Every year Google launches over 500 improvements to its search algorithm. There’s a lot to learn from this video for modern day marketers.
Focus on your end user
It all starts with a focus on the user. “Google has made a huge investment in understanding what works for users (3:25)” because “when you align Google’s interests with user interests, good things happen (3:17)“.
Aligning business objectives with user objectives should sit at the core of any online marketer principles. Without it, you’re sure to fail.
Keep improving what you have
Google is obsessed with improving their search product; “we get excited when we hit on an idea what helps a lot of users (3:37)“. Continuous improvements sits at the heart of their culture.
Traditional marketers spend almost all their efforts before they launch because it’s hard to change things after. Online marketers need to spend the majority of their effort post launch. You receive instant results and it’s easy to change things.
This includes websites, social media, search, email marketing, etc.
Base decisions on data, not opinion
In too many organization, decisions are made based on opinions. Usually a senior person doesn’t like something or receives pressure from a stakeholder with an agenda and want something changed. Or a real problem is being dismissed because it’s invisible (a technology upgrade for example). Rarely does anybody actually look at the data in detail.
At Google, “a problem identified and hypothesis created (0:35)” and subjected to “rigorous scientific testing (0:53)“, using a trained panel called raters (0:59), live experiments (1:14) and analyzed by a search analyst (1:14). The decission to make the change is then held in a “launch decision meeting (1:47) by the leadership, based on data with an unbiased view”.
Implementing this at your organization
These are some key elements of Google’s success. But even when you’re not Google with a large team, here’s what even the smallest organization can do:
Don’t tell people how to do things, tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their results.
— George S. Patton
I believe that great leaders are passionate people who set a vision and inspire teams and individuals who’ve been given the space to make the vision a reality.
Itay Talgam delivered a great presentation at TED where he uses different styles of symphony conductors to deliver a powerful message about how to lead talented individuals. Very insightful.
Bran Ferren is the CEO of Applied Minds and the former president of Walt Disney Imagineering, Disney’s R&D division. This lecture is almost 2 hours long and it is very good. While watching this lecture, I put together another piece of the puzzle that reveals the process and methodology we use with Tourism BC’s online team and Rob Munro’s team at technology partner T4G.
My interpretation of Bran’s argument is that there are two types of people; the requirement thinkers and the big idea thinkers. Requirement thinkers are driven by process, documentation and figuring it all out before you start. Big idea thinkers are visionaries, innovators and driven to make things better. To achieve excellence, you need diverse talent and constructive tension to generate a vision, and an aligned team who’re great at implementing using a requirement process but are comfortable with continued evolution. Sounds a lot like our team.
I also like his statement that “consensus based management is the most evil process for destroying innovation I can think off“. I don’t disagree. Although desirable, it often leads to mediocrity or an insane waste of time.
The part I’m referring to runs from minute 24:30 til minute 46:00. There’s more great stuff, you have to watch it.
In another article I found Bran said: “Big-idea companies are run by passionate maniacs who make everybody’s life miserable until they get what they want.”
Guilty as charged. Sort-off.