February 6, 2011

Marketing Consulting

Consider a hypothetical company entering a new market. What do the firm’s key executives need to know? They need to know:

1. What forces drive pricing power and market share.

2. Who their competitors are—what those competitors compete on—and where the market presents opportunities.

3. What the “fundamental constants” of the business are, and what variables contribute to long-term profits.

My job is to get this information, understand it, and turn it into a plan of action.

This kind of consulting makes sense for any kind of business expansion: going mass-market, opening a new retail outlet, selling products in China, commercializing a military technology, whatever. Due to circumstance and inclination, I provide this consulting for companies that intend to grow online. That’s fortunate, because online business, more than most others, can often be reduced to a formula: attach the right coefficients to your traffic, conversion rate, churn rate, etc., and you can describe 90% of the variance in your profitability in a simple equation.

Why Me?

• I joined the online marketing industry in mid-2008, as an intern at Blue Fountain Media. I was promoted up to the role of Director of Marketing Strategy before I left in May of 2011.

• I’ve been cited by the New York Times.

• I’m a regular columnist on Search Engine Land; I also spoke at their SMX West industry conference in March of 2011.

• My analysis of the Demand Media IPO was picked up by Business Insider. This was the first publicly available analysis of their financial data.

Who Are My Clients?

I’d rather not name names. I’m happy to provide references at the appropriate time, but as a courtesy to clients I don’t want to broadcast their identities publicly. But here are a few recent (as of Q1 2011) engagements:

• Building two key digital assets for a tax preparation client: a “linkbait” blog that stoked controversy without directly affecting the client’s brand name, and a collection of well-researched off-site articles that provide ongoing traffic and search engine rankings.

• Reviewed the search engine rankings of a company that was #2 on Google for their most valuable keyword; identified a new set of terms for them to target, as well as a revamped pay-per-click campaign to capture new traffic.

• Showed a completely data-driven website how to parse their raw numbers into a vibrant, consumer-friendly format—building an extensive list of leads that could then be converted to using the site’s paid version.

• Helped an online discount provider mitigate the effects of outdated and inaccurate third-party review sites.

• Constructed a P&L model for an ecommerce startup, identifying the (surprising!) variables behind most of their potential future growth.

What’s Next?

I prefer to get to know people before I work with them. I’d rather know in advance that there’s something I can do for a client before I toss out a quote.

Feel free to contact me if:

• You’re launching a new company—or considering it—and you’d like to have a preliminary discussion about how services like mine could help you.

• You’re a potential vendor or partner for my clients. If you provide traffic or analytics, definitely get in touch. More broadly, I can have productive discussions people providing anything from financing to fulfilment.

• You’re in the industry and would like to discuss a partnership. I’m exclusively focused on consulting, because that’s where I see my biggest competitive advantage. That gives me room to choose other vendors for most of the services I advise clients to purchase.

Note as of May 2011: I’m currently starting a startup, Digital Due Diligence, so I’m being very selective in terms of the marketing consulting engagements I’ll take on.

Contact me using the form below:

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