Panel Interview Writeup – Feb 9

STEMBox Monthly Team: Jose Hernandez, Hui Li, Uttara Lokray, Hartley Riedner

On February 9, we were happy to have a great panel consisting of speakers from Add3.com / Seattle Interactive Conference and Admosis Media. The panel is specifically about how a small company can efficiently leverage SEO and Paid Advertising to target a specific market. We have gained great insights from the discussion on this topic. Below is a short recap on the discussion.

Q: How do you find the right balance of targeted advertising? Sometimes the ads can get very annoying for a user.

By focusing on where your customers are and what they are looking at, target advertising accordingly.  Many times, customers are delighted to find that piece of advertising towards them because that is what they are genuinely looking for. For example, geo targeting focuses on where the customers are and what exact activity they are doing. By studying their behaviors and patterns, targeted advertising can actually prove to be useful. Targeted advertising can also be targeted to be displayed at a certain time of the day and a certain time of the week.

Q: How effective is SEO and paid advertising in targeting customers outside our social circle?

SEO and paid advertising are very effective when it comes to targeting customers outside our social circle. This is because studying of behaviours and patterns of people outside social circles is difficult and learning about when to talk to them about the product or service is also unknown. targeted advertising makes it easier to target those set of customers. A good SEO setup will help a customer find our product when he really needs it! Create OGST goals to realise results. Objectives, goals (SMART), strategies, tactics ex: brand awareness, increase traffic referrals by 20% from social media, strategies, tactics

Q: What are some factors you use to determine whether to use an SEO campaign, versus a Social campaign?

There are several factors, such as whether you are trying to generate demand, and already have a good sense of your product’s “brand” (SEO), or whether you are wanting to reach the bottom of the funnel, and create brand awareness, and foster advocacy by word-of-mouth to broaden your reach.  These are issues you can consider when creating your content roadmap.

Q: SEO can seem like a big mystery, especially to those new to online marketing. What are the best practices that we can use in our current campaigns?

Google Analytics has adjusted its algorithm many times over the past few years, and a lot of “tricks” that people used to deploy to raise their search engine rank don’t work anymore. The best thing to do is get relevant content on your site. It’s not about hiding search terms in your code or pages, it’s about providing content that is really targeted to your audience. So figure out what your audience is searching for, what problems they are trying to solve, and write blog posts with solutions.

Q: What “go to market” tools do you use to manage an effective paid advertising?

  • Google: use autocomplete to discover common search terms, use Google trends to find trending searches
  • Dasheroo (connect all channels, see how its working in integrated fashion)
  • Salesforce social studio
  • Adobe media optimizer
  • Hootsuite
  • Facebook business manager
  • Pickmonkey – listening tools

Entrepreneur report – Jobvention

Screen Shot 2015-03-02 at 9.30.48 AMJobvention (http://www.jobvention.com/) was started in 2013 by two founders Alvin Loh and Hui Dai, who have extensive technical backgrounds from companies like Microsoft and Amazon.  Jobvention has the vision that jobs can change lives and that strong communities are employed communities. Jobvention created the highly regarded Boolean Search String Generator featured in many recruiting classes and publications around the world. And it leverages the sophisticated algorithm to source for qualified talents and connect recruiter/hiring companies with them. It provides a free resume database for customers to manage their own talent pool. The database has over 100k resume candidates which is growing daily.

When Jobvention system attempts to find a qualified candidate, it looks at when the profile was updated, suggesting that the candidate may be ready to change jobs. It also looks at the job title and considers candidates that have similar job titles and candidates that work in competing or similar companies.

Customers can also treat Jobvention as sourcing assistant to help contact and /or interview candidates. It has an applicant tracking system for companies and a resume database for individual recruiters.

Jobvention is targeting recruiters from small and medium businesses who find it difficult to source for qualified talents, especially those talent whose skillset well-match with the job description. They are basically going after an existing market of talent sourcing by leveraging advanced technology to automatically conduct data mining, indexing and matching the talent profile with job requirements. As compared to the existing headhunting service, it is more efficient as Jobvention promise to provide 5-10 qualified passive candidates in 48 hours with only $50 per job posting. Jobvention will also do technical phone screens for software developers and testers to save you time. $150 per 45 minute phone screen with a written recommendation and interview notes.

Jobvention positions itself as a job portal in between Monster/Indeed.com and Craigslist, a more efficient, effective and better solution than other job boards and traditional talent sourcing methods by providing smarter algorithms and more sophisticated machine learning and natural language processing algorithms that look far beyond keywords at a competitive price.

As for their first customers, the two founders reached out to their own recruiter network and collected recruiter contacts from online sources. They mainly adopted email marketing as their major marketing channel. Recently, they have also started to leverage facebook, Display Ads to drive more customers to their website.

Blog 4

I searched products like “YSL wallet”, “Handy.com” (a home cleaning service provider website), and “mac air”. Two of them (“YSL wallet”, “Handy.com”) “magically showed up at the right hand side on my Facebook page. They are quite targeted to my search and browse history. As shown in the picture below, one of them show me the picture of the wallet, discount information and number of people like this. The other show me an attractive price to get the cleaning service.

Overall, I find the ads are quite effective. The discount, visual image and attractive price all attract me to click and buy the products.

Screen Shot 2015-02-04 at 2.55.34 PMScreen Shot 2015-02-04 at 2.57.15 PM

Blog 3 – Lugg

The product/company I choose is called Lugg (http://lu.gg/).

Their product pitch is: Your on demand mover/ Like Uber for moving stuff across town

Within the following three simple steps, you can finish your moving!

  • Set a pickup location

Use your current location or search for an address or business.

  • Add a photo

Take a photo of the item you need moved.

  • Movers en route instantly

Two movers and a truck are instantly on their way to your location.

It can also be used in more than one ways:

·      In-Store Purchases

In 30 minutes or less get your things home from IKEA, West Elm, Costco,

Local furniture stores, and more.

·      Craigslist

Move your Craigslist purchase across town without leaving your home.

·      Donations

Have us take your donated electronics, clothing, and other items to Goodwill.

·      Haul Your Junk

Instantly haul your pile of junk away to the nearest transfer station.

Given its nature of sharing / on demand economy, I choose the following three blogger/influencer to follow with:

Sarah Perez (https://twitter.com/sarahintampa)

She wrote an article about Lugg early this year to help introduce and promote the application on techcrunch. (http://techcrunch.com/2015/01/07/a-new-app-called-lugg-can-move-your-sofa-with-a-push-of-a-button/)

Jason Tanz (https://twitter.com/jasontanz)

Jason Tanz is editor-at-large at WIRED. He has written feature articles about the sharing economy, Internet celebrities, and videogame auteurs.

Farhad Manjoo (https://twitter.com/fmanjoo)

He write about sharing economy for the New York Times.

Blog 2 – Piazza

The company I choose is Piazza (https://piazza.com). It is an online platform where students and instructors come together to learn and teach.

Online Channels:

It uses various types of online channels to communicate with its target audience: both students and instructors (professors and TAs).

  • Press: It is shown in various well-known press including WSJ, Bloomberg Business Week etc
  • Social Media: Twitter: (TWEETS: 542; FOLLOWERS: 1,065), Facebook (489 page liks)
  • Video: on the homepage, it has a short video to briefly introduce the product and use cases to the visitors.
  • Case study: several successful stories shown on website
  • Influencer: quotes and videos from professors and prestige universities endorsing the product
  • Blog: inactive, only have one post

Value Proposition:

The incredibly easy, completely free Q&A platform

Save time and help students learn using the power of community

Overall, I think Piazza has done quite a good job in terms of leverage the various online channels and communicating to their target customers, especially the case study and influencers endorsement which work most effectively to reach out to their target customers.

SeniorHomes.com – Market Analysis

SeniorHomes.com was founded by former Microsoft and All Star Directories marketing executives Chris Rodde and Jay Goldstein in 2008. SeniorHomes.com was born with the mission to help seniors and their families find housing and care for themselves and their loved ones by providing objective information on their website and via their free Care Advisor service. It was ranked at #116 in Geekwire 200 Startup List.

It serves as a online marketplace to connect both senior housing providers and seekers (including seniors and their families). They provided the information about difference types senior housing including: Independent living, Assisted living, Memory care, Care homes and Nursing Homes. The users can search by the type of housing and location preferred.

They mainly use digital media (SEO, SEM, Display Ads and social media) to go after their target customers. They are targeting both the actual users, seniors as well as influencers/information seekers, such as their families. Also, they need to reach out to senior housing providers for richer and better housing inventories.

They start with individual customers and providers locally. With the success at local market, they start national expansion in 2011. It has expanded to over 30+ metro areas in U.S. and listed over 80,000 senior living communities.

Potentially, in addition to individual customers, they can reach out to corporate customer such as insurance company to include senior housing as part of the compensation/health care benefits to sell the product in bulk.