Marketing for Nerds Who Hate Marketing: The Transcript

Share this article

Today I had the pleasure of hosting my ex-boss Shayne Tilley, in our Talk with the Experts chatroom. Shayne dragged himself out of bed at 4am to talk about online marketing (specifically for those of us that are averse to the concept of marketing) and it was an invaluable session. I took away several tips from the hour and was forever endeared to Shayne when he said that he doesn’t believe that there is a ROI on social media, but neither is there one on his printer – not everything needs one. Heh.

If you missed the session today (which was admittedly a few days earlier than usual) because you didn’t know about it, make sure you sign up for email reminders of future sessions here. Next week we’re talking about the legalities of social media at 2:30pm PDT on Wed 25 Sept.

Anyway, enough from me. If you want to read exactly what went down this morning, here is a full transcript:

[17:54] <HAWK> So I’ll kick off with a bit of an introduction
[17:55] <HAWK> ShayneT used to be the Marketing Manager (and my boss) at SitePoint back in the day, and he co-authored this book
[17:55] <HAWK> I see a few new names here, so the structure of the session is very informal. You ask questions, Shayne answers them, and we get chatting
[17:55] <HAWK> Feel free to answer questions yourselves
[17:56] <HAWK> You can @ tag people to get their attention
[17:56] <HAWK> And I will post a full transcript up on SitePoint later today
[17:56] <HAWK> Shayne, can you briefly tell us what you do now?
[17:57] <spaceship> ShayneT How did you get your start in marketing?
[17:57] <HAWK> Good question :)
[17:57] <Jerry> (besides giving webinars at 0-dark-30…)
[17:57] <ShayneT> So today I work with a number of people, helping them build and grow their businesses. I work a lot with bloggers, so Darren Rowse (problogger) but also in a number of product marketing / development roles
[17:58] <ShayneT> @jerry lol
[17:58] <ShayneT> but my start was interesting
[17:58] <ShayneT> I actually began my career building websites
[17:58] <ShayneT> then an old boss said you’d be great at marketing — I had no idea what marketing was
[17:59] <ShayneT> and he hired me to work at a large aussie energy company
[17:59] <HAWK> In marketing?
[17:59] <ShayneT> where I managed about 100 door to door sales people, 50 telemarkers and sent millions of letters (so really old school
[18:00] <HAWK> ok, so offline
[18:00] <ShayneT> yep
[18:00] <HAWK> And how did you decide to make the transition to online?
[18:01] <ShayneT> then was shown the job at for sitepoint, and it was an opportunity to mix my love of the web with my marketing experience and it became my life
[18:01] <HAWK> perfect
[18:01] <HAWK> How different IS online marketing to the old school kind?
[18:02] <ShayneT> In some was it’s similar, there is push and there is pull marketing. It really just the tactics are different
[18:02] <ShayneT> instead of door knockers, it’s email, and dare I say lightbox / popups
[18:02] <HAWK> Ok, let’s start with your no 1 tip for people wanting to get their new site out there, and then I’m going to step back and let others ask the questions
[18:03] <ShayneT> okay great
[18:03] <vish> Do u have a marketing case study specific for developers to use
[18:03] <ShayneT> first step is to realize that no-one cares about your product, (maybe your mom does) they care about what it does for them
[18:04] <ShayneT> you need to know what it does for others as that will be the message you will take for all your marketing
[18:05] <SkilledupNT> Do u have a marketing case study specific for developers to use
[18:06] <HAWK> Ok, so that is great advice. vish asked if you have a case study that is specific to online marketing
[18:06] <vish> Wht if u dont have  a product but a service
[18:06] <vish> Like web development
[18:06] <ShayneT> @vish there are a lot of good examples. But there is not a once size fits all approach. My plan for say, is very different to say
[18:06] <ShayneT> as soon as you start copying what others do because it worked for them can be a disaster waiting to happen
[18:07] <ShayneT> @vish can you tell me about your product / service?
[18:07] <vish> Web develoment
[18:07] <vish> On drupal
[18:07] <ShayneT> so you develop websites for others?
[18:07] <vish> Yes
[18:07] <Kevin> are the methods you’re sharing for established people or bootstrappers?
[18:08] <ShayneT> @kevin both I’m a bootstrapper at heart though
[18:08] <Herb> is there an agenda for this session?
[18:09] <ShayneT> @vish web development, there’s a couple of ways to go, you can pay your way with ads, or you can look to be an authority in your field (locally or otherwise)
[18:09] <HAWK> Herb – No, it’s very informal. If you have a question, throw it in and I’ll queue them if it gets busy :)
[18:09] <HAWK> I’ll post a transcript of the session up on later today
[18:10] <HAWK> If anyone has marketing experience and has something to add to Shayne’s answers, please jump in
[18:10] <HAWK> I guess that’s where blogging comes in ShayneT
[18:10] <HAWK> Getting your name out there
[18:10] <ShayneT> @vish I would also be looking at referral programs for new leads, and also taking a very long look at your own site and making sure it has a point of difference over the 1000’s of others
[18:10] <ShayneT> blogging is not the only way to be an authority
[18:11] <HAWK> What are some others?
[18:11] <ShayneT> you can target locally, with a lot of small business groups,
[18:11] <ShayneT> you can leverage social media, and become a thought leader without writing a post
[18:11] <vish> Referral programs, where can I find them
[18:12] <Herb> ok. with all the social media sites out there (facebook, google+, twitter, etc). how time consuming is it to post daily on these site? Are there tools? Do you outsource?
[18:12] <HAWK> I can help you with that Herb – there are plenty of tools. If you want to syndicate content to those sites from a blog, I recommend Hootsuite
[18:13] <spaceship> how do you market a business/website with multiple locations, say in 2 or 3 cities/state?
[18:13] <ShayneT> I outsource some, and hire wonderful community managers as well, but only once things are established
[18:13] <TechieChic> can you elaborate a bit on local targets? i have a service and i’m starting from scratch…i have no clue as to where to begin…i was thinking the local market but don’t know how best to penetrate
[18:13] <HAWK> If you want to source content from other sites that is relevant to your audience, you can use something like Buffer
[18:13] <vish> Good question TechieChic
[18:13] <ShayneT> tools, there are lots, I tend these days to post direct on the sites where possible (you can delay posts on facebook for example)
[18:14] <Herb> thanks. great stuff.
[18:14] <ShayneT> spaceship: how do you market a business/website with multiple locations, say in 2 or 3 cities/state?
[18:15] <HAWK> If you want to know *when* is the best time to post to Facebook, use Crowdbooster
[18:15] <ShayneT> so I’ll assume you service multiple locations but have only the one site
[18:15] <Kevin> can you at some point give your thoughts, approaches, tools etc. for direct marketing versus brand marketing? do you do any brand marketing?
[18:15] <HAWK> You can also use it to pre-plan posts, or you can do that via Facebook itself. You can do the same for Twitter using Hootsuite
[18:16] <spaceship> ran into it a couple times – a charter bus service and an iphone etc. repair shop
[18:16] <spaceship> confused on how to do SEO for multiple locations
[18:16] <TechieChic> I’m interested in the brand marketing response as well
[18:17] <spaceship> on one website
[18:17] <ShayneT> @spaceship, I would have your site structured with a least a page dedicated to each location, links from the front page, but I would be selling the product/serice on the site because these days a lot of people expect you to know where they are
[18:18] <ShayneT> which in a lot of cases you tell and adjust accordingly
[18:18] <ShayneT> TechieChic: can you elaborate a bit on local targets?
[18:19] <TechieChic> you mentioned above the following: you can target locally, with a lot of small business groups,
[18:19] <ShayneT> ahh right
[18:19] <TechieChic> how do you go about targeting locally? is that social media
[18:20] <ShayneT> this is where you look for local small business groups (do some googling) local government might be running free training programs
[18:20] <TechieChic> on the services I offer?
[18:21] <ShayneT> it was related more to being a through leader for web dev in your area.
[18:21] <ShayneT> that previous answer
[18:21] <ShayneT> @techiechic is sounds like you’ve got a difference service?
[18:21] <TechieChic> yes
[18:21] <ShayneT> okay
[18:21] <vish> I see like drupal groups in hk
[18:22] <TechieChic> i have a brand
[18:22] <TechieChic> TechieChic
[18:22] <TechieChic> but along with that brand comes various technical services
[18:22] <ShayneT> @techiechic, so a support business?
[18:22] <TechieChic> how do you market and solidify your brand
[18:23] <TechieChic> IT Training for women …. educating them for the industry
[18:23] <ShayneT> TechieChic great product!
[18:23] <TechieChic> Thanks
[18:24] <TechieChic> i’m struggling with the marketing
[18:24] <TechieChic> because like the title states … “Marketing for Nerds Who Hate Marketing”
[18:24] <ShayneT> so I would be leveraging PR, and what I mean by that is be the person that journo’s turn to when this topic comes up.
[18:25] <ShayneT> I would guess that you started that businesses because you believe that it’s important (which I agree with).
[18:26] <ShayneT> If you talk about what you believe, as much as what you do, people will listen a lot more
[18:26] <HAWK> And how would someone get themselves into that position?
[18:26] <TechieChic> yes …
[18:26] <TechieChic> i’ve been the only woman on all of my development teams
[18:26] <ShayneT> And how would someone get themselves into that position?
[18:26] <TechieChic> and i talk to many women about WHY they’re not entering the field or why are they leaving
[18:27] <TechieChic> long story short … TechieChic evolved
[18:27] <TechieChic> we’re on social media
[18:27] <TechieChic> site is up
[18:27] <TechieChic> now the struggle is getting the word out
[18:27] <TechieChic> how does one do that
[18:27] <HAWK> How would someone become the person that the journos go to, I mean
[18:27] <ShayneT> it’s chipping away one journo at a time. Connecting via twitter, sending them emails about great articles, commenting on posts (credible comments)
[18:27] <ShayneT> Start local, start small and build from there
[18:27] <TechieChic> okay
[18:28] <TechieChic> will do
[18:28] <TechieChic> thx
[18:28] <spaceship> sounds like there is no way around producing original content?
[18:28] <vish> Wht abt roi?
[18:28] <ShayneT> TechieChic you have a powerful and important message. You should be proud to share.
[18:28] <TechieChic> — thought I’d share it here .. .:-)
[18:29] <HAWK> Cool :)
[18:29] <TechieChic> would love to converse with you offline .. this is good stuff
[18:29] <ShayneT> @vish — I’ll get you yours next however, there’s a question from a while ago about direct v’s brand marketing
[18:29] <ShayneT> from Kevin
[18:30] <ShayneT> I’ve got a much more direct marketing focus. I always have. Branding, whilst is important, I’ve never seen directly pay the bills
[18:31] <ShayneT> from a direct marketing perspective, and whilst this isn’t cool anymore, I still today use email more than anything else to invoke action
[18:32] <HAWK> That’s how all these people got here this morning. I caught your emailing bug.
[18:32] <ShayneT> exactly
[18:32] <HAWK> That and social media, which of course is my preference ;)
[18:32] <ShayneT> and you look at how many times big social media sites send you emails to get you back
[18:33] <HAWK> Indeed
[18:33] <ShayneT> Twitter, facebook, linkedin seen you half detailed messages to lure you back
[18:33] <HAWK> Half detailed?
[18:33] <ShayneT> eg LinkedIn. HAWK has endorsed you for a skill click here to see
[18:34] <HAWK> Got it
[18:34] <ShayneT> why don’t you just tell me the skill!
[18:34] <ShayneT> on the email
[18:34] <HAWK> Yeah
[18:34] <ShayneT> Let me just say that social media is a engagement and relationship building tool, not a direct marketing tool
[18:35] <HAWK> Ok, interesting.
[18:35] <vish> Pls share your major mistakes and lessons you have learnt
[18:35] <vish> In marketing
[18:35] <ShayneT> I don’t believe there is an ROI on social media.. but nor is there one on my printer so not everything has to
[18:35] <ragwing> I find a lot of people will read there emails, but won’t go look for info on your web site.
[18:36] <ShayneT> @ragwing, I think that’s a problem with your emails not people
[18:36] <HAWK> Surely there is an ROI on SM to a degree. Customer service? Brand love?
[18:36] <HAWK> (Not impt – I don’t want to hijack the chat)
[18:36] <vish> Then how do u measure and know if something is working
[18:36] <HAWK> Do split testing vish. You can use something like Campaign Monitor to do that
[18:37] <ShayneT> @vish yep I test every email before I sent it out
[18:37] <vish> Thanks
[18:37] <HAWK> For instance, I know exactly how many of you opened my email this morning, which links you clicked, who unsubscribed. I could do two subjects and see which was more popular.
[18:37] <ShayneT> @vish mistakes there are a lot
[18:38] <HAWK> ShayneT is a notoriously bad speller ;)
[18:38] <ShayneT> there are just stupid mistakes, like when I sent an email to 500,000 people with the wrong link
[18:38] <vish> Pls share something to do with services
[18:39] <ShayneT> I named a product without checking if another existed
[18:40] <ShayneT> @vish a mistake of some tactics?
[18:40] <ShayneT> or some tactics
[18:41] <vish> Yes tactics related
[18:41] <ShayneT> okay.
[18:41] <ShayneT> I’ll talk about your website first
[18:42] <vish> Ok
[18:42] <ShayneT> you’ve got three seconds to make an impression — you need to be clear about what you do and why you are the best
[18:43] <Patrik> ShayneT: What is most effective marketing channel for new webshop in your opinion? It is better begin with payed campaign on AdWords or Facebook, or slow and free marketing on social sites and SEO?
[18:44] <ShayneT> @patrik, I would pay (if you can), as I work at the others. Pulling back paid as organic kicks in
[18:46] <ShayneT> @vishal where are quite a lot of things not working on your site… for example your bio main link doesn’t work
[18:46] <ShayneT> you need to remember that people are looking for a reason to bail from your website, broken links, missing information etc is giving them a great reason to
[18:46] <vish> Yes I need to redo it
[18:47] <ShayneT> there’s no point throwing traffic to a website that’s not going to convert. Get your house clean before you invite guests
[18:47] <Patrik> ShayneT: Is linkbuilding still effective way to reach better google rank?
[18:48] <HAWK> If you’re talking Google PR, I just don’t think it’s that important any more.
[18:48] <HAWK> Unless you’re trying to sell snake oil ;)
[18:48] <Patrik> :)
[18:48] <ShayneT> I’ve never focused on pure link building, I’ve taken a content first approach. Good content gets linked
[18:49] <ShayneT> and well said HAWK
[18:49] <HAWK> Google has realised that people are spending more time gaming the system than they are working on their sites
[18:49] <HAWK> And have changed accordingly – thank goodness
[18:49] <HAWK> Ok, I think we’re at a gap in questions. Does anyone have one that they’d like to ask?
[18:50] <Brad> I just logged in but was that end of a conversation about Google Keyword Planner?
[18:50] <Brad> What do you think of the new tool? Especially the data it generates
[18:50] <Brad> seems like the #’s are very different
[18:50] <Patrik> I have fired with decorative mirror site in UK and I try to help him with everyting about it, but my e-marketing skill isnt the best. We allways read about several tips for better SEO but it is hard job :)
[18:50] <ShayneT> I use google trends, but I’ve found google’s keyword tools to be a little off.
[18:51] <ShayneT> I love SEOMoz’s toolset
[18:51] <ShayneT> I think it’s these days
[18:51] <HAWK> ShayneT – are there any *tricks* or is marketing really about taking a sensible approach to communicating a great message?
[18:52] <HAWK> The SEO stuff may be a little out of date these days though Patrik
[18:52] <ShayneT> look there are tricks, legitimate tricks and some no legit. But for the most part it’s about communicating a great message.
[18:53] <ShayneT> but you need to understand that you must to go out and find people to share that message. It’s not ‘build it and they will come’ anymore
[18:54] <Brad> Shayne how to do you evaluate the competitiveness of keywords
[18:54] <ShayneT> it’s harder than every to find traffic, and with new devices / app ecosystems the way people find you will be different
[18:55] <vish> can you give an example of a company that markets its services well. Also explain why u like their metthod
[18:55] <ShayneT> @brad
[18:55] <HAWK> I have no idea where the time has gone, but we have about 5 mins left in the session. If you have a question, speak now…
[18:55] <HAWK> Good question vish
[18:55] <Brad> is there still a waiting list for Moz
[18:56] <ShayneT> @brad not sure – but I can get you on if you contact me outside
[18:56] <ShayneT> @vish — sure thing.
[18:57] <Patrik> So most important in online marketing is message? Clear and uniq message?
[18:58] <ShayneT> I really like what are doing as a service
[18:58] <ShayneT> I probably don’t have time to go into specifics — but a good example to follow
[18:58] <vish> Nice
[18:58] <vish> Thanks
[18:58] <ShayneT> @Partik – message first action second, but don’t forget the action
[18:59] <vish> Thanks
[18:59] <Patrik> thank you Shayne
[18:59] <HAWK> So that’s a wrap people. Feel free to stay on and chat as long as you like, but I believe ShayneT has a plane to catch. Thanks SO much for your time this morning Shayne. Much appreciated.
[18:59] <ShayneT> get the message right, the action will work. But as a said a the start, people don’t care about your product, they care about what’s in it for them and you need to intro yourself, they won’t
[19:00] <ShayneT> okay — wow did that go quick!
[19:00] <vish> is there a method by which we can keep in touch
[19:01] <HAWK> I’m not kicking anyone out of the chatroom. Feel free to stick around :)
[19:01] <Jerry> Thanks Shayne and Hawk
[19:01] <ShayneT> you can contact me here. I think we only scratched the surface on some really important questions
[19:01] <ShayneT> I can hang for a little longer or feel free to get in touch
[19:02] <HAWK> Awesome. Well in that case, feel free to ask more questions people!
[19:02] <HAWK> Or Shayne, is there something you think would be valuable to discuss further?
[19:04] <ShayneT> is anyone selling a product direct on their site here?
[19:04] <ShayneT> I think mobile commerce is really important to be thinking about
[19:04] <HAWK> Mobile commerce? As in, a responsive site if you’re selling?
[19:04] <ShayneT> more and more and more people are purchasing direct from their phones, and so many checkouts are not ready for it
[19:04] <HAWK> right, yeah
[19:04] <ShayneT> exactly
[19:05] <Herb> not ready in what sense?
[19:05] <ShayneT> this session was about marketing for nerds who hate marketing. I would love to explore that a little and ask why people hate it?
[19:06] <Patrik> Yesterday I look into Google Analytics and in UK close to 50% show our webshop on tablet or smartphone
[19:06] <ShayneT> Herb not responsive, so just impossible to use on a phone
[19:07] <HAWK> I know why I hate it, but that may differ from the others. I hate it because it impedes on my idea of ‘community’. I think perhaps others do because it seems like an insurmountable goal. People are afraid of getting it wrong and ‘spamming’ people.
[19:07] <HAWK> It also goes against human nature to talk ourselves up. “I am the best” feels like showing off.
[19:07] <Patrik> ShayneT I think we dont hate marketing, we only dont understand it :)
[19:07] <HAWK> And that ^
[19:07] <ShayneT> great — awesome
[19:08] <HAWK> Do you think that if someone gets it wrong the first time, that they do damage to their brand that can’t be undone?
[19:08] <ShayneT> So — let me just say this… the most valuable thing a marketer can do is listen
[19:08] <HAWK> Or is it better to do something than nothing?
[19:08] <Patrik> marketing is komplex thing, some sogiology, some psychology and most nerds are technikans and our thinking is technican too
[19:08] <HAWK> ok, great
[19:08] <ShayneT> Learnable exists because we listened and then acted
[19:08] <Patrik> 1+1=2 in our thinking, but in marketing not
[19:09] <ShayneT> so it’s worth noting that I’m a nerd too. I code poorly, but I do know html/css/javascript/php and some ruby.
[19:10] <ShayneT> something I had to learn the hard way, is that marketing needs objectivity. you need to remember that you are not your customer
[19:10] <HAWK> I think that’s very hard to do.
[19:11] <ShayneT> yep. I walk around my house talking to myself pretending I am one of my customer personas
[19:11] <ShayneT> before I start writing
[19:11] <Patrik> interesting, I’m not customer, or not every customers are nerds :) great thought
[19:12] <ShayneT> yep — there is a great case study about dropbox v’s I can’t remember. But is a great example of where more features don’t mean a better product
[19:13] <Patrik> online marketing is interesting becouse it is from 2 worlds, IT world of nerds links with world of real marketing specialists
[19:13] <ShayneT> dropbox did one thing and one thing well… and promoted itself very clearly
[19:14] <ShayneT> yep @partik you are right. The best marketers I know appreciate both the art and the craft
[19:14] <Patrik> Once I see case study about one ecommerce site where change order of products on order page and change colors make +150% customers
[19:15] <Patrik> saw not see (sorry for my english)
[19:15] <ShayneT> yep, I’v done things like simply removing the nav on a checkout increasing sales by 30%
[19:15] <ShayneT> it’s alright patrik — my spelling is worse
[19:16] <Patrik> so at that time I was dissapointed :)
[19:16] <ShayneT> I might have to head off everyone. I was great to talk and as I said you have any follow up questions please feel free to reach out.
[19:17] <HAWK> Thanks again ShayneT – your time is much appreciated, as is your expertise!
[19:18] <HAWK> Thanks everyone for joining us. Next week we’ll be talking about the legalities of social media, if that is of interest :)

Sarah HawkSarah Hawk
View Author

Formerly a developer in the corporate world, HAWK (known as Sarah by her mother) said goodbye to the code and succumbed to the lure of social media to become the Community Manager for the SitePoint network. Now Hawk is working with Discourse to build their product and community.

Marketingtalk with the experts
Share this article
Read Next
Get the freshest news and resources for developers, designers and digital creators in your inbox each week