I hugely admire people who can package things in an attractive and compelling way. Sean Ellis’ Growth Hacking is an utterly remarkable example. Buzzword demagogic aside, it does provide a sense of purpose, and aligns entire companies around a very clear obsession, Growth. And that, is simply beautiful.
Few weeks ago, a potential investor interrupted my pitch when a slide entitled “Marketing Plan” came up:
“Forget Marketing, isnotTV needs a Growth Hacker”
I decided not to argue about names at the time, but just a quick note on that
- Growth as a true north, definitely thumbs up, and chapeaux-bas to Sean Ellis for coining such powerful term. Just don’t get carried away by the cool buzzword
- If you think Marketing is not about Growing sales, leads, etc… I guess you’ve never met a Marketeer (which is surprisingly common). There is an academic universe where people talk about things like awareness, voice share, PR management, etc… But in the real world — just FYI — Marketeers do report to their boards in terms of sales and results. It might not sounds that “cool”, but that’s live.
Full disclosure, I am not a Geek, I can’t even code. I am just a Marketeer who likes numbers. But working on numbers, I did learn a couple of interesting things about Marketing
- MumboJumbo SQL Optimisation (aka Amazing failed “product”): Cutting a long story short, any Biddable Media Campaign needs a lot of data management. Frustrated, I spent long nights on my own learning SQL and Access to create my amazing tool, and become the office’s data hero… But turns out no-one likes SQL and complex algorithms controlling their bids. So, no-one ever used it
- The NoBox (aka Amazing vs. “Usable”): Few months later, the “NoBox” came up: A simplified and more transparent version that suggested bids, but left the final decision to the AMs (Account Managets). Arguably less powerful… but AMs loved it, and used it, which is not unimportant (and I was happy ;p
- Profitability Profiling (aka Package it): As “new toys” came up, we pitched a stand-alone project for Avis. Super excited, I crafted the most thorough PowerPoint ever, and Wilhelm (my boss) simply said… “It needs a name, what about Profitability Profiling?”. I was selling Numbers & Algorithms, but he knew that’s not what they would buy. And he f***ing nailed it.
This whole adventure lasted a couple of years, and hopefully helps someone crafting a tool. And – sorry to blow the trumpets… – it did give uniquedigital a couple of awards, Best use of Data (Marketing Week Magazine) and a couple of Search Awards!
Ps — Thanks to uniquedigital for being uniquedigital.
Note: My Linkedin does read “Data Intelligence AD @ uniquedigital”, but all of the above happened as evening pet projects when I was Account Manager, not the Data Intelligence guy
Below, some examples (together with the thought process) of Inbound/Content Marketing ran during my days at BaseKit. Not really a stand-alone piece, but mostly a reference for students.
The core underlying thought is that Content Marketing (and the more fine tuned Inbound Marketing) is about “creating conversation around your brand”, pulling users in your direction. Which is pretty much the opposite to “pushing your brand through to your users”
Note About BaseKit’s Target Audience: BaseKit is a DIY Website Builder for SMEs. Hence, we wanted to target SMEs that were already considering going online (we are talking about 2011). Any content we did had to revolved around that (well, we learned that along the way…)
Some examples up for discussion
- SEO Videos: At the time (we are talking about 2011), it was all about getting your business online, and drive SEO traffic. Within this context, we wanted to reach out to SMEs “reading” about these topics, so we created a series of free tutorials about SEO (that of course also mentioned BaseKit later on). It was a very early example of Free Video Content, the entire campaigns got featured across hundreds of blogs (business, SEO, marketing, startups, etc…), and it drove millions of visits to the Spanish sites of BaseKit – Besides, it was good fun ;p
See SEO Tutorials
- “What to do when Internet doesn’t work”: One of the first pieces of content we created in BaseKit. It looks nice, it got some shares, git us all excited about the reach, etc… But it failed miserably, because it was not related to our audience – Maybe one of the most important lessons > Think about your target audience first . More on this in the following examples
- “Eat, drink and breathe online”: In this example, we wanted to reach out to SMEs with content relevant to digitalization and the evolution of online. Despite less funny/shareable that the previous, it was much more successful, because it “revolved around” what Basekit did, hence reaching a much more targeted audience
- “Dinosaurios Digitales“: We conducted a report on the state of online businesses, and issued it in several chunks, all including “easy to tweet” statistics, etc.. It was (indirectly) aimed at SMEs, and expected to be published by economy publications, blogs about entrepreneurship, etc… A considerable effort getting original and solid statistics, but worked fantastically well, and helped us drive traffic (the obvious), and reinforce the credibility of our SaaS
- Presence of online companies online (Brazil): Pretty much, re-crafting the above mentioned report in a more visually appealing format. This one got us featured in O Globo (one of Brazil’s biggest newspapers)
AIMED AT DESIGNERS (different audience)
Quick Note: BaseKit was probably the best drag&drop website builder solution for graphic designers at the time. We empowered graphic designers to create full website (without having to worry about hosting, code, etc…). Somehow, we reached our end user (the SME) through designers, AND we also connected our SME clients to designers if they needed a hand with their website (it was a nice win-win)
- 10 Rights of the web designer: In this case, we spoke to several designers and design blogs to come up with a list of “Rights of the Designer”. They pretty much came up with the list, and we simply put it together in a meme-like version. The success of the campaign was not that much the content itself, but the fact that we engaged influencers from the very beginning, and gave them all the credit (of course, we were just the connection)
- Snake & Ladders: This is a pretty popular board game in Spain. It involves several “boosts” and “punishments” that make users go up a ladder, or drop down through a snake. Similarly to the above, we got together with various designers to work on the boosts and punishments (e.g. “The client signs a brief” is a boost)). At the end, we sent several boxes with the game printed, dices, etc…
- 11 Mandamientos del Diseño Web: Similar to the 10 Rights of the web designer, but finally with a bit more resources, so we could even makes videos ;p The Video-Thumbnail (which reads Age, Sex, Interests in Spanish) was sneakily chosen to grab the eye ;p
- 5 Things every designer should know (Brazil): Similar to the above, reaching out to designers with relevant content. Very important to highlight that we were not selling BaseKit directly, we tried to create a conversation around it (which sometimes is difficult to explain to a board, btw)
- Designing above the fold: Maybe a pretty obvious concept now, but back in 2011, it got some attention – Same logic as previously. Interestingly, this covered both designers and SMEs
- Some other examples that also worked quite well: I was not very hands on with Content at this stage, and all the ideas, content, distribution, etc… was completely on the hands of the BaseKit team – all credit to them
Una intro a SEO, pese a ser de 2011, los principios son aún básicos. Y de paso… un ejemplo de Inbound Marketing*
¿Por qué es un ejemplo de Inbound Marketing?
- BaseKit es una herramienta para crear páginas web.
- SEO es un tema relevante para nuestra audiencia objetivo (pymes que quieren tener una presencia online), pero
- No “vendemos” Basekit, hablamos de un tema relevante para pymes, con Basekit como transfondo.
- ¿Si fueses una pyme pensando en SEO y ves estos vídeos, usarías Basekit? Et voilá la clave ;p
Para otros ejemplos, echa un vistazo a Content Marketing
After all, both in SEO and in Agriculture, what used to work in the early days, is useless today
I can only guess that those who claim SEO is dead still Keyword Stuffing for SEO. Which is pretty much the same as plowing the earth with animals. Quick note to them
- Don’t confuse the End with the Means: SEO is about optimising everything you do, in a way that potential clients find you.
- If you think SEO is about cheating Google with old useless tricks. Sorry, you are dead, not SEO.
- Stop throwing “attention grabbing headlines” and announcing the dead of everything, find something useful to write about.