It’s time to meet up with our 4th speaker, Mr. Jono Alderson from Yoast. At SearchStars his topic is “Digital Marketing is dead – survival tips for what comes next” which is about how everything we know about digital marketing starts to strain and break, as evolutions in voice search, personal assistants and machine learning reduces the role of the consumer in their own research and purchase processes.
Could you tell me a bit more about what you do at work? What is the highlight of your working day and what kind of projects excites you the most?
I’m responsible for “Special Ops” at Yoast. I get involved in all of the weird, interesting, new, and experimental things which don’t really fit neatly into our day-to-day operations. The specifics vary a lot depending on what’s going on at any given moment, but my focus typically includes exploring new SEO techniques and opportunities, solving edge-case SEO/WordPress problems for our users, working on our own website(s), and obviously speaking a bunch of great conferences!
When and why did you decide to start working in digital marketing?
I don’t think it was ever a conscious decision. As a teenager, I spent a lot of time online coding, building things, experimenting with technology. That organically unfolded to a series of jobs in web development, which evolved into a career in SEO, Analytics, and agency world. Things got a bit out of hand, I guess!
What do you think is the most important thing for new businesses to start off with when it comes to digital marketing?
Effective marketing requires that you have a good or distinct product or service to market (or, that you can tell a compelling enough story to convince people that’s the case). Digital marketing is no different – but it’s harder to fake it. The transparency of social media, Google’s constant evaluation of your content, and the low barriers to entry and competition make it hard to stand out unless your brand truly deserves the attention. The most important thing, then, is to develop a brand which is unique, interesting, differentiated, accessible, and which tells stories online. That’s not easy, which is why so many brands fail to get attention and to grow online.
How do you keep up to speed on everything that is happening in digital?
I have Twitter open most of the time, which keeps me on top of what’s happening ‘now’. It’s an incredible tool for just dialing into the moment. For broader trends, I rely heavily on conferences and events. I spend time with other smart people – speakers, attendees and organisers – and we compare notes, discuss crazy ideas, and speculate on what the future might bring.
As technology, our disciplines, and the brands in that mix continue to evolve, I find myself constantly revising my opinions and being stretched in new directions as a result of hanging out with awesome folk at events.
At October 9 we will see you speaking at SearchStars, what can the audience expect from your speech?
I’m going to be talking about how the world of digital marketing is changing around us, and how we need to change the way we think and act if we’re going to adapt. As part of that, I’ve got a new model for how we should think about earning preference and brand recall which I’d like to share!
See Jono speak at SearchStars October 9 in Malmö, get your ticket here!