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The Marty Shottenheimer of SEO

The Marty Shottenheimer of SEO 44048
Whether marketing a website through search engine optimization (“SEO”), local services through direct mail or even your own talents through a resume and networking, good marketing principles are somewhat universal.  Those developing Internet marketing solutions that have to be “sold” to senior executives should be open to learning new tactics from other channels but they should also learn to communicate the value of search marketing in ways that are more personal and accessible to their audience.  That includes both proof of value presentations by outside agencies and internal stakeholders like Directors of eCommerce or Chief Marketing Officers.  Enter football coach Marty Shottenheimer.

While watching Sportscenter last weekend, the discussion turned to prospective NFL coaches and the argument for each team to consider the major candidates.  Former San Diego Chargers coach Marty Shottenheimer was featured as a good choice for a certain team, but the reason for suggesting him was particularly interesting.   It wasn’t for his strong coaching resume or his impressive list of Coach of the Year awards… it wasn’t even his win/loss record.  Schottenheimer's positive impact on ticket sales & attendance was one of ESPN’s statistical reasons for why an Owner or General Manager should choose Shottenheimer to lead their team.  For example:

NFL Team
2001 Avg Attendance

(Before Shottenheimer)
2002-06 Avg Attendance

(After Shottenheimer)
’02-’06 San Diego Chargers 62,846 64,905

Of course, the point is that smart Owners and GMs are focused as much on ticket sales as they are wins and losses and, therefore, Shottenheimer is likely marketing himself to that audience as someone who can positively impact both.  The lesson for search marketing pros is to challenge yourself to speak the language that’s important to your audience.  Be the Marty Shottenheimer of your marketing team.

You could explain the reasons why your SEO tactics are technically superior to another’s.  You could even show your methods’ ranking success in the vertical… but marketing budget allocation is largely determined by decision-makers accountable to a P/L sheet.  Proof-of-value presentations must focus on incremental growth and what decision makers told you is important to them.  If you don’t know, ask!  For many, what resonates is increased traffic & revenue from the web channel.   For some, it’s integration & tracking between web-based, analytics and off-line marketing channels.   For others, it may be service subscriptions.  A select few may focus on creative and brand visibility but, even in those rare cases, smart marketers should always track fundamental key performance indicator standards like traffic and revenue, both gross and incremental.

Nowhere in that conversation does TITLE/META tagging or linking methodology enter into the conversation.  No matter how much we, as marketers, are passionate about how we do what we do, save that portion of the presentation for those who help dictate the schedule and execution of the campaign.  The “enterprise” level metrics that move the needle for CEOs & Boards of Directors are far different than those that marketing pros find themselves judged by each day.

So what are some of the creative or strange ways you’ve found yourself using to measure your marketing campaign’s success?


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