In my opinion anyone working in marketing should be reading Seth Godin’s blog. Seth is a new marketing expert and his brainstorms and thoughts regularly give me new ideas. I am in the middle of reading one of his books – Meatball Sundae – its contents won’t surprise anyone who reads Seth’s blog; it’s premise is that mass market products are “meatballs” and the new marketing (in which he includes SEO) are “sundae toppings”. Trying to add sundae toppings to meatballs results in a mess, and organisations need to be built from the ground up with new marketing built in.
We’ll get on in a second to situations where this isn’t exactly true, but the basic premise is certainly tempting:
- Paypal wasn’t done by an established payment provider – it was a start-up
- ebay’s marketing looks nothing like Sotheby’s
- Amazon apparently gets ~30x the traffic that Walmart’s website gets
There are a few situations where I would disagree with the conclusion that you always get a mess when you add new marketing to old businesses – particularly in SEO – understanding the basics of SEO (not even linkbait etc. but just keyword research and basic technical on-page SEO) can be enough to form a valuable sales channel for old-school businesses.
There are “meatball” businesses like Tesco (our largest supermarket in the UK) who have broadly understood SEO (although they have a long way to go in some areas, they are miles ahead of the competition) and who are now popping up as competitors across many many verticals.