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Tim Peter

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March 19, 2020

There is a Path Forward (Thinks Out Loud Episode 279)

March 19, 2020 | By | No Comments

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There's a path forward: Woman reading on mobile phone

There is a Path Forward (Thinks Out Loud Episode 279) – Headlines and Show Notes

With all the bad news around coronavirus Covid-19 and the economy, it’s easy to get discouraged right now. It’s understandable that you might feel a bit down. It’s OK. But, you also have to recognize that we will get through this. We’ll survive. And, in fact, eventually, we will all thrive. Because there is a path forward. You’re smart. You’re resilient. You haven’t made it as far as you have in your industry, in your career, in life by just accepting things as they are. You know how to succeed. You know how to grow. You know how to improve. And that’s why you’re going to get through this. It’s why we’ll all get through this. Together.

The latest episode of Thinks Out Loud has some insights and tips for you on the path forward — and how you can find it for your business. Because there is a path forward. And we’re going to find it together.

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

Relevant Links – There is a Path Forward (Thinks Out Loud Episode 279)

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 PR-40 Dynamic Studio Recording Mic and a Focusrite Scarlett 4i4 (3rd Gen) USB Audio Interface into Logic Pro X for the Mac.

Running time: 15m 54s

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.

Additional notes – There is a Path Forward (Thinks Out Loud Episode 279)

Lots of uncertainty

  • Changing minute by minute
  • Things you do this week can help prevent the spread of the virus, but might need to change next week as conditions change

Lots of individuals and companies affected

  • Restaurants
  • Bars
  • Stores
  • Consumers are working less and either have less income to spend or are concerned they will have less income to spend
  • Manufacturers
    • Suppliers to retail and other service industries

Ways you can help

Revenue

  • Help individuals in the service industry facing reduced hours pick up "piece work" or at-home services to earn income
  • Focus on the local community; who needs help in your market who you can support? How can you support them?

Costs

  • Improve value of offering by increasing value adds included with price

Convenience

  • Home delivery of goods or services
    • This one works B2C or B2B with the increased numbers of employees working from home

Confidence

Cashflow

  • 1Password eliminating trial limits to help businesses work from home
  • Change payment terms to offer free/low-cost loans
Tim Peter

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February 25, 2020

Is a Recession More Likely This Year? Here’s What You Don’t Want to Do (Thinks Out Loud Episode 276)

February 25, 2020 | By | One Comment

Is a recession more likely this year? Marketers worried about losing money -- and talent.Looking to drive results for your business? Click here to learn more.


Lots of news this week that affects lots of businesses, including the coronavirus news and Expedia announcing a pretty significant set of layoffs. All of this suggests a recession is more likely this year. But, assuming a recession hits, there's a good way to handle it… and a not good way to handle it. What is the good way? What's the bad way? And what do you want to make sure you don't do? The latest episode of Thinks Out Loud takes a look at whether a recession is more likely this year and tells you what you don't want to do.

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

Is a Recession More Likely This Year? Here's What You Don't Want to Do (Thinks Out Loud Episode 276) — 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 Heil PR-40 Dynamic Studio Recording Mic and a Focusrite Scarlett 4i4 (3rd Gen) USB Audio Interface into Logic Pro X for the Mac.

Running time: 18m 16s

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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February 20, 2020

The Single Biggest Myth in Digital: Content is Expensive (Thinks Out Loud Episode 275)

February 20, 2020 | By | No Comments

The Single Biggest Myth in Digital: Content is Expensive (Thinks Out Loud Episode 275): Woman reading content on her phoneLooking to drive results for your business? Click here to learn more.


The Single Biggest Myth in Digital: Content is Expensive (Thinks Out Loud Episode 275) – Headlines and Show Notes

Every day, folks from our team hear marketers at companies large and small talk about how much their content marketing efforts cost. And, they’re not wrong. They often are spending too much money on content. But they’re also buying into the single biggest myth in digital. It’s not that content is expensive. It’s that — for any number of reasons — their content doesn’t do what it’s supposed to. Maybe they don’t measure it effectively. Maybe it doesn’t drive clicks or links or shares. Maybe it doesn’t convert. But content is not expensive. Content that no one sees is expensive. Content that doesn't convert is expensive. But content that does its job is the best investment you can make in your business.

In this episode of Thinks Out Loud, we blow up the single biggest myth in digital marketing: content is expensive. Company founder andThinks Out Loud host Tim Peter looks at why content is expensive for some companies — and how you can make it be not only a solid investment, but the best investment around.

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

Relevant Links – The Single Biggest Myth in Digital: Content is Expensive (Thinks Out Loud Episode 275)

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 PR-40 Dynamic Studio Recording Mic and a Focusrite Scarlett 4i4 (3rd Gen) USB Audio Interface into Logic Pro X for the Mac.

Running time: 13m 45s

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.

Transcript — The Single Biggest Myth in Digital: Content is Expensive (Thinks Out Loud Episode 275)

Opening — The Single Biggest Myth in Digital: Content is Expensive (Thinks Out Loud Episode 275)

Well, hello again everyone, and welcome back to Thinks Out Loud, your source for all the digital marketing expertise your business needs. This is episode 275 of the big show. Thank you so much for tuning in once again, I very much appreciate it. I think we have a really cool show for you. And I want to start by blowing up the single biggest myth in digital marketing, and that is that content is expensive.

Why Content Is Not Expensive — The Single Biggest Myth in Digital: Content is Expensive (Thinks Out Loud Episode 275)

You know, when I talk to people all the time, I talk about how critical content is. I've said many times content is king. And when you talk to people about why they don't do more with content, one of the things I hear again and again and again is that it's really expensive to create content, and I just think that's nonsense.

Content is cheap. Content is incredibly cheap. Imagine if you spent $3,000 a month producing content. Now it doesn't matter if you consider that number a big number or a little number given your current budget. But it stands to reason that you could produce a lot of text content, a fair bit of audio or even a couple of high quality videos for three grand a month. Like that's not an outrageous sum of money to produce a reasonable volume, reasonable volumes of content.

The reason that people think that content is expensive though is because what they're talking about is content that no one sees. They're talking about content that doesn't convert. Because content that no one sees is expensive and content that doesn't convert is expensive.

Comparing Your Content to a Sales Person — The Single Biggest Myth in Digital: Content is Expensive (Thinks Out Loud Episode 275)

Now imagine you paid a salesperson $3,000 per month, that's $36,000 a year. We can all agree that's not a lot of money for a salesperson certainly not a lot of money for a good one. And we can also agree that if that person did not close any sales, we'd ask them to find somewhere else to spend their days. Right. I mean, sure, we might give them an opportunity to get better, but we wouldn't give them a lot of opportunities to get better, even at $36,000 a year, which is cheap for a salesperson, you know? It's the fact that we expect more from them. So the question I would have is, why don't we expect more from our content?

And no disrespect to any sales person you're going to hire, they don't work 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. But your content can. And if you could produce content that people see, and if you can produce content that converts, suddenly $3,000 a month is going to seem pretty inexpensive for lots of reasons.

Why Content Matters for Your Business — The Single Biggest Myth in Digital: Content is Expensive (Thinks Out Loud Episode 275)

You know, first, as I've talked about before, if you don't have content, you don't have search. And if you don't have content, you don't have social. Fundamentally, the point of your content is to get in front of customers at a time of need, whether they're on search or whether they're on social, and answer their questions that they have. Maybe encourage them to share that content with other people online, their friends and families and fans and followers and folks like that on social. And in a perfect world, move them down the purchase funnel. Move them down their customer journey towards making a decision to buy from you, to buy what you offer. And if your content consistently did that, you probably wouldn't see it as expensive.

So let's talk about how you can do this a bit. You know, the average person online has roughly 200 friends on social media, whether we're talking about Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, WhatsApp, WeChat, Snapchat, Tik Tok, Pinterest, LinkedIn, whatever else comes down the line. Any single piece of content that is seen by a visitor to your website, theoretically, could be shared with up to 200 additional people. Now, let's be fair. Most people aren't going to share, but that should be one of the goals you're tracking on your website, on your content. Is it being shared, and if so, how many additional views are you getting from those shares?

And if so, how many clicks are you getting from your shares? How is it improving your traffic? You know, maybe it's only being shared by one person out of, you know, 50, maybe it's only being shared by one person out of a hundred. So if you're getting a thousand people coming to your website, you know, every day, every week, every month, doesn't matter what the period is, but you're getting a thousand people coming to your website. You should be getting 10 to 20 shares and those 10 to 20 shares, in theory should be anywhere between 2,000 and 4,000 additional people seeing your content.

Now again, we know the algorithms on social don't really show everything to everybody, so maybe it's only being seen by 10% of their friends and family and fans and followers. So instead of being seen by two thousand to four thousand, you're seeing you're being seen by 200 to 400 additional people. But remember, this is a piece of content that in theory is only being seen by a thousand or anyway. So you're increasing its exposure by 20 to 40% and of course you want to get that extra 20 to 40% of people to click through and to convert to make the content worthwhile.

But the question you have to be looking at, the thing you have to be thinking about is, if your content isn't being shared, why not? Do you know that it's being shared? Do you know that it's being seen? Do you know that people are clicking and do you know that people are converting? The challenge we have with content very often is not that it doesn't work. It's that we don't know whether or not it works.

And again, this is something that you could be producing lots of content. If you're putting out, you know, five or 10 pieces of content per month, let's say, right? And they're being shared with an additional 20 to 40% of the visitors who are actually being seen or who are actually seeing the content on your site, that's a remarkable bit of upside for you to leverage. And that's before we get into improved search ranking and all the other things that you would expect to come from really high quality content. That's before we get into can you promote it with any paid media? That's before we get into can you engage your employees in sharing that content with their friends and family and fans and followers?

But the simple fact of the matter is that piece of content has enormous potential for you to take advantage of. That probably is a place that you have some work to do. And this has not changed for years. It's a reason why I keep saying content is King because it is the core of everything you do. It's the thing around which everything you do evolves.

If you don't have great content, you have nothing to promote regardless of the channel you're going to promote it in. If you don't have great content, you're not going to have anything your customers are going to want to share with their friends and their family and their fans and their followers. If you don't have great content, you're not going to be picked up in search engines as being a good answer to a customer's question. And if you don't have great content, you're not going to be able to engage your employees and sharing with their friends and family and fans and followers, because they're not going to want to look like an idiot. They're not going to want to say, "yeah, this is something I worked on, and I think it's really great" if it isn't, right? But it's something that can be done very economically and really isn't that expensive if it works for you.

Again, think of each piece of content like a salesperson. Think of it the way you would anybody who sells for your business, they're not expensive. They're not cheap. They are a function of whether or not they do a good job, and when they do a great job, you never find yourself saying, "Man, I'm really paying my most successful sales person too much money." It's just not a conversation you have. You really want to think about the fact that content is King and the King is actually pretty cheap as long as you make sure the King works for you.

The Single Biggest Myth in Digital: Content is Expensive (Thinks Out Loud Episode 275): Conclusion

So my big advice is focus on making sure you have the right measures to ensure your content is working for you. Put an emphasis on measuring the effectiveness of its shareability, of its viewability, on its clickability and on its conversion, because those will help you make sure your content really does work for your business. And if you do all that well, you're going to find out that content isn't expensive at all, but that not having great content is going to cost you an awful lot of money.

Show Closing — The Single Biggest Myth in Digital: Content is Expensive (Thinks Out Loud Episode 275)

Now looking at the clock on the wall, we are out of time for this week, but I want to remind you that you can find the show notes for today's episode as well as an archive of all past episodes by going to TimPeter.com/podcast. Again, that's TimPeter.com/podcast. Just look for episode 275. While you're there, you can click on the subscribe link in any of the episodes you find there to have Thinks Out Loud delivered every single week. You can also subscribe to Thinks Out Loud on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher Radio, Overcast, or whatever your favorite podcatcher happens to be. Just do a search for Tim Peter Thinks, Tim Peter Thinks Out Loud or Thinks Out Loud. We should show up for any of those.

While you're there, I'd also really appreciate it if you could provide us a positive rating or review. It helps new listeners find us and it helps them understand what the show is all about. It makes an enormous difference for the podcast. You can also find Thinks Out Loud on Facebook by going to facebook.com/TimPeterAssociates and you can find me on Twitter using the Twitter handle @tcpeter. And of course you can email me by sending an email to podcast@timpeter.com. Again, that's podcast@timpeter.com.

I'd also like to thank our sponsor thinks out loud as 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. Again, that's SoloSegment.com.

With that, I want to say thanks so much for tuning in. I really appreciate you listening. I know I say it every week, but I would not do the show without you. It means so very much to me to have you tune in. With all that said, I hope you have a great rest of the week one where ever you happen to be. I hope you have a wonderful weekend and I'm looking forward to speaking with you him again here on thinks out loud next time.

Until then, please be well, be safe, and as ever, take care of everybody.

Tim Peter

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February 11, 2020

We Live in the Future (Thinks Out Loud Episode 274)

February 11, 2020 | By | No Comments

We live in the future: Team collaborating over augmented reality screensLooking to drive results for your business? Click here to learn more.


We Live in the Future (Thinks Out Loud Episode 274) – Headlines and Show Notes

When you look around, do you feel like you’re living in a futuristic utopia? Or does it feel more like a dystopian future to you? In either case, it’s clear that we already live in the future. Whether you see a world filled with global access to instantaneous information, improved medical treatments, and declining poverty, or one filled with information overload, disparate access to healthcare, and growing income/wealth inequality, the fact remains that the future is here, now.

This week's Thinks Out Loud looks at the “state of the future” that we’re living in, positive and negative, and offers some thoughts on how you can make it more positive for you — and for the world around you.

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

Relevant Links – We Live in the Future (Thinks Out Loud Episode 274)

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 PR-40 Dynamic Studio Recording Mic and a Focusrite Scarlett 4i4 (3rd Gen) USB Audio Interface into Logic Pro X for the Mac.

Running time: 20m 20s (I didn’t plan this one. But, c’mon. The episode “We Live in the Future,” released in 2020, is 20:20. That’s awesome!)

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.

Transcript – We Live in the Future (Thinks Out Loud Episode 274)

Well, hello again everyone, and welcome back to Thinks Out Loud, your source for all the digital marketing expertise your business needs. My name is Tim Peter, this is episode 274 of the big show, and thank you so much for tuning in. I really think we've got a cool show for you today. This is something that I'm passionate about, just unbelievably passionate about, and that is this idea, you know, anyone who follows me on Twitter has probably seen me say recently that we live in the future. We are in a remarkable time.

The Good News: We Live in the Future (Thinks Out Loud Episode 274)

You know, obviously I talk a lot about mobile and how it shapes the future. Believe me, I'm going to go way wider than mobile here. But just to point out a couple of recent statistics, you know, there's new data from Pew Research that shows that mobile phone ownership has reached 94% in advanced economies and 83% in emerging economies. Smartphone ownership is 76% and 45% among advanced and emerging economies respectively. So almost half the world has a smartphone. And internet use among people in advanced and emerging economies has reached 90% and 60% respectively.

Now, as you might imagine, those numbers are even more dramatic among millennials, or as I like to call them, adults under 40. So that's amazing, right?

Well, there's even more amazing stuff, none of which has anything to do with business in the just spot-on view. But if you broaden your lens a little bit, you're going to say, Oh, that's got some amazing implications.

You know, for one thing, we have a longer life expectancy according to the World Health Organization. This is a quote, "global average life expectancy increased five and a half years between 2000 and 2016, the fastest increased since the 1960s. Those gains reverse declines during the 1990s when life expectancy fell in Africa because of the AIDS epidemic and in Eastern Europe following the collapse of the Soviet Union."

Think about it. It's not that people don't die of AIDS any longer. It's not that people don't die because of economically depressed conditions, and I'll speak a little bit more on that in a moment. But overall, people are living longer. They're healthier. Cancer rates are down. The American Cancer Society said "the death rate from cancer in the U S has declined steadily over the past 25 years. As of 2016 with a cancer death rate for men and women combined had fallen 27% from its peak in 1991. This decline translates to about one and a half percent per year, and more than 2.6 million deaths avoided between 1991 and 2016." Again, that's amazing. So people are, you know, living longer. People are healthier, they're more connected.

And that all leads to the fact that we have a growing middle class according to the Brookings Institution. "As of [September, 2018] just over 50% of the world's population or some 3.8 billion people live in households with enough discretionary expenditure to be considered middle-class or rich." That's amazing. And it's a reality that would have been tough to predict not that long ago. But that's the world we live in.

You know, it's, think about Star Trek and the fact that they talk about, you know, "Star Trek: The Next Generation." Yes, I'm a nerd. I've been watching "Star Trek: Picard." I love it. It's amazing. You should check it out.

But this idea that, you know, in the future we will have fewer concerns because some of our more basic needs — you know, if we think Maslow's hierarchy — are being taken care of. We no longer worry as much about lodging and food and shelter and basic health. And I want to be really clear, obviously, there's a lot more than can be done.

I promise you I'm going to come to that, but we live in amazing times. You know, just as a, for instance, think about the things that exist now that would have sounded like science fiction even 10 to 15 years ago, but no longer do. We have space tourism launching this year. Virgin Galactic and Jeff Bezos's Blue Origin will begin flights this year. According to the BBC, "Swiss bank UBS released a report," this was in 2019, "that estimated space tourism could become a $3 billion industry in the next 10 years." There was an interesting article in late December on Politico that published an article about concerns about the lack of regulation in space tourism. And this isn't a science fiction piece. This is like a legitimate serious conversation they're having. You know?

Also not science fiction, quantum computing made huge breakthroughs in 2019, with Google claiming they had achieved quantum superiority. Now, there's probably a little bit of PR in that. But that's extraordinary. We have things like quantum teleportation. We have things like gene editing with CRISPR. We have telepresence and augmented reality, and oh, I don't know, podcasts and all kinds of crazy stuff that people take for granted day in and day out.

If we don't live in the future — I don't know when we will — right now. To be fair, I want to point out two things here. One, I'm sure if you're an adult under 40 right now, and especially if you're an adult under 30 right now, you're probably saying, well, c'mon, this is just normal, and that's kind of the point. If you're older than 40, if you're older than 35 a lot of this stuff was the future, not that long ago. And today it's normal. It's reality. And that's something we need to just, accept, we just need to take in and, you know, own, right? We need to embrace it.

The Bad News: We Live in the Future (Thinks Out Loud Episode 274)

Now the other side of this is, of course, the future isn't all good news. We've seen a rise of hate groups and criminal activity on the internet. That's terrible, right? I'm, I'm paraphrasing Benedict Evans, who's a partner in the venture capital firm a16z, who recently gave a talk and said, you know, when everyone is connected to the internet, everyone includes the bad people.

So you absolutely get bad actors and you know, whether they're doing it for fun, whether they're doing it for profit, or whether they're doing it for fun, like trolls and things like that. In his fantastic book "LikeWar," which is stylized as #likewar, the writer Peter W. Singer quoted Robert Bateman who said, "Once every village had an idiot. It took the internet to bring them all together." Which is not, I mean, it's a funny line, but it's also tragic.

I have mentioned many times before that "digital is like gravity" and quoting Paul DeLillo, the a French philosopher, you know, "when you build the ship, you also build the shipwreck. When you invent the ship, you also invent the shipwreck." And digital is like gravity. It's got these problems.

I had a podcast episode not too long ago where I asked did we break the internet or did the internet break us? And I think those are questions we have to pay a lot of attention to. You know, I'm going to give you my point of view on this in just a moment.

But I want to take a step back to this great book from, Oh gosh, 10 years ago or more, a guy by the name of Joel Garreau, who wrote a book called "Radical Evolution." And he talked about the fact that there are multiple scenarios for the future. He called them the Heaven scenario, the Hell scenario, and the Prevail scenario. Right? I've also heard them referred to as "the Pollyanna scenario," right, where everything's going to be amazing. The "Gray Goo scenario" where everything's going to go to crap, and "the Muddle Through scenario," you know, where we just kind of take one step forward and 1.99 steps back.

And I'm going to be honest, I think that's the scenario that's most likely, the muddle through. You know, the future is not utopia, though there are elements of utopia in it. You know, when we talk about things like cancer rates going down and longer life expectancy and more people being middle class and having access to a modern economy, that's phenomenal, right? And that's before you get to the science fiction stuff, like space tourism and access to information and all that kind of stuff, right? That's utopian. That's heaven. That's Pollyanna, right? It's also not all dystopia.

You know that we don't live in a utopia. We don't live in a dystopia. We just kind of live in a "Topia" where things kind of muddle through and we have muddled the through for millennia, and I expect we're likely to continue to do so.

There's going to be amazing breakthroughs that make the world a better place. And we're going to have bad actors and criminals and all those other kinds of things of people who want to exploit the system to their own advantage. You know, when we look at people, when we look at some of the divisive rhetoric on the internet, some of the people who are, you know, saying terrible things or doing terrible things, you know, ask yourself who benefits from this. Are they are these legitimately good actors? Are these people who are trying to thrive on the chaos? So I think we have to recognize that, you know, it's not utopia. It's not dystopia, it's just a "Topia." And we will muddle through.

What You Can Do About It: We Live in the Future (Thinks Out Loud Episode 274)

Now, if you think about it, I think there's a few things you can do to, to, you know, do well at because we live in the future.

And the first is kind of embrace the chaos. And I don't mean, you know, I don't mean necessarily create more chaos or add to the chaos. I mean, it's likely we're gonna muddle through. It's not all going to be wonderful, but it's probably not all going to be crap. You know, take it for granted that this is the world in which we live and try to make changes for the better in the areas that you can for the people around you.

Another thing you can do is learn to live in the future. Keep learning, keep reading. I'm going to paraphrase yet another quote, and I would attribute this if I could find the source, but there was a politician who said, once upon a time, you may as well embrace the future. You're going to live in it anyway.

That's the reality. That's the world in which we live, and so you're better off saying, okay, if that's true, if we live in the future, how do I live in it successfully?

Another thing you can do is plan. You know, I realized that dropping quotes all over the place here, but one of my favorite comes from a Yiddish expression that says, "Man plans, God laughs," by which it means that the circumstances that happen every day will likely force you to change whatever plans you make, sometimes dramatically. You know, Mike Tyson probably had the best version of this when he said, "everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth." But that doesn't mean you shouldn't plan. It means that you should have a plan that's adaptable as circumstances change.

If you know change is going to occur, why not plan for that change and say, okay, what do I do if this occurs? What will I do if this occurs, what will I do if that occurs? What do I do? You know, what do I do to achieve the outcomes that I'm looking for? How do I make sure I put myself in a position to be successful as circumstances change and for lots of different definitions of success, not just in business, but in your personal life, in your interpersonal relationships, in your you know, health and wellness.

And that leads to my last point that I want to talk about, which is, let's be fair, the future hasn't always been bright for everybody. So look for opportunities to bring along those who are currently left behind. You know, I think it's really clear that the technologists and tech evangelists often only look at the bright side. They don't always look at the impacts — whether they're environmental or financial or cultural or just basic human — of those who don't get to participate as early adopters. And the reasons that they don't pay attention to this aren't evil. They're just blinded by the bright side. And let's be fair, they have some reason to be.

Think about all the news about longer life expectancies, more people in the middle class, greater access to information, et cetera. Full disclosure, this may be my blind spot. But just because it will probably get better for everyone eventually doesn't mean it's all good for everyone now. In fact, quite the opposite. And you don't have to look to the far side of the world to find examples of that.

Think about people in your local communities who struggle with access to education or information or you know, things like water that isn't mostly made of lead, right? I mean, you don't have to go that far to find places where people are being left behind. And the thing you can do is ask, okay, what can I do about that? How can I help?

I once met a hotel operator in Mexico who had built a series of schools for local kids to improve their access to education, to improve their education and their economic prospects. And yes, one of the reasons he did it was because he wanted to improve the quality of the workforce in his area. And yes, one of the reasons he wanted to do it was to give himself access to a local market. But he was educating far more kids than he could ever hope to employ and far more kids than he could ever hope would stay in his hotel. And he knew that, and in his view, that was a good thing.

I think it's amazing that you have the ability to use these tools to do well for people. And even if you don't believe that helping others matters altruistically — and I do by the way — but just like this hotel operator, think about how you can benefit if you have richer customers, more educated employees, and all the other benefits that come with that.

We Live in the Future (Thinks Out Loud Episode 274) Conclusion

So we live in amazing times. We live in an era of unbridled opportunity. We have people who are living longer. They're making more money. They have access to more information that should bring the world closer together, that should bring you closer to your customers, but also just closer to people generally. And if that isn't a bright vision of the future, I don't know what is.

So don't just wait for the future to happen to you. Embrace it. Recognize that you live in the future and that because of that, you can do some truly extraordinary things. Personally, I can't wait to see what you do with it.

Show Closing — We Live in the Future (Thinks Out Loud Episode 274)

Now, looking at the clock on the wall, we are at a time for this week, but I want to remind you that you can find the show notes for today's episode, as well as an archive of all our past episodes by going to TimPeter.com/podcast again, that's TimPeter.com/podcast. Just look for episode 274.

While you're there, you can click on the subscribe link in any of the episodes you find there to have Thinks Out Loud delivered to you every single week. You can subscribe to Thinks Out Loud on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher Radio, Overcast, whatever your favorite podcatcher happens to be. Just search for Tim Peter Thinks, Tim Peter Thinks Out Loud, or Thinks Out Loud, we should show up for any of those. While you're there. I'd also appreciate it if you could provide us a positive rating or review. It helps listeners find us and it helps them understand what the show is all about. It makes a big difference for the podcast overall.

You can also find Thinks Out Loud on Facebook by going to facebook.com/TimPeterAssociates. And you can find me on Twitter using the Twitter handle @tcpeter. And of course you can email me by sending an email 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 so much to you for tuning in. I really appreciate you listening. I know I say this week after week after week, but I really would not do the show without you. It means so much to me to have you listen every single week. I hope you have a great rest of your week, wherever you may be. I hope you have a fantastic weekend ahead and I look forward to speaking with you again on Thinks Out Loud next time. Until then, please be safe, be well, and as ever take care everybody.

Tim Peter

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February 5, 2020

Hey Loretta, Remind Me That Google’s Got Troubles (Thinks Out Loud Episode 273)

February 5, 2020 | By | No Comments

Google's Got Troubles: Screenshot of Google "Loretta" AdLooking to drive results for your business? Click here to learn more.


Hey Loretta, Remind Me That Google's Got Troubles (Thinks Out Loud Episode 273) – Headlines and Show Notes

Google brought down the house with it's "Loretta" ad at the big game this weekend. But that ad showed the benefits and downsides of the tech giant's power — and why Google’s got troubles ahead of it. This week's Thinks Out Loud takes a look at why Google's strength may be more brittle than you think — and what you can do to get more business regardless of the challenges Google may face in the future.

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

Relevant Links – Hey Loretta, Remind Me That Google's Got Troubles (Thinks Out Loud Episode 273)

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 PR-40 Dynamic Studio Recording Mic and a Focusrite Scarlett 4i4 (3rd Gen) USB Audio Interface into Logic Pro X for the Mac.

Running time: 16m 32s

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Transcript — Hey Loretta, Remind Me That Google's Got Troubles (Thinks Out Loud Episode 273)

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, this is episode 273 of the big show and thank you so much for tuning in, I very, very much appreciate it. I think we have a really, really cool show for you this week.

It was the big football game the other day, just this past week, you know, the superb owl. I don't know if I'm allowed to say the name, because of trademark reasons and I don't want to get sued. But you know the game I'm talking about. And as I've done for, oh my gosh, probably eight years, nine years, maybe a little bit longer I participated in what gets referred to as either #BrandBowl or the #AdBowl where various marketing folks, you know, live-tweet the game and talk about the ads and their opinions of them. These are all professional marketing folks, many with really, really impressive credentials who have a long, long experience in branding and the advertising and the like. And it's this really cool conversation about the quality of the ads and whether or not they're any good, right? Whether or not these ads are doing the job that they should be doing.

Google's Super Bowl Ad — and What it Tells Us About the Tech Giant

And by far, the most polarizing ad of this year's Super Bowl was one from Google. And it featured an elderly man having Google remember things for him. You know, he kept asking Google to remind him about things his late wife, Loretta, liked and it was a charming spot. I mean, from a pure marketing perspective, from a pure advertising perspective, from a pure storytelling perspective, it was a really, really good ad. And yet the reaction from the folks on Twitter ran the gamut from, "Oh my God, that was amazing," to "Oh my God. Google is monster."

And Joel Feder, and I hope I'm pronouncing his name correctly on Twitter, I will link to his Twitter account on the show notes and to his tweet really seemed to capture the moment when he said, "By the way, that Google ad was great. But it proved why Google is terrifying #PrivacyMatters." Now, Joel is the interactive content manager for Internet Brands Automotive. He's got about 8,700 followers and a blue checkmark by his name. I retweeted Joel's post with the comment, "He's not wrong." And the numbers were really extraordinary. My tweet was seen over 10,000 times with roughly 50 engagements, which is only a 0.5% engagement rate, but that's, you know, pretty decent for most typical tweets that I see on my account.

You know, by contrast, I get typically about 2,000 impressions a day. And while my annual AdBowl/BrandBowl live-tweeting of the Super Bowl skews the averages a fair bit, that single tweet accounted for roughly 12% of all of my views for the entire day of Sunday.

And to point out, I have roughly 6,100 followers and no blue checkmark by my name. So what's going on here? Why did this one tweet strike such a nerve? Why did this one ad strike such a nerve? And I think it's really critical to examine what's going on here.

What Brand Ads Should Do — Hey Loretta, Remind Me That Google's Got Troubles (Thinks Out Loud Episode 273)

Another really popular tweet of mine during the BrandBowl and a great discussion that we were having overall was about how and I'm paraphrasing what I'd said, but you know, I said the best ads tonight of which there have been far too few have connected to the benefit/brand very effectively. And I followed that up by saying, "the point isn't for the ad to get folks talking. It's to get them talking about the benefits you provide."

And that's really the key of what's going on here. I think Google's display of their abilities is amazing. It's also terrifying because of the volume of data they have about us every day in our lives. You know, they're amazing. Their tech is spectacular, but we've got to recognize the amount of data they have about us and our customers, and the like is pretty spooky sometimes.

You know, in the past I referred to Google as the company that scares your industry's 800 pound gorillas. And this ad shows why they have the incredible ability to know unbelievably personal details. I mean, again, this was a really moving commercial. This is an elderly man. He happens to be the grandfather of a Google employee, who's asking Google to show him pictures of his late wife and remind him of so many of the things he loved about her. So that's incredibly cool. It's also incredibly intimate details about a person's life.

Now, I've talked about you know, all year long last year, you know, I asked "in digital is Google your enemy" and "how worried are you about Google next year" and how "gatekeepers are gonna gate," including Google in that, and why "Google was the hotel marketing and distribution trend you care about most in 2019" and "why Google keeps winning and how you can win too," and also advising people to "stop outsourcing your sales and marketing to gatekeepers like Google." And I will link to all of those in the show notes, but it's staggering the volumes of data that they have.

Google's Brittle Strength — Hey Loretta, Remind Me That Google's Got Troubles (Thinks Out Loud Episode 273)

Now, the flip side is I'm beginning to question whether or not we've hit "peak Google." You know, one of the things I like to do on this podcast is I like to talk about here's a trend, or here's a topic you should be thinking about you know, here's why it matters and here's what you can do about it. And in those podcast episodes I just discussed, I have a number of techniques for things you can do to deal with them, including a really good one from a few years back that said, "how to compete with Amazon and Expedia and Google and dot, dot, dot." That's episode 221. And again, I will link to all these in the show notes.

But I also think you should have a little bit of patience because Google isn't foolproof. Now, the most obvious evidence is that Google put out their earnings report just a couple of days ago, just yesterday actually. And they got hammered. They had a really terrible end of the year, a really terrible quarter. A and a lot of it has to do with the fact that 84% of their revenue comes from ads with most of that, another 84% as it happens, coming from Google and YouTube alone.

Google Breaks Out YouTube Revenue

You know, they broke out YouTube revenues for the first time, and they (YouTube) did $15 billion in ad revenue last year, which is amazing. But it was a little bit of "look over here," away from the fact that they missed their overall earnings target for the quarter by $800 million. Now, this is a company that does, you know, billions and billions of dollars per quarter, you know, $25-$30 billion a quarter. So $800 million is not a huge percentage. But it's also $800 million, right? It's not a trivial number. So that's really a challenge for them. And the reason is, as my friend Mike Moran says, they're a one product company. They have ads and they have nothing else.

Now, to be fair, that's a good problem to have. It's like having a huge income tax bill, right? You can't have a big income tax bill if you don't have a lot of income. They, you know, only have one product, but that product is making them tens of billions of dollars per quarter, and you know, $100 billion a year.

Google's Competition

But the point is that Google is incredibly strong, but it's a brittle strength. They face unbelievable competition from Facebook and Alibaba and Tencent and increasingly Amazon in advertising. They face incredible competition from Apple and Samsung and maybe Huwei in mobile. They face incredible competition from Netflix and Amazon and Tencent in video. And so on. You know, they've really struggled to figure out how to grow their business in new and interesting ways, and that could be a sign of what's going to hurt them in the long run.

It's also why you want to diversify, like I've talked about in "how you compete…". Because it also underscores the fact that they increasingly have to find ways to grow, to monetize the traffic that they receive. And if they can't find ways to do it, they're just going to have to raise prices to advertisers. And I'd bet that includes most of us. You know, it certainly includes me and my clients. I bet it includes you too.

I don't think Google's going to go out of business in 2020 or 2021 or 2022 or anything else. You know, if for no other reason, even if they completely, completely do a horrible job for the next few years, they're sitting on over a hundred billion dollars in cash. Inertia is a really powerful thing when you've got that kind of money. And you're not going to go out of business or get knocked off your throne too quickly when you're sitting on a pile of cash that large. And all of that ignores any regulatory threat that they may face, whether it's in the EU or California or the United States. Probably in 2021 once we get the U.S. Presidential election behind us. So they have incredible competitive challenges and they probably have some pretty significant regulatory challenges ahead of them.

If you were to ask me would I rather be Google than not be Google, I would absolutely choose being Google every day of the week and twice on Sundays. They're not in a horrible position by any stretch.

But they also face more competitive threats than they ever had. They're struggling to grow more than they ever have. They have failed repeatedly to introduce new products that can diversify the way that they make money, and as a result, they're looking to hoover up more data and raise prices to advertisers so that they can continue to grow. So they're going to remain the beast that scares your industry's 800 pound gorillas for the foreseeable future.

But what you want to do is start to look at ways that you can be less dependent upon them so that you can start looking for other ways to drive traffic and revenue to your business. So if Google should raise their rates or raise their prices, it doesn't come back to bite you. And so that you're better positioned that if they should stumble or if regulators should come in and make them change the way they're doing things, you're not so dependent upon them that they sneeze and you catch a cold.

Hey Loretta, Remind Me That Google's Got Troubles (Thinks Out Loud Episode 273): Conclusion

So my big advice for the moment is kind of wait and see, but also look to find other ways to drive revenue and drive traffic for your business. Because as we saw with the Loretta ad, Google's very powerful and very scary. And to me there's nothing more scary than being dependent on one company who's that powerful in your world, especially if you depend upon them for a significant chunk of your business.

Show Closing — Hey Loretta, Remind Me That Google's Got Troubles (Thinks Out Loud Episode 273)

Now, looking at the clock on the wall, we are out of time for this week, but I want to remind you that you can find the show notes for today's episode as well as an archive of all past episodes by going to TimPeter.com/podcast. Again, that's TimPeter.com/podcast. Just look for episode 273. While you're there, you can click on the subscribe link in any of the episodes you find there to have Thinks Out Loud delivered to you every single week. You can also subscribe to Thinks Out Loud on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher Radio, or whatever your favorite podcatcher happens to be. Just do a search for Tim Peter Thinks, Tim Peter Thinks Out Loud or Thinks Out Loud, we should show up for any of those.

And while you're there, I'd really appreciate it if you could provide us a positive rating or review. It helps new listeners find us. It helps them understand what the show is all about and it makes a huge difference for the podcast overall.

You can also find Thinks Out Loud on Facebook by going to facebook.com/TimPeterAssociates. And you can find me on Twitter using the Twitter handle @tcpeter. And of course you can email me by sending an email to podcast@timpeter.com. Again, that's podcast@timpeter.com.

I'd also 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. Again, that's solosegment.com.

With that. I want to say thanks so much again for tuning in. I really appreciate you listening. I know I say this every week, but I would not do this show without you, so it means so much to me to have you listen every single week. I hope you have a great rest of your week. I hope you have a wonderful week ahead and I look forward to speaking with you again on Thinks Out Loud next time. Until then, please be well be safe and as ever take care everybody.