Completed.com was recently profiles along with other “Cool Tools” on Small Business Daily. The site has a lot of great content for small business and it was great to have us mentioned.
Startup culture is a very interesting topic. At its best it is a source of great creative power. At its worst, it can distract and destroy. That was the source of an LA Times interview that I did regarding Uber. The situation at Uber is a great example of the later. But the fallout for CEO Travis Kalanick is a symptom not the cause. The cause to me, is that the pendulum to protect founders from outside interference has arguable swung too far. Nobody likes the story of the brilliant, creative founder forced out by the suits. But the clear dynamic for 10 years has been something entirely different. Startup CEOs are barely accountable to anyone – including their own board and investors.
I had a chance to read the Holder report as soon as it was released and I raised concerns about it changing any hearts and minds. The subsequent comments and resignation of David Bonderman demonstrates, I believe, how little a report can change a culture.
I recently published an article on LinkedIn and sent out this press release on the mega platforms. As it says, a small number of websites are gaining control over larger portions of internet traffic. This means that sites like Google, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and a handful of others are growing their own traffic faster than internet traffic itself is growing.
Systematically these sites are focusing on better monetizing that traffic which is good for their financial performance (in most cases) but it means a major shakeup for marketers.
Look at the major changes at each of the big players. YouTube is under criticism for how it structures its agreements with content providers and its content strategy is highly controversial among big YouTube promoters. Google’s changes have been to reduce the effectiveness of SEO overall while shifting more content to being delivered right in search results. Facebook and Twitter have really gotten serious about advertising. These and many other changes have the effect of promoting paid traffic solutions in place of previously ‘free’ organic ones. Even Amazon’s marketplace and online store strategy shifts eCommerce traffic from several sources (including organic search) to paid Amazon services. All this has big ramifications for marketers
thank you for reading
A funny thing is happening right now. My eldest, Michaela Zammuto, is graduating from high school. She has a full summer planned and then starts at the University of Pennsylvania in the fall.
Of course, I could not be prouder. She is a bright, articulate young woman, engaging and confident. She deserves everything she has accomplished and I am happy to have been there to help along the way. I view a parent’s job first and foremost as helping to ensure their kids become successful adults and in that regard, I feel like my wife and I have done a lot of things well.
What is funny is how something so momentous and anticipated can still feel like it snuck up on you. It almost feels like a surprise. Talking about how fast the years go by makes you sound old so I will avoid it. But it doesn’t change the odd, creeping feeling that something is slipping away from your grasp.
I have had a strong interest in artificial intelligence for many years. I followed it carefully and began adding artificial intelligence features to my business platforms including Brand.com’s reputation analysis tools. More recently, Completed.com launched with AI features studying technical, sentiment and behavioral clues as part of the platform which measures, scores and monitors the ‘trust score’ of reviewers submitting content to Completed.com.
I also read a lot about AI and talk about it frequently with my kids, especially the opportunities it creates and possible societal challenges it may cause. For fun I recently launched a Weebly Journal dedicated to my personal writings on AI and hope you will visit it.
Disclaimer: this site and the AI journal on Weebly represent my personal opinions and this does not imply the opinions of any other organization or person. My opinions also do not imply any forward looking product, business or technology decisions or investments in any way. They are my personal ramblings only.
Neil Hughes was a gracious host on his Technology Blog Podcast. Neil and I talked about Completed.com why we delivered a platform where you can review anyone on business and get recognition and constructive feedback for professional development
Follow the link below to hear Michael Zammuto speak about Completed.com with Neil
I co-founded Completed.com and serve as its CEO because I believe that people deserve recognition for the good work they do and because I believe that everyone gets better with trusted, constructive feedback. Claim or build your profile and start reviewing anyone in business today. Ask people around you to rate you and learn what they really think about you.
Visit My Completed.com Profile and Leave Review Me and Leave Constructive Feedback
I had a request for some of my media appearances so I am posting here for those who are interested.
Here are a few clips from Brand.com and some local media appearances
Fox Business’s Varney & Company http://video.foxbusiness.com/v/2274756240001/
The rise of online “mega-platforms”, a small number of sites controlling huge amounts of the internet, is obsoleting traditional B2B Sales and Digital Marketing leadership roles to make way for a new Chief Growth Officer. CGOs drive huge sales growth by combining sales, marketing, operational, entrepreneurial and data expertise and they see traditional marketing and sales tactics not as integrated programs but parts of a whole they construct from the ground up in what we are calling Sales Architecture.
Growth In A World of Giants
Today, any scalable, successful sales and marketing program must start with your strategy for working with the mega platforms that control the internet. The main effect of this is that traditional B2B sales and marketing programs must give way for a single, enterprise Sales Architecture that aligns the entire experience from your target audience’s phone and laptop screen to the successful booking at the bottom of your sales pipeline.
Traffic is power and the power has shifted to the huge and mighty. Every gatekeeper, influencer, recommender and decision maker that you need to reach is on some combination of Twitter, Facebook, Amazon, Google, Yahoo, LinkedIn, eBay, Instagram or a handful of other sites but social marketing won’t let you reach or influence them.
The number of internet users continues to grow but that growth is dwarfed by the surge in the number of websites. In 1993 there were 108 thousand people on the internet for every website. Ten years later it was 19 people per site and today less than 4. So, your website is lost in an endless digital jungle.
The monsters are getting an ever-growing share of all that traffic too. In 2012, ChaCha built the largest PPC social traffic platform in the world on Twitter. We harnessed a deluge of data to align topics and keywords of large influencer tweets to keywords in articles to optimize advertising revenue per session. As a result, ChaCha.com shot up to become the 35th busiest website in the world in just a few months. Today, if a site had that same traffic it would nearly make the top 10 because the mega platforms are consuming more and more of the traffic.
At Brand.com we built a platform to connect over 100 major news sources to marketers and could (for a while) use content marketing and SEO to strongly influence search traffic. But Google decimated traditional SEO tactics so the ‘above the fold page 1’ spots are increasingly dominated by mega-platforms and sites with authority you cannot practically build. As planned, this helps shift traffic to Google’s paid search offerings meaning you pay for what used to be free. Increasingly, sites like Google are integrating information into their search results effectively hoarding traffic from sites in their own search results. Today content marketing is a powerful tool but without paid traffic sources you will rarely get volumes for large scale marketing programs.
This consolidation means the giants are squeezing everyone else. Publishers are getting killed by the downward trend in advertising rates while marketers are having to pay more and more for access to eyeballs. This means that traditional online marketing, especially so called ‘brand building’ is getting killed with out of control costs per leads (CPL) and campaigns that drive clicks for the behemoths but few sales for you.
Sales Architecture: One Internet – One Pipeline – A Billion Cohorts
Clicks don’t equal sales. Clicks equal cost. Because the mega platforms were built themselves around network effect, at their core they are B2C engines. Every step in the process needs to be built around how these mega platforms can be tamed to profitably increases B2B sales. This means the correct message must reach each person in the sales process at the right stage. Online marketing and your inside and outside sales have to work together as a single unit. Small errors in one tactic can be harder to find but cost you dearly in missed growth. Guerrilla marketing and the company website or blog and niche sites such as those around verticals have their place but are decreasing elements of the sales architecture. For starters, no activity can be done without clear cohort analysis that connects every marketing and sales decision with the outcome and few organizations have true end-to-end management of their spend.
Extinction Level Event: The Demise of Sales & Marketing
At great firms the traditional border between sales and marketing campaigns has collapsed. These companies are seeing massively scalable success by moving to a Chief Growth Officer who owns the company’s Sales Architecture and views every marketing and sales activity as part of a continuum. I always house sales and marketing together and measured and reward every step from beginning to end. Getting complete cohort analysis and testing of every critical decision and visibility and KPIs at every step is a massively difficult process that many traditional sales and marketing experts cannot tackle.
Traditional sales and marketing roles historically attracted very different types of people and they may approach the internet from their silo. Most have failed to keep up with the lighting-fast pace of change. Surprisingly few have any deep knowledge about the internet. Many talk a good game but probe and ask your sales manager the CPL for their leads. Ask them how to social proof during the proposal phase in a world where every company is Googled. Ask them to show you the cohort of close rates for outside sales on leads from content marketing vs. advertising. Or ask them how they connect the dots between the positioning value prop in social marketing with the final pitch. Too often you will find a disconnected process. Many sales people view online marketing purely in terms of market awareness and lead generation. As leads reach the bottom of their sales funnel the tactics and messaging increasingly looks like the same approach as 5 or 10 years ago. Chief Growth Officers, on the other hand, ensure that every step of the process supports the sales team converting the booking by ensuring cohesive prospect experience throughout.
Marketers are even worse off. Many corporate marketers feel totally disconnected from the sales process. So, they strongly naturally resist any integrated pipeline metrics. Few are taught direct response marketing and fewer still know how those responses support the later stages of the sales process. Too often, traditional marketing leaders want the same tall wall between their online efforts and close rate and want to be judged on engagement metrics that make direct marketers roll their eyes.
The Chief Growth Officer owns the Sales Architecture and is comfortable at the entire continuum of the marketing and sales process. They align the sales and marketing resources in new ways that allow them to leverage the mega platforms to drive massive growth. Armed with essential operational and technical skills, this new breed of growth leaders build organizations that use data like never before.
About The Author
- Transformation Executive Who Repeatedly Accelerates Growth to
- Deep Expertise Selling and Marketing High Growth SaaS CRM, PoS, ERP & Revenue Lifecycle from $1k to $5M Price Points
- Top Digital Marketing Expert Who Built The 35 Busiest Website, The World’s Largest Social PPC Network, Content Marketing Network of 100 News Organizations, Massive Global Email Marketing, Hugely Profitable Webinar Programs and Keyword Hyper-Optimized Display Advertising Programs
- Inside & Outside Sales Program Expert Who Has Created Multiple-massively scaling programs tranforming their organizations into growth engines
- Operator – Entrepreneur Hybrid Who Builds Optimized, Data-Addicted Sales Operations That Win
- Case Studies at Stanford Business School & Microsoft Dynamics CRM
https://www.quantcast.com/top-sites Traffic at the mega-sites
http://www.internetlivestats.com/total-number-of-websites/ Users Per Website
The most valuable lessons are the most hard fought ones. I learned a lot working for great startups and growth companies. I had the honor of joining some turn around teams and learned a lot and worked with amazing people. Being a startup exec is an amazing and energizing field but even the best need help sometimes and Cloud Commerce Consulting is here to help them with it. What works at one stage of a startup rarely continues to work at later ones. Taking a company from first revenue to $20M or $100M is no less challenging than launching the startup and takes all new approaches.
Our newest offering is a 90-day startup transformation package we will be announcing shortly. It builds on the incredible lessons I learned working with the amazing Dr. Behnam Tabrizi and his 90 Day Rapid Transformation process. Behnam helped with the massive transformation of Ontario Systems and I learned so much that can benefit others.
Very excited to get this one to market. Read More soon on CloudCommerceConsulting.com