Has The Marketing Profession Come To An End?4
It was quite a shock last week when Google confirmed they were removing search ads on the right hand of your desktop search results. Only when Google thinks it is relevant they will put several commercial search results on top of the organic results on your desktop. That is quite a change. This also demonstrates the power and of a company like Google, they just do and all over sudden the entire advertisement arena has been changed. If I look to ourselves it also has quite some impact. When entering new countries where we never had a presence we need to start from scratch and SEA was the way to go. Now with these changes it becomes much more difficult, in other words much more expensive, to get top ratings when people are looking for something. SEO is the way to go but when we just decided to move into a country it is harder to get in front of people who have the intention to buy our type of cloud business software. In fact Google made the decision to make it harder for companies to enter new countries. Who could have thought that 15 years ago.
As a marketing professional you know that having a strong SEO strategy on mid-long term will bring you results. It gets harder and harder to understand the dynamics of Google algorithms and at a certain moment I think it is better to just take it as it is. Meaning just write, express and do what you truly believe in and if it matters Google will find you and connect you with people and businesses who are interested in you. And we must give Google all credits once it is about making the internet more relevant. Whether it is via Chrome, Android or one of their free apps like Google Maps, I am always able to find my way to the right information. Always impressed how Google is aware of a certain context, location and device agnostic. Google is shifting from a search engine to a place where you truly find things.
I think it is better to just take it as it is. Meaning just write, express and do what you truly believe in and if it matters
One of the companies who is also doing a marvellous job in this area in my opinion is LinkedIn. They could be considered as one of the relatively ‘old guys’ on the internet but the agility they have shown by embracing new developments is the marketplace is amazing. LinkedIn is one of my favorite apps because what they publish is my timeline is always utmost relevant. Back in 2013 they acquired Pulse and now it is fully integrated within their products. They build a strong set of algorithms getting to know me better over time. And that is what it is about: relevance.
So what is Google’s approach and what does that mean to our profession? First of all I think they will take some major steps towards making it more sticky and enable transactions within the search engine itself. Now people start to enter their keyword, they find something and they click away. Google gets paid for it and that’s it. But this recent announcement demonstrates what Google is up to. I already noticed when looking for a flight I didn’t have to leave the platform, I was able to book my flight from within the search engine. In this example it goes even beyond booking a flight. More information is provided which should be utmost relevant to the visitor.
So from a marketing point of view, what does that all mean? Well it means that for an important media channel we are done with pushing our messages to our audiences. Even if we are willing to pay much money for it. It is a kind of a simple principle, just pay lots of money and you get in front of your audience. Now it becomes much more complicated to get in front of your audience. You can do an attempt to understand Google’s algorithms but by the time you found out they change. So assuming that with these moves they have the true intention to make the internet more relevant, just focus on your value proposition and start to add value within every touch you have with your audience. Google offers many ways how to integrate with their platform so the technical component on how to exchange data in order to get into their next gen search engine is key. It is not so much about marketing your product or service and keep on pushing messages, it is about thinking how to engage by being conscious about someone, its context, its profile and so on.
Marketing = Product = Engagement
I am a strong believer that marketing as many know it today will change dramatically. There won’t be any marketing in 5 years from now. It should be part of the product or service that you deliver. A customer is someone who touch bases with you from the very first moment and you need to proof yourself based on the promises that you make. Then it might become a paid customer and the game of engagement keeps on going. In the era of marketing the product and service is separated from all marketing efforts done to get customers and make them happy customers. There won’t be any marketing in 5 years from now.In the era of engagement, marketing is part of the product and service. Managing engagement becomes a profession, someone who understand who needs what in which circumstances and knows how to connect with a variety of platforms which are in the marketplace. Within Exact we take some steps to prepare for this new era. Having multiple communities where companies and professionals opt-in for accessing their data. In return they get relevance and we facilitate engagement with others who matter to them. At the end it will result in becoming a better business. We connect our own platforms and communities to others and leverage all data which is in there. Curious to hear which actions you take to prepare yourself or do you remain a marketeer?
Great post Mark. I don’t think marketing as we know it will be dead in five years, not by a long shot. People are people and they just love to talk about themselves and they will always carry that natural tendency into their daily work. But I totally agree with you that marketing is more and more about providing an integrated and consistent experience across all touch points and that it will become harder and harder to just push your message into the marketplace. It must be comforting for marketeers that there are still platforms that engage their audience for a living, whom they can partner with to deliver meaningful experiences 😉
Txs pieter for your comment, watch this space how we as Exact are preparing ourselves for this new era 😉
Good post Mark. In my opinion, the impact of losing the right column of search ads doesn’t have that much impact. Click rates on ad 4-10 were only a very few percent of all clicks made on a page. In the left column, the ads and their extensions push the organic results down below the fold, so losing focus from SEA could harm the business. Relevance, quantified in various metrics by Google is now more important than ever. Especially in a market Exact is in.
Looking at the future, happy customers will be your best marketing. Therefore, I strongly believe that a marketer should not just focus on finding a customer and handing him over to sales but in addition focus on customer satisfaction and customer value to be able to engage with prospects in the future.
Hi Roy, txs. In the meantime we also see the removal of right column ads even have a positive impact for us!