Every now and then, we need a change of perspective to move forward in the world, especially when our circumstances change dramatically.
We’re on the cusp of something huge. Our lives are becoming increasingly networked. More of our devices understand what we say, and some even think (on a basic level) for themselves. Estimates for the number of connected devices by 2020 range from 50 billion to 200 billion. That’s around 25 connected devices per person on the planet. The smart-home industry, which was non-existent a few years ago, will be worth nearly $60 billion by the same year. With hundreds of millions of wearables, connected cars and the like, we’re stepping into a sci-fi reality of Oculus Rift, Microsoft Hololens, Google’s autonomous cars and IBM’s Watson.
If you’re in marketing, you know that sometimes departments don’t align. This becomes especially true when SEO works on a web development project. As SEOs, we look to search engine guidelines to determine how a site should be constructed. Unfortunately, this typically hasn’t reflected what a developer must keep in mind in terms of building a site off of dazzling creative and excellent UX.
A developer’s job is to bring something to life: to build amazing sites, web apps, and platforms that are remarkable. An SEO is responsible for bringing the user and search engine together to drive traffic to what the developer has built. Traditionally, SEOs leave web development to the developers and then come in to optimize after a site is built.
But development is becoming increasingly important to the SEO process. Search engines are evolving and are beginning to consider user experience in the algorithm, which is incorporated and brought to life by developers. All this means SEOs also have to evolve.
For me, writing began as a passion when I was young. It was how I shared my thoughts and feelings when my physical voice failed me (as it often did). Ideas came easily to mind, and my fingers flew across the keys as I typed pages and pages of thoughts and stories.
For someone who hadn’t lived very much life, I had a lot to say.
Like many creatives, I turned my passion into my profession. Because writing was something I enjoyed and something I was good at, I felt I had found the biggest life hack when I realized people would pay me to write.
That’s what us copywriters do. We get paid to write. We write other people’s thoughts, stories, and manifestos. We write their product descriptions and company profiles and websites. We bring stories and brands to life through great writing.
The great copywriters are those who can write like anyone. They’re those who can adopt any brand’s voice and tone, those who can take a fraction of an idea and turn it into something truly beautiful and epic and on-brand. Those who can be anyone.
But what happens when we forget how to be ourselves?
In marketing, we talk a lot about worldviews. You can’t be everything to everyone, so instead, you find an audience, you work to understand their worldviews and you create marketing that resonates with them.
It’s why Starbucks recently ran ads in major newspapers asking people “To go beyond the hatred and vitriol” and find unity during the political process, and why brands as varied as Disney, the NFL, MailChimp and Salesforce took a stand against discrimination and released statements against Georgia’s recent religious freedom bill. They all wanted to align themselves with the core beliefs of their audiences.
I’m thankful every day that I’m a marketer. This industry is exhilarating. We have incredible tools and technology to use. We have new platforms, social networks, targeting options, and the data we have access to is beyond comprehension. It’s like being the proverbial kid in the candy store.
Yet, we don’t always take advantage of all the tools, data, and knowledge before us. Marketers (agencies and client-side) tend to take the hammer’s point of view where everything looks like a nail. And the nail is traffic.
Whatever the challenge before us, we create strategies and implement tactics to chase the traffic dragon.
This isn’t new. Back in the day, when the buyer journey was a little simpler, traffic was still our main focus. It’s always been about getting more people, more eyeballs, and more views.
We’re obsessed with getting more traffic, and there is always more traffic to get.
It makes sense, right? Our clients want to see the fruits of our efforts, so we expend tons of energy driving traffic to wherever they want (in today’s world, it’s typically to their website). Invest some time, throw in some money, and boom – job done.
Or is it?