For anyone who knows me even a little bit, you may be tempted to say the answer is Mike loves Coffee, SEO and Online Marketing.  That is certainly true.  Ironically, my passion for good coffee was the driving reason that I took my product management and development skills to the next level and learned eCommerce, SEO and web development.  But that is too long of a story to tell in this post.

So here is how I see things regarding the state of coffee in and around Philadelphia

There are many varieties of coffee grown in many parts of the world.  Each has their own distinct characteristics and nuances.  Some very noticeable, and some more subtle.  And as far as quality and preparation of the end product – that ranges from a cup of brewed joe at the local diner (sitting for way too long on a warmer), or espresso or Americano or sadly one of those sweet coffee-based drinks that taste more like a milkshake or smoothie than coffee.

There are many varieties of coffee grown in many parts of the world.  Each has their own distinct characteristics and nuances.  Some very noticeable, and some more subtle.  And as far as quality and preparation of the end product – that ranges from not drinkable coffee at an interstate gas station at 2:00 a.m. to that perfect freshly roasted coffee, brewed to order, at a local organic coffee shop.

Quality and style are all over the board.  Mostly it is somewhere in between, more towards the gas station variety in my experience.

So here is how I see things regarding the state of Online Marketing

There are many varieties of online marketing and SEO experts in many parts of the world.  Each has their own distinct characteristics and nuances.  Some very noticeable, and some more subtle.  And as far as the quality of the end product – there are several major categories of people who profess to know online marketing, some good, and some not so good.

Three Types of Marketers

The part-time novice
 “I am a marketer now because I signed up for a guru’s course” type (you probably have a
relative or two in this category)

 who know how to do specific things like setting up email auto-responders, managing social media accounts, set up awesome looking and SEO friendly social media profiles, and all flavors of specialized SEO practitioners.  Often time you can find these types working freelance or as part of an agency, many times being the SME (subject matter expert) in their particular skill set.

Marketing Consultant – a good marketing consultant is going to have an upfront conversation with you and your key stakeholders to make sure you are on the same page, find out what you are trying to accomplish (now the tactical how you are going to do it), make suggestions about the correct order of things to maximize results and dollars, and then oversee the implementation of the plan and most likely they have an area of expertise they like to focus on as well.

There are many varieties of marketing tactics and channels

Online Marketing and SEO Plan image

Each has their own distinct characteristics and uses and some are more appropriate for a specific company or product or promotion than others.  And as far as quality of the end product – that ranges from virtually useless like advertising a new flavor of soda on a health and nutrition show geared towards weight loss, to a home run like a well-orchestrated SEO or PPC campaign that effectively targets the correct target market due to extremely accurate keyword research and has a ROI triple the industry average.

Success is measured by goal attainment (opt-in, click-through, purchase etc. as defined at the start of the campaign).  In my experience, it is usually somewhere in between.  Part of the disappointment I have heard of is usually related to a lack of defining realistic expectations and correct goals for the project.  Reality-based expectations for a particular marketing medium are often not properly communicated or defined.  In many cases, there is a miscommunication between clients and more tactical based marketers.  (this does not mean they are not good at what they do.  We all have our strengths and weaknesses.  Personally,  I love working with that rare individual who thinks that quantitative analysis is the cat’s meow but could care less about conversion of prospects into customers).

For example, we had a recent client that was interested in increasing their online visibility through SEO.  When we talked about their goals, the message they wanted to convey, and their experience with their site to date, there was clearly some work to do.

If we would have run an SEO or some sort of traffic/advertising campaign to their site, it would most likely not have been very effective.  The site had a very low conversion for new traffic (as measured by their goals of new prospects calling in or filling in a contact form) and their current site did not clearly define what they did to their main target audience.

In this case, updating their site look and content to better communicate what they were about, and the advantages of working with them to their target customer was the first step in increasing the effective use of their site.  If SEO was the first step, and we ranked the existing site, they would certainly have gained more visits (raw traffic), but based on existing conversion metrics, very little of that new traffic would have converted into a new potential prospect for their service.  In the end, we would have just increased their bounce rate and provided very little value in the form of new prospects and clients.

Final thoughts

My final thoughts on coffee and marketing are this:

defining success first image

When it comes to coffee, knowing what you want is most of the battle.  If you just need a quick morning pick me up and routinely pour 10 packs of sugar and creamer in your coffee anyway, probably the local diner or gas station is going to work for you (defining your goal as I need caffeine).  If on the other hand, if you are looking for a freshly roasted dark brew with a hint of acidity and smokiness, but not too heavy, then may I suggest that a French or Italian roast Costa Rican Tarrazu or Brazilian Santos single-origin bean freshly roasted this morning in a micro-roaster at a local gourmet coffee shop is going to be to your liking? (defining a heavenly cup of stress reducing aromatic cup of coffee as the goal).

When it comes to marketing, and specifically online marketing, knowing and defining the goal upfront is going to go a long way to knowing what type of marketing or SEO program your firm should invest in.  Knowing the in-house expertise and knowing what skills your in-house team lacks will also let you know the resources to utilize to attain your goal.

To help you with the process, or get an outside opinion, may I suggest a brief 30-minute conversation with an experienced online marketer and SEO consultant over a great cup of coffee (or beverage of your choice)?

If you already know your goals and are now searching for the right team to put your plan in action,  we have skilled experts in Marketing Consulting, SEO, Web Design, Custom Web Development and more.

You can contact me here with any questions or schedule a brief intro call to see if we may be a good fit to work together.

Best of success in your marketing efforts!


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