Care about your end user – a key lesson from The Art of Marketing Conference #TAOM

by Andrea Wahbe | Culture

Gary Vaynerchuk at TAOMThe morning session at The Art of Marketing Conference in Toronto yesterday focused on a central theme – caring about your customers and pleasing your website’s end user. Avinash Kaushik, Google’s Analytics Evangelist kicked-off the morning session and was then followed by Gary Vaynerchuk, a social media guru and the host of Wine Library TV. Below is a summary of what was discussed.

Web analytics improves the customer experience

Avinash Kaushik educated the crowd on ways to segment web analytics data to understand your visitors’ behaviour in order to provide a great online user experience. He showed the audience how he segments the user data on his blog by anyone who views three pages or more and then dives into what pages they most commonly visited, what links they most frequently clicked on, and how they found the site through search and other channels. Kaushik explained that you should “kill pages” and content that doesn’t get any clicks or is not relevant to your users’ interests.

Kaushik argued that most websites and online marketing initiatives suck because they are typically designed to please the HIPPOS (i.e. the Highest Paid Person’s Opinion). A common HIPPO belief in the social media world is that the number of followers you have on Twitter matters. Kaushik explained that it’s more important to measure how many people listed you on Twitter. He also suggested that marketers should measure their message amplification (i.e. the number of retweets per thousand followers), conversation rate (i.e. the number of @ replies per day) and your influence size (i.e. the size of your second level network).

We live in a word-of-mouth ecosystem

Gary Vaynerchuk “crushed it” on stage immediately after Avinash Kaushik’s presentation. He explained how we are now living in a word-of-mouth ecosystem where customer relationships are at the root of all marketing. Therefore, if brands don’t want to end up on the wrong side of digital media history, they’ll need to learn how to truly care about their users in a one-to-one customer service fashion.

Similarly to Kaushik, Vaynerchuk argued that it doesn’t matter how many followers you have on Twitter. He elaborated by saying that “it doesn’t matter if you have 40,000 followers. If only seventeen of them care then you have seventeen followers.”

Vaynerchuk also told the audience that there should be no such thing as a “social media campaign” as that concept is just like “a one-night stand.” He said that a lot of people in social media right now “act like a 19-year-old dude. They try to close too fast.” He explained that social media is a long-term commitment and that “intent, context and actually caring about your customer are the only ways to break-through the clutter.”

Vaynerchuk gave the example of the famous Old Spice social media campaign that was praised for its online marketing success last year. He argued that the campaign was a failure because P&G did not engage directly with their fans online and failed to continue the dialogue afterwards. Vaynerchuk pointed out that the company has not @ replied to their customers on their Twitter account in a long time.

Caring for your customers means that people will pay for stuff that you give away for free

What also connected Avinash Kaushik and Gary Vaynerchuk’s presentations together is the fact that they have both successfully written and sold a number of books thanks to their online popularity. They both already give away a lot of their advice for free on their blogs. However, because they care about their customers, people are willing to also buy their books. In reference to the $150,000 he has already made from the sale of his Web Analytics books, Avinash Kaushik said that “if you think that you can’t covert love into money legally on the Internet, you’re wrong.”

Both Kaushik and Vaynerchuk turned their passions into online content that drove incredible engagement with their followers. They are both shining examples of why caring for your online customers matters.

Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Google's mission is to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful. As a first step to fulfilling that mission, Google's founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin developed a new approach to online search that took root in a Stanford University dorm room and quickly spread to information seekers around the globe. Google is now widely recognized as the world's... more

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Andrea Wahbe

Andrea Wahbe

Andrea Wahbe is a freelance B2B marketing strategist and corporate storyteller who has contributed to the growth of online media businesses in Canada, such as AOL and Google. By day, Andrea writes about digital media and marketing trends and tips for Canadian startups and SMEs. By night, she’s an analog book reader, master swimmer and experimental chef.  more

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