Industry Focus for Friday, October 14, 2022
In the multiple-Emmy-award-winning television series The Wire, iconic detective Bunk Moreland teaches a memorable lesson about searching for clues.
“You have to have soft eyes,” he says, knowingly.
The viewer soon learns what he means as he finds an unexpected piece of evidence: when you have a goal in mind, you have to relax your point of view and see what’s transpiring outside of a narrow frame of reference. You have to consider a larger context, a bigger picture, while letting go of – or “softening” – a hardened stance to achieve a desired outcome.
This is as true for your digital marketing strategy as it is for detective work. It’s easy to get caught up with the bottom of the marketing funnel, hoping for leads and conversions. But without widening your gaze – everything from world events, the legal landscape, new technology, and industry trends – you’re missing out on vital information. These five articles, chosen by the iFocus Marketing team, provide that “soft eyes” view, so you can widen your scope and gain crucial – and perhaps unexpected – insights.
“Alexa Users Claim Amazon is Using Voice Recordings to Target Ads,” by Nicole Farley in Search Engine Land
Two consumers have filed a lawsuit against Amazon, alleging that Alexa listens in on private conversations to gain valuable information for ad targeting. As the ownership of smart home devices, as well as e-commerce shopping, reach their all-time high, public sentiment has shifted in favor of more privacy for consumers who own digital tech and shop online. Therefore, it’s no surprise that issues of digital privacy have ended up in court. Amazon’s response? They deny this claim, explaining that they mine plenty of information for ad targeting from searches and buying behavior. What does this mean for business and digital marketing? It means that to effectively and authentically find audiences for products and services, marketers and their clients should adopt ethically-sound, legally-compliant practices to meet the needs of consumers, who place a higher value on their privacy than ever.
-Submitted by Alex Mead, Paid Media Coordinator
“How President Biden’s New Executive Order Impacts Businesses,” by Matt G. Southern in Search Engine Journal
Due to legal and ethical concerns, the U.S. and E.U. have been hard-pressed to come to a mutual agreement that would allow the open flow of data between the two regions, given both the E.U.’s stringent privacy concerns and the U.S.’s covert surveillance techniques that have gained international attention via whistleblowers (and even the straight-faced testimony of companies that traffic in Big Data, such as Meta). Fortunately, the U.S. and E.U. have made new inroads, evidenced by President Biden’s recent executive order that presents a new privacy framework for how transatlantic businesses and users interact, with Meta and Google standing to benefit significantly. This means that marketers and their clients will continue to benefit from the services that these tech companies provide, while the consumer’s right to privacy is affirmed.
-Submitted by Brandon Davis, Director of Paid Media
“9 Big Risks of Cheap SEO,” by Corey Morris in Search Engine Land
This article refuses to minimize the danger of embarking on Search Engine Optimization without the right tools or strategy to implement it effectively. These nine points articulate what businesses should watch out for, allowing them to cut through the FOMO and avoid rash decision-making. Therefore, this article makes a key argument for tapping strategic web development, analytics, and marketing expertise, much like what you’d find at our agency. Author Corey Morris warns that poor attempts at optimization can in fact lead to a negative ROI, as websites can be penalized and lose search engine visibility when they don’t invest in SEO smartly.
-Submitted by Amie Veach, Digital Marketing Strategist
“E-commerce SEO: The Beginner’s Guide,” by Joshua Hardwick in Ahrefs Blog
On the other side of the coin, this comprehensive article walks businesses through SEO, from technical web development, all the way to strategic analytics, so e-commerce businesses can effectively guide their target audiences down the funnel. In stark contrast to the cheap SEO tactics outlined in the article above, this guide from Ahrefs makes a case for the essentiality of well-played SEO, and that there are highly-effective ways to use it to your advantage with the right tools, resources, talent, and knowledge.
-Submitted by Stephen Rau, Web Developer/Designer
“2023 SEO Trends and Predictions: What to Watch (and Learn) This Year” by Macy Storm in Web FX
Our last article confirms a trend we’ve been keeping our eye on for some time – and which Amazon Prime Days and Black Friday sales have unequivocally proven – that online shopping is continuing to expand, as are the key strategies needed to meet consumers’ needs on digital platforms. In fact, we’ve been testing and implementing new tools and strategies at iFocus to ensure we’re keeping on top of this extended boom. What this piece does is remind us to stay the course with our future-forward practices. A leading digital marketing agency will always find new ways to optimize for current and future tech capabilities such as AI, voice search, and video, as well as accessibility, localization, and Google’s latest emphases and updates for content – and that’s exactly what we’re doing.
-Submitted by Kandice Gerdes, Account Operations Manager
At iFocus Marketing, We’re Looking Out for You
Businesses and marketers can get lost trying to vie for success in a crowded marketplace – whether it’s adopting techniques that don’t work, ignoring the legal landscape, or failing to capitalize on new opportunities. That’s why it’s important to step back and look at the bigger picture or – to use the cliche – see the forest for the trees.
At iFocus Marketing, our agency has its pulse on the highly-specific: ensuring that our strategies are working for your month over month. However, we’re also keeping our focus wide to ensure we can see what’s coming in the future, and grabbing what’s just out of reach for others.
That’s because we have “soft eyes.”
Let us help you see the big picture for your business while maintaining a laser-focus on what it takes to make a day-to-day impact on your clients. Schedule a discovery call with us today.