Friday, August 22, 2008

Marketer of the week: Meet Newt Barrett and the dog behind the man

Why jargon sucks and a milkbone always helps ...

Newt Barrett's ContentMarketingToday makes me green with envy. It's the site I aspire to have when I have "grown up" online.

It's stuffed with useful and highly-readable information for the hard-working marketer in a regular business. His case studies aren't about the big companies you hear about ad nauseum, but how regular companies are doing clever things.

Newt's book, Get Content. Get Customers, has just been published to great reviews and his site regularly makes it on the list of top sites about using content online. Just this week, his site was one of the top in Junta42's list.

In today's quick question and answer session, we do something different ... first, we talk to Newt and then we then put a few questions to Newt's chief canine officer (CCO), Mia, the dog in the photos.

Newt makes content marketing easy enough for even a dog to understand and implement

What is the number one mistake companies make online?

Newt: They make their web content all about them — and not about their customers and prospects. Too many companies plunk their gobbledygook mission statement on their home page and assume that it will be meaningful to their visitors. Your customers visit to find solutions to their problems. If you cannot demonstrate that you know enough and care enough to provide those solutions, they will head off to the next prospective solution provider.

Your biggest online success?

Newt: Hitting the #1 spot on Google the search term, ‘content marketing.’ It really validated the need to write good stuff that is directly related to your market niche. Since I do very little paid promotion (just a bit of paid Stumbleupon advertising), our Google ranking is the direct result of my attempt to provide relevant and valuable content. Hey, wait! That’s content marketing! I guess it really does work.

Where do you go for ideas?

Newt: First, the shower. And, if that doesn’t pan out, I go to Google Reader and peruse my incoming RSS feeds to see what I might want to agree or disagree with. I am also always on the look out for either fabulous or horrible examples of online or in-person content marketing. I think we can all learn from both the best and the worst. And, I think that’s a pretty good life rule, too.

What's your worst online habit?

Newt: I spend a little too much time checking our sales rank and pondering how those numbers relate to our book sales. I have learned that just staring at it rarely causes an upward spike. (Editor's note: It's currently #49 in Books > Computers & Internet > Business & Culture > Web Marketing. Pretty good!)

Questions for Mia, the chief canine officer and the dog behind the man.

If no-one knows you are a dog on the Internet, why do you call yourself the Chief Canine Officer?

Mia: That was Newt’s idea. He thought it would be amusing to get me business cards with that title. I like to think of myself as the person who helps clients create canine-related content.

What's the meatiest lesson in Newt's book?

Mia: Companies must learn to eat their own dog food.

What's the hardest thing to digest or believe, the mistake those doggone humans make all the time?

Mia: They think when they spell things out like m-i-l-k-b-o-n-e that I don’t understand them. But I just pretend not to understand so they won’t feel stupid.

Oh, but, if you mean in business, it’s when they don’t offer any kind of treat for their customers to reward them for good behavior. When your customers buy something, you should offer something extra so they feel especially good. I know that works for me. Especially, if we are talking about

Mia says good marketing is more than a walk in the park

Editor's note: Anyone else noticed that Marketer of the Week is taking on a doggy tone? We've featured Publicity Hound, Joan Stewart; Jennifer Laycock, of SearchEngineGuide, the company with the puppy pawprint as a theme and the cute puppy logo; and Kim Peoples, the marketer trying to make a go of a new site, Gizmo2Wizmo, specializing in toilet training dogs.

Posted by Internet Marketing Report Online editor Julie Power Friday August 22.


1 comment:

Jag said...

Get content and Get customers in book title was great