The lead gen tactic that we all despise

We can forgive the innocent B2B marketer for spamming their lists.
Euphemistically, we call it “blasting”– doesn’t sound like fun on the receiving end, does it?

And we can even forgive the aggressive conference badge scanner or telemarketer.
Remind me to never let exhibitors scan my badge either– since the 7 am wake-up calls cramp my style.

But this type of sin is particularly troublesome since it’s done by a company that claims expertise in lead gen:

This person appears to be asking for help, but really they’re using a canned sales message that continues to follow up incessantly.
In fact, their company admits it in their note “Our automated tools allow us to easily scale up your growth”.

They claim “push button” simplicity in lead gen– that we can sit back and watch the leads roll in.
We will get “thousands of highly-targeted leads and a laser-targeted email copy that converts”– their words, not mine.

Marketing is about truly caring for the customer, not viewing them as a wallet for raiding, which happens to have legs.

We’re all so busy and struggling to keep up that it’s tempting to want to resort to spamming shortcuts.
It’s for the same reason that people want to lose weight fast or get rich quickly.

Spam in the form of flyers on your windshield or knives peddled at your doorstep– it’s the same thing.
Be a marketer that attracts people with love, as opposed to carpet bombing cities with propaganda.

The outbound cold-calling and spamming sales approach must give way to authentic inbound marketing.

Today’s marketers are too smart for brute force approaches to work, especially as they educate themselves and bring functions like media buying in-house.  The networks such as Google, Facebook, and LinkedIn are creating training and automation that will cut out middlemen over time.

Incidentally, this gentleman never replied to my email, though he seemed so urgent in wanting to talk to me.

Google’s search share went from 79% to 75%– why that doesn’t matter

So much quibbling among the SEOs about how Bing is stealing traffic from Google or how Yahoo! isn’t what it once was.
Ten years ago, I worked at Yahoo! And while I’d be tempted to chime in on this tempest in a teapot, they’re missing the point.

That’s me with Jerry and David, who co-founded Yahoo!

People are increasingly spending their time in apps and in closed gardens.
Facebook kicked out Bing, which powered their search, in favor of their own search.
Do you think Amazon is going to let Google ever power their search results?
How about letting Google into your very personal Snapchat experience?

The search game as we know it is over– Google has won with a dominant monopoly position.
The old-timers will argue that Yandex’s 55% share in Russia or Baidu in China at 56% means there’s still competition.
Or maybe they’ll point out how search is still strong and getting more personalized.

But what they miss is that personalization technology, no matter how awesome, is only as good as the amount and quality of the underlying data.
The social network and app economy have far more data than the search engine does– they have no incentive to share it.

In the long run, whoever has the most robust data about users will do a better job personalizing.

That creates ad revenue, which allows the network to invest in more features (things like Gmail or driving cars) and better ad tech.

It’s not that Google is going to be dead or that search is going the way of the print yellow pages.
It’s that search has reached maturity, so Google is having to do things like to invest in wearables and Uber.
It’s less about buggy whips and more about Innovator’s Dilemma.

So don’t be like the old geezers sitting on the front porch swapping war stories.

Make sure you know who your customers are, independent of the keywords they search, social networks they hang out on, apps they use, videos they play, brands they like, or places they visit.
The sites/apps/things that they frequent will be the ones providing self-serve ad interfaces allowing you to target exactly these people.

Right now, Facebook has the most profile information and user activity, so they’re the current winner in targeted personalization.
But you know that Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and even Apple have released their own targeted ad platforms, fueled by their user behavior.

A keyword is not a user

The search engine doesn’t remember what you’ve done last time– you get the same answer each time.
When you set up your marketing automation properly, you’re able to snipe the demand well before it ever becomes a search.

So when we start to see search decline, you’ll know why– it’s like an ounce of prevention versus a pound of cure.
And the cost to both acquire and keep customers via inbound marketing is much cheaper than paying full price at the last minute when the customer finally needs it.