SEM Trends from SMX East

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Last week, I covered the Search Marketing Expo in New York City. Search Marketing Expo has is a great event for SEO, SEM, and Digital Marketing professionals. SMX provides attendees with an opportunity to learn actionable techniques in conference sessions and training workshops. Google and Microsoft provided seminars on various SEM topics.

Here is a video of the event.

 

I enjoyed Moz founder Rand Fishkin’s keynote.

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The key insights of the presentation were:

  1. Organic traffic has reached its peak and will decline.
  2. To keep traffic coming to their sites, Marketers will need to find ways to nudge consumers as Zero click queries continue to grow.
  3. Organizations need to shift their investments in product, content, and brand. Decisions on how to redeploy these resources need to be a company-wide effort.
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Here is the link to the presentation.

Google in 2020: From Everyone’s Search Engine to Everyone’s Competitor | SparkToro
I’ve written a lot this year about the shifts we’re seeing from Google — moving from search engine to answer to engine…sparktoro.com

At the end of the keynote, I met Rand and received a signed copy of his new book entitled Lost and Found.

In Google’s Keynote, I learned how businesses can get an edge during the holidays. I also learned of Google’s plan to use Google Images and YouTube for eCommerce. Google is also allowing businesses to use location-based Ads in Google Maps.

The key insights of the presentation were:

1. According to Google most shopping visits start online.

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2.When diners search for a great place to eat the searches are probably happening on a smartphone.

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3.  When people are online in cars, more than half of them are searching for information on a mobile device making localization and targeting important.

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4. . 2/3 of shoppers say that online video has given them insight and inspiration to make purchases.

5. Shoppers use at least 3 channels or more when shopping.

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6. Brands need to provide an omnichannel channel experience all year, especially during the holidays.

7.  Sales are happening online and offline. As a result of this shift, Brands need to serve customers on the channels of their choice.

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I want to thank the Search Engine Marketing Expo for having me as their guest. It was a great event.

Start-Ups, Networking & Innovation Intersect at Propelify 2019

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I covered Propelify in Hoboken, New Jersey.

Propelify is an event where people from across the Northeast can turn ideas into action.

Officials from the New Jersey State government attended. They offered entrepreneurs resources to start and/or scale their business in New Jersey.

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New Jersey Tech Council CEO Aaron Price and New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy delivered the opening keynote. In their keynote, Aaron and Governor Murphy discussed Propelify’s mission and why businesses should consider New Jersey.

There were additional talks on topics from Cannabis, Customer Experience, Marketing, Sales, Recruiting and Entrepreneurship.

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Cannabis: From New Brand To IPO In A Prohibition Market panel.

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Rebecca Price moderates a panel on The Science Behind Smart Recruiting and Seeing Thru the Resume.

Entrepreneurs networked with investors. There was also a Startup competition.

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Exhibitors represented diverse entities ranging from Government, Advertising, Financial Services, CPG, HRTech, Universities, Incubators, Accelerators, IT, Healthcare and E-commerce brands.

Propelify was a great event.

I want to thank Aaron Price and the New Jersey Tech Council for having me as their guest.

Key Insights from Digital Agency Expo

I covered the Digital Agency Expo in New York. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this event, Digital Agency Expo is a conference focused on how to build, grow and scale a Digital Agency in 2019.

Ryan Deiss, the co-founder, and CEO of Digital Marketer opened up Digital Agency Expo.image

In his opening talk how to recession-proof a Digital Agency. Ryan identified 3 Key skills that agency owners and marketers need to master for success.

  1. Master the skill of Copywritingimage
  2. Master Email Marketingimageimage
  3. Be able to create Partnershipsimage

    Ryan challenged the concept of a Full-Service Agency. He also argued against the notion that a bigger Agency is more profitable and can consistently produce high-quality results.

    Ryan also recommended books to read along with a model for a successful agency.

    It was an insightful talk.

    Another great talk was delivered by Keap CEO Clate Mask. He outlined the five Stages of Agency growth. Clay also shared how he struggled to get his business off the ground. He kept going despite being told to get a job. His advice for when things get tough:

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Evan Radisic of Proposify shares the State of Proposal research. Proposify examined 1.6 million proposals creating a blueprint of a winning proposal.imageimageimage

One of my favorite talks was the Keynote by Gary Vaynerchuck. Gary shared how to create, grow and scale a digital agency. He shared how he built multiple businesses on a shoestring budget despite his humble beginnings. Gary also took questions from the audience. I have included a portion of the talk here.

Additional resources for Agency Owners include:

The Digital Marketer Certified Partner Program and War Room.

I want to thank Digital Agency Expo for having me as their guest.

There were so many great speakers at the event. I will post supplemental pictures on Facebook and Instagram.

Additional resources for Agency Owners include:

The Digital Marketer Certified Partner Program and War Room.imageimage

How Voice Tech is Innovating Marketing & The Customer Experience

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I covered Voice Summit last week at NJIT in Newark, New Jersey. Voice Summit is the largest voice tech conference that brings the conversational design ecosystem together in one place.

Last year was the first Voice Summit. It was amazing to see how the industry has advanced in the past year. This year, the conference grew to over 5,000 attendees!

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Voice Summit was a great place to network. Many Voice Startups demoed their offerings as well.

Founder Pete Erikson shares the story of Voice in the opening press conference. Pete shared the podium with Voice industry leaders and Newark Civic Leadership.

The conversation in Voice has shifted from should brands have a Voice Strategy to how to effectively incorporate voice technology across the organization. Attendees had opportunities to attend hands-on voice workshops on topics ranging from creating brand guidelines to building a voice strategy from the ground up. I took the Voice strategy workshop conducted by Brett Kinsella of VoiceBot.Ai. We received a workbook that had questions that served as building blocks to build our voice strategy.

I had was able to get a look at the Expo Floor where I was able to meet exhibitors and explore the Amazon Smart Home. It was amazing to see how voice technology has transformed the home experience. In this video, I was able to ask Alexa to play Who Wants to Be a Millionaire and to play music, etc.

Marketers have many opportunities with Voice and Audio Content according to Voices.com research. Content takes the form of short and long-form ranging from Flash Briefings up to Audiobooks.

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However, when it comes to smart speakers only, 18% of users discover skills from brand advertising according to Vixen Labs.

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Brands need to prepare to change their Marketing and Advertising for Voice. A panel shared their thoughts on how to improve how to achieve this aim.

Edison Research and NPR conducted market research on the topic of smart speaker customer behavior. The number of smart speakers in U.S. homes grew 78% from December of 2017 to December. The research packed with data you can see here.

Brett Kinsella led a panel where Marketers shared how they have developed and implemented their strategy for Voice.

Steve Keller of Pandora shared his thoughts on the topic of Sonic Branding and Sound Business.

On a side note, NJIT was nice enough to provide me with a tour of the start-up incubator and co-working space opening this September. I was able to see areas being built from the ground up just as startups are.

I also was able to see the Alexa Cup which is Amazon’s initiative to pair Marketers and developers to work on projects such as Female Empowerment and Mental Health.

What touched me on a human level was the closing keynote entitled “A journey through a deaf developer’s eyes.” In this keynote, Thomas Chappell of Prudential shared his story. Thomas is unable to speak.

After his talk, I was able to meet him. People communicate with him using Voice to speech technology and American Sign language. I was able to use the technology on a smartphone to have a full conversation with him.

Voice Summit was an amazing conference. I want to thank Pete Erikson, the Modev Team, NJIT, the City of Newark, and the State of New Jersey for having me as their guest.

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Seth Godin’s This is Marketing: What it Means for Brands

Seth Godin’s new book This is Marketing sums up the lessons of his previous books.

In the past Marketing was Advertising. Many Brands and businesses used to buy ads to interrupt prospects in the hope that people would buy. However, with so many media channels, the advertising of yesterday has lost its effect.

What this means for Marketers is that they need to build trust, engagement, community and earn permission to contact prospects and customers. With the ever-increasing privacy legislation such as GDPR, Marketers will pay a high price for SPAM.

Also, today there are many micro-markets of products and services as opposed to one mass-market. Frequency has surpassed reach in terms of effectiveness. Marketers need to tell a compelling story that resonates with the people they seek to serve.

Marketers need to improve their knowledge of customers to enhance the customer experience and engagement. Brands need to have conversations with customers as opposed to talking at them.

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Ideas that jumped out at me while reading and listening to the book

Seth dissects Marketing, showing the reader that today’s successful marketer is generous and gives value to the customer as opposed to stealing their attention.

Chapter 19, the chapter on funnels is very interesting because it shows how to look at the funnel in a new way.

Seth explains how to shorten the sales cycle by making it easier for prospects to engage and purchase a product.

He demonstrates how to do funnel math to see if and when marketers should advertise using paid ads along with how to know if ads will pay for themselves.

In this chapter, Seth shows how marketers should focus on serving micro-markets as opposed to the mass market.

This idea is illustrated in Jeff Moore’s book Crossing the Chasm. Seth takes this concept, and explains how to move a product from micro-markets to the mass market but surprises the reader by demonstrating that marketers can be successful by catering to a micro-market.

Seth illustrates this in the long tail concept where he shows that hits are exceptions to the rule. Instead he shows that selling a lot of different products to different people is the way that most marketers will find success today and in the future.

What is next in Marketing? Comment and share.

Bonus Content

I have had the pleasure of meeting Seth on two occasions. Here are videos and pictures of the talks.

Key Insights from the World Business Forum

8 Takeaways from Advertising Week 2018

What Brand Safety Means for Brands, Advertisers & Agencies

2018 continues to be the year of Brand Safety for Brands, Advertisers and Agencies as the industry status quo was disrupted in 2017.

Many advertisers pulled or suspended their ad campaigns from YouTube and Google’s display network because the company put brands at risk by serving up inappropriate ads that conflicted with the value of advertisers.

Google has taken steps to address the issue and updated the YouTube Partnership Program in efforts to reduce the chance of ads being served up against inappropriate content. This is a great first step but where does the industry go from here?

For the industry to be successful, it is important that Brands feel that their Brand Safety will be protected. Brands need to deliver a consistent message to customers and prospects. When advertisers are showing messages that conflict with Brand values; consumer trust erodes. This can destroy a Brand.

Ultimately, a Brand is responsible for its safety.

· According to independent sources 70% of programmatic money in the UK is being used for various agency commissions leaving media platforms with 30%

· Brands are not sure how their media money is being used

However, for the industry to function successfully, Brands, Advertisers and Agencies need to collaborate; taking ownership of their respective role in the ecosystem. This collaboration, can take the form of: allowing Third party monitors from data science firms to examine data i.e. audit ad inventory, conduct site analysis, pre-bid targeting, keyword exclusion against Brand Guidelines and Standards.

How will these changes affect the digital landscape?

As Brands, Advertisers, and agencies collaborate more closely, allowing third parties to audit their work; campaign development and execution will take longer. More content moderators will be need to implement these changes. Google has announced that it will hire 10,000 Content Moderators this year to honor its commitment to Brand Safety. The fee structure of Advertising will need to be changed. Either the cost of advertising will increase or margins of Advertisers and Agencies will need to be cut.

Agencies will need to support the industry to overcome the issue of Brand Safety by: offering the above services to clients, providing clients with points of contact with partners that support client work, holding discussions/events on Brand Safety and offering guides on the topic.

Brands and Agencies, how do you address the issue of Brand Safety? Comment and share.

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