I usually love training people on digital best practices, but I’ve often felt that I’ve met my match when trying to convince sometimes-recalcitrant print editors to embrace SEO. Fortunately, Google’s Hummingbird just made my life easier.
Experienced editors often resist SEO because they misunderstand it and feel threatened by it. They think that “marketers” — a four-letter word to many editorial types — have no right to be telling them what to do. They are used to having their judgment respected and not compared to metrics (not that they actually believe the numbers anyway). They also tend to think that the kind of straightforward language that plays best in page titles and online headlines is uncreative or even dumb. Yes, the word “dumb” has been used on me.
I learned my lesson quickly. Read More →
When I was 25, I was working in marketing at American Heritage magazine, then a division of Forbes. I loved my job. I got to walk through the Forbes Galleries as I came into work each morning. I loved the in-house gym and the occasional trips on the Forbes yacht, the Highlander … but I digress.
But as much as I enjoyed those things, the real reason I loved my job was because it was both creative and analytical. I thought I was on track to be a magazine marketing guru, with a fancy title at a prestigious publication that reflected a personal passion. Life, however, had other plans. Read More →
If you Google “literacy foundation,” you’ll find over 26 million results. All of those on the first page are dedicated to actual efforts to promote literacy.
If, however, you Google “numeracy foundation,” there are barely 3.5 million results. The first page is filled with curriculum-based results, rather than organized charitable efforts to help people actually understand math. Thinking that perhaps few people use the word “numeracy,” I checked “math literacy.” This gave me a healthy 28 million results. I had hope — briefly — until I noticed that not one single result on the first page was an organized effort to promote such.
I mention this because I am afraid innumeracy is going to bring us down. Read More →
I’d like to take a moment today to step away from my role as pusher-of-the-envelope to talk about something a little outside my normal wheelhouse: branding.
Earlier this morning, I was reviewing the submitted questions for an upcoming panel I’ll be a part of. One of the questions was about metrics and campaign measurement. While there’s no doubt that following the numbers is one of my favorite pastimes, I found my answer had a big “BUT” hanging at the end. Metrics are certainly wonderful, BUT even though you can measure the click-through rate, time spent, the social share rate, and pretty much anything else you are interested in, there is still something about human nature that requires some regular exposure to the thing before there’s a comfort level and commensurate response. (Yes, there are exceptions. There always are.) Read More →
“Perfection is attained, not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.”
-Antoine de St. Exupery
As a product manager, my job is as much about deciding what features don’t make it into a product as it about what features do. Sometimes it’s more about what not to put in, or — dare I say it aloud — what to take out. Stakeholders will bristle when their pet feature is headed for the chopping block, but product managers have to press on, because the simplest and most elegant solutions are often the most powerful. The same goes for your career.
Example: At a previous website (unnamed to protect the well-intentioned), everyone had an opinion as to what the content engagement efforts should look like: Most Popular. Most Recent. Most Commented. Most Shared. More Like This. Your Cat Would Like This. I inherited an article page that had seven of these modules crammed into a pretty tight circle around the main edit well (this was in the days when “above the fold” ruled, but that’s another post altogether). It was too much, too cluttered, and too unclear what we were asking the user to do next. Instead of driving more engagement, it drove — wait for it — a 60%+ bounce rate.
You, too, are a product manager. It may not be your actual job title, but you are the architect and manager of your career. And the last thing you want is a 60% bounce rate on your professional endeavors. Here are three rules of product management that can help you remove the noise from your career narrative and engage the user in a smart, effective way. Read More →
“We should give the user more of what they obviously want.”
It seemed like such a good idea at the time, didn’t it? Reading about holiday entertaining? Then you must want to see more recipes and decorating ideas. Checking out career success tips? We’ll give you a ton of career success tips.
Here at Budget Travel, I have yet to talk to a single partner or advertiser who doesn’t want to target users based on what they’re already looking at. Selling deals? Put a deal to Paris on a page about — wait for it — Paris! All of this makes sense…up to a point.
Read More →
Back in the day (I’m talking 2002-ish), our sales team was keen on promoting a “home page takeover” or other home-page-based advertising executions to really give clients that WOW factor. After all, everyone comes to the home page!
Today (10 years later, if you can believe it), I still hear salespeople get all worked up about pitching a home page takeover. But no one goes there any more. Read More →
The other day I took part in a hysterical exchange on Facebook: After watching AMC’s The Pitch (think Mad Men meets reality TV), my friend Deb Gabor, who heads up Austin-based consulting shop Sol Marketing Concepts, posted that she couldn’t stand hearing the contestants talk about “about mind spaces, brand platforms, value propositions, empowering consumers and other sundry bullsh*t.” She followed that with a comment along the lines of, “I’m afraid I sound like this at work – please help me.” Of course I jumped in with a snappy and equally buzzword-laden response, as did a few other folks. We cracked ourselves up. (I know, I need to get out more.) Read More →
You’ve heard of HiPPOs, right? They’re the Highest Paid Person’s Opinions, and there’s someone with them in every group.
Whether they come straight from the actual Highest Paid Person’s mouth, or just someone who sucks up to her, or the guy who’s super-charismatic and persuasive, there’s always someone who has the last word. “I think it should be like this,” they intone. And so it shall be done. Read More →
I was at a product manager’s gathering a while ago, and the topic of video came up. Someone threw out the idea of taking short-form video — say, 90-second clips, the kinds of video you watch on mobile phones and laptops — and having it available on internet TV, which one would navigate using a standard remote control. “There’s nothing wrong with that,” the manager said. Well, yeah, there’s actually a lot wrong with that. Read More →