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Tim Peter Thinks

Tim Peter

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September 4, 2019

Stop Outsourcing Your Sales & Marketing to Gatekeepers Like Google (Thinks Out Loud Episode 257)

September 4, 2019 | By | No Comments

Stop Outsourcing Your Sales & Marketing to Google: Image of Google logoLooking to drive results for your business? Click here to learn more.


Stop Outsourcing Your Sales & Marketing to Gatekeepers Like Google (Thinks Out Loud Episode 257) – Headlines and Show Notes

Google, Facebook, Amazon, and others are starting to face a fair bit of scrutiny over whether they have too much power in the lives of consumers and companies. That's probably for the best. But, regardless of how the various investigations unfold, it's worth asking whether you could do more to ensure Google is good for your business too. And the single biggest way to do that is to stop outsourcing your sales & marketing to Google – and to every other gatekeeper too.

How can you do that? Well, the latest episode of Thinks Out Loud takes a look at the actions taken by gatekeepers over the last couple of years and how you can use these technology giants to help, not harm, your company's sales and marketing.

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 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: 17m 15s

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.

Stop Outsourcing Your Sales & Marketing to Gatekeepers Like Google — Notes

Lots of backlash against Google, Facebook, and other large tech companies. Possible suits brought by the attorneys general of roughly half the states. GDPR, etc. I've talked about this a lot lately, talking about gatekeepers and the death of organic traffic, mentioning that Google is the beast that scares your industry's 800-lb. gorilla and asking whether Google is your enemy.

But this backlash exists for a reason. And the reason is we've ceded too much control, too much power, to too few players. Too many companies have outsourced their sales and marketing to Google via SEO and/or paid search and now are surprised that Google are increasing the costs. Or they've relied on Amazon for the bulk of their sales and are shocked that Amazon now expects a bigger cut. Or put all their hotel inventory on Expedia, then are hurt when Expedia's changes to payments and placement hurt their business.

Notice, the same pattern exists in every case. Why are we surprised by things that always happen?

Yes, gatekeepers gonna gate. That's a fact. But the problem isn't that Google exists. Or Facebook. Or Amazon. Or Expedia. Or Ebay. The problem is that companies have looked to these giants as their primary source of business.

Approach them the way a male black widow spider approaches a female black widow spider. Yes, you're looking for some benefits. But you need to think closely about the potential downsides.

Don't outsource your sales and marketing to any one company who also sells directly to customers.

And in digital, remember that the distinction between advertising and sales is literally just one more click. If I put a paid search ad on Google and the customer clicks to my business, we call that advertising. If I place an add-to-cart button on my site, that's e-commerce (or sales). If Google swaps the ad for the button and charges on the sale, is that advertising or sales? The point is, it doesn't matter. Because of digital, the worlds of media and commerce have merged. That's part of what I mean when I say "It's all e-commerce." Digital breaks down the barriers between products and services and advertising and sales.

But we can take lessons from each and apply them across the board.

In advertising, we've long made a distinction between paid, earned and owned media

  • Which one is Google? Paid and earned, right?
  • Which one is Amazon? Paid. Period.
  • Which one is Expedia? Paid. Period.
  • Which one is Facebook? Paid and earned.
  • Which one is YouTube? Earned and paid.
  • Which one is your website? Owned.

I like to refer to "leased" media. Yes, you can create a page on Facebook or Instagram or YouTube for your business. But think of it like an apartment you rent, not a home you own. Yes, you control the content you get to post, just like you can choose the art you can hang on the walls in your apartment. But remember who owns the walls. And the door. And the keys to that door.

Why is Automattic buying Tumblr a good thing? Because Google didn't buy them. Because Amazon didn't buy them. Because Facebook didn't buy them. FB would have been truly terrible, btw.

  • Use them to reach people you can't reach on your own in a cost-effective manner.
  • Understand they can raise their prices at any time
  • Use a variety of sources to drive traffic and business to channels you own (i.e., your website).
  • Continue to look for other sources that can drive traffic and business to channels you own.
    • Some may be paid
    • Some may be earned
  • But continually think "Hub and spoke"
    • The alternative is "they might choke (you)"
Tim Peter

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August 28, 2019

Mobile, Millennials, and…Moms? (Thinks Out Loud Episode 256)

August 28, 2019 | By | No Comments

Looking to drive results for your business? Click here to learn more.


Millennial mom holding infant and mobile phone

Mobile, Millennials, and…Moms? (Thinks Out Loud Episode 256) – Headlines and Show Notes

I've talked before about the "end of Millennials" and how we need to think about the world's largest demographic cohort not as "Millennials," but as "adults under 40." Well, research from Pew highlights exactly how why that's even more important than you may have realized…and got me thinking about what mobile, millennial moms mean for marketers today.

The latest episode of Thinks Out Loud takes a look at mobile, millennials and moms to uncover how those will shape your marketing over the next year or two — and why you want to be thinking about your business for years to come.

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 05s

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

By

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

By

August 7, 2019

Why Mobile and Data Go Hand-in-Hand for Marketers (Thinks Out Loud Episode 253)

August 7, 2019 | By | No Comments

Looking to drive results for your business? Click here to learn more.


Why Mobile and Data Go Hand-in-Hand for Marketers: Business person using mobile to research product

Why Mobile and Data Go Hand-in-Hand for Marketers (Thinks Out Loud Episode 253) – Headlines and Show Notes

Mobile is a big deal. So is AI. So is personalization. When you address those in isolation, each is useful for your business. But when you put them together, that’s where the true power lies. And that’s why mobile and data go hand-in-hand for marketers.

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

Relevant Links:

Introduction

Why Mobile and Data Go Hand-in-Hand for Marketers: Incredible Insights

Why Mobile and Data Go Hand-in-Hand for Marketers: Leads to AI

Why Mobile and Data Go Hand-in-Hand for Marketers: All the cool kids are doing it

Bar chart showing smartphone data flows to the world's biggest tech companies. Data from more than 88 per cent of apps in the study could end up with Alphabet

Facebook, by comparison, gets data from roughly 43% of the apps researchers reviewed (Financial Times tracking study, October 2018)

Why Mobile and Data Go Hand-in-Hand for Marketers: Yes, you've got to be careful

Why Mobile and Data Go Hand-in-Hand for Marketers: But that doesn't mean "Don't do it"

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 53s

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

By

July 30, 2019

Making Personalization Human (Thinks Out Loud Episode 252)

July 30, 2019 | By | No Comments

Making personalization human: Customers on mobile phones shopping with personalized experiences

Making Personalization Human (Thinks Out Loud Episode 252) – Headlines and Show Notes

Personalization matters in 2020. Customers want it, need it, expect it. And you need to provide it to them. Especially as we enter a world where GDPR and ITP matter to your customers, it's increasingly important that you meet their needs in a way that helps them trust you – and choose you. Fortunately, today's episode of Thinks Out Loud can help you figure out how to do that. And the best place to start is by making personalization human.

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

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: 15m 56s

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.