Rand Fiskin is a leading pioneer in search engine optimization (SEO) and online-marketing. His company SEOmoz is one of the most visible in search engine marketing in the world.
In our interview he reveals, why it is beneficial to invest in New Media even though the results may not be visible immediately.
1. Which role does a target-oriented innovation management play for success in marketing and sales? How do companies have to adjust in this area in regards to changing circumstances, i.e. social media?
Businesses that are willing to be early adopters in social media, content marketing and SEO will see outsized returns vs. their late-adopter competition. But in order to make these investments, management must be willing to expend energy and resources under the assumption that ROI will be high in the long term, but results won't appear overnight. This is one of the hardest challenges in the field of inbound marketing, because spending money on overpriced ads, while low ROI, produces more consistent and instantaneous results. As with all other things in life, good things come to those who wait.
2. Where do you see the reason for many missed opportunities for innovation in companies?
There are a great variety of reasons, though fear is perhaps the most pervasive and overwhelming. Managers fear that long-term investments in innovation won't live up to the company's short-term targets. Leaders are often driven by quarterly or annual bonuses based on short-term performance. And everyone from CEOs down the chain to individual performers worries about how deviation from strict plans will be perceived and possibly penalized.
In my opinion, it's therefore critical to create a culture that rewards innovation just as much as success. We must recognize the value of long-term investments and long-term thinking ahead of the immediate, short-term targets. This is rare, but it's seen in almost every exceptional organization in the world.
3. Social Media has been the main topic throughout the last two years – but do you think the translation has yet been made within the companies? Is it an integral part in the marketing-mix by now? Does every company have to be active within Social Media?
Very nearly. There's likely still a few niches where social media doesn't need to be an active investment, but as I noted above, being an early adopter produces greater returns and more value than waiting until everyone's already competing for attention on a new platform.
This transition still has a long way to go - many organizations are attempting social media, but few are metrics driven, strategic or diverse enough with their efforts.
4. What so you expect to be the next great revolution in marketing?
I believe that if we can break through the current environment of fear and uncertainty around privacy without getting mired in political red tape that holds back innovation, marketing will continue to merge with technology to become more metrics-based and data-driven.
5. Not only through telecommunication have people become more and more (location-) independent. How strong will mobile marketing affect the advertising industry and buying behavior in the future?
Mobile marketing will, in my opinion, be very similar to the Internet revolution overall. They'll be more local-targeted search, social and functional options, but the big impact will simply be the spreading of the discovery we already do on our laptops and tablets to smaller, more portable devices.
6. Europe just passed the next recovery package, US markets are still in doldrums – which influence do you think will these current circumstances have on marketing and sales?
Oddly enough, while the middle and working classes in these countries have suffered tremendously, corporate profits and revenue are at all-time highs. I see a negative impact on small businesses, but don't foresee a big impact on the enterprises, as they've found ways to diversify and expand despite (or perhaps in part thanks to) the economic and government conditions.
7. What should we expect from you at the Marketing & Innovation Forum Europe 2012?
I'm planning to speak on inbound marketing - the combination of content, search, social and conversion - and how it can be leveraged by organizations of all kinds to produce remarkable returns.
8. What are you most looking forward to at the Marketing & Innovation Forum?
I'm excited to connect with a broad business and marketing audience in Germany. Many of my experiences have historically centered around the hardcore search marketing world, so helping others to see the value and possibilities there is inspiring.