As digital marketing technologists, we regularly see new competitors in the form of new channels and increasingly, a new breed of digital agencies.
As digital marketers, we find the amount of competition we have to deal with, increasing daily. Competition for attention for audiences that want their business and leisure appetites beamed to them on their devices of choice. The competition here can include industry news and white papers, but also the news media, and waves of recommendations coming through Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
As practitioners of digital transformation, we also find competition in a new breed of digital agencies. My colleague, Dan McClure often says that “everyone is moving to the center” as the former interactive agencies have acquired software development talent, the system integrators have hired marketers, and so on. Over the last two weeks I’ve spent time with a number of our business development folks, and learned about some marked changes in our competitive landscape.
One example is in Globant, the Argentinian firm that modeled itself on the ThoughtWorks distributed Agile approach. Globant have now adopted a structure that positions offerings into “studios” focused on areas such as design, consumer experience and digital content. Execution is handled by “pods” of consultants with skill mixes that include digital marketing, design and software development.
Another example is Odopod, a San Francisco hatched agency, acquired in late 2014 by Publicis company Nurun. Positioning their offerings as “a unique blend of strategy, UI innovation and digital marketing”, Odopod boasts a client list that includes Nike, Sony, Tesla and Electronic Arts.
These two examples, along with others, have me thinking about what the expectations are from buyers of ‘digital development’ services today. Should the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) really need to understand the complexities of such a rapidly changing professional services market? Do these agencies really understand how complex the marketing technology landscape has become, and are they prepared to help simplify it? I’m not going to answer those questions on this blog, but I hope to explore them in future posts with guidance from my network of peers and colleagues.
In the meantime, please enjoy this collection of informative reading on digital marketing, technology and strategy that I’ve collected in recent weeks, and share with your own networks.
1. Search Engine Ranking Factors 2015 – Read
Moz’s annual study on the factors that influence search engine rankings. The study includes feedback from 150 of the top independent search engine marketers and this year included data from partners SimilarWeb, DomainTools, and Ahrefs. Some of the most impressive components here include the correlation studies performed by Moz’s data science team which certainly point toward where we should focus attention in the future.
2. Please Welcome Our New Mobile Overlords – Read
Define Media Group
Great hype-slashing data journalism from Define Media Group about the state of the mobile publishing landscape before and after this year’s historic “mobilegeddon” event. They make the case that Google’s algorithm updates were long overdue given the trends in their substantial audience research data set. One takeaway also interesting to techies is that although Google has publicly espoused Responsive Design as their preferred mobile implementation, they are, as of now, sufficiently supporting Dynamic Serving and Separate URLs.
3. Performance Update #2: Electric Boogaloo – Read
Vox media made quite a stir in the publishing world by launching with an all-star editorial team, and its own technology in the form of a custom CMS named Chorus. Chorus would power its family of web properties, including Vox.com, the Verge and SBNation among others. While visually stunning, Chorus also became notorious for being horribly slow. As not to lose lucrative advertising revenue, the Vox media digital team embarked on a mission for performance enhancement. This dispatch from the team details recent successes they have had, including the integration of Google’s new WebP image format.
4. How Does Blog Publishing Frequency Affect Traffic Patterns: An experiment in two parts from Hubspot and Moz
- Raising the Bar: A Publishing Volume Experiment on the Moz Blog – Read
- Quality vs. Quantity: A 6-Month Analysis of the Age-Old Blogging Debate – Read
Two blogs, two experiments. Moz’s Trevor Klein and Hubspot’s Ginny Soskey share what happens when they try to find the sweet spot in blog content by dramatically altering their publishing schedules.
5. 10 Ways to Optimize Your Feed for Feedly – Read
Feedly is known as the popular feed reading software that picked up the lions share of Google Reader customers. They now are in the middle of a shift to help publishers of all shapes and sizes better promote their content. This very practical piece helps authors and publishers understand what Feedly is looking for to better optimize your feeds for visibility across their network of readers.
6. The New Google Plus – Read
A rich exposé on the original vision for Google+, how it evolved, and where it is today. You might be surprised to learn that although it is being paired back, it is most definitely not dying. Learn more about the true value of Google+ to Google and marketers.
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