Episode 40: Giving Search Engines what they want with Brock Murray

You’re looking at a screen that’s empty, aside from a little box that you type or talk onto. A zillionth of a second later, you see all that the internet has, relating to what you entered. 

We’re talking about search engine results pages and though they may seem to simply fetch information, there’s a whole lot that we marketers need to know in order to appear there. 

I want you to listen as he explains Snippets markup XML schema, Info boxes, web stories open Graph, Search console and other technical aspects of how search data is indexed. 

Brock Murray is a full-stack marketer who specializes most in SEO. He started coding websites for friends and family members. He started his agency around 2012 and I met him recently after that, hearing him on a panel and liking how transparent he was in giving advice. Later I ran an event and asked him to speak at it.

Zooming ahead to the present, the agency is now a 7-figure business that does ecommerce sites, local service businesses, you name it. What I like most of all is how Brock still practices what he preaches in SEO, sharing real time experimentation he’s doing in his work, and what we can all learn about web search from doing it.

Follow Brock on Twitter or find out about his agency, SEOPlus+

People, products and Concepts mentioned on the show:

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Brock created a tool that checks how well websites are optimized for search. To have your site checked, visit FreeSEOReport.ca

Episode 39: Mistakes Marketers Shouldn’t Make (and some they Should) with Jordan Danger

Mistakes so ingrained in our present-day world, we even expect them in depictions set in the future. If you watch Star Trek you’ll know that anytime they beam down on an away mission, something’s going to go wrong and usually someone wearing a red shirt won’t last until the end of the episode. 

Beyond hearing Star Trek references in this show, you’ll hear the roles that automation, documentation, realistic deadlines and self-assessments all have in determining whether mistakes happen. You’ll also hear how they can be avoided, but also why bending ourselves into pretzels trying not to make them is wrong.

My guest Jordan Danger, founder of Danger Co., a 360° marketing consulting and coaching practice. Right off the bat, you need to know that Jordan isn’t afraid to make mistakes. In fact, when you hear her last name in a moment, you’ll see how aptly it describes her fearlessness. And how she makes her opinions about marketing known. 

Jordan went to school for youth & social work, but has always had a flair for communications. Ever a believer in the power of the internet to share stories, a personal life event gave her the chance to build an audience off her blog and social media accounts. The explosive success of that project gave her the spark to enter marketing, which led her to sell her expertise to companies she met through her personal project. 

That led to working for a City Councillor and then working as an independent marketing consultant to tech firms, ranging from startups to ones going through successive investment rounds.  In addition to her consultancy, she’s an artist, writer, an Advisor at a local business accelerator, an Ottawa Forty Under 40 Recipient, a part time professor at Algonquin College and someone who’s enthusiastic about youth wellness, animals and nature. 

Products, People and Concepts mentioned in this show:

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Jordan’s advice to marketers:

  • Study outside your field. 
  • Participate in teams outside of your department 
  • Focus on psychology, economics and consumer behavior. 
  • Listen – all the time listen.
  • Follow what your audiences follow like you are Star Trek’s Spock on an away Mission, without emotion.

Episode 38: A Cooperative Approach to Content with Paul Schneider

A simple marketing model goes something like this: We have a product that solves a problem; a buyer who has that problem finds us, decides it’s a fit and a sale happens. Right? Sounds great! But it puts some big expectations on a buyer:

  • that they can feel their unmet need, their problem 
  • That there’s a well-known product category for out there and that they can find the vendors 
  • That they can predict the success they’d get from buying our product 

It’s a stretch to imagine a buyer could independently do all these. That’s what content marketing is meant for, to educate the prospects, informing them of the solution’s value and elevating us, the content’s author, in the process. Relax marketers everywhere, Content is the answer to your prayers.  Content is all you need. What’s that you say? You don’t have enough Content?  Or You don’t know how to deploy it externally to its maximum effect? 

Well, our guest has good news for you, he feels content can be found internally in our companies. And, for those who sell technology products, he’s also full of ideas on how content draw in prospects, getting them to use and come onside with our products. 

 My guest is Paul Schneider, came to using content for marketing by using content for a different purpose: training & education. Content has posed the same challenges in their field as ours, as they tried to modernize training content, letting people take it in at their own pace, no matter how distant they were from a classroom.

He got into this field by studying in education and psychology, which led him to the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign for a PhD. Illinois is practically the American epicenter of large-scale computing, which onto the internet through tools like Telnet, Eudora, the Mosaic browser. Companies built by U of Illinois alumnus include Netscape, Siebel Systems, PayPal and YouTube.  

Being at this school while all this was going on, he witnessed efforts to take learning onto the internet, built on top of browsers. He got in on the ground-floor and a decade and a half later is SVP of business development at a company that makes eLearning authoring software Dominknow.

Paul spoke to me from Colorado; he shares how his company, Dominknow Learning Systems use content to market their SaaS-based software. 

Show Notes:

Episode 37: Taking B2B beyond the Big Three: Running Paid Social on Smaller Networks with Andrea Cruz

A lot of attention is given to the largest ad platforms (Google/YouTube and Facebook proper, along with Instagram & WhatsApp) – eMarketer says this duopoly accounts for two-thirds of all digital advertising.

If you include Amazon, whose market share is somewhere in the teens and should be in the 20s soon, over 80% of all the money paid to reach buyers is spent on three platforms. Does it make sense to take our advertising beyond these big players to smaller networks, that account for only one out of every five? Our guest, Andrea Cruz, says yes. A Manager with Boston-based agency KoMarketing, she feels these lesser-known Social Networks pose a great opportunity for B2B advertisers. In this show, she will talk about three networks, and how it takes a different approach to campaign on them successfully. 

Persons, concepts and products mentioned:

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Don’t go too big, don’t go too small. Try to go for a medium-amount of data so you can learn.

Episode 36: Adapting How Marketing is Taught in Higher Ed with Jonathan Simon

Are colleges and universities keeping up with the changes in marketing? To answer this question, Prof Scott Cowley of Western Michigan University surveyed 529 US University marketing programs. Here are the results: out of all higher education institutions that teach marketing, 27% do not offer a single digital marketing course. Of those that do have digital in their curriculum, half of them offer only one digital marketing course. It seems even when schools have a digital component that they’re uncommitted to it.  Students at 9 out of 10 of these schools can graduate with a degree without taking a digital marketing course.

Prof Cowley pointed out the mismatch between schools and the outside world.  “Traditional marketers are struggling to upskill, marketing graduates have studied a syllabus that doesn’t include digital techniques, and digital professionals have inconsistent abilities due to a lack of standardized skills training”

But there’s a growing number of Profs that are bringing Off-Campus experts and their ideas into the classroom to help the next generation of marketers meet today’s needs. One of them is our guest, Jonathan Simon, who, since becoming a professor at U of Ottawa’s Telfer School of Business, has influenced how their marketing programs are taught.  He not only uses his educational background (which includes a BA and an MBA) to teach   but he also draws from time in the private sector where he worked with media companies and in the mobile technology space.

People, concepts and products mentioned:

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“If you are out in industry, keep learning. These students are hungry and they are gunning for your job”

Episode 35: A Fractional CMO’s Perspective with Ryan Paul Gibson – Talent Tradeoffs

This is part of a series on how to structure a growth team, in particular the marketing resources that generate sales leads. Every resourcing model along the in-house to outsourced spectrum was covered in the four-part series, with each guest giving their take from their respective position as an internal or external resource. Their views are here in these episodes as well as in a webinar hosted by the agency behind this podcast, Marketing What’s New. To hear the full panel’s answers on which in-house or outsourced model is right for your company, go watch the recording on the Marketing What’s New site – it’s ungated.

This episode talks with Ryan Paul Gibson, the head of RPG Marketing in Ottawa, Canada. He’s also a producer of short films and documentaries, and previously worked as a reporter for CBC Ottawa. 

Ryan’s key points:

  • How much a fractional marketer can be accountable for meeting objectives and target numbers, as long as they are involved in setting the inputs behind the programs that make those outcomes happen.
  • How technologies like SaaS tools have evolved the marketing function to being more receptive to outsourced marketers.
  • The fact that connecting/disconnecting with a consultant is relatively easy, compared to in-house staff
  • The analogy he uses to capture both parties, likening your company to a large ship and h’s the little tugboat that ensure the large ship stays on the right trajectory.
  • The stages of growth when it makes sense for a company to bring on fractional resources. Also how the CMO-level consultant can draw up the playbook, execute on some of it AND train junior staff to continue executing on it after they’re done.

A 2019 HR study found that:

  • The average tenure of full-time employees, who make up 2/3rds of the workforce, has declined from 4 years to 3. 
  • The average tenure of Outsourced contractors, who make up 1/3rd of the workforce, is 2 years and rising. 

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Other points by Ryan of the Future of Fractional Resources

Episode 34: A Founder’s Foray into Marketing with Pat Crosscombe – Talent Tradeoffs

This is part of a series on how to structure a growth team, in particular the marketing resources that generate sales leads. Every resourcing model along the in-house to outsourced spectrum was covered in the four-part series, with each guest giving their take from their respective position as an internal or external resource. Their views are here in these episodes as well as in a webinar hosted by the agency behind this podcast, Marketing What’s New. To hear the full panel’s answers on which in-house or outsourced model is right for your company, go watch the recording on the Marketing What’s New site – it’s ungated.

She has a self-proclaimed passion for livestock management (animal husbandry) especially cows. This led her to get a (Ph.D.) in Education from Cornell University and a career as a Government researcher. She took a hard turn in a different direction when she bought her first home – a condo and joined the condo board. Being a volunteer board director is a tough job, so she built a software solution that would make it easier. This caused her to found a company in 2014 that serves boards. Boardspace is a sub-10 employee company that makes SaaS software to help boards manage their work. 

People/products/concepts mentioned in this episode:

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Be ready to backfill the activities you hire a marketer to do.

Episode 33: An Agency Lead’s Perspective with Nathan Pabich – Talent Tradeoffs

This is part of a series on how to structure a growth team, in particular the marketing resources that generate sales leads. Every resourcing model along the in-house to outsourced spectrum was covered in the four-part series, with each guest giving their take from their respective position as an internal or external resource. Their views are here in these episodes as well as in a webinar hosted by the agency behind this podcast, Marketing What’s New. To hear the full panel’s answers on which in-house or outsourced model is right for your company, go watch the recording on the Marketing What’s New site – it’s ungated.

This episode’s perspective is with Nathan Pabich, a director with Chicago-based SEO and PPC marketing. agency  Digital Third Coast    

This episode covers:

  • How the outsourced staff who work at an agency are specialists, as opposed to marketing generalists that work in-house. Also hear the economic advantage of paying for agency specialists on an as-needed basis
  • The talent-hiring challenge that are faced by agencies and employers on the brand-side, and how the type of client projects an agency brings on helps them retain their staff.
  • The kind of leaders within a client’s organization that agencies hope to work with and how an honest dialogue about what is or isn’t working makes for a great agency-client relationship.
  • Limits on how much an agency can learn about your industry environment and mirror your culture
  • How far agencies are willing to go with being tied to your revenue-related metrics

People/products/concepts mentioned in this episode:

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See the  Infographic comparing SEO done In-house vs an Agency on the Digital Third Coast’s blog.

Episode 32: A Client-side Marketer’s Perspective with Jamie Walker – Talent Tradeoffs

A Client-side Marketer's Perspective With Jamie Walker - Talent Tradeoffs

This is part of a series on how to structure a growth team, in particular the marketing resources that generate sales leads. Every resourcing model along the in-house to outsourced spectrum was covered in the four-part series, with each guest giving their take from their respective position as an internal or external resource. Their views are here in these episodes as well as in a webinar hosted by the agency behind this podcast, Marketing What’s New. To hear the full panel’s answers on which in-house or outsourced model is right for your company, go watch the recording on the Marketing What’s New site – it’s ungated.

Jamie Walker has been a B2B digital marketer for the past years. She is currently the marketing manager at APX Data whose technology gives first responders crucial information about the buildings they enter when responding to a call.

Here’s what she shares in this episode: 

  • The size a company should be and the tools they should have in place before bringing on a full-time marketer 
  • How an embedded marketer observes the day-to-day interactions of sales and support people in order to piece together what problem a prospect’s dealing with and how they expect that by getting your help & becoming a customer, they’ll solve it
  • How an in-house marketer takes on your company’s culture & style of project management. How they’ll also need to know risky they can be experimenting with your marketing, as they try finding what works best.  
  • How long an in-house marketer stays around and what to do when they are promoted or they move onto another company
  • If you are a hiring manager or know someone who’s not a marketer but wants to hire in-house – this episode’s got a lot of great insights to listen to.

Episode Reboot

Don’t just look at the cost of an in-house marketer, look at how much it may cost you to NOT have an in-house marketer.

Episode 29: What’s Needed to Scale-Up Marketing with Anastasia Valentine

This talk with Anastasia Valentine is about scale, something that’s clearly baked into everything she does.  Anastasia heads up Marketing at Rhonda.ai which is owned by IMI, but she has also been a CMO at startups and mid-sized companies, a seasoned speaker, and a strong proponent of developing future leaders. Here are links to Anastasia’s personal site, her profiles on LinkedIn and on Twitter

In this episode she shares:

  • How she scaled herself up from a tech support job and looked for ways to develop herself so she would meet the requirements for larger roles. 
  • Why marketers should know non-marketing roles and how to build trust with peers across the company so that when executive buy-in is needed, the bonds are firmly in place 
  • Why it makes sense to put marketing and sales under one umbrella
  • How present-day Artificial intelligence, despite it being more A than I, has a pivotal role in marketing’s future
  • Why, when it comes to being true to their values, marketers have a higher calling to choosing where they work.

For complete Show Notes, go to: 

People, Products, and Concepts mentioned in this episode: 

Shopify and the rise of Headless Commerce

Jim Sterne

Resources on the Worldwide AI Summit site

Reboot: 

Evaluate companies you’re considering working for by these three values:

  1. Do they have a talented, inclusive team?
  2. Do they have an incredible product?
  3. Are they committed to giving back to their community?