The Marketer vs. The Technician

An interesting thing I read recently mentioned that Google transformed advertising into a software program. Well, they are not the only ones. Many other companies have transformed many other crafts and professions into software programs.
That is what appears to the superficial observer. People, who have learned how to use a specific software start thinking that (or forget) they are (should be) marketers.
Real people, selling real things, to other real people, who are responding to messages meant to convince someone to do something.
A very clear symptom is when these people start talking solely in terms of click-thrus, conversion, and any other technical terms used to evaluate their efforts.
The way to tackle this issue is two fold:
1. Technical: Yes, you need to master each and every feature of that program you are using. The better you get at it, the more freedom and efficiency you will gain and it will have a great impact on your original objective.
2. Marketing / Business: Well, this is why you exist, isn't it? You need to master the understanding of PEOPLE you are trying to influence to do something. The ins and outs of the business, and what those people are like, how they think, what their preferences are, and what you can learn in order to create a great following.
The more you walk on this parallel path (both at the same time), the more each will make sense, and the more you find value in every new discovery you make in either path.
Try exchanging technical terms with human terms to remember what you are really doing.
The Click thru rate increased: people interested in X responded to this emotion better.
The conversion rate dropped: we need to better understand what is preventing people from trusting us enough to buy the product.
This is not an exercise in positive thinking, it is a focusing tool so you don't get carried away with all the new features you learned how to use, and focus on the core activities you need to focus on.

AdWords Workshop - Social Media Forum

I shared this presentation during the last Social Media Forum in Abu Dhabi, and it was great interacting with AdWords users at different levels of expertise in CPC and online marketing in general.

My main frustration is with AdWords technicians who view it as a software that they just "use", instead of dealing with it as one of the tools available to them as online marketers.

Hence, the structure of the presentation is on how to best use AdWords for effective marketing, and didn't give much focus on the details of setting up accounts, campaigns, etc.

For simplicity, the concepts were presented in three main sections:

1. Understanding the market: using whatever AdWords provides in tools that help in research, and how to use the data for segmenting the market and inferring user intent from the keywords. The two main tools are the Keyword Tool, and Insights for Search.

2. Understanding your website: something I don't usually see in AdWords teaching materials, but I think is vital before you start any campaign or any marketing activity. Understanding comes in terms of what kind of website you have, and therefore what are the actions that you want your users to complete when they come. Another frequently neglected aspect of campaign is checking whether or not the content on your site reflects the needs of the market (you need to compare the understandings of section 1 and 2). Finally web analytics should be used to know what is already working and what is not on your site, so as to point users to the right pages.

3. Strategies and Tactics: based on the understanding of the market and your website, you are now ready to formulate your strategies and tactics and to decide on what tools you will use to maximize your results. This section explores the main options available.

Here is the presentation:

Scratch and Win Online

The idea seemed really absurd when I first heard about it. But actually it really works, and fun to do. Everyone who sees it gets addicted to scratching and looking for whatever might appear on the "card".
Scratch Yourself have created a really cool tool that allows you to create your own card, with your own picture. People who scratch can actually win! Not only that, they are giving the prize to both, the person who scratched, and the person who sent them. By attending to the benefit of the sender also, this ensures that a large number of people will send this to their friends, and makes a viral effect.

Go scratch my card, maybe we can both win!