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Why marketers need to move beyond the “easy wins”

I know it’s human nature to look for the “easy wins,” or the “low-hanging fruit,” or <fill in your own cliche here>. It’s not just marketers and it’s not new. New York Yankees’ owner Jacob Ruppert presided over the the famed “Murderers’ Row” teams that obliterated opposing ballclubs. Ruppert loved easy wins, once saying, “My favorite kind of game is when the Yankees go up 7-0 in the first inning, and then slowly pull away.” That’s the quintessential “easy win” for a baseball team.

And I can’t blame you for looking for those easy marketing wins. Every client we have asks for us to find them–and we would look for them even if not asked. Of course, we all want to get that improvement quickly and with little effort.

But you can’t stop there.

I am a partner with SoloSegment, and they started out with an analytics package that showed exactly what was wrong with your website search and how to fix it. But they have really taken off since they started adding features that fixed some of the problems automatically. Now, that makes sense–who doesn’t want the problem to go away? But they can automate the fixes for only some of the problems.

If you agree that site search is important, and you know about five problems and can automate the fix for just one, wouldn’t you at least be tempted to take a shot at manually fixing the other four? I would be. And I think you should be, too.

While it is all well and good to look for the “easy win,” it is even better to win any way you can. The web turns 25 next year, so I hope you excuse me when I tell you that a lot of the easy wins have already been taken. The longer we work at digital marketing, the more we must do what is hard to beat the competition. Now you might bemoan the fact that the hard wins are, well, hard. And that human nature is wired for easy.

But that can actually be your competitive edge. If your competitors succumb to their fallen nature and settle for the easy, your hard work can lead to beating the competition.  Yes, I know it is hard. But it is easier than losing. Take a win any way you can get it.

Mike Moran

Mike Moran is a 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 served 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 was a Senior Fellow at the Society for New Communications Research and is now a Senior Fellow of The Conference Board. A Certified Speaking Professional, Mike regularly makes speaking appearances. Mike’s previous appearances include keynote speaking appearances worldwide.

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