• Want To Be More Strategic? Stand Up!
    One of the things that always frustrated me in my professional experience was my difficulty in switching from tactical to strategic thinking. For many years, I served on a board that was responsible for the strategic direction of an organization. A friend of mine, Andy Freed, served as an advisor to the board. He constantly lectured us on the difference between strategy and tactics: "Strategy is your job. Tactics are mine. Stick to your job and I'll stick to mine." Despite this constant reminder, our discussions always seemed to quickly spiral down to the tactical level. We all caught ourselves ...
  • Social Media: Matching Maturity To The Right Business Model
    Last week, I talked about the maturity continuum of social media. This week, I'd like to recap and look at the business model implications of each phase.
  • Google+: No.2 Social Network, Ghost Town Or Key Driver Of Local Search?
    Google+ launched in June of 2011 to such an overwhelming response that it had to shut down to handle the demand. This past March, Forrester Research compared its popularity to Twitter and said every marketer should use it. But this is widely debated, with the New York Times pronouncing it a ghost town and Forbes suggesting that it was dead. We can speculate all day about the future of Google+, but we know for sure that it's ingrained in local search. Even Google agrees. Unfortunately, local search is incredibly complicated, having to address both Google Places and Google+ Local. There's ...
  • Who Are the Most Influential SEMs On Twitter - And Why You Won't Tweet This Article
    The folks at LeadTail have just released a comprehensive report on how SEM professionals use Twitter. First off, this report is not just a popularity report, e.g., who has the most followers or who gets the most retweets; instead, it is a report on who has the most influence on SEM professionals on Twitter. In other words, it's sort of an "inside baseball" report: Who do search nerds follow and retweet on Twitter?
  • The Maturity Continuum Of Social Media
    Social channels will come and go. Why are we still surprised by this? Just last week, Catharine Taylor talked about the ennui that's threatening to silence Twitter. Frankly, the only thing surprising about this is that Twitter has had that long a run. Let's face it. If every there was a social media one-trick pony, it's Twitter.
  • Two Views Of Technology's Promise
    In my last two columns, I've looked at how technology may be making us intellectually lazy. The human brain tends to follow the path of least resistance and technology's goal is to eliminate resistance. Last week, I cautioned that this may end up making us both more shallow in our thinking and more fickle in our social ties. We may become an attention-deficit society, skipping across the surface of the world. But this doesn't necessarily have to be the case.
  • Googling The Future Of Search
    In 2010, I wrote a book called "Everything I Know about Marketing I Learned from Google." The last chapter focused on "Future-Proofing," where I talked about how connected devices and apps are changing consumer behavior and providing new opportunities for brands to reach their audiences. More specifically, I discussed how Google would be well-positioned in this new world of "app-sisstants" with its investment in Android. Now here we are four years later and Android commands more than 80% global market share for smartphone operating systems. And Google's investment in connected devices and apps extends well beyond phones and tablets (and ...
  • Are Our Brains Trading Breadth for Depth?
    I don't think Google is necessarily making us stupid. It may be freeing up the incredibly flexible power of our minds, giving us the opportunity to redefine what it means to be knowledgeable. Rather than a storehouse of random information, our minds may have the opportunity to become more creative integrators of available information. Our memory could become an index of interesting concepts and useful resources, rather than ad-hoc scraps of knowledge. Of course, this positive evolution of our brains is far from a given.
  • Search And Call Measurement: An Advanced Placement Class
    If you're the marketing director of a business that relies in some way on phone calls to drive new sales or set appointments, you're probably already using call extensions in your search program. After all, more than $65 billion is spent annually across media to generate consumer calls to businesses, according to a recent report by research firm BIA/Kelsey. If you're unfamiliar with call extensions -- the term for the call icon and clickable phone number that appear as part of a sponsored result in mobile search -- then check out our tips and best practices, which appeared here on ...
  • Pros And Cons Of A Fuel-Efficient Brain
    Your brain will only work as hard as it has to. And if it makes you feel any better, my brain is exactly the same. That's the way brains work. They conserve horsepower until it's absolutely needed. In the background, the brain is doing a constant calculation: "What do I want to achieve -- and based on everything I know, what is the easiest way to get there?" You could call it lazy, but I prefer the term "efficient."
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