We humans hate loss. In fact, we seem to value losing something about twice as high as gaining something. For example, imagine I gave you a coffee cup and then offered to buy it back from you. That's scenario 1. In scenario 2, I ask you to buy the same coffee cup from me. The price you assign to the coffee cup in the first scenario will be, on the average, about twice as much as in the second. And yes, there's research to back this up.
It's been a few years since I officially brought sexy back to search, but I'm proud to proclaim that SEM is hotter than ever. Over the last few weeks, I've been poring over data in our platform to identify global search advertising trends. Here are some of the tantalizing insights:
I was recently asked by a client to prepare a detailed, "thoughtful" analysis of where the world of digital marketing is heading. This particular client is interested in getting out ahead of its competition by laying a communications foundation today that will sustain it for years to come. Though I knew that anything my team and I came back with would be largely subjective, we were near giddy at the chance to think beyond the current month or quarter. This was blue-sky territory, and a rare opportunity.
So, this is my 400th column for Search Insider. Of course, you'll notice that recently, I've paid scant attention to the domain restrictions of the column's title. In the past year, I've only written about search less than half the time. But I think the mix of topics you'll find in my column is reflective of search. As I've always said, search acts as a connector in the online landscape. It stitches together our online experiences, as a foundational underpinning to the new digital world.
According to the Chinese Zodiac, 2013 is the Year of the Snake. It is expected that "all things will be possible" and "saving money and being thrifty should be your top priorities." Turning that wisdom into practical action begins with an understanding of program performance and where efforts are best aimed. Get gritty with the details and eliminate that which obfuscates results.
I spent a good chunk of this past weekend thinking about SEO, and specifically the data that SEOs rely on to quantify success and identify next steps in the optimization continuum. Fueling my curiosity (this time) was an article by Vanessa Fox that appeared in Search Engine Land on Friday, "Will [Not Provided] Ever Reach 100% In Web Analytics?"
Did you know there are 18,903 social media gurus on Twitter? I haven't the faintest idea what the prerequisites are for becoming a "guru," but apparently thousands of people have passed the hypothetical "bar." As a baseline, the original Sanskrit meaning of "guru" meant "teacher" or "master." Fair enough, I suppose. It seems fairly benign. But the way many use the term, I think Wikipedia's definition might be more fitting: "In the United States, the meaning of 'guru' has been used to cover anyone who acquires followers, especially by exploiting their naivet."
Just two weeks into the new year, and things already feel back to full speed. Client programs are being set into motion; the bar this year has been set higher than ever before. And in the spirit of my public proclamation from last week's column that I am committed to becoming more focused and action-oriented, let's investigate the one fundamental communication component that will determine whether we succeed against those lofty expectations: our content strategy.
If you are a Darwinist, one of the questions you may have asked yourself is, on what timescale does evolution play out? Is it a long, gradual development of new and differentiated species? Or, as Stephen Jay Gould and Niles Eldridge believe, does evolution happen in short spurts, separated by long periods of stasis (their theory is called Punctuated Equilibrium)?
2013 holds enormous opportunity for us all. Change is inevitable; evolution and innovations are inevitable, too. We need to stay nimble in order to adjust our approaches as those inevitabilities occur. Though I don't have a crystal ball to predict everything the year ahead will bring, I am thinking of a few things we all can do better. Here's to 2013, and some resolutions we all should make: