Home > Digitalizacija > Dave Conklin: Lost At 30,000 Feet; A Business Leader’s Guide To Understanding & Navigating The Complicated Digital Business Growth Landscape

Dave Conklin: Lost At 30,000 Feet; A Business Leader’s Guide To Understanding & Navigating The Complicated Digital Business Growth Landscape

Digital marketing

Human beings are inherently lazy. Generally, as a species, we don’t want to be held fully accountable for our actions. However, the top 2 percent of people, those above – mentioned “A – players” love being held accountable if it means they’re going to experience more success.

People often decide to avoid certain knowledge when it comes to tech and marketing, because they feel “out of control” in those areas. It’s time to change that pattern. Not knowing what you don’t know is a common challenge we’ll seek to overcome.

In the early 2000s technology started to change what CEOs understood. Never before in the history of business in our world has there been so much transparency around what people do, what their needs are and how they prefer to communicate.

Digital marketing

When marketing to a cold audience, ads on Facebook shouldn’t sell your stuff unless there’s a massive discount that would be impossible to ignore. Build your audience and create some credibility for yourself, then sell. Creating content means creating valuable tools and resources online that aren’t available anywhere else.

Your website, in this world of networking events, is your home. It’s your building that you get to control. If done right, your website should be your absolute greatest employee. It’s a non – sleeping entity you can direct real people to 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It’s always there to showcase what you’re able to do for the world. Your website is your online storefront and place of conversion. It should be your best employee and best present your company.

Every single thing you do in your business from a digital communication or digital marketing perspective is trackable to a dollar. Everything is trackable. Everything is measurable.

Interrupting someone with a highly valuable ad is acceptable because it’s so valuable. In a solution-based marketing campaign, your content is going to provide a solution to a query the prospect placed in a search engine or in Facebook or another platform. Solution-based marketing primarily rises from search engines. YouTube is actually a search engine. With solution-based marketing, your goal is to make sure that when someone searches for a specific solution (and they’re in a geographic area that makes sense for you) that you appear as a resource to solving their problem. This includes paid and organic.

Now once someone is digitally introduced to you — meaning they come to a landing page on your site, visit a specific tool, or download a specific thing — you should then interrupt them with retargeting. You can use email, banner ad traffic, Instagram, Facebook and many other tools to retarget them online with more interruption marketing. Interruption marketing is actually even more effective when it’s done on the retargeting side than when it’s done on the cold side.

It is important for marketing success that you have tools for understanding conversion paths and how it leads to return on investment.

Testimonials from customers build an incredible amount of confidence, especially if they’re on video.

Think about ways to offer your customers something fun and interactive that involves them with your website and also makes them like you more.

So, we’ve gotten the traffic. We’ve made that audience aware of your brand and services; whether through solution-based marketing or interruption marketing, they’ve landed on our site. Now we track the percentage of people who actually turn into a goal. A goal may be clicking through to another page of the website. Or a goal may be filling out a form. These goal funnels, or conversion paths, are crucial to monitor. They’re like knobs you can turn up or down, improve or split test. When we take this seriously, we can dramatically increase the percentage of people who land on our website and convert into actual goals, after which they become leads or are redirected into leads later.

But we still don’t know who these people are. It’s by finding out who they are (our next goal) that we move leads into prospects — people who have already downloaded a promotion, signed up for a coupon or something similar. When these people receive information from you it has to be truly valuable.

Now that traffic is converting into leads and leads are converting into prospects, of which you have contact info for, you’ll be able to track the percentage of people from different sources that turn into leads, prospects and then sales. You’ll know where each lead, prospect and sale come from.

Everyone on the team needs to understand exactly what this conversion path is so they can measure it and effectively build new content, split test content and make it better over time. The paths get set up in flowcharts and then the content is built around them. Share worthy content is content that a certain demographic, whether it be people with a similar job title, age, gender or other related demographics are interested in sharing. The content you’ll be creating can have a few different goals.


One goal could be to have the content rank high in the search engines. Then we have social content goals. Social content is content meant to spread among a community.

Many different companies have developed many different forms of content. Consider the entertainment angle. Then there’s shock-and-awe content, where you’re taking scary information and statistics and putting it into an infographic or video. There’s also interesting data – journalistic information. In data – journalism content, you take data that you find from multiple sources and combine it together, presenting shocking realities that may or may not be related. Infographics, if done well, are a great way to get content on the web that’s extremely effective. Calculators are currently a really great way to get content flowing as well.

We can talk about content that can be “share worthy” and content that can be used to create downloads and leads.

There’s a huge benefit in knowing what people are actually searching for and how that relates to your products and services.

Today, we have tools like AdRoll, Google Ads retargeting, Facebook retargeting pixels and many other methods that allow you to follow up with the customer once they hit your site.

Now, keep in mind, any keywords listed in positions 11 or higher aren’t likely to be getting a whole lot of search engine traffic.

Once you’ve researched the keyword phrases you and your competitors are organically ranking for, the keyword phrases you and your competitors are paying to rank fo , and the most popular pages on your site and the sites of others, it’s time to do some research that starts with keywords rather than a domain.


Sometimes, when someone uses the phrase SEO or search engine optimization, they are referring to the on – page text and technical factors behind a website. However, there’s a secondary part of SEO that many business owners don’t even understand: “off-page” factors, which have, at the time of this writing, a higher impact on search engine rankings than the on-page factors.

Another thing to understand is the difference between a web page and a website. A website would be the collection of all of the different web pages that you can surf on your website. A web page would be referring to a specific page within that website.

Whenever you’re setting up a site or modifying a site there are many on-page factors to consider. The most important are:

  • Title tags
  • Meta description tags
  • H tags
  • ALT tags
  • An on-page factor that’s really important is internal linking

Google and the other search engines use external links from web pages outside your own site to determine relevancy and rankings. This gets into the off-page factors that have a huge impact on search engine rankings. This all shows us that a huge portion of Google’s algorithm is based on external links that point to a website or a webpage.

The long-term play on SEO is a great one if you know the money you’re investing is actually going to pay off.

Most people who think about PPC (pay per click search engine marketing) don’t see it as a research and development tool. To learn about what people are searching for outside of what’s in your head. It’s incredibly important because you are the supplier, not the client. And consumers often don’t know what they are looking for by “industry buzzwords” that may be common for you to use.

Some of the important terms in digital marketing:

  • KD means “keyword difficulty”. This is rated on a scale from 0 – 100, with 100 being the most difficult to rank for and 0 being the easiest. This is calculated by considering the competitive landscape found in the list of sites that shows up when the keyword is searched for.
  • CPC Cost Per Click (CPC) shows the average price that advertisers pay for a click on their ad in Google’s paid search results for a target keyword.
  • CPS Clicks Per Search (or CPS) is the ratio of clicks to keyword search volume. It shows how many different search results get clicked, on average, when people search for the target keyword.
  • SERP means “search engine result page”. Clicking on this for each keyword, you can see the data that was discovered by Ahrefs when doing their research.

So, the marketer gives Google a list of words, they make some ads and run the campaign. And . . . It Doesn’t Work. Why? Because no negative phrases and/or words were added – and more importantly, the psychology (search intent) of the searcher wasn’t considered. When you launch a paid search campaign, be sure to put yourself in the position of the users doing the search and think deeply about why they just typed in that phrase.

Page building

We have, over and over again, increased revenue for companies by 20 to 30 percent simply by making a landing page and moving paid traffic there from the home page. Here is an example how page could look like

  • Section One – the page your visitor’s see immediately has to answer a lot of their questions:
    •  Who are you?
    • What do you do?
    • Why should the visitor care?

Just use the right elements in the right spots.

  • Your Logo. The upper-left hand corner is prime web design real estate because that’s where most of your visitors will look first.
    • Navigation Menu with CTA. Another common web design pattern is to have the navigation menu written across the top header.
    • What Your Company Does. Let’s get down to business. You only have a line or two to explain succinctly what your company does.
    • Value Statement. Here’s where you explain why you’re the best choice and why your visitors should care about you.
    • Call to Action. Now that your visitors know what your company is about, throw out a couple CTAs as suggestions for how to proceed on your site.
  • Section Two
    • Client Logos. A logo is worth a thousand words. Rather than saying “we’ve worked with them”, show their logos instead.
    • Powerful Testimonials. Include one or two of your best testimonials to elaborate on how your past clients appreciate your work.
  • Section Three
    • Benefits and Features. Here you show three specific benefits or features you offer. We recommend this setup:
      • Your first benefit should be about making or saving money. (That’s what most visitors are looking for anyway).
      • Your second benefit should be about saving time.
      • Your third benefit should be about relieving stress.
    • Call to Action. You’ll want to repeat your CTAs throughout your web page.
  • Section Four
    • Feature Video.
    • Call to Action.
  • Section Five
    • Get Started (Steps). A certain type of visitor will want to know what to expect when working with you before signing up.
    • Call to Action.
    • Confidence Statement. Here’s the ideal place to show an impressive statistic about yourself. Typically, the confidence statement covers:
      • How many people you’ve helped?
      • How many products you’ve sold?
      • How much money you’ve made yourself or others?
  • Section Six
    • Client Reviews. Here’s where you show the full – quote testimonials from your clients.
  • Section Seven
    • Unseen Concern. Otherwise known as the “fear statement”, this area should play into the sales tactic of pain avoidance. In a bulleted list, show the visitors what they’d miss out on:
      • They’d fail to get a job done.
      • The job would get done with less quality.
      • The job would take too long.
      • The job would cause them too much anguish.
    • Call to Action.
  • Section Eight
    • Value Statement. Just like in the first section, you want to explain your value clearly.
    • Call to Action. Include your final CTAs here, again to guarantee the people who scroll to the bottom of the page see them.


You’ve got a list of phrases people search for. You’ve got a landing page. Now it’s time to write some ads. I always recommend using modified broad in the beginning. The way you do this is by simply adding a plus sign to each word.

When you tell Google, you want your ad to appear when someone uses the modified broad match bidding strategy, you’re telling Google that as long as a phrase contains the individual words you entered, you want to market for it. Once you see the actual phrases people are entering to see your ad, you can add negative keywords to your campaign. Match types work for both keywords you bid on as well as negative keywords you don’t wish to appear for.

  • Exact Match Bid Type
  • Phrase Match Bid Type
  • Broad Match Bid Type – This bidding strategy is the one that will generate the most traffic by far. However, you run the risk of much of that traffic being irrelevant.

Before you start sending traffic to your landing page, it’s really important to have tracking set up. The great thing (some would say the scary thing) about this is that you can see everything your competitors are doing. You can see the ads on Facebook that work for them, the content pieces they are promoting on Instagram that are bringing them revenue and the pages of their site that are getting linked to from the “linkerati”. Thanks to Rand Fishkin for the term.

One of the highest ROI ways to generate leads for your business or sales of your products/services online is ranking in the organic or “free” area of search engines.

To be effective, you need to do something to set yourself apart from your competitors, to Google and other search engines. One of these strategies is to create an SEO focused microsite geared to a very specific keyword phrase or group of similar keyword phrases.

All of the pages of almost every site we touch have tracking pixels on them. This means that we can target people who have landed on pages with ads for whatever we’d like. So, when someone is searching for “best _____ companies in the US” and they land on our microsite, they are immediately “tagged” by us. We can now show them ads for resources on the corporate site. Or we could offer them resources in exchange for their contact information on the microsite. Either way, we now have an audience of people who have searched for a phrase that clearly identifies them as a great potential customer.

At the time of writing, there are seven different types of YouTube ads. These include skippable TrueView ads, non – skippable pre-roll ads, bumper ads, display ads, overlay ads, sponsored cards, and masthead ads.

There are three things every successful digital marketer needs. One, they have to be competent in their knowledge and strategy. Two, they need to feel empowered to spend money and test theories to find the strategies that do and don’t work. And third, they have to have patience to wait for the results to come in after the testing has been done.


Many paid search and social experts say 80 percent of the campaigns you launch won’t work. But 20 percent will have a huge ROI. Split testing is at the core of almost every hugely successful campaign. There are great software packages that are affordable that allow you to split test easily. We prefer VWO.com.

Pixels are simply invisible images that load on someone’s device so they can be tracked later. We don’t need to get into the details here, but if you need to understand more about the technology behind pixels, just Google “how Facebook pixels work” and you’ll get a lot of resources. Facebook pixels are important because they allow you to target people who have seen specific content on your site.

It’s possible to have ads run to certain people at specific times and at other times target different people or even stop running.

This one is huge. It’s possible to advertise in specific areas and you can get extremely specific.

Similar to the above, you can show ads to people who meet certain demographic requirements.

Google Analytics is what provides the X – ray for you and your team to help make decisions about what to do next.

When you install Google Tag Manager, it allows you to enable certain settings that make tracking events on your site possible.

Setting up call tracking is as simple as adding a code to your site. This can often be done through Google Tag Manager. If your team is going to dig into call tracking, make sure you have them research integrating it with Google Analytics, allowing you to combine call data with your other data.

First, your business contacts an affiliate network and offers some kind of a commission on sales or leads of your products/services to the affiliate network. The affiliate network then gives your information to affiliates and offers the affiliates a portion of what you’re paying them per sale/lead of your products/services. Finally, the affiliates begin to market your products/services to their audiences via landing pages, search campaigns, social campaigns, email campaigns,…

Affiliate marketing also makes it easy to earn additional revenue from your existing customers, in addition to generating new sales and revenue.


While they are focused on these areas, they also have a general understanding of the rest of the body and how their area of focus relates and interacts with it. Digital communication professionals work in the exact same way. Some of the common areas of focus include web programming, web design , paid social media, paid search, organic search (SEO), data analysis, copywriting, graphic design, marketing automation, email marketing and much more.

The problem is that the web designer doesn’t even know that an SEO specialist should be involved because they don’t know what they don’t know.

It’s imperative to have an individual who is coordinating the movement of your marketing campaigns. The first aspect of this role is planning out projects.

Your marketing team needs to understand your business goals and challenges if you want them to be empowered and capable of helping you fix them. Once they have specific business goals to achieve, the brainstorming meeting will take place. Every idea is written down. We use a tool called MindMup where we just dump stuff. Then you organize the brainstorming map into an organized chart. You can use our ProfitPaths ® Planning Sheets for this. We also use LucidChart to create maps that breakdown how everything talks to everything. Then you create a task list and some deadlines need to be put together. We use a tool called Asana for this at our company.

The Project Manager is the one person who truly understands every aspect of a project in and out. Everyone else is isolated to their own challenges.

This is the only other position that needs to have a full understanding of the entire project from start to finish. The Marketing Automation Specialist is responsible for creating the communication that takes place between your brand and the potential customer, employee, …

Cold email is one of the single most effective and profitable strategies available today. It’s especially effective in B2B campaigns.

Your content team will write the emails, your visual team will design the landing pages and your Marketing Automation Specialist will send and automate the process.

Once relationships have been established, the Marketing Automation Specialist is responsible to keep the communication lines open with those potential customers through retargeting and relational email.

Transactional emails are between your brand and current customers. They can include billing emails, newsletter updates, product updates or emails sent with the goal of getting referrals.

There are many platforms and the right one for your goals may be different than someone else’s. We’ve used many of them, including Ontraport, Infusionsoft (now Keap), Pardot (works with Salesforce.com), SharpSpring, HubSpot and others.

Email is a huge part of this role, as mentioned above. Therefore, it’s important for this component’s keepers to work with the Technical Development team to make sure your email server is healthy, your list is clean and to keep on top of opt outs from your campaigns. All the website – related stuff that doesn’t focus on how it looks involves the technical development team.

Visual Media (Design). This team is in charge of everything and anything that your campaign audience actually sees.

Today, almost all sites are designed using some type of CMS (content management system). These include WordPress, Shopify and Drupal.

CSS is a language that changes how text, images and more are displayed in a user’s browser.

It’s really important for your website designer to understand things like image optimization, CRO (conversion rate optimization) and much more.

Laying out a site in a way that maximizes user experience is a completely different skill set than manipulating graphics.

We have found Zoom.us and WebinarJam as being some of the best solutions for webinars. If you’re looking to have your webinars run constantly as a “sales force” of sorts, then EverWebinar is our current go to.

We use a software tool called ScreenFlow to create screencasts when we want to have a video that shows us plus our screen.

The person that creates these digital assets is unique because they need to know how to use page layout software like InDesign or Illustrator.

A designer focused on UX is a researcher, copywriter and often a tester. UI design is a subset of UX, but a vital one.

On your tech team, you should have someone that can set up many different types of tracking that enable you to do split testing of content, landing pages, images, button colors and more.

Long tail content is so important that we’ve invested tens of thousands of dollars to create software that helps writers write it. It’s a very unique skill set to be able to write content that’s technical, still written in layman’s terms, and actually has a bit of entertainment value. There are a few reasons to have article writers in your company. Most of it is to support the SEO efforts we described.

The primary reason to have a blog is building confidence in your brand for those making a decision to work with you, whether they are considering a partnership or being a customer or working for you as an employee. The second reason is blogs provide a place for the “linkerati”to reference on their sites. Blogs have two audiences: those who may link to the content (which is almost never your customers) and those who are looking to see if your company is worth their time and money.

Once that content is created, we need to make sure that the most popular words found within the list of phrases we pulled from are included within the alt tags of images, the file names included in the page, the URL, the H tags ( especially the H1 tag ), and within the links. I referenced the “Perfectly Optimized Page” content that Rand Fishkin did years ago as a resource here.

It’s been proven again and again in tests that the bounce rate of a page is a leading factor in Google’s algorithm. Outreach is the most important task to have your team consistently do to help your search marketing. Sometimes, companies that understand how important it is to constantly have new people linking to them use vendors. One of the best ways to rank your site in the search engines is to know why Google has placed the sites that are at the top, well, at the top. Constant analysis is imperative to an SEO strategy.

What kind of talent is needed in agency? We need someone who can look at the goal of a business, create a solid strategy based on research and then execute on that strategy. We need someone who can strategize, create and is tenacious about execution.

As an example, this strategy could include: A paid search campaign that sends search traffic to a landing page that’s intended to “pixel” the visitors or create trackable phone calls. Working with the design team to design ads and copy that will pull those people back to then use a calculator created by our dev team. Using Zapier or Ontraport to automatically have the people who use the calculator added to a retargeting group on Facebook. Building more audiences from scratch on Facebook to target cold traffic to the same original offer – and using ad spy tools to ensure we are creating ads and CTAs that have worked for others. Speaking with clients on the phone about the results you have achieved and the vision for the future.

Creating profit paths with agency

“So that is your ProfitPath ®”. Selling this specific product to this specific individual.

If you’ve been in sales or you’ve ever done sales training, you know that you have to fill the top of the funnel with leads, with prospects.

I want you to write down what channels or markets you’re currently depending on to generate new business.

I had to create leads in a way that didn’t depend on my time. That was this really big focus that I had. I’m going to create a Web site in all my problems are going to be solved!

Even with all the incredibly helpful ads that are out there, 78 percent of businesses are still not satisfied with their conversions on their Web site, according to HubSpot. But why? Well, it’s because we’re not focusing on the solutions.

Marketing, a very specific focused solution, to a very specific focused audience generates results online. Over and over and over again in all kinds of different industries. So ProfitPaths ® is all about how to take your company and brand, market and sell very specific focused solutions – for very specific audiences.

People are so frustrated with digital marketing agencies because they’re giving them metrics like “video views” and “Facebook likes” and all these things. None of that actually puts money in their bank account. The only metric that really, truly matters to them is profit.

CEOs, CFO’s, they all want to know what is the money we’re spending actually creating in revenue back. Setting things up with the ProfitPaths ® methodology allows you to understand from start to finish exactly what’s happening with the money and how much money is actually being generated from it.

ProfitPaths ® is a methodology. It’s taking your product or service that is really high profit; matching it up with your highest, most successful order per sale type of customer and creating content and assets to market to them in a way that positions you as the expert, the person to go to.

The first page of this ProfitPaths ® planning sheet is where you actually break down your products and your services that have the highest profit dollar per sale

We use something called lucid chart for example building and this is where we break everything like the research and data for this avatar, the product and service we’re going to move, what kind of research have we done that shows that people are actually looking for this stuff? And then is there data online where stuff is available? Then we go into the awareness section identifying what tools online are we going to use to make people aware. Then our assets section breaks out what content are we going to create.

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