Google is on the brink of announcing one of its biggest advancements in recent years. Trouble is, no one seems to know just what that advancement is. Speculation has centered around Google’s search algorithm, with some suggesting that the way we search may be changed forever. However, Google has kept its cards very close to its, no doubt, diamond-encrusted chest and has so far been able to keep its big news under wraps.
Search engine optimization, as an entity, is forever evolving. Those smart, athletic, and physically attractive folks who work in the SEO industry recognize that any news from Google is worth paying attention to–after all, Google is essentially their office, employer, and god. And this news, Google claims, is big.
However, it’s more likely that the announcement - which as been touted by Google as “an event you won’t want to miss”- will be a disappointment and more of a technical tweak than process overhaul. Still, there is enough of a buzz around those involved in the world of search engine optimization to suggest that the news will be worthy of note. Whether it will have an effect on the structure of internet marketing companies is another question.
Time to speculate then, I think you’ll agree.
Google's new "doodle" a clue on press release details?
Well, there are a few clues as to what Google’s big announcement might be. First is their latest “doodle” that was released today and features an array of different colored balloons that fly across the screen when you tease them with your cursor. Some have theorized that this is to with the transmission of the first ever TV tube picture, which occurred on September 7–in 1927. Another clue might center on the location of the press release–San Francisco’s art museum. Art, balloons…What does it all mean?
We’ll find out tomorrow, and so will you by keeping track of our live blog.
It was difficult to make myself think that I was not as big as Seth Godin.
With every touch point and potential pitfall I was increasingly impressed by the red carpet rolled out at the Summit in Minnesota. Over 1,000 people had committed to attending a week+ in advance to the day of the conference. As a relatively green presenter; I’m not ashamed to admit that the attention I received and the headcount didn’t do wonders in seeding my butterflies further.
I arrived after a sleepless night and flight, bewildered, to liaison with my first of several hospitable hosts. Call me a crazy tourist if you will, but I was mildly amused by seeing my name on a clipboard. No yellow cab service for me, I rode in style.
I arrived at the hotel after my driver gave me a quick run about town to the see the Metrodome (The home of Favre). Additionally, Henry offered some very unique perspectives off the city as he knew and experienced it.
I was greeted for check in to the Hilton with an immediate presentation of a branded messenger bag by Larkin Hoffman, a local high-powered law firm.
The Hilton room was lovely, but who has two-thumbs and loves Swag as much as the next person? All sorts of branded goodies including a logo cupcake and a few cool flash drives. I was feeling loved and the show was still 18 hours away.
After a Walleye Sandwich (A Minneapolis fave) and a quick snoozer I anxiously prepared for my presentation and first contact with the folks that were confident enough in my ability to present value to give me such a warm welcome.
The Pre Summit reception was preceded by the Pre-Summit Pre-Reception Reception. I was fed a steady diet of Blueberry Stoli and Sodas and delicious artisan pizza. Harry’s food and cocktails proved itself not as ‘hairy’ as billed and just right for introductory conversation and my delicate attempt to prove I belonged amongst such a talented slate of MIMA speakers.
After 5 or 6 rousing adult beverages I was more than ready to face the others involved in bringing the event together, and other presenters.
I was escorted to the reception by a mini entourage (@joeletness@lisarockssem and others) of local folks that made me feel at home, comfortable, and truly as if they were deeply interested in my speaking points for the following day. They were very diligent in introducing me to the major players. The elite proved themselves to be just that. The group that was amassed for the conference was talented, vast in skill set, and equally complimentary.
Again, those taking part in the planning were doing so in such a way that they were hardly visible, but working meticulously and precisely to ensure that all was well. Specifically, superwoman Jen Kane @jenkaneco and her cohorts.
Even the Minnesota mullet-man, Jake Nyberg, was cordial toasting good times and great hair.
The main hall of the show was buzzing by time I had finished my lite breakfast. Sleep was fleeting for me at best the night before, thankfully I packed plenty of 5-hour energy to slap a bright and energetic facade on my swollen face. I suppose I should’ve cut myself off from the Blueberry Stoli’s when the room got a bit spinny. It felt though, as if the sleep issue was working in my favor, the surreality of the show let me think that all was but a dream. I wouldn’t be facing 200+ peers to share some relatively polarizing ideas, and I wasn’t sitting across from Jackie Huba and Seth Godin making small talk. The masseuse in the presenters green room, probably sensing my agitation, offered a pre-speech rub down. I declined as I knew that my eyes would inherently close and I would drift away from my prep and focus. What a perk! I couldn’t help but run numbers in my head and decide how much money was on the line for MIMA. In the lavish panel of talented speakers and all of their associated bonuses and freebies, I calculated and still can’t imagine an overhead figure that balances the 1,000+ attendee payments. It’s not my problem, I suppose.
Thankfully, my counterpart ( Erich Wasserman of Media Math ) in presenting was collected and equally motivated for our co-presentation. We had little time to really communicate a division of labor prior to the event, but I think that was primarily due to our confidence levels. Neither of us could be caught on a bad day and not at the very least have something baseline to say about the state of digital media and its’ future.
We dove in head first, casually taking turns like old pros, discussing some of the hot topics in our field of expertise. Our sub-segments of media seemed to very well compliment. Erich, from an Ad Exchange was able to dive into the technicalities of the CPM pricing model and interaction with advertiser. I, on the other hand was offering my two cents on a conservative approach to banner design, targeting and deployment.
The presentation worked as a mini focus group. There were easy to identify issues that were polarizing and remarkable (in the Godin sense of the word). People certainly responded and may have even gasped when I gave little necessity to rich media; challenging that in most instances in a side by side comparison the development costs of rich media will diminish any ROI gain over well produced simple Flash or GIF units.
Tracking and attribution always garners a substantial variance in opinion. I recommended that the click be almost eradicated entirely from media personnel’s vocabulary; offering a new tactic measuring keyword lift, isolated within each banner set.
Additionally, I mentioned that stories should be avoided in developing creative. In fact, going as far as to say that my skin crawls when that is requested of my team. ‘If we have 1/20th of a second to make an impression on someone, then telling a story needs to be pushed to the back of our priorities.’
The feedback seemed positive. There were plenty of questions and even those in the audience playing my favorite conference game, ‘Stump the Presenter’. Everything asked of our two person panel was exceptionally advanced. It was impressive and a great reflection of not only Minnesota marketing, but the state of media as a whole.
After handing out all of my remaining behavioral marketing t-shirts and fielding a few remaining questions, I disappeared to the green room and gladly took a turn in the massage chair.
After a period of relaxation and reflection, I made my way to the main hall and joined some of the other presenters at a table front and center for the Seth Godin speech.
In meeting Seth earlier that morning, I quickly realized that he’s not much for small talk and very time sensitive (busy).
His presentation reflected a suitably different persona from the minute details I had gathered 1-on-1. He maintained that marketers have ruined marketing channels and that the true path of the Buddha is to create tribes and allow those sects to tell your story. Marketing, to Seth Godin, is storytelling.
I had hoped that nobody remembered that I spent considerable time expressing just the opposite, but then I reminded myself again, that I’m not Seth Godin.
In retrospect, who wants to be. Conferences are about reaching out into the trenches of marketing and speaking to the topsoil of an industry where talent still makes the world go around. The bad seeds are always rooted out online. They are exposed and then exploited, to the point where there is no place to hide. Seth has been experiencing some of this as of late. It turns out that nobody is untouchable.
It’s an honor to stand in front of your peers and share your opinions. I understand the enormous celebrity factor, the gushing mobs, the proposing women; but give something more to the people, let them shake your hand as you make us feel like less then you. You’ve broken us down and let us (marketing collective) know that we have and will continue to ruin marketing; spend some time building us up with something beyond your intellect.
Though, allow me to go on record as saying that I thoroughly did enjoy and appreciate Godin’s presentation quality and theories.
I retired to my hotel room in desperate need of a cat nap. ‘You earned it’, I told myself.
Later that evening was a happy hour and group sigh of relief that all was well at MIMA and the future looks bright. I met some fantastic people. Networking was on overload with a lot of potential business partners, and later at the hotel lobby bar I picked back up with Blueberry Stoli’s, right where I had left off.