Marketers shouldn’t own the entire customer lifecycle.

Marketers must now own the complete journey of the customer lifecycle, not just think about cherry-picking touchpoints along the way. The end goal is no longer to simply convert a lead into a customer. It’s about maximizing the lifetime value of loyal customers who will come back again and again.

via Campaign Monitor

I don’t agree that marketers should own the entire lifecycle, but I do agree that marketing should be consulted and factored into the whole lifecycle.

Ditto for all the other departments and teams. Nobody owns the whole thing, but everyone is aware of it, and involved in shaping it.

For example, looking at this quote: “It’s about maximizing the lifetime value of loyal customers.”

What about customer satisfaction? NPS? Product performance? User success? Ignoring those other factors is detrimental to the LTV, but when you’re focusing on everything from a pure marketing perspective, you might not pick up on that.

There are areas of specialization and focus on the business or product side. But when you’re on the customer or user side, it’s all just one experience.

Tear down the silos.

Reviews are critical for local search.

The basic conclusions of the study are that: (1) organic ranking factors (e.g., links, keywords, anchor text, etc.) boost local visibility; and (2) reviews are critical. The study argues that “local and organic search algorithms are still highly interconnected.” It adds that while Google is trying to include unique variables in the local algorithm, “traditional organic SEO tactics” are effective to rank locally.

via Local ranking factors study finds reviews, organic SEO best practices boost local visibility (Search Engine Land)

Easy win for local small businesses. Add a little “nudge” on invoices, email communications, and in-store signage reminding customers to leave a review.

Before that, of course, you gotta make sure you’re set up on Google My Business.

A proven case study formula.

Case studies generally follow a tried and true formula: How Person A achieved XYZ by using Product B. What makes the difference between a dry, inauthentic story to one that truly captivates is how you tell it. A good case study shares the elements of a good story, period:

  • Protagonist: a relatable customer from an aspirational company
  • Tension: a portrait of their workflow and challenges before using your product
  • Resolution: how they solved it by replacing their workflow with your product

Tension is the driving force of your case study. It grabs the reader’s interest, puts them in your customer’s shoes, and without it, your resolution (and “BUY NOW!” call-to-action) will sound completely unconvincing.

via Make customer enthusiasm work for you (Inside Intercom)

Case studies are content that close deals and create new customers. I think businesses, large and small, aren’t sharing those success stories nearly enough.

Maybe because they haven’t prioritized it. Maybe because they haven’t thought about it. Or maybe because they just aren’t talking to their customers as often as they should be?

ads.txt

I’m diggin’ the new ads.txt initiative from IAB:

The mission of the ads.txt project is simple: Increase transparency in the programmatic advertising ecosystem. Ads.txt stands for Authorized Digital Sellers and is a simple, flexible and secure method that publishers and distributors can use to publicly declare the companies they authorize to sell their digital inventory.

I found out about this via Google’s Doubleclick for Publishers documentation:

Use of ads.txt is not mandatory, but is highly recommended. The ads.txt file can help you protect your brand from counterfeit inventory that is intentionally mislabelled as originating from a specific domain, app, or video. Declaring authorized sellers can help you receive more advertiser spend that might have otherwise gone toward counterfeit inventory.

While I’m not doing much ad management these days, I think it’s valuable to look at both sides of the (current) ecosystem, at what’s happening on both the publisher and advertiser side of things.

Solve for the one before solving for the many.

By doing freelance work (like consulting, writing, designing… for example), you can learn how you solved it for that one person, what went right, what went wrong, and what they valued the most about the solution. Then do it again for someone else, and learn from it. Then again, then again.

Source: Freelancers make the best products

Related: Do things that don’t scale.

Actually startups take off because the founders make them take off. There may be a handful that just grew by themselves, but usually it takes some sort of push to get them going. A good metaphor would be the cranks that car engines had before they got electric starters. Once the engine was going, it would keep going, but there was a separate and laborious process to get it going.

If products are all about scaling an experience, you need to figure out what that experience is. Then you start replacing the manual processes and handcrafted messages with smart automation and time-saving templates. Then the human effort moves elsewhere, like to enterprise sales or higher-tier support.