Posts tagged "SEO"

Summit Insider: Elisabeth Osmeloski on marketing and the role of SEO

Our Summit Insiders is a collection of marketing experts whom we’ve invited to join us on the ground at Summit to share their insights, observations and experience via social media, blogging and other digital outlets. We sat down with Elisabeth Osmeloski, one of our Insiders to talk about marketing, reinvention (the theme of this year’s Summit) and more. Here’s what she had to say:

Elisabeth_InsiderDigital marketing changes each and every day. How do you consistently reinvent yourself to meet the ever-changing demands of this industry? 
Good question! The biggest challenge for most people in the industry is just keeping up with the change when change happens at an alarming rate. For many I know (and myself included), several hours of nearly every day are carved out just for scanning headlines and reading updates from reputable industry sites as well as platform and product blogs that may affect their current marketing campaigns.

For digital marketers to keep up, it’s imperative that we stay up to date on new features offered by search and social platforms, so they can begin to strategize how to best leverage those for their company’s efforts. On top of that, they also need to be aware of upgrades and changes to the vendor tools they use on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.

Finally, everyone needs to take a step back and look at the big picture of how everything in digital works together – from every angle, including personalization and privacy, social and mobile technology, to name just a few. That’s where trusted marketing technology news sites (like our own Marketing Land & Search Engine Land of course, but several others as well) as well as mainstream media and business publications come in handy to quickly surface the bigger issues.

But in order to reinvent yourself (and particularly useful if you’ve been ‘stuck’ in a single vertical for a long time) – I do think it’s important to draw inspiration from other industries and to try to take a look at what they’re doing with a fresh eye, so you can bring those learnings into your own strategies.

How do you see the role of SEO evolving in the next five years?
SEO has been evolving since the day it was invented – but the real potential for search engine optimization over the next few years is a renewed focus on information architecture to better take advantage of structured data. As search platforms continue to try to better understand query intent and are finally making strides in semantic search, structured data is helping inform algorithms of who, what, when, where, why and how – publishers have an opportunity to influence this from the ground up.

However, in the age of ‘direct and instant’ answers for top level queries, SEO is going to have to find new opportunities to be discovered in search, and get the click through from search results. One of the biggest challenges for SEO continues to be the fight for credit and traffic / ROI attribution. In a world of [not provided] keywords, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to track results at scale. For that reason, it’s also likely that SEO might just be folded into a bigger marketing role as all websites become ‘content publishers’.

There’s also the concept that search happens in other formats beyond the desktop – not just on mobile, but within mobile apps, on wearables and in voice search for example – ‘optimizing’ for those results will be another opportunity for marketers to capture audience attention.

What skills do you think are going to be imperative for digital marketers to have in the future?
For the creative side of the marketing table, it’s become obvious that using to data to inform your marketing strategies is what’s going to matter most. Being able to build a scalable strategy, test and measure results at every stage, and adjust accordingly is ultimately what is going to drive the success of all marketing. Add the complication of needing to do this effectively in ‘real-time’, using a mix of technology platforms and human interaction. Adaptability and agility are the keywords.

What advice would you someone entering into the digital marketing industry?
My advice is to pick at least one specialty to focus on and become a true expert in that area – whether that’s organic search, paid advertising, email marketing, social media, content development or analytics. But do keep yourself well informed on all the other aspects of digital so that you have a deeper understanding of how to leverage other opportunities and more importantly, work with other members of your team and in other business units around your company.

More about Elisabeth Osmeloski 
Elisabeth Osmeloski is Director of Audience Development for Marketing Land and Search Engine Land, two of the leading trade publications in the digital marketing space. She is responsible for increasing readership through owned, earned and paid media channels. As part of her role on the editorial team, she assists in programming SEO and related digital marketing sessions at Third Door Media’s Search Marketing Expo conference series. Elisabeth also co-founded SLCSEM.org – a local association for Utah based search and digital marketing professionals.

Summit Insider: Travis Wright on Marketing Technology Stacks, CMTOs, Awesomeization and Reinvention

Earlier today, we introduced this year’s Summit Insiders. Summit Insiders is a collection of marketing experts whom we’ve invited to join us on the ground at Summit to share their insights, observations and experience via social media, blogging and other digital outlets. We sat down with Travis Wright, one of our Insiders to talk about marketing, reinvention (the theme of this year’s Summit) and more. Here’s what Travis had to say:

travis_wright

Throughout your career you’ve had a great deal of diverse experience. How do you think this has helped you continuously reinvent yourself?
Reinvention is critical in this space. When I started in the mid-90s, I was selling yellow page ads with GTE, which later became Verizon. I learned early on that most businesses didn’t “get” the Internet yet. So, if you were in Kansas City and were a plumber, you’d better register KCPlumber.com or something similar. SEO was something I figured out intuitively before Google was even invented. I’ve always made a point of figuring out what is coming next and positioning myself in that sweet spot.

Then paid search came along with Goto.com and Overture, and I needed to gain a grasp on this for my clients. So I kept learning and optimizing my knowledgebase. Social media came along in the early 2000s, and I even did a few marketing experiments on Friendster! Remember them? Then mobile marketing came along and now we have marketing technology stacks.

So, the theme of my reinvention is always looking forward, understanding where the market is heading, and gaining the necessary knowledge and skill sets to be effective in both the current landscape and the next frontier of marketing.

How do you see the digital marketing industry evolving in the next five years?
This is something that I’ve spent a wealth of time thinking about what’s coming in the next 3-5 year. In 2012, Gartner said, “The CMO is going to have larger budgets than I.T. moving forward in 2017.” Thus, I think the buzz phrase for 2015 and beyond is the “Marketing Technology Stack”. Some companies are getting it now, but I believe it will become more mainstream in the next 2-3 years.

If you’ve seen the Marketing Technology Landscape by Scott Brinker, you know that this is a crowded space. One that is inevitably confusing for many old-school marketers. So, I’ve positioned my company MediaThinkLabs as a Chief Marketing Technology Officer and consult with businesses on how they should arrange their marketing stack. What does the perfect marketing stack look like for your brand or your industry? This is what brand marketers should be considering today.

To start off any marketing stack, you should use some tag management solution – whatever you choose, you need to have a system in place to manage, deploy, and benefit from all of your marketing tags. It’s just too time consuming to place tags on 1000s of pages manually, and quite frankly there is no need to do that with enterprise level tools available.

Aside from the tag management subcategory of the marketing middleware category, you have infrastructure needs, marketing backbone platforms, marketing operations, marketing experiences, Internet, and cloud-based technologies to consider.

Being an enterprise marketer these days can be tough and confusing!

What skills do you think are going to be imperative for digital marketers to have in the future?
You have to become more data-driven. Gone are the days of fluff marketing. If you don’t know the numbers, and have metrics and analytics behind your efforts, then someone who does will soon be replacing you. This should frighten you into action. If not, enjoy retirement.

What is the best career advice you’ve received?
Never stop learning. In this industry, if I had stopped learning after college, I’d now be obsolete. In fact, I’d be as obsolete as that rotary home phone with the long cord that my mom would use to talk around the house. If you don’t continue learning in this marketing space… you are a rotary phone.

What’s one of the most common digital marketing challenges that you’re seeing from companies that you’re working with?
Optimizing optimization, or as I like to joke, “Awesomeization.” Getting a grasp on all of the data and metrics. How do you manage, own, collect, and act on all of your online, offline, and offsite data sources? What does it all mean? How can you learn more about your customers? How can you create context-aware content based on the visitors who come to your site? If you understand the marketing technology space, the answers are clear. If you do not… then you may need some help.

More about Travis Wright
Travis is a Venture Catalyst, Keynote Speaker, CMTO, Stand-Up Comic, Marketing Technology Entrepreneur, Data & Analytics Geek, Tech Journalist, and Growth Hacker. The former Global Social Media Strategist at Symantec, Wright has strategized marketing for hundreds of B2B & B2C business websites, from start-ups and mid-size businesses to Fortune 50 companies. With his consulting company, MediaThinkLabs, Wright travels throughout the country assisting company executives plan, optimize, integrate and execute successful digital media strategies. Wright’s tech podcast, Social Brands and Influencers, is hosted weekly on Technorati.

His blog is TravisWright.com. You can find him on Twitter @teedubya.