented approved methods for search engine optimization tactics. You would be wise to follow these or you may not be ranked highly!

Obviously the internet supplies some of the most highly competitive industries in the world, so how can you survive against all of these big companies and websites that have been around forever? Two words: Competitor research. You should be looking at the websites of each of your major competitors and analyzing what they are doing for search engine optimization. What kind of keywords are they using? Do they have a big presence on social media? Are they commenting on blogs and forums? What is their linking strategy? Once you are able to answer the main questions about your competitors, you will be able to adapt their strategies to yours and see what would work better for you.

You need to stay ahead of the game in this industry, and staying on top of your competitors is the best way to do this. You cannot expect to beat your competitors if you do not know what is working for them and what is not working for them. They have likely been in the industry longer than you so you can rely on their experiences. Considering hiring a SEO Services Company to get you started in the competition research.