Revenue Per Unique Visitor

Facebook may have surpassed Google as the most popular website (in terms of unique visitors), but the number that really matters is: Revenue Per Unique Visitor.

That is where Google really separates itself from everyone else online — Not only do they have the traffic, they are also really good at turning the traffic into money.

For websites that are looking to turn a profit, it is obviously vital to figure out a way to turn attention into revenue. In other words, how will you make money? It is important (and much more cost effective) to add possible answers to your platform during the early stages of your designing process, rather than wait until your website is finished.

15+ Years Experience

I saw this job posting the other day. It reads:

STRONGLY PREFER:

15+ years experience with online marketing

15+ years? I am not sure if anyone has that. Maybe some people do, but the more important question would be: Is it truly useful?

Back in March 2008, Facebook wasn’t the most popular social network in the world yet; MySpace was. Today, after 2 years, it’s crushing every single one of its competitors in terms of unique visitors per month.

The founder, Mark Zuckerberg, was 11 years old 15 years ago. I think it’s safe to assume that he had zero experience with online marketing.

So perhaps the length of your work history isn’t really that important. Maybe most recruiters are simply being lazy to use it as a measurement of talent because it’s easier to make a decision that way.

“Hey, this guy has 15 years of working experience, so he must be better than the guy with 5 years of experience.”

15 years of experience or 1 year of experience repeated 15 times? Hard to say.

Work, to leave a legacy. I have said it before, and I am sticking to it.

Luxury Market

Luxury is basically another way of describing paying extra for something (probably) unnecessary in order to stand out.

Exchanging money for attention, envy, stature, whatever.

If you happen to be in the luxury market, the problem usually isn’t how much you can charge for your product or service. Instead, it’s a matter of how special you can make your customers feel.

When cutting cost is no longer an option for you, maybe stepping into the luxury market isn’t such a bad idea after all.

Avoiding Mistakes

Whatever you choose to do, it’s okay to fail. Of course, it’s even better to succeed.

What’s not okay, though, is neither failure nor success. And that’s exactly what you will get if you spend your day avoiding mistakes.

Zappos Moment

Is there any reason why your company won’t or can’t do this?

The Netflix Sleeve

Netflix has the following written on the sleeves of their DVD’s:

Problem playing your DVD?
Try gently washing with liquid soap or window cleaner.

Still can’t play this DVD? Get an immediate replacement at www.netflix.com/replacement

We’re sorry for the inconvenience.

Lost an envelope?
Return two movies in one envelope.

Lost a sleeve?
Return two DVDs in one sleeve.

Two things I think you can take away from this for your customer service:

#1) Apologize, even if it’s not your fault. It just makes your customers feel better.

#2) Offer quick, painless solutions if you can. They work way better than perfectly constructed arguments in a press release of why it isn’t your responsibility to fix the problems.

Happy April 1st!

As always, Google chooses to release some stunning news today. This year, they have decided to change their beloved company name to Topeka.

While we are no the topic, you might also want to check out some other breaking news from Topeka.

What Teachers Make

Permission

Permission is a funny thing. Most businesses think that they have it when their customers don’t say “no”. But real permission actually needs your customers to say “yes”.

Example:

You have permission when someone signs up to get your RSS feed.

You don’t have permission when you trick someone to give you their email addresses, then use them to send out SPAM messages. Yes, the opposite of permission is in fact, SPAM.

The real question you should ask yourself is this: “once we stop sending out [whatever], will it be missed by our audience?”

Publishing

If not all, at least some of your marketing resources and effort should be spending on publishing.

Every website should be a publisher today, with all the blog posts, Youtube videos, Flickr pictures, Facebook fan pages, Twitter tweets, whatever.

The key thing to remember though, is that you are not publishing to introduce your new product or announce some promotion.

Instead, you are publishing relevant content to your audiences with their permission so that you can turn their attention into interest, interset into trust, and eventually, trust into fandom.

Persistence

Persistence shouldn’t be too hard if your passion has a purpose, and can make a decent living for you.

Except that’s not always the case.

When you feel like giving up, remember these two things:

#1) It probably takes at least 5 years of hard work to get 1 “overnight success”.

#2) The road to success must be filled with obstacles and tough choices — they are used to separate you from everyone else who chooses to settle.

Passion

Passion is overrated. Heck, it’s fairly easy to find something you love and enjoy doing.

The challenge, though, is to somehow make sure that the thing you love to do will lead you to where you want to go, plus make you a decent living at the same time.

To unify work and love, as Hugh would say, “after friends and family, what the hell is there?”

Purpose

It’s really easy to explain purpose, and why you should look for it in the very early stage of your project.

If you don’t know where you are going, how on earth are you going to get there?

The New P's of Marketing

… are purpose, passion, persistence and publishing.

Embrace Criticisms

The best products always come from the most criticized market.

In sports, teams like the New York Yankees, LA Lakers, Boston Celtics and Red Sox all come from markets where they get drilled relentlessly by the local media and their fans, if they have any hint of not competing for a championship that year. The market demands the best, therefore, is willing to pay more for the products, with time, money or attention.

Average products come from more forgiving markets.

Only a handful of division one college basketball teams are expected to be in the Final Four every year. For some others, their fans are satisfied if their team just make it into the NCAA tournament. Aim for the middle, and that’s exactly what you will get.

Most of us seek to be forgiven for our mistakes, but I think in order to become great, we must welcome and embrace criticisms.

404, Page Not Found

This is one of the better 404 “Page Not Found” Error pages that I have ever seen. Here is an old post on how to deal with the 404 error.

Old Media?

I think we all know the obvious: the total spending of ads on newspapers, magazines, radio and TV has been declining for years. That said, we are still talking about $125.3 billion spent on ads in 2009. And that’s a HUGE market.

Will the market ever recover to its past glories? Very unlikely. But is there room for innovation and new opportunities? You bet!

The truth is, nobody really knows what’s guaranteed to work. The only thing that is guaranteed is that the market isn’t going to stop declining on its own. And if the industries don’t make some changes quick, they might be left with just half of the market pretty soon.

Use Your Competition

Apple shouldn’t expect to get much cellphone business from Microsoft employees. According to this Wall Street Journal article, approximately 10,000 Microsoft employees were accessing their work e-mail accounts via iPhone last year — representing about 10% of Microsoft global workforce.

Also, it is said the company in early 2009 changed its corporate cellphone policy to only reimburse those using phones that run on Windows Phone software.

I am not sure if that’s a smart move. I mean, if you have to use some corporate policy to “convince” your employees that you have a better product, what are you going to do with people who don’t work for you? And what does it tell you that your employees still choose to buy from your competitor despite all that?

Shouldn’t you encourage your employees to use products from your competition?

I am not talking about your R&D or marketing team whose job is to try to find your competitor’s weaknesses so that you can pounce on them — but rather your average employees who don’t have any ideas about the technology and only care about what works — the people who use their cellphones just for the sake of using it.

If you let them speak their minds, they are also the same people who can and will tell you the reasons they choose your competitor over you, as well as the areas that could be improved — things that you could use as foundations to make something better, something that they’d be proud of owning.

Wouldn’t that work so much better than corporate policy?

5 Minutes to Happiness

The easy: Spend 5 minutes a day to do something you love that makes you happy.

The hard: Don’t undo it for the rest of the day.

The almost impossible: Keep doing it, for the rest of your life.

“Ho-hum”

When you are doing it right, is it still very ordinary? Whatever “it” may be.

There Are No Easy Answers

…only difficult choices.

I wish there are some easy answers like: the 10 steps of running a successful online marketing campaign, 3 secrets of building a multi million dollar website, 5 software tools for getting 100,000 Twitter followers or whatever.

But the unfortunately truth is: whatever works for others might not work for you.

It doesn’t matter how many success stories you hear from people who follow the same guidelines. If something is guaranteed to work 9 times out of 10, you could very well end up being the 1 who’s left out. Each person/business is different. So when someone promises you that their methods will turn your life/company around without actually spending a substantial amount of time and effort to get to know you, you should be alarmed.

There are only difficult choices.

Whichever road you decide to take, you must understand that you will always sacrifice something.

From Hugh:

Enough said.

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