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August 20, 2019

How Worried Are You About Google Next Year? (Thinks Out Loud Episode 255)

August 20, 2019 | By | No Comments

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How Worried Are You About Google Next Year? (Thinks Out Loud Episode 255) – Headlines and Show Notes

Google’s making more noise about ways to stick it to brands and businesses, potentially charging for (currently free) features in Google My Business. Even if your company doesn’t depend on these specific features for your business, it’s part of a larger pattern that demonstrates again how “gatekeepers gonna gate.” And, as we’ve talked about before, that’s a troubling trend. If you’re not worried about Google next year, it begs the question, should you be?

Since we’re begging the question, the latest episode of Thinks Out Loud comes out and asks, how worried are you about Google next year? And whether you’re worried or not, what should you do about it?

Want to learn more? Here are the show notes for you:

Relevant Links:

Subscribe to Thinks Out Loud

Contact information for the podcast: podcast@timpeter.com

Past Insights from Tim Peter Thinks

You might also want to check out these slides I had the pleasure of presenting recently about the key trends shaping marketing in the next year. Here are the slides for your reference:

Technical Details for Thinks Out Loud

Recorded using a Neumann TLM 102 Cardoid Condenser microphone and a Focusrite Scarlett 4i4 (3rd Gen) USB audio interface into Logic Pro X for the Mac.

Running time: 18m 44s

You can subscribe to Thinks Out Loud in iTunes, the Google Play Store, via our dedicated podcast RSS feed )(or sign up for our free newsletter). You can also download/listen to the podcast here on Thinks using the player at the top of this page.

Notes

  • Should we be paying for Google My Business features?
  • Over half of Google searches result in no clicks
    • as Fishkin points out, a US congressional panel recently asked Google if it was true that less than 50 percent of searches lead to non-Google websites. It was a simple Yes-No question, but the Big G eschewed giving a direct response. Instead, it took a dig at the authenticity of the data cited – without denying it.
  • Should you be scared? Well, it’s a complicated question:
    • Some folks could argue, based on the failure of Google+, the coming shutdown of Google Hangouts, Google Glass, Google KNol, etc. that the company doesn’t know what they’re doing
    • For one thing, Google kills products.
    • For another, it often incorporates features of those products into new products or directly into search.
      • Look at Google Trips and how those features are re-appearing in Google Maps and how several Inbox by Gmail features have made their way directly into Gmail
      • Google Showtimes was a movie search; those features now just appear in Google search given the right search query. For example, “movies playing near me” or the title of a given movie.

Gatekeepers gonna gate.

  • I’m troubled by Google’s access to data
  • They get smarter all the time
  • I’ve been asking whether we should trust data since at least 2014 and hinted at it much earlier than that.
  • Where do you think they learn what people want?
    • Oh, right, folks tell them every day both in use and in queries
    • They’ve got a huge advantage
    • And you could definitely argue they use it unfairly
  • AI won’t take your job. Smart people who use AI will
  • I’m not counting on Congress even with all the recent rumblings.
    • I said Congress would likely do something about this…in 2011. Heh.
    • I’m pretty good at understanding tech trends; I clearly don’t know enough about politics. 🙂
Tim Peter

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August 14, 2019

Quick “Verizon Sells Tumblr to WordPress” Follow-up

August 14, 2019 | By | No Comments

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I don’t have much to add to yesterday’s podcast that looked at why marketers should be happy about Verizon selling Tumblr to WordPress (well, technically, Automattic). But Automattic CEO Matt Mullenweg gave an interview to The Verge where he talked, among other things, about the openness on the web. This was the key quote from my perspective:

We have peaks and troughs of openness on the web. I think we are exiting a trough. If you think 2016 was the peak of the closed social networks and proprietary software, we are seeing incredible growth of open source, of distributed systems, whether that’s in information, whether that’s in blogging, with money, with crypto and everything related to that. These are powerful revolutions that are going to play out over the next 15 to 20 years, but it’s only going to go up from here. [Emphasis added]

That significantly underscores the point of yesterday’s podcast about how creators and marketers still have tremendous direct access to their audience. Yes, Google and Facebook and others remain as gatekeepers. And, yes, they continue to look for ways to extend their dominance.

But it’s also true that you have the ability to get your voice out there, to be found, to be heard, to be shared. Continue to follow the “Hub and Spoke” model for your business’s content (or your idea’s or your movement’s), with your website as the hub where all your content lives and you’ll continue to grow. This move by Verizon to sell Tumblr to Automattic is an incredibly positive sign that the gatekeepers are losing their grip. Let’s hope we see more of that in the months and years ahead.

Past Insights from Tim Peter Thinks

If you’re looking to learn even more about how changing customer behavior will shape your marketing going forward, be sure an register to receive a special report I’ve produced in conjunction with hotel marketing firm Vizergy, “Digital Hotel Marketing in a Multiscreen World.” While it’s targeted specifically at hotel and resort marketers, the lessons apply to just about any business. You can get your free copy of the report here.

You might also want to check out these slides I had the pleasure of presenting recently about the key trends shaping marketing in the next year. Here are the slides for your reference:

Tim Peter

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August 13, 2019

Why Verizon Selling Tumblr Should Make Marketers Very, Very Happy (Thinks Out Loud Episode 254)

August 13, 2019 | By | No Comments

Verizon Purchase of Tumblr: Tumblr login screenLooking to drive results for your business? Click here to learn more.


Why Verizon Selling Tumblr Should Make Marketers Very, Very Happy (Thinks Out Loud Episode 254) – Headlines and Show Notes

So Verizon dumped Tumblr earlier this week for a measly $3 million, this less than a decade after Yahoo — which sold itself to Verizon in the invervening years — purchased the social blogging site for $1.1 billion. That’s remarkable. It’s also really great news for marketers, though probably not for the reasons you think.

So what is the reason? Why should Verizon selling Tumblr make marketers very, very happy?

The latest episode of Thinks Out Loud takes a look — and helps you understand why this has nothing to do with Tumblr — and everything to do with your business.

Want to learn more? Here are the show notes for you:

Relevant Links

Notes

Automattic bought Tumblr for maybe $3 million dollars

  • Remarkable story given that Yahoo paid $1.1 billion for it just six years ago
    • Yahoo in turn sold itself to Verizon just about 3 years ago for a bit less than $5 billion
    • Which means that, in theory, Tumblr represented somewhere between 20% and 25% of the value of Yahoo at the time
    • Clearly, that wasn’t the case
      • Of course there’s a joke going around that since it sold for so little after Verizon banned pornography on Tumblr, the porn was what was worth the billion dollars
  • Automattic is the company that helps build WordPress
  • WordPress is open-source software — meaning it’s free for anyone to use and develop — but Automattic was built by the original developers who built their business around providing managed versions of WordPress
  • Acquia does a similar thing with Drupal
  • I always liked Tumblr because of the sense of community there
    • It was about like-minded people publishing and sharing content that brought them together.
  • Nonetheless its value is more important than its price
    • Here’s why.

We still have the power

  • Yes, Google and Facebook control lots of traffic
  • “Hub and spoke” strategy
    • Hub is your website
    • Spokes are the various distribution and promotion channels you use
      • Facebook
      • Instagram
      • YouTube
      • Twitter
      • LinkedIn
      • Whatever’s next
  • But everything should always lead back to your website
    • You own the platform
    • You’re not dependent on any one source for your traffic — or for your voice
    • You can be found
    • You can be heard
    • When people complain about evil folks who are still published on the internet — and please don’t misunderstand, those people are awful — that’s actually a sign of how resilient the internet is; how powerful it enables individual voices to be
    • Yes, that’s a “When you build the ship, you build the shipwreck” moment
    • But that’s great for you as a company, as an individual, as a movement, as an idea
      • I’m not a Pollyanna about this
      • some of the worst people in the world manage to find one another — and be found by others with similar points of view — because of this
        • To be fair, some of the communities on Tumblr were remarkably toxic
        • My use declined some even before Yahoo bought it because of that
      • So can some of the best people.
    • It simply means you can always be found

Google won’t always be in charge

  • Google’s power is brittle
  • They’re very strong
  • Switching costs are zero
  • Explain switching costs
    • Car
      • New car
      • New insurance
      • If it’s electric, new ways to “fuel” or power the vehicle
    • Business switching from PC to Mac
      • New computers
      • New software
      • Training for your employees on the new computers and software
      • Training for your IT staff on how to support
      • Lots of new cables 🙂
  • Anyone can switch to Bing or DuckDuckGo or Ask or whatever comes next in an instant
    • Google has tried to build more lock-in with Gmail and Docs and Android, but the basic point of switching search engines — which is where Google makes all its money — is essentially free
    • Don’t believe me: Google pays Apple to be the default
    • Depending on whose data you believe, they’re paying between $9 and $12 billion dollars for the privilege.
    • Is that the behavior of the most powerful company in the world?
  • Facebook is far less brittle
    • But, strange as this sounds, they’re also far less influential
    • Do you get 50%/60%/70% of your traffic from Facebook or Instagram?
      • I bet not
    • And a fair bit of what gets shared there originates someplace else.

Anyone can still get on the Internet

  • Tumblr
  • WordPress
  • Drupal
  • Instagram and Facebook and YouTube and Twitter and LinkedIn and Reddit and TikTok and apps on App stores other new players that come down the pike
    • I know a guy who’s a marketing thought-leader around using LinkedIn to grow your business
    • Yes, you’re relying on a gatekeeper — a less powerful one, but still a gatekeeper. But you’re also able to get online and get seen and get heard
    • That’s why you’ve got to go “hub and spoke”
  • That’s great for your business.
    • Lots of impressive brands have been built this way
      • Airbnb
      • Uber
      • Etsy
      • Reverb
  • And it’s great for people more generally.

Other big story: The protests in Hong Kong

  • How do we know what’s going on?
  • Because people are able to be heard

It’s not Utopia; it’s not Dystopia

  • Utopia literally means “no-place”
  • Dystopia literally means “not-good place”
  • The Internet is just a “topia.” It’s a place.
  • The good and the bad is how we use it.
  • The good and the bad is in the stories we tell
  • The good and the bad is in the communities we build
  • And the good and the bad is in the people we attract
  • Tumblr got bought for $3 million after originally selling for $1.1 billion
  • If its new owners allow it to foster the right kinds of communities, it will be the best money they’ve ever spent

Subscribe to Thinks Out Loud

Contact information for the podcast: podcast@timpeter.com

Past Insights from Tim Peter Thinks

You might also want to check out these slides I had the pleasure of presenting recently about the key trends shaping marketing in the next year. Here are the slides for your reference:

Technical Details for Thinks Out Loud

Recorded using a Neumann TLM 102 Cardoid Condenser microphone and a Focusrite Scarlett 4i4 (3rd Gen) USB audio interface into Logic Pro X for the Mac.

Running time: 17m 44s

You can subscribe to Thinks Out Loud in iTunes, the Google Play Store, via our dedicated podcast RSS feed )(or sign up for our free newsletter). You can also download/listen to the podcast here on Thinks using the player at the top of this page.

Tim Peter

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July 18, 2019

4 Huge Trends Every Digital Marketer Needs to Know (Thinks Out Loud Episode 250!!!)

July 18, 2019 | By | No Comments

Click here to learn more.


4 Huge Trends Every Digital Marketer Needs to Know: Marketer using computer at work

4 Huge Trends Every Digital Marketer Needs to Know (Thinks Out Loud Episode 250!!!) – Headlines and Show Notes

In celebration of Thinks Out Loud's 250th(!!!) episode, host Tim Peter is counting down 4 huge trends that every digital marketer needs to know in the year ahead;. Thank you for listening. And thanks for supporting the show for almost 7 years.

Want to learn more? Here are the show notes for you:

Relevant Links:

Subscribe to Thinks Out Loud

Contact information for the podcast: podcast@timpeter.com

Past Insights from Tim Peter Thinks

You might also want to check out these slides I had the pleasure of presenting recently about the key trends shaping marketing in the next year. Here are the slides for your reference:

Technical Details for Thinks Out Loud

Recorded using a Neumann TLM 102 Cardoid Condenser microphone and a Mackie Onyx Blackjack USB recording interface into Logic Pro X for the Mac.

Running time: 16m 38s

You can subscribe to Thinks Out Loud in iTunes, the Google Play Store, via our dedicated podcast RSS feed )(or sign up for our free newsletter). You can also download/listen to the podcast here on Thinks using the player at the top of this page.

4 Huge Trends Every Digital Marketer Needs to Know (Thinks Out Loud Episode 250!!!) – Transcript

Well, hello again, everyone. Welcome back to Thinks Out Loud, your source for all the digital marketing expertise your business needs. My name is Tim Peter. Today is Wednesday, July 17th, 2019.

We're coming up on the 50th anniversary of the Apollo landings next week, and it's a big anniversary for me, too. This is episode 250 of the big show, and I've had a tough time recording this today. This is like the third try, there's a big thunderstorm in the area. Though the studio is soundproofed, the microphone's been picking up the thunder, so I'm not just doing it for the drama of the 250th episode. But as soundproofed as I've made things, unfortunately if there's big thunder in the background, hopefully it'll just add to the excitement for this episode.

As ever, I very much appreciate you tuning in. I've been producing this show for almost seven years, and as just mentioned, 250 episodes now. And clearly, I wouldn't do it if you didn't bother to listen, if so many people didn't listen every single time, if they didn't email, if you didn't write me questions, and comments, and things like that. So I really, really appreciate you doing that. It means more than you can know. It makes this a lot of fun for me, and really, this isn't just my 250th episode, but hopefully it's yours, too, it's something that you feel part of.

So I want to talk about some things that really seem to have emerged. As I look at the data about the episodes that have most appealed to you over the last, really the last year. I'm not going to back and look at all 250 because I didn't think that made sense, because the trends have changed over time. But what has been clear is that there are a number of themes, there are a number of topics that continue to resonate, continue to become prominent, take center stage, that really seem to matter to you.

And the first I want to talk about is this idea of future trends. It is clear, people enjoy our episodes, the episodes we've put on about trends. And two that have been incredibly popular and I would recommend you check out again would be an interview I did with Jason Freed of Duetto on content marketing and future trends around it. Now that was episode 228, and Jason's a really sharp guy who was an editor, he was a journalist before he moved to Duetto, who is a software provider. And we had a really great discussion about why content matters and why it's such a key trend, and the trends around content that will help you as you go forward.

Now I've said many, many times on the show, and clearly, I'm going to say it again today. Content is king, customer experience is queen, and data is the crown jewels, and Jason just did a spectacular job calling out why content plays such a key role, not just now, but why it is likely to play such a key role as we go forward. And I think as you look at the other episodes that I'm going to call out, it's going to be pretty obvious content plays a bit role there. So certainly, check out episode 228.

The other episode that I thought was really interesting when we were looking at trends was episode 232, which was what won't change, the trends shaping digital next year. That was actually recorded in November of 2018 and spoke about this year. And it references a quote from Jeff Bezos, who frequently says, "People always ask about the things that will change," and he thinks it's so much more useful to ask about the things that won't change. Amazon has always been built on giving people great selection, giving people quick shipping, and giving people fast delivery. And everything they've done has been built around that for the 20-plus years they've existed as a company, and they've been pretty successful.

A future trend that has been really popular if we dive down into this a little bit, is by the way, the topic of intermediaries of various types, the gatekeepers, and folks like that. Obviously, I've been speaking about them the last couple weeks, I will link to those in the show notes, but there was an episode 221 that asked, "How do you compete with Amazon, and Expedia, and Google, and dot, dot, dot?" And that was a hugely popular episode. Lots of listens, lots of shares, clearly it's one that resonated.

And the answer is, don't just go at them head on, find what are the things that make you distinct, how do you differentiate your product, your service, your offering from what those guys do? Because you're not going to beat them going head-to-head, but you can absolutely find the right content, the right customer experience, the right data that allows you to compete with them successfully. And I give examples in that episode that I'd highly recommend you listen to.

There also was an episode from just a few weeks back, where we talked about why Google is the beast that scares your industry's 800 pound gorilla, right. I mean, the reality is when we talk about Amazon, when we talk about Google, when we talk in very specific verticals like Expedia in travel, or we talk about Yelp in local, or we talk about folks like that, clearly they have some distinct advantages, and Google has some distinct advantages over many of them. So episode 238 clearly resonated with folks and was one that most people came back to again, and again, and again, and I'd recommend if we're talking about big trends like intermediaries, that's one you're going to want to check out, too.

Of course, another huge trend that I've talked about many times here on the show is artificial intelligence. That probably shocks no one who's listened to the show more than once. But there were three episodes in particular that really, really seemed to resonate, and really seemed to capture your attention. One was episode 243 from earlier this year, which asked, "Is AI in sales and marketing real?" And it won't surprise you to know that the answer is, absolutely. And not only that, the episode does a really good, if I do say so, of giving examples of how AI is real in sales and marketing, and how you can make it real for your business.

Which leads to one of my favorite episodes and one of the most popular ones we've ever produced here, which was the one that said, "AI won't steal your job. Smart people who put AI to work will." That was episode 208. And in that episode, the thing you want to remember is that most AI today is being used to make the people who do the work that you do more successful. So you're not really, you shouldn't really be worried about AI taking your job away. You should really be worried about people who are using AI effectively competing with you, out-hustling you, and being able to deliver on the same value proposition that you try to deliver on, faster, cheaper, better.

Now we had one other great interview show that spoke about this, as well, which was I talked to Abhi Vyas from Verizon, all about mobile commerce, personalization, and go figure, how AI was going to make those more effective. That was episode 218, and was probably the third most popular episode we've ever done about AI and artificial intelligence. So definitely worth listening to for Abhi's point of view because this is a guy who's living in the trenches every single day, driving mobile commerce, using content, using customer experience, using data, and now using AI to make his business more effective. Well worth your time, I highly recommend it.

And then more broadly, that were a series of episodes over the last year or so that talked about how digital really shapes the world we live in. And the first one I wanted to talk about since I just mentioned a moment ago how people will use AI to be faster, is episode 215 that talks about marketing at the speed of digital. Now I've said many times, that that's the world we live in today. "The single biggest disruption we have seen is the fact that speed has become the new currency of business," that's actually a quote from Marc Benioff of salesforce.com. And it really represents the reality that customers expect things now, instant gratification simply isn't fast enough. So when we talk about these trends, one of the biggest is the fact that speed matters.

Now of course, there are a whole series of others, episode 216, the week right after that talked about disruption and five digital trends that show why you ain't seen nothing yet. Speed was one of them, mobile is one of them, AI is one of them, and clearly it kind of ties many of these together, but really helps you think about how to do this most effectively. That's a topic that I talked about a few months later when I talked about what digitally native companies do best, that was episode 245. And it really got to the crux of the fact that these trends we're talking about, really aren't future trends. They represent the world we live in today. And what digitally native companies tend to do best is live in the world as it is and the world as it will be, as opposed to the world as it was. So check out episode 245 for some great tips on how you can learn the same lessons and how you can apply them to your business.

And then the last two episodes that I want to call out, speak less to specific trends and more to your mindset. One was just from a few weeks ago that asked, "Is 2019 everything you've hoped for? And if not, what are you going to do to make it be everything you've hoped for?" And ironically, episode 223, the one that I want to finish with, was called hope is not a business strategy, is it? And really, it gets to the fact of, you always have to have hope. You're in control of this. It doesn't matter what comes down the pike, it doesn't matter what future trends emerge, it doesn't matter if AI starts to take over, it doesn't matter if intermediaries start to threaten you or start to challenge you. It doesn't matter that the competition continues to move faster and adapt.

It doesn't matter that some folks have great content, some folks have great customer experience, some folks have great data. And some folks have all of those. At least it doesn't as long as you continue to hope, and as long as you continue to learn, and as long as you continue to apply those learnings to create better content for your customers, to create better customer experience for your customers, and to gain the data and the insights necessary to continue to improve on that every single time. Because the biggest future trend you want to be aware of, is the fact that you can absolutely dominate. All of these things that your competition is doing, all of these things that the big folks are doing, are available to you, and you absolutely can do it, too.

Now looking at the clock on the wall, we are out of time for this week. I'd like to remind you, that you can find the show notes for today's episode, as well as an archive of all our past episodes, which obviously, many of these are drawn from, by going to timpeter.com/podcast. Again, that's timpeter.com/podcast. Just look for episode 250.

While you're there, please click on the subscribe link in any of the episodes you find there, to have Thinks Out Loud delivered to your favorite pod catcher every single episode. You can also subscribe in iTunes, or the Google Play Music Store, or Stitcher Radio, or whatever your favorite pod catcher happens to be. You can search for Tim Peter Thinks, Tim Peter Thinks Out Loud, or Thinks Out Loud, we should show up for any of those.

I'd also very much appreciate it if you could provide a positive rating or review while you're there. It's so helpful and I very much appreciate it. You can also find Thinks Out Loud on Facebook by going to facebook.com/timpeterassociates. You can find me on Twitter using the Twitter handle @tcpeter, or of course, you can email me. Just send your emails to podcast@timpeter.com. Again, that's podcast@timpeter.com.

As ever, I'd like to thank our sponsor. Thinks Out Loud is brought to you by SoloSegment. SoloSegment focuses on AI-driven content discovery and site search analytics to unlock revenue for your business. You can learn more about how to improve your content, increase your customer satisfaction, and make your search smarter by going to solosegment.com.

With that, I want to say thanks, especially to you. Thank you so much for the last 250 episodes and for the last seven years. I very much appreciate it. I hope you have a great week ahead. I hope you have a fantastic weekend. And I look forward to speaking with you here on Thinks Out Loud again, and again, and again, for another 250 episodes. Until next time, please be well, be safe, and as ever, take care.

Tim Peter

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September 29, 2018

Does Podcasting Make Sense for Your Business in 2019? (Thinks Out Loud Episode 230)

September 29, 2018 | By | No Comments

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Does Podcasting Make Sense for Your Business in 2019? (Thinks Out Loud Episode 230) - International Podcast Day Logo

Does Podcasting Make Sense for Your Business in 2019? (Thinks Out Loud Episode 230) – Headlines and Show Notes

Subscribe to Thinks Out Loud

Contact information for the podcast: podcast@timpeter.com

Past Insights from Tim Peter Thinks

You might also want to check out these slides I had the pleasure of presenting recently about the key trends shaping marketing in the next year. Here are the slides for your reference:

Technical Details for Thinks Out Loud

Recorded using a Heil Sound PR 30 Large Diaphragm Multipurpose Dynamic Microphone through a Cloud Microphones CL-1 Cloudlifter Mic Activator and a Mackie Onyx Blackjack USB recording interface into Logic Express 9 for the Mac.

Running time: 13m 46s

You can subscribe to Thinks Out Loud in iTunes [iTunes link], the Google Play Store, via our dedicated podcast RSS feed )(or sign up for our free newsletter). You can also download/listen to the podcast here on Thinks using the player at the top of this page.