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Director of Organic Search Shinhee Son breaks down everything from site design to URL structure – and how it can impact your website’s organic search rankings.
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Shinhee: Hey guys. My name is Shinhee Son. I’m Director of Organic Search here at Augurian. I wanted to talk about some ideas that were inspired by product-market-fit that I think can relate to digital marketing. The first idea that really captured my attention was the idea that the market is more influential than the team. Here are some scenarios that I wrote up here. You’ve got Team x Market = the Value that you will receive from a combination of those things. These are the 1-10 scale. Here, the team might be really good at execution, might be really good at strategic thinking, but the market just isn’t there. Maybe there’s a lot of education that’s required, there’s unawareness around your product itself, maybe the product just doesn’t sell well, or maybe there’s a lot of competition in the market that are really advanced digital teams that are there. The value is 10. Pretty mundane there.
In this next scenario, you have the team where the execution might not be great. You’re probably on the lower end, or maybe can only execute very basic level tactics or campaigns, but the market is there. People love the product. In this sense, anything works, but it’s being capped up but really the market is what’s addressing or directing that overall value. Finally, you have your last scenario, and this is where something really special happens. You have a team that can execute really well or has a process that is streamlined and allows you to carry out any strategies that you might think of, and the market is there. The product-market fit is good. You have some unique insights that you can just blow the competition out of the water because of your team. As a result, you have that disruption. Really what you’re looking for in your team is to have that level of impact for your entire organization.
The second idea that I really drew inspiration from is the adoption curve. In this case, I drew an adoption curve based on tactics or strategies that your digital marketing team might be using. You have your innovators. These are the ones that are setting the tone, but they might not necessarily actively share it out into different publications where it hits the mainstream. Then you have your early adopters who are very close to those innovators. They’re looking at them for some inspiration, some of their new tests that they’ve run, and they’ll start using it themselves and start to test that out.
Then you have your early majority, and that early majority are now close to the early adopters and they’ve seen that, or maybe they are aware of what the innovators are doing but they just need a little bit more confidence by seeing others carry those out. That’s when you may start seeing things like certain tests that start to get shared in Search Engine Land or Moz. That’s usually where I typically see this. Then you have that scale. The market share starts to increase, everyone hears about it, then you have your late majority that starts to act on those things.
Then you have your laggards that are way, way behind. By this point, by the time it hits late majority, these innovators are already brewing something else up. The question you really need to ask yourself, whether you have an in-house team or you’re working with an agency is, is your team here? It’s okay to be part of the early majority because there’s a lot of that opportunity that still exists. Maybe you have innovators, maybe you have early adopters, but either way, you really need to ask yourself, is your team pushing the umbrella? Are they doing these tests? Are they sharing these learns? That’s usually a good signal for whether or not you have a team that allows you to push forward and disrupt.
Here’s the third idea that really inspired me. You’ve got the disruption matrix. You have your right insight, you have your wrong insight, whether there’s consensus around that, and whether there’s non-consensus. If you have the right insight and there’s consensus, you reach that late majority stage in that adoption curve because everyone knows it’s the right thing to do, that’s the table stakes zone. You have your wrong insight and it’s not going to work regardless because everyone knows it’s the wrong answer, or maybe you’re testing something new and no one has tested it yet or validated it.
Finally, you have your right and your non-consensus, and that is the zone where you start to disrupt the market. You start having these new tactics that no one else knows. You reach that result earlier than everyone else and you start leading the pack. Something I do want to call out is that in these two zones, this is where the innovators are constantly in. They’ve already moved past the right consensus, and they’re doing all these tests to validate the assumptions that they’ve heard of, some of the common advice looking back at their original tactics, and this is where they get their valuable insight.
The final insight or the final inspiration that I received was the niche and then scale. I’ve got these bullet points. The very first thing is you have to test your assumptions, the common knowledge, the advice that you’re hearing, to see if it actually works for you. Something else though is that a lot of the advice, maybe not a lot, but there’s some advice that Google gives or that I see things on Moz or things on Search Engine Land, and found that it just didn’t work. You have to make sure you test those assumptions because that is also your insight. That’s your competitive advantage. Second, not being afraid to fail fast. Like I mentioned, the innovators are in these zones and they’re failing constantly, but then they end up finding that one insight that will really achieve that disruption and be that leader. Third one is that unique insight. It has to be, I believe, a combination of offline aspects meets online, and the closer you can reach parody to those in a meaningful way for your digital marketing campaigns, that’s where you really hit that growth.
Finally, you’ve got your edge core. That’s what we call it internally, but really what this is talking about is you have your core foundational things that you know that works, maybe the table stakes, but you’re constantly looking at edge tactics, edge strategies. When you find that winner, you roll that out, operationalize it, maybe you create SOPs around that. Either way, you roll this out to your entire website and train your team.
Well, thanks for listening. I hope this was as inspirational for you guys as it was for me. I do have a lot more other ideas that I’ve been hearing in the business principles or the entrepreneurial world, and that I think really applies to the marketing side as well. Stay tuned for that.