This is the fourth episode in our Summer Books series.
Anyone who’s joined a Twitter chat or attended a conference session about it knows that discussing PPC stirs up strong opinions. The criticisms around Google, with its near-monopoly, grow louder and louder. Whether it’s making their auction more competitive, their campaigns more automated, or their data reporting more opaque, it seems that everyday there’s something Google does to tick off its users.
It is against this backdrop that Kirk published “Ponderings of a PPC Professional” in 2020. For the last decade, Kirk’s agency, ZATO marketing, has specialized in Google Shopping Ads. His moral compass clearly points towards what’s best for the advertisers that are his clients. Kirk is not afraid to tackle these things head-on. In some areas, the book offers a philosophical slant, keeping it fresh for whatever a PPC marketer in the future might be grappling with.
Our book is “Marketing Automation Unleashed” by Casey Cheshire. From 2011 to 2021, Casey was the Founder of Cheshire Impact a From Nashua, New Hampshire-based consultancy focused on Pardot. He is the host of the Hard Corps Marketing Show which has just blown past its 250th episode. You’ll also find him sharing his views on marketing automation at industry events including Dreamforce.
Prior to Cheshire impact, Casey served in the U.S. Marine Corps and he maintains that physical stamina as a skydiver, mountaineer, triathlete.
He released the book in 2019 and I have not only read it but gifted it to others.
People/Products/Concepts Mentioned in Show
Four Functions of any marketing automation tool, rolls up to acronym CNAR:
Cheshire Success Index (CSI) – a 10 point marketing automation assessment
Our guest is an authority on analytics, digital marketing, and marketing technology. A recognized thought leader, best-selling author, and keynote speaker. He has been named by IBM as a Champion in IBM Analytics.
Chris is a cofounder and Chief Data Scientist of Trust Insights, a Boston -based digital analytics firm. He is co-host of the Marketing Over Coffee podcast. He has also run the marketing for a series of startups in the financial services, SaaS software, and public relations industries.
People, products and concepts mentioned in the episode:
Businesses know that for their marketing to have a significant impact on revenue, they have to put some effort into it. Many are confused by where effort is most needed and how to measure it all. Rich Brooks gets this and his hope in writing the Lead Machine was to break this whole marketing puzzle down into its constituent pieces.
Rich Brooks is founder and president of flyte new media, a digital agency in Portland, Maine. He founded The Agents of Change a weekly podcast that is about to cross the 400-episode mark. He is a nationally recognized speaker on using digital channels like search, social media and mobile for marketing to your audience. Rich also hosts the Agents of Change conference which takes place in Portland, Maine.
This episode begins with websites, which Rich sees as the cornerstone of your marketing assets. We then skip through the chapters he devotes to SEO, paid traffic, Social Media, Email, Podcasts and Video. We also explore how to contextualize this investment, so we have a yardstick to judge whether we aren’t spending enough or we are spending too much on marketing.
People, products, concepts mentioned in this episode:
A Marketing generalist is known for having abilities in diverse fields, but what exact combination of abilities does it take? And when should a marketer try to go deep in one skill area instead of going broad.
One problem is that you can’t judge whether your skills are commonplace or exceptional, it always depends on who’s around you and how many of them can do what you do. After all, everyone is an expert to someone else
I’m lucky enough to have known Robert Decher for the better part of a decade. Listen to the show where he explains how:
Good Careers don’t always go in straight lines, but broad abilities acquired along the way are augmented by one skill that goes deep, together forming the shape of a T. Hence the name T-shaped career.
In this episode I talk with Amanda Relyea-Voss (who also likes to be called Mandi), owner of a 5 person social media marketing agency, Like a Voss, that serves B2C and B2B companies. Listen for the ways Mandi has used social media to interact with prospects and how this has propelled them to buy from her customers.
Last time Amanda was on the podcast, we covered LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram. Since then, there have been many changes to these platforms – Stories; a way for users to watch a short, possibly edited, video of anything they wish to upload. We have also seen new platforms which have become popular in just a short amount of time such as TikTok and Clubhouse. In this podcast, we talk about these platforms and see if they can add value to companies who need help with their social media marketing.
A lot of changes have happened with Data Privacy lately, as people have grown more aware of information that companies have on them. Cookies were introduced to allow sites to improve the visitor experience. But their usage has mushroomed so much, we now need pop-ups on sites just to say how many cookies are being used.
With privacy regulations passed and more looming, big tech players like Apple and Google are pre-emptively changing data tracking. Google’s taking away the individual targeting on which they have sold ads for the last 20 years.
There will be more episodes on this topic, because it is changing and we won’t know how it fully impacts marketers for another year or two. But for now, let’s explore all that’s happened and look at tactical alternatives we as site owners and marketers can take to react to this.
Ensure your site complies with opt-in provisions and limited data collection policies.
Collect first-party data on your leads/buyers, including which advertisements they saw. Form inferences on which ads your entire potential-buyer population should see, based on this statistical sample.
Encourage visitors to provide their email early, so you can track them as they go from visitor to lead to customer. You will be better prepared when Google Ads switches to selling cohorts of users based on interest.
Until recently, contacting prospects and customers was difficult and came with enterprise-sized price tags. Only 25 years ago, the CRM landscape was dominated by PeopleSoft, Oracle and Siebel. To send out mass emails, products like Yesmail, UnityMail, ExactTarget and FloNetwork used to be the only games in town. But around the year 2000 the cloud-based CRM Salesforce entered as well as entry-level email tools like MailChimp. Then followed by a newer breed of tools that sent emails and bolted onto a website, letting you trace when email recipients revisited your site. This marked the start of Marketing Automation platforms, which has the power of old enterprise systems at a much lower price point, and they talk to CRMs. Around 2010, Steve Shock got so intrigued with Marketing Automation’s potential, he decided to act as a consultant to show companies how to take advantage of the tools.
Steve specializes in revenue generation engines for SMB’s in B2B. As head of Shock & Co, he works independently or part of a larger team. He also works with the non-profit organization, Invest Ottawa, as an advisor to companies who are trying to scale.
Listen in the episode where Steve talks about how to set up marketing automation campaign’s so they will keep in touch with buyers throughout their journey. I love that he avoids jargon when describing the technical parts of this, and he has actionable tips for both prospect and customer communication.
In fall 2020, Google released version 4 of their Google Analytics tool (here is the official announcement of GA4). Despite its description as a new version, this is actually a brand new product. In fact, it’s part of Google’s switch to a whole new technology stack, and the ripples of their move extend to the remotest corners of a marketer’s world.
What do you need to know about GA4? For one, it has a different interface from the existing “Universal” version of GA. It doesn’t have some features and functions that you assume are in GA. At the same time, there are things that GA4 has that you haven’t been able to get before without paying for GA Premium.
My guide for this tour of GA4 is Jim Cain, who founded the analytics consultancy Napkyn in 2009, one of only a few Premier Google Marketing Platform Solution Partners. If you want to know what to do about GA4, Jim will tell you how Napkyn is dealing with it in their client work.
People, products and Concepts mentioned on the show:
How Google Analytics 4 is part of Google Cloud, a platform for integrating GA data with a companies’ internal systems.
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.