Marketer Technologist

applying Technology-focused disciplines with a Marketer’s eye

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Archive for August, 2008

CARVER Marketing: Identify and Prioritize Your Targets and How to Reach Them

Posted by jwoodymeach on August 28, 2008

Earlier this year, I had a client who was trying to determine which was the most important of their nine personas (too many IMHO). Senior management thought it was one, Sales thought it was another, Marketing wanted another, and so on and so on. They also wanted to know what they should budget for marketing to reach these personas.

I use to the run the website and do online marketing for a Homeland Security magazine. Through an article, I became aware of a program run by the United States Food and Drug Administration to help farmers determine if their farms were targets for terrorism. The program is based upon a military practice called CARVER that is used to identify and prioritize targets.

After doing some quick online research, I came upon the Joint Special Operations Targeting and Mission Planning Procedure from the Joint Chiefs of Staff. I began to modify the strategy that the Special Forces uses into a method that marketers can use to make better decisions around whom they should target and the best means to reach those targets.

Through some pretty in-depth research, I haven’t found anyone else who’s doing this, so, it’s the birth of CARVER Marketing.

Here are the basic foundational elements of CARVER Marketing as it applies to the identification and prioritization of marketing targets and digital marketing tactics:

  • Criticality
  • Accessibility
  • Recuperability (also Return-on-Investment)
  • Vulnerability
  • Effect
  • Recognizability

I used CARVER Marketing to help the client I mentioned earlier rank their personas and provided the back-up data that was socialized throughout the organization to get everyone on the same page. So while personas are often used as a conflict resolution device, CARVER Marketing can provide additional support to keep programs moving along.

CARVER Marketing can remove some of the guesswork and “gut instinct” that litters a lot of marketing which is causing longer timelines and costing more money. Start from an educated position then “fire and adjust”.

I have written a white paper on applying CARVER Marketing to digital marketing tactics. I use this method to help figure out budgeting for marketing campaigns. If you would like a copy, send me a note. CARVER Marketing for Personas is coming along, you should see it in a few weeks.

(BTW: if you’re wondering why I’ve added some of the keyword tags to this post, you’ll see why in the upcoming posts…)


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CARVER Marketing

Posted by jwoodymeach on August 20, 2008

Coming soon…

How to identify and prioritize your personas and digital marketing tactics before firing your first marketing salvo.

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SEO Fast!!!

Posted by jwoodymeach on August 20, 2008

The major search engines are moving faster at indexing and ranking your pages. However, if your website is suffering major structural problems that can’t be readily fixed due to complex WCM implementations or organization issues, there are SaaS solutions to help fix your natural search problems fast (30-60 days. Now don’t be greedy – that’s fast.)

SEO technology service providers (STCP) – not to be confused with SEO agencies – can apply their platforms to serve up optimized versions of your web pages to the search engines. They can rewrite the URL, Title tags, description tags, and body copy elements (even navigation) to make them more attractive to the ranking algorithms.

The two leading companies are GravityStream, from Stephen Spencer’s Netconcepts, and YourAmigo. I have worked with both organizations and found the experience to be positive on both accounts.

Basically, a STCP will either redirect your domain for organic traffic or create new static pages on your server. This is great for eCommerce websites with over 5,000 SKUs or heavy content managed websites. From an eCommerce perspective, you’d want to focus on your product category and sub-category pages as those often have the most “problems”.

You pay for set-up of the service, Cost-Per-Click (CPC) for none branded or identity terms, and some include a monthly fee. The CPC model can help your marketing groups get actual ROI measurement for SEO (‘member SEO ain’t free).

Last thing; view these systems as “heart bypass” for your websites. You should effort to fix the structural problems that you have with your website or SEO strategy. The minimum engagement should be six (6) months to be effective, but I’ve seen some STCP engagements last for a few years.

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“WOW” Management

Posted by jwoodymeach on August 10, 2008

In working with a client on an intranet project last week, she something that struck a cord with me: “I want to make a big splash. It really has to WOW them.”


(I’ll come back to this in a second. First, some history.)


This intranet is one of two that is available to my client’s constituency. The employees aren’t required to use this intranet. It serves as mainly an informational news portal for things going on within the organization and a place to access common documents – pretty standard stuff. My client’s success metrics for the intranet is based on a bi-yearly customer satisfaction survey.


(Now, back to the story.)


“It really has to WOW them,” she said.


I view this as a constant problem with intranet– and some websites too. For systems that are not required usage pieces, it’s more about can you plan deploy a series of improvements or new features over a period of time than it is about firing all of your guns at once. Hence, “WOW” Management.


Think of a fireworks display at Independence Day. Each burst of explosion and colorful lights is judged on its own merit (“oooohh aaaah”), but at the end of the show you judge your satisfaction by the culmination of the entire program. You should plan your system upgrades in the same way and build them into your communications plan (i.e. internal marketing campaigns) to keep the system top of mind with your users. This type of planning will allow you to have an additional leverage point beyond the creation of new content only.


BOOM! – New Blog (oooh!)

BANG! – New Search Feature (eeeee!)

SPARKLE! – Restructed Taxomony to make finding content easier (aaah!)

POW! – New interface design (aaaaw!)

KABLOW! – Personalized content (weeee!)


WOW Management can allow for you to properly set expectations of your customers and management, as well as not putting all of your work effort and budget into one basket of “WOW”. (hmmm, maybe that should be another article: The Basket of WOW.)

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Using Google AdSense to mess with “The Man”…

Posted by jwoodymeach on August 1, 2008

Sony BMG Columbia may not be “The Man” (unless you’re a musician), but I LOVE when people do this type of thing.

Not the “vandalism” portion of the act (which I equate to spray painting on a billboard – remember “Turk 182”?) — rather finding a loophole is a system to allows you to express a view.

I know a couple you can do with Web Analytics platforms. 🙂

So many clients are looking to make a buck that they forget the purpose of their website. Columbia wasn’t going to make serious money through AdSense. That site is for promoting their artists and/or direct selling of their music – stay focused!

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The New Marketer Technologist Blog

Posted by jwoodymeach on August 1, 2008

Here’s the obligatory: “Welcome to my new blog” message. This blog differs from my old one as I had intended to try to be the “what’s new/what’s cool” guy, but I’ve found that to be too redundant to some others that are out there blogging, so…

The goal of this blog to talk about bringing more structure and rigor to Digital Marketing. As a result, more time can be spent on developing creative and innovated ideas to help clients achieve their goals.

I also want to present those technology solutions or smart people who use/misuse technology to get ahead of the game or exposure vulnerabilities.

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