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Do It Wrong Quickly: The musical

Regular readers know of my penchant for advising marketers to “Do It Wrong Quickly“—to spend more time experimenting than trying to prove each step is the right one. Internet marketing is not about whether you get it right on the first try (you won’t); it’s about how many tries you take, because one of them is eventually bound to be right. But no, I didn’t turn it into a musical.


I did however turn it into a book.
Bill Hunt and I have been immensely pleased about the response to our first book, Search Engine Marketing, Inc., so it emboldened me to write another—this one a business book aimed at marketers and other folks trying to use the Web to grow their businesses.
“Do It Wrong Quickly” (the book, not the musical) is easy to summarize, so here goes. Because marketing is no longer a message-controlled monologue by the marketer, and is now a conversation with the customer, marketers must listen to what customers say and must watch what they do. Moreover, this customer feedback forces marketers to change their marketing in response. And the faster you can make changes based on what customers say and do, the more successful you’ll be.
And because the message is so simple to summarize, for a long time I wasn’t sure it needed a book. But people asked me a lot of questions about this message that I couldn’t easily distill into a blog entry. Or even a few dozen blog entries. They asked me:

  • Why is the Internet any different than every other marketing opportunity that ever came down the pike? I have been in marketing for 20 years and things change ever day, so I don’t know why I have to change everything I do now.
  • How exactly do I listen to customers? I understand that my customers might be talking about me, but I don’t know how to keep up with them.
  • Do I need to listen to all of my customers? Some folks on the Internet seem like they’d never be satisfied no matter what a company does.
  • Why is watching my customers important? When I go to a Web site, I often click around without getting anywhere, so I don’t see why anyone would want to watch that.
  • How do I watch what my customers do? Every month I look at the Web metrics report, but I never know what I should do about all that data.
  • How do I know what to do? Everyone knows we have a million problems here but they each have a different idea of which one to tackle first.
  • Why do you insist that we do it wrong? I don’t know about you, but we try to do things right at my company.
  • How do I get the “quickly” part to happen? It takes six months to change a font on our Web site.
  • How will doing one thing quickly really help? Our Web site is so bad it just needs to be redesigned from the ground up.
  • Besides the new Internet companies like Google and Amazon, are there any 20th century companies that are doing this? My company has lots of offline marketing efforts that aren’t going away.
  • How do I get my boss to agree to do some experiments? You make it sound easy, but you don’t know my boss.
  • How do I get my company to try things that could be wrong? “Taking a shot at it” is not part of our corporate culture.
  • How can anyone really tell me what to do in Internet marketing? It changes so fast that by the time you’ve figured something out, there is always something new to take its place.

And those are merely a few of the questions I’ve been pelted with the last few years. They reflect what’s on the minds of smart marketing people struggling to make the transition to Internet marketing. Maybe struggling with the ideas. Maybe struggling with the execution. But struggling, nonetheless.
Now if those questions seem interesting, wait until you see the answers. And that’s why I wrote this book. Because all of those questions have answers, and a lot more questions have answers, too. The book tries to answer them.
If you’ve heard about Web 2.0, but were waiting to hear about Marketing 2.0, wait no longer. Uh, well you have to wait until September. But you can preorder now—I suggest preordering a copy now for you and 100 of your closest friends.

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Mike Moran

Mike Moran is an expert in digital marketing, search technology, social media, text analytics, web personalization, and web metrics, who, as a Certified Speaking Professional, regularly makes speaking appearances. Mike’s previous appearances include keynote speaking appearances worldwide. Mike serves as a senior strategist for Converseon, an AI powered consumer intelligence technology and consulting firm. He is also a senior strategist for SoloSegment, a marketing automation software solutions and services firm. Mike also serves as a member of the Board of Directors of SEMPO. Mike spent 30 years at IBM, rising to Distinguished Engineer, an executive-level technical position. Mike held various roles in his IBM career, including eight years at IBM’s customer-facing website, ibm.com, most recently as the Manager of ibm.com Web Experience, where he led 65 information architects, web designers, webmasters, programmers, and technical architects around the world. Mike's newest book is Outside-In Marketing with world-renowned author James Mathewson. He is co-author of the best-selling Search Engine Marketing, Inc. (with fellow search marketing expert Bill Hunt), now in its Third Edition. Mike is also the author of the acclaimed internet marketing book, Do It Wrong Quickly: How the Web Changes the Old Marketing Rules, named one of best business books of 2007 by the Miami Herald. Mike founded and writes for Biznology® and writes regularly for other blogs. In addition to Mike’s broad technical background, he holds an Advanced Certificate in Market Management Practice from the Royal UK Charter Institute of Marketing and is a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. He also teaches at Rutgers Business School. He is a Senior Fellow at the Society for New Communications Research. Mike worked at ibm.com from 1998 through 2006, pioneering IBM’s successful search marketing program. IBM’s website of over two million pages was a classic “big company” website that has traditionally been difficult to optimize for search marketing. Mike, working with Bill Hunt, developed a strategy for search engine marketing that works for any business, large or small. Moran and Hunt spearheaded IBM’s content improvement that has resulted in dramatic gains in traffic from Google and other internet portals.

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