Martin Dimartino Marriott

Tag: strategy

The Future of SEO?

by Martin on Apr.13, 2010, under Articles by Martin, Blog

The game might soon be changing for search optimisation…

I was reading with interest in this week’s Marketing Week. A very interesting article detailing the recent developments in ’social search’, and brands now focusing more on ensuring that their marketing activity includes blogs and social media, since Google is now increasing the importance of this user generated content and social media activity in ranking your site. Thanks for the huge rise in mobile search and publishing, Google now ranks tweets among the usual search results, so clearly, the definition of ‘relevancy’ is shifting.

The strategy of the week for marketers now appears to be that instead of competing for search supremacy, they’re trying to target the influencers, making them ‘brand advocates’ using social media at a more grassroots level, according to the article. That’s quite an audacious strategy, as we already know that using social media as a non-value-added one-way marketing channel is bound to fail, and slam your reputation.

What’s more concerning, though, isn’t these changes in what’s ranked, but something somewhat outside the brand’s control. A site’s ranking will soon differ depending on who searches! Google is now moving search along a step further in its relentless quest for relevancy.
Just as we thought Google wasn’t getting more scary, the search algorithm now analyses the activity of an individual users’ social profiles and past search history, and uses this as a heuristic to make a guess at what it thinks you’re looking for. So a site’s ranking cannot be consistent or absolute anymore. Bad news for SEO consultants.
The crucial thing is that search optimisation and ranking are being brought closer to the whole business strategy itself; on-line marketing strategy will just become the strategy, perhaps finally closing the disparity.

Of course, there are upsides and downsides, depending on who you are.

This could mean that only people who are actually interested in your product or brand will find your site, indeed if it’s optimised and if Google ‘guesses’ correctly and lets you see it!
I would expect this kind of intelligent search to become more accurate over time, perhaps harnessing crowd intelligence of many users terms to help the process.
So that should surely mean a better conversion rate, and better relevancy for a more narrow set of key words. It’s great for consumers as one would find what they’re looking for more quickly.

However, it could mean that businesses who are entirely internet-based, may need to go as far as revising their very strategy, becoming more focused in exactly the market they’re aimed at or the products they stock; it wouldn’t be too far-fetched to expect a reduced amount of traffic for a poorly-focused marketing strategy.

Rolling with it…

As I said, this could be bad news for SEO consultancies, who may soon have much-reduced control over a site’s exposure. Perhaps the scope of their job needs to change instead if they’re to remain relevant in future.

Businesses have to innovate to stay ahead, and if they don’t, someone else will, and it just so happens that Google has changed the game a little in this case, soon forcing marketers and SEO people to adapt.
How? Well SEO people may now have to redefine their role to be broader social media and on-line strategy consultants, ensuring their clients are represented in search results of a more specific nature and based on the new metrics of social media activity, and narrowed relevancy. A significant challenge to an already-arcane art, likely to spawn a new generation of ‘gurus’.

Google have become the driving force of innovation in user experience on-line, evolving their search product as the content on-line changes; and now in their quest for relevancy, they’ve changed the rules for what defines ‘relevant’ and given on-line marketers something else to think about when it comes to optimising their site.

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Titan Watch Co. Report

by Martin on Dec.02, 2008, under Blog, Martin's Life Blog

Finally – we got our Titan case study project handed in. The first assignment on MSc Marketing where we had to analyse Titan Watch Co’s strategic ability to expand their operations overseas by conducting various analyses. It wasn’t all that painfull once I started with it. It was more of an administrative task than anything, trying to organise the various parts between us – Internal analysis, CAGE framework, value chain, possible market developments etc.

Some members of the group were way too pedantic, perhaps emphasising the ‘prettiness’ of the report rather than their actual substansive input.

The task was made more difficult becuase of the ‘mixed’ ability in English language – most people on the course have English as a second language, so this has potential to be a problem with group working.

I was happy to go through the work and check for grammar though, even though it takes ages. It’s all of our mark in the end!

It’s satisfying to get it done and dusted, but I know there’s many more ahead.

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Ending Strategic Perspectives

by Martin on Nov.12, 2008, under Blog, Martin's Life Blog

The module of Strategic Perspectives has now ended. Was quite a good module I reckon – certianly probabaly going to be one of my favourties, yet I’m looking forward to ‘The Customer Experience’. That’ll be the real ‘business end’ of marketing.

We now have a case study and an assignment task in our posession. We are in small groups and have to do a report between us making recommendations to the company in the case study – Titan Watches. It’s now a case of revising all the analysis techniques we’ve learned to analyse the strategic position and potential for growth of Titan.

I’m going to struggle to begin the anaysis, but I’m hoping I can draw from the techniques in the core book as well as find other stuff from other sources.

On the more creative front, Iv’e been working on Mark’s web site for his DJ business. Iv’e made a couple of banners for the web site Iv’e made and his business cards. Here’s a sample of a couple of banners:

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Back on it

by Martin on Nov.05, 2008, under Blog, Martin's Life Blog

After a week of more broken-up sessions, mostly digesting the Strategy lectures with torial groups, we’re back on the 5 days – 5 lectures – 5 chapters again. I was barely caught up with the reading!
I’m trying to make slide-by-slide notes, but it’s difficult to assimilate all the information. I don’t think I’m alone though.

Iv’e taken to using my MP3 player to record the lectures so I can perhaps use it when writing up the slides to some kind of prose.

Me and Alison stayed behind a couple of mins after the Strategy lecture this afternoon and had an off-the-record chat with Alistair. I find lecturers are suprisingly forthcoming when you get them after-hours. They offer advice and talk to you more normally. I only have a couple more weeks to go through the chapter of the fat ‘Exploring Strategic Perspectives’ book…then we’re onto ‘The Customer Experience’ module. After the Titan Watches case study that is – that’s gonna be scary!

I’m looking forward to doing the damage on Strategy and moving on to ‘The Customer Experience’ where we’ll deal with the consumer behaviour side of things.

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