Tag Archives: internet

Website Traffic Is Consolidating With A Few Mega Websites

A Few Mega Sites Are Scooping Up Traffic Faster Than Web User Numbers

 

Quantcast.com's Top Sites July 2017

Quantcast.com’s Top Sites July 2017

A few sites including Twitter, Facebook, Amazon, Google, Yahoo, Microsoft’s sites, LinkedIn, eBay, Instagram are scooping up all the organic traffic leaving businesses more reliant on paid traffic (and these sites) for audience and survival.

You probably consider internet growth to be massive. That is true and Internet users numbers continues to grow but the growth in websites is even faster. In 1993 there were 108k web surfers for each web site. A decade later, 19 people for each website. Today there are fewer than 4 internet users for every site. Quantcast reports that the top 5 site get one billion monthly visitors a two billion visit the top 17 sites.

I hope stats like this are useful. But the critical issue is what should businesses who rely on traffic for revenue or leads do about this fact. This release focuses on the challenges facing B2B marketers in this age. I hope you find it valuable.

A Few Mega Platforms Are Quietly Killing Free Traffic. Here Is What it Means For Marketers

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

Mike Zammuto

A New Breed Of Chief Growth Officer Takes On B2B In The Age Of The Big Internet Platform

Chief Growth Officers Take B2B To The Mega Platform

Synopsis

Michael Zammuto Internet Executive

Michael Zammuto Is An Expert In B2B Sales & Marketing Growth For SaaS and Internet Companies

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.

SimilarWeb Listing of Top Sites.

SimilarWeb Listing of Top Sites.

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.

Internet Users Per Website. Website growth has outpaced internet user growth

Internet Users Per Website. Website growth has outpaced internet user growth

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

Michael ZammutoView Michael Zammuto's profile on LinkedIn

  • Transformation Executive Who Repeatedly Accelerates Growth to
    Mike Zammuto and Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter meet and discuss the Philly Tech and Startup Community

    Michael Zammuto welcoming Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter at an event in Philadelphia

    >100%

  • 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
Michael Zammuto with former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell

Here is Michael Zammuto meeting with former governor Ed Rendell. Governor Rendell is a big supporter of the Philadelphia tech and business communities. Mike Zammuto recruited Mr. Rendell to be an advisor to Brand.com

Sources

https://www.quantcast.com/top-sites Traffic at the mega-sites

http://www.internetlivestats.com/total-number-of-websites/ Users Per Website

 

 

 

Get ready to hear this election will good for newspapers.

Here is why it won’t be.

100 newspapers have disappeared since 2004. Get ready to start hearing how this election will be good for newspapers.

 

Now, I two years ago I didn’t actually say “News Is Dead.” But ‘misquoted me’ may have been more correct than the real me was at the time. In 2013 and 2014 I was quoted pretty publicly that I felt that traditional editorial and entertainment media were simply not going to transition their existing model to digital revenues and something much more serious was needed. Like many, I was critical that sponsored content had been something developed by the publisher’s sales department and then was published to mimic editorial content. This was by placid agreement by sales & editorial which have decades of avoiding each other in the company lunch room. So what is the update?

Pew Research Newspaper Revenue Trends

Newspaper revenues are shrinking and digital ad revenues are growing much slower than the drop in print advertising and subscriptions as seen in this Pew Research Chart from 2003 to 2014.

Newspapers are designed to be ‘inefficient’ producers of content. By that I mean they produce some of the costliest original content possible. Produced in medium-to-short-form but with a lots of research, interviews and fact checking, the news business has always depended on subscriptions plus healthy advertising rates to survive.

 

Election cycles have historically been fantastic for local media. Newspapers will see a blip in an otherwise downward collection of trends. This will lead the PR folks in the print news industry to try to use it to argue that the long term trends are actually neither. Unfortunately for them it isn’t true. Digital is taking a larger portion of a rapidly shrinking pie.  The Pew Research Center’s annual report tells the tale. In 2015 their circulation fell by the greatest amount so far this decade. Advertising revenue dropped even faster than overall circulation diving 8% last year.

 

Young people are ignoring newspapers in droves but the bleeding is occurring much faster than aging. The Pew Research report says that only half of the elderly read papers now.  We are probably past the point of no return. Let’s hope the news industry can pivot better before misquoted me turns out to be right.

 

eCommerce Strategies — How eStartups Should Plan to Thrive, Survive, and Fail in Emerging Markets

eCommerce is a critical marketing battlefield between brands, and though it is true that pioneers and early venture capitalists will enjoy the low bearing fruits, newcomers have the advantage of hindsight — they can rely on the mistakes of early adopters and learn from them.

 

At Cloud Commerce we preach that it is good practice to establish some ground rules before embarking on any venture like eStartups for instance. Let’s get started.

 

At first we’ll talk about failure, specifically; how you can fail as an eCommerce startup.

 

HOW TO FAIL IN NEW and EMERGING MARKETS

 

Once an e-Startup has established the countries that are ripe for growth, and the ones that they want to target, their next step is to develop the strategy for entering new markets. Let me introduce the five ways that can assure you a failed attempt at expanding or even entering in the overseas market.

 

Replicate Your Business Model

 

The most well-tested business models are simply experiments with high repeatability, under specific circumstances. The slightest change in market conditions, demographics, and buying choices can force the startups to review their model, scale it, and make amends to remain market competitive.

 

These tested and proven models will fail in emerging countries.

 

Why?

 

Primarily because the whole market landscape has changed. A lot of companies, founders, CEOs, and executives believe that their U.S based business models (or based in any developing country for that matter) can easily be tweaked, and their processes scaled or morphed according to the local laws and business practices.

 

I’ll be severely blunt here: read modern history and learn from it. You cannot simply try to colonize another landscape (the market in this case) and impose your values or model one way or the other, and believe that it will work. It will only generate anomalies; ones that we’re still trying (and failing) to control.

 

The marketplace is no different.

 

Your existing business model is targeting a specific consumer group existing in a specific market niche that has grown out from realizing the needs or wants of the consumers in the market as a whole. You can profile them and understand them while assuming certain similar/overlapping values, behavioral traits, and certain marketed and propagated perceptions about needs, wants, and consumption.

 

Your current business model isn’t good enough, and there are a lot of hard facts to be researched ahead before you can start thinking about the new business model. You’ll need to understand the new culture and their ingrained values, the marketplace and how their culture affects them, and then re-profile your target audience.

 

Testing the new model that emerges from this endeavor is a thought on the horizon.

 

Assume Recognition and Entitlement

 

Your product may be a household item in every home of your target audience, and your brand awareness campaigns and stellar service may have changed your brand name into a verb or an adjective even, but you cannot (must not) assume that your brand is known in the new markets.

 

It’s just another local brand with a local product in a country on the globe.

 

So, it’s back to the drawing board for your marketing strategy and campaigns.

 

Set Unrealistic Expectations

 

This is a corollary of the previous point. Remember your initial days of marketing campaigns where you had to spend every waking hour thinking up creative ways to get it right. Remind yourself that it will take time to establish yourself (leave growing for the moment) in the new market within a new country. Avoid creating KPIs that compare the progress of your established business with the new one.

 

Choose the Wrong Local Partners

 

Maybe you’ve pulled together a great team at home, one that has conducted exhaustive research on the new market. You may even believe that you know the market more than the locals do, that you have better insights into its working, and now you have created a business strategy to take the market by storm.

 

Many will miss the end point-of-effort in this whole picture. It will be the local partners in that market that will play an integral role in properly executing your business strategy.

 

Have you found the right local partners to take your business through the tough times? Unless your feet are firmly planted on the market floor, and you actually have built a local team in the emerging market of choice, you cannot hope to accomplish much.

 

Avoid Investing in a New, Country-Specific Website

 

Google translate is a good tool for translating foreign websites, but just for the fun of it. Translating saps the message of the actual, local, and culturally entrenched language, metaphors, and expressions. There is no marketing, just plain communication of a non-engaging message.

 

A lot of companies are simply investing in creating a website and simply translating their original message into the foreign language. What is actually needed is original content for your marketing campaign, in the voice that the local people understand, can relate to, and engage. Hence, having a simple “.in”, “.cn”, “.br” as a domain suffix will not make your business become part of the market environment. eStartups vying for local masses’ attention need to add more original content (created locally and targeting the local populace) to their content strategy.

 

Let’s get into the surviving and thriving mode for your eCommerce startup.

A TALE OF TWO STRATEGIES

I’ll start with the two blunt, battle-tested rules of thumb. Call them strategies to avoid failure if you may. They are:

 

#1 — Put Working Systems at the Core of Your eCommerce Model

 

Build your eCommerce model around business functions, rather than people.

 

Yes, when it comes to developing your eCommerce strategy, your focus should be on defining your business functions and developing long-term systems for your eCommerce venture. Your focus should be on building a structured system organized around these business functions so that your startup departments can work at optimal levels. For example, prime departments could include tech, HR, marketing, finance, etc. As a result, you’ll have a business model where systems run the business while people run the systems.

 

While defining these systems, their workability should address their sensibleness (and hence ease of use) by employees and potential investors. This is where developing integrated CRM, POS software, and relevant APIs for integrating other business systems into a holistic unit come into play. Furthermore, it facilitates your startup launch by increasing viability and dramatically cutting time to market.

 

Though it may sound a bit mechanical and representative of the caricature idealization of business centered execs, but Michael Gerber did hammer the point just right:

 

“Organize around business functions, not people. Build systems within each business function. Let systems run the business and people run the systems. People come and go but the systems remain constant.”

 

It’s harsh, but true.

 

No other tech startup’s success is more enslaved to technology and robust business systems than eStartups. You need to have a great team, but you also need sound, well structured, and lasting systems representing well defined business functions. You need seamless automation and transparency across all systems to boost your data collection for your Big Data bank and hence increase the power of your analytics.

 

 

The Rise of Digital Natives

Brand.com has a great team that includes Boomers, Gen X and Millennials and it is great to see how they all mesh together and complement each other. I have been very interested in ‘Generation Z’ and it was highlighted last week when one of my kids told me that her favorite band is Nirvana.

My oldest was the first place I heard about Instragram when I asked her several years ago why she had not asked me to let her get a Facebook account. She told me that she wasn’t interested in Facebook and introduced me to Instagram well before the big buyout. Since then I have really looked to my kids to understand digital culture.

So when Nirvana came up I was interested to learn more. Curt Cobain dies when I was 2 years out of undergrad. The interesting story here is not nostalgia or even a band from your youth coming around as a hip, retro experience. What is interesting is a generation who never knew a time when all the world’s information was online and when you could sample all the world’s content largely for free. Of all those limitless choices does this mean her choosing Nirvana makes her a new type of consumer? I think it does. Where I use the tools she doesn’t know anything else and that gives her and her generation a different vantage point to view information and decision making.

You are who Google says you are

People make decisions about you based on what they see about you online. Since search engines are the main way their research will begin it is fair to say that your search engine results pages (SERPs) represent how people see you and therefore, who you are. Below is a link to a little article I wrote about that.

http://michaelzammutoreputationchanger.com/orm-for-personal-use/