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Interviews May 19th, 2016
Most people would agree that Marty Weintraub’s talk at MozCon 2015 was one of the most enlightening and informative presentations over the entire event. From being a hotshot piano player to an in-house marketer in charge of all online marketing channels at a .edu in in Minneapolis, to beating cancer and founding a company that made it to the Inc. 500 list, Marty’s story is literally one of the most real-life inspiring stories that I’ve come across.
I was eager to interview him ever since I saw his talk at MozCon 2015, and he was generous enough to set aside a few minutes to answer my questions. We went directly into topics that fascinated me the most in his MozCon talk like layering attributes and psychographic targeting, on which he shared brilliant insights.
It might be surprising to most people to know that Marty started his professional career in music. In the late 80s he travelled the world and played for a number of bands after studying music at the notable Berklee College of Music. His music career gave him exposure to advertising agencies and he started taking up other creative works, and learnt to design websites and dynamic pages, and manage databases.
After moving to Duluth, he started working for KDLH, which was an affiliate of CBS, during the 90s. At the turn of the millennia, he took up job as a web writer in a .edu, where he handled all aspects of their online marketing. And he did a great job too- in his own words “In 2002 we spent about $700 on AdWords and booked about $3 million in business. The next year, we spent about $20K and did $5 million”. I wanted to know more about his stint at the .edu in Minneapolis and how it prepared him for the future.
“So being a musician and being a teacher is great preparation for running a company. You learn how to deal with people who are passionate, want to know more and working to get ahead. I know of the realities of the world as an entrepreneur and businessperson and business owner and I can share that with them. The organization that a teacher requires is in many cases linear and amazing skills to have in the organization. What a musician requires is often nonlinear, and that’s great to have. So if you’re a linear and nonlinear thinker, then coming from a musician and teaching background is a great one-two punch.”
Marty was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2005. Although the chemo and radiation had ravaged him emotionally and physically, Marty never lost his spirit and entrepreneurial drive. He started Aimclear in late 2006, and ever since then the company has grown significantly every year. By 2011, Aimclear had grown by 823 percent, and had made it to the inc. 500 list by 2012. As for marty, he has evolved into one of the Internet Marketing Industry’s thought leaders, and is a permanent fixture on the International Conference Circuit.
Although he credits his team for much of the company’s success, Marty is widely considered to be one of the most influential PPC experts in the world, and was the 2013 US Search Personality of the Year. Marty says that the coolest thing about becoming the US search personality award is that he gets to see case studies from 250 agencies all around the world every single year. Now that’s a ton of info- and I eagerly asked him if he could elaborate all the trends and takeaways from all that data.
“Well, marketers keep getting smarter that’s for sure, and marketers all over the world are learning to track targeted users into the website system. Ascend if it doesn’t convert, and then follow with filtering and we’re golden! Seems to be ubiquitous.”
All through his MozCon talk, Marty mentioned about layering attributes across various advertising channels like search engines and social. Although I’m sure he’d answered similar questions tons of times, I wanted to know about why he thought layering attributes was the future.
“Well, while you’re doing search marketing and selling something, usually you create negative keywords for the word ‘free’ or ‘freebie’ or ‘free site’ or ‘free stuff for my kids’ because why would we want to sell something to people who are searching where we know they want it for free? Also, the same thing applies to social – you could map people who want free things and exclude it from social. That’s just like one of a thousand different ways we can layer things together.
Let’s put it this way: We could target everyone in the whole universe, just every single person. Why do we go any more focused than that? And all the same reasons apply to layers of psychographic targeting.”
Spot on. Marty, in his presentation on ‘Expertly Curating Owned Audience Cookie Pools’ at MozCon last year, talked quite a bit about “Paid social psychographic content amplification”. Don’t you think that’s quite technical and might be difficult for to grasp for PPC newbies? Can you simplify this for our readers and give a few references?
“Sure, well let’s break it down- we’re talking about “Paid Organic Social Psychographic Content Amplification” which is the first half of the pretty long statement that’s cool.
I don’t need to explain more about paid. Organic? That makes it a little weird, because paid and organic are opposites. So, I want you to imagine the word organic-looking, which means it appears to be organic. We know what social is -Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, YouTube, blogs like Tumblr, Pinterest, Instagram etc. Psychographic means who you are, of course, starting with classic layered attributes like your gender, or you age, or where you live, or your sexuality, passions, affinities, biases, politics, occupational psychographics etc. These are all Facebook interests and behaviors, and there are other data companies that have these too like Twitter.
Content can be anything you put on your wall. Content can be a tweet, or a long form blog post or an infographic. Content can be anything that has it’s own URL. Amplification which means you put it in the face of people in the psychographic targeting segment. So paid organic social psychographic content amplification- that’s what it means.
First of all, when setting KPIs, we want to invert the pyramid upside down. The classic marketing path speaks to awareness, engagement, conversion, loyalty, something like that, where marketers acknowledge that there is a ‘getting to know you’ period with many customers, and it’s cool with social to flip that pyramid upside down, where the first thing you try to do is sell as magnanimously as possible, and then after that you focus on other results. So when we do paid organic social psychographic content amplification, it’s against direct response for a goal, or attributable response, meaning it’s a predictable pathway to conversion.
After that, we could say influencer distribution, where we’re targeting, say, every blogger who’s interested in equestrian topics, works for a major newspaper, makes 70K and has a certain degree or whatever.”
With all that’s going on in the world of retargeting, it’s difficult to keep up and stay updated. Also, I’ve never heard about psychographic targeting to the level you talked about it at MozCon 2015. And I’d love to read more about it. Surely someone must be writing about layering attributes across various advertising channels online.
“Here’s what I recommend: Mashable, Marketingland.com, Aimclearblog.com and my books : “Killer Facebook Ads” and “The Complete Social Media Community Manager’s Guide: Essential Tools and Tactics for Business Success”
The age old tactic of pushing out regular content on blogs just isn’t working anymore. I was eager to find out what strategies were working out best for Aimclear, Marty’s search agency, for driving in traffic, links, and authority. He gladly shared the details:
“Influencer distribution, which includes traditional PR and B2B PR. Then comes traffic. I put traffic and awareness last most of the time- first I want to sell something, and the trick is being able to begin people seriously into the pathway to purchase with early touches of really amazing content that magnanimously serves the outcome of clients.
Ironically, it all boils down to being an amazing content marketer.”
[Tweet “The trick is being able to begin people seriously into the pathway to purchase with early touches of really amazing content – Says Marty Weintraub @techwyse”]
Glad to hear that. Because that’s exactly what we concentrate on most here at TechWyse—offering content for free that solves the problems of the end user. As they say, the right way to sell is not to pitch something, it’s to be a trusted authority to those who you want to sell to.
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