Lee Odden, the founder of online marketing agency TopRank and the widely acclaimed TopRank marketing blog, released his new book, “Optimize”. In an interview, Lee outlines some key takeaways of his book, that is yet another appeal for a more customer-centric and holistic (digital) marketing approach, this time around content marketing, social media and search engine optimization.
As I outlined in a previous post regarding some fundamentals of what I call touchpoint marketing, consistent customer experiences across all touchpoints are key in developing mutual significance and creating the conditions in which conversions can occur.
The consumer is channel-agnostic, and empowerment is not a buzzword. Optimizing is by definition improving all touchpoints – and thus achieve conversions – in a meaningful way.
The consumer is one
Marketing optimization encompasses every interaction/channel the individual consumer prefers, whereby the customer experience is the total of all touchpoints.
Optimization is often seen as a channel-specific activity, focused on conversion. Think about search engine optimization and social media optimization, for instance. However, as Bryan Eisenberg pointed out a while back when tackling the ‘we-work-in-silos-but-pretend-to-cooperate mentality‘ , it’s time to talk about marketing optimization in general and have a broader approach.
Considering that marketing, more than ever, should be a customer-oriented and preference-driven activity, the holistic approach Lee Odden presents is refreshing and important.
Obviously, we optimize for media as well. However, most of all we should optimize for touchpoints, user experiences and delivering what consumers seek in real-time.
Lee, who has a tremendous experience in, among others, website optimization and SEO, had an ‘aha moment’, converging the ideas he had about optimization as a holistic activity after a talk with a Google engineer at a conference.
When taking a step back from the traditional notion of optimization as used within the SEO world, he started applying the principles of continuous improvement in connections between consumers/customers and brands, regardless of the channels or ‘social objects’.
It’s that holistic and integrated view of experience-oriented and customer-centric conversion Optimize is all about. Not optimization as improving SEO and keywords but optimization as a state of mind of doing better all the time in all touchpoints: search, social, content and more.
With this approach, Lee responds to an unavoidable evolution whereby marketers should focus on touchpoints and the customer experience in a multichannel and even channel-agnostic world where the individual experience is at the heart of all marketing activity and where data – big data – help us improve those experiences.
With ‘Optimize’, Lee joins other experts, including Gerry McGovern and Bryan Eisenberg, leading the way by moving away from a pure tactical viewpoint to a focus on customer behavior, goals and pain points. What do consumers care about and how can we provide them what they seek, in alignment with our business goals? That’s optimization.