Martin (Marty) Smith
May 26, 2014

Marty (@ScentTrail) Shares 5 Internet Marketing Lessons From The Big C

Internet Marketing Lessons Big C Thumbnail on Curatti

Internet Marketing Lessons From The Big C graphic on Curatti
One lesson every Internet marketer learns is to learn from everything. Here are 5 Internet marketing lessons I’ve learned from surviving cancer:

Big C Lesson #1 Patient in a hurry graphic on Curatti

Internet Marketing Lesson #1: Be Patient In A Hurry

This lesson is contradictory sounding but accurate to the experience of Internet marketing. Patience in a hurry describes one of the core skills every Internet marketer must master. Bad things happen. Things go bump in the night. The first reaction is to do something before measuring and quieting nerves.

Acting calmly and with purpose as a room is on fire around you like a Fireman is the nature of being patient in a hurry. Intuition becomes highly developed the longer you work the web. Checking intuition BEFORE you act is always a good idea.

Big C Internet Marketing Lessons #2 graphic on Curatti

Internet Marketing Lesson #2: NOW Matters Most

There is only one time on the web – NOW. Understanding trends and comparing Year over Year analytics is helpful and important, but NOW matters most online.  Each day is a race. Win more races than you lose and progress is made. How do you “win” a race that never ends? One leg of the race and one day at a time.

Don’t over shoot. Make sure your reach doesn’t exceed your grasp at least not so frequently you end up drowning. Heard a great explanation of a measured and reasonable way to approach improving your web marketing from the team at during a presentation to Triangle Startup Factory a few weeks ago.

Use the TCR Method.

Work on increasing traffic fist. Set goals and achieve your traffic goals. Next work on conversion. If you are at 3% conversion look to increase to 3.25%. A quarter of a point is a BIG move in conversion. Finally work on revenue. Work on increasing profits by sale by increasing your AOV (Average Order Value) amount, creating effective up-sale or increasing spend in channels such as social, email or PPC where your ROAS (Return On Ad Spend) is high.

By doing ONE thing then another the net effect is your digital marketing team doesn’t get overwhelmed, cross-talk from data is reduced and the net effect is your marketing gets better and batter, faster and faster.

Big C Internet Marketing Lesson #3 on Curatti

Internet Marketing Lesson #3: Testing Culture

Struck me funny the day I realized my oncologist was running an A/B test. There is NO substitution for testing. Online and in close to real time you can KNOW what creative, button color, copy or offer wins. Testing and more testing is the secret to Internet marketing success.

If you don’t have a testing culture, create one. Use tools that make it easy to test such as Optimizily and here are others from Quora:

The A/B Testing tools mentioned here are:

  • Google Website Optimizer  – Free – Need to do code changes for running every experiment. (Marty Recommended)
  • AdPushup – A/B Testing for Publishers to help optimize ad revenues.
  • Modesty  – Free – Ruby specific. Needs code changes. A metrics counter cum experimenting tool.
  • Monetate  – Monthly Fee – Enterprise grade tool that comes with full service included. Only coding required is a small snippet of code in the footer. Performs targeting in addition to testing.
  • Adobe Target  – Monthly Fee – Not sure (Marty Recommended)
  • SiteSpect – A/B and Multivariate Testing – Monthly Fee – Non-Intrusive A/B and Multivariate testing that does not require any JavaScript tags. Forrester gave SiteSpect a perfect 5.00 (out of 5.00) in Testing in the recent Forrester Wave™: Online Testing Platforms, Q1 2013 from Forrester Research, Inc.
  • Optimizely  – Monthly Fee – Doesn’t need code changes for running experiments. Completely visual. (Marty Top Recommendation)
  • Vertster  – Monthly Fee – Tool designed for agencies.
  • VisualWebsiteOptimizer –  Monthly Fee – Doesn’t need code changes for running experiments. Completely visual.
  • Growth Giant – Continuous A/B testing while maximizing conversions.
  • Convert Experiments  – Monthly Fee – Doesn’t need code changes for running experiments. Completely visual.
  • Maxymiser  – named a leader in online testing by Forrester – provides A/B and Multivariate testing as well as personalization tools.
  • shim

Big C Internet Marketing Lesson #4 graphic on Curatti

Internet Marketing Lesson #4: Don’t Know What You Don’t Know

Such a tautology as, “You don’t know what you don’t know,” may seem beyond obvious. It isn’t. Assume you are only seeing a partial picture. Partial pictures can’t or won’t show you all the picture. You never see ALL the picture since the environment is too dynamic.

The web much like the human body is too dynamic for even the most powerful wizard. Failure today may be success tomorrow. Never STOP or REMOVE. The web is an “add only” ecosystem. If something feels like failure STOP and suspend judgement. This doesn’t mean you should double down and try to rescue failure.

The web doesn’t do “rescue”. Better to put things in stasis and do other things. If, while something is in deep “cyber-sleep”, it perks up move it back into your “active” category. Assume anything that perks up from “dead” is worth a “double-down”.

Judgement costs money in digital marketing. Everything WORKS some things just work more and in more recognizable ways than others. The only thing that doesn’t contribute is to do nothing. Doing nothing promotes decay and doesn’t provide feedback loops. Do something and recognize whatever you do is working to some greater or lesser degree.

Big C Internet Marketing Lessons graphic Curatti

Internet Marketing Lesson #5: Never Give Up

The web will mess with you. Digital marketing isn’t like any other marketing. You need to SURF the web more than you try to control it. Even as I write such a sentence sure to be read by a passel of Type A Internet marketers the word “impossible” leaps to mind. Many marketing instincts are upside down and backwards online such as:

  • Need for definitive proof.
  • Belief 2 +2 = 4 (online 2 + 2 = Zebra lol).
  • Desire to control and create according to some set plan.
  • Ability to assume the past matters and influences the present.
  • Make money by convincing people to do things.

This last idea, that you don’t convince anyone to do anything, is often the hardest belief to let go. Online OTHERS, your brand advocates, convince visitors to become buyers. You are only as powerful as your ability to form a supportive tribe online. New skills such as community creation and management, listening and learning and curation dominate our brave new digital world.

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Passionate cancer survivor, Internet marketer and former Director of Ecommerce who believes in Margaret Mead's quote, "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." Glad to be an "Editor of Chaos".

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