Meet Dan Morris, Executive Vice President, North America

  1. Why did you decide to come to dotmailer?

The top three reasons were People, Product and Opportunity. I met the people who make up our business and heard their stories from the past 18 years, learned about the platform and market leading status they had built in the UK, and saw that I could add value with my U.S. high growth business experience. I’ve been working with marketers, entrepreneurs and business owners for years across a series of different roles, and saw that I could apply what I’d learned from that and the start-up space to dotmailer’s U.S. operation. dotmailer has had clients in the U.S. for 12 years and we’re positioned to grow the user base of our powerful and easy-to-use platform significantly. I knew I could make a difference here, and what closed the deal for me was the people.  Every single person I’ve met is deeply committed to the business, to the success of our customers and to making our solution simple and efficient.  We’re a great group of passionate people and I’m proud to have joined the dotfamily.

Dan Morris, dotmailer’s EVP for North America in the new NYC office

      1. Tell us a bit about your new role

dotmailer has been in business and in this space for more than 18 years. We were a web agency, then a Systems Integrator, and we got into the email business that way, ultimately building the dotmailer platform thousands of people use daily. This means we know this space better than anyone and we have the perfect solutions to align closely with our customers and the solutions flexible enough to grow with them.  My role is to take all that experience and the platform and grow our U.S. presence. My early focus has been on identifying the right team to execute our growth plans. We want to be the market leader in the U.S. in the next three years – just like we’ve done in the UK –  so getting the right people in the right spots was critical.  We quickly assessed the skills of the U.S. team and made changes that were necessary in order to provide the right focus on customer success. Next, we set out to completely rebuild dotmailer’s commercial approach in the U.S.  We simplified our offers to three bundles, so that pricing and what’s included in those bundles is transparent to our customers.  We’ve heard great things about this already from clients and partners. We’re also increasing our resources on customer success and support.  We’re intensely focused on ease of on-boarding, ease of use and speed of use.  We consistently hear how easy and smooth a process it is to use dotmailer’s tools.  That’s key for us – when you buy a dotmailer solution, we want to onboard you quickly and make sure you have all of your questions answered right away so that you can move right into using it.  Customers are raving about this, so we know it’s working well.

  1. What early accomplishments are you most proud of from your dotmailer time so far?

I’ve been at dotmailer for eight months now and I’m really proud of all we’ve accomplished together.  We spent a lot of time assessing where we needed to restructure and where we needed to invest.  We made the changes we needed, invested in our partner program, localized tech support, customer on-boarding and added customer success team members.  We have the right people in the right roles and it’s making a difference.  We have a commercial approach that is clear with the complete transparency that we wanted to provide our customers.  We’ve got a more customer-focused approach and we’re on-boarding customers quickly so they’re up and running faster.  We have happier customers than ever before and that’s the key to everything we do.

  1. You’ve moved the U.S. team to a new office. Can you tell us why and a bit about the new space?

I thought it was very important to create a NY office space that was tied to branding and other offices around the world, and also had its own NY energy and culture for our team here – to foster collaboration and to have some fun.  It was also important for us that we had a flexible space where we could welcome customers, partners and resellers, and also hold classes and dotUniversity training sessions. I’m really grateful to the team who worked on the space because it really reflects our team and what we care about.   At any given time, you’ll see a training session happening, the team collaborating, a customer dropping in to ask a few questions or a partner dropping in to work from here.  We love our new, NYC space.

We had a spectacular reception this week to celebrate the opening of this office with customers, partners and the dotmailer leadership team in attendance. Please take a look at the photos from our event on Facebook.

Guests and the team at dotmailer's new NYC office warming party

Guests and the team at dotmailer’s new NYC office warming party

  1. What did you learn from your days in the start-up space that you’re applying at dotmailer?

The start-up space is a great place to learn. You have to know where every dollar is going and coming from, so every choice you make needs to be backed up with a business case for that investment.  You try lots of different things to see if they’ll work and you’re ready to turn those tactics up or down quickly based on an assessment of the results. You also learn things don’t have to stay the way they are, and can change if you make them change. You always listen and learn – to customers, partners, industry veterans, advisors, etc. to better understand what’s working and not working.  dotmailer has been in business for 18 years now, and so there are so many great contributors across the business who know how things have worked and yet are always keen to keep improving.  I am constantly in listening and learning mode so that I can understand all of the unique perspectives our team brings and what we need to act on.

  1. What are your plans for the U.S. and the sales function there?

On our path to being the market leader in the U.S., I’m focused on three things going forward: 1 – I want our customers to be truly happy.  It’s already a big focus in the dotmailer organization – and we’re working hard to understand their challenges and goals so we can take product and service to the next level. 2 – Creating an even more robust program around partners, resellers and further building out our channel partners to continuously improve sales and customer service programs. We recently launched a certification program to ensure partners have all the training and resources they need to support our mutual customers.  3 – We have an aggressive growth plan for the U.S. and I’m very focused on making sure our team is well trained, and that we remain thoughtful and measured as we take the steps to grow.  We want to always keep an eye on what we’re known for – tools that are powerful and simple to use – and make sure everything else we offer remains accessible and valuable as we execute our growth plans.

  1. What are the most common questions that you get when speaking to a prospective customer?

The questions we usually get are around price, service level and flexibility.  How much does dotmailer cost?  How well are you going to look after my business?  How will you integrate into my existing stack and then my plans for future growth? We now have three transparent bundle options with specifics around what’s included published right on our website.  We have introduced a customer success team that’s focused only on taking great care of our customers and we’re hearing stories every day that tells me this is working.  And we have all of the tools to support our customers as they grow and to also integrate into their existing stacks – often integrating so well that you can use dotmailer from within Magento, Salesforce or Dynamics, for example.

  1. Can you tell us about the dotmailer differentiators you highlight when speaking to prospective customers that seem to really resonate?

In addition to the ones above – ease of use, speed of use and the ability to scale with you. With dotmailer’s tiered program, you can start with a lighter level of functionality and grow into more advanced functionality as you need it. The platform itself is so easy to use that most marketers are able to build campaigns in minutes that would have taken hours on other platforms. Our customer success team is also with you all the way if ever you want or need help.  We’ve built a very powerful platform and we have a fantastic team to help you with personalized service as an extended part of your team and we’re ready to grow with you.

  1. How much time is your team on the road vs. in the office? Any road warrior tips to share?

I’ve spent a lot of time on the road, one year I attended 22 tradeshows! Top tip when flying is to be willing to give up your seat for families or groups once you’re at the airport gate, as you’ll often be rewarded with a better seat for helping the airline make the family or group happy. Win win! Since joining dotmailer, I’m focused on being in office and present for the team and customers as much as possible. I can usually be found in our new, NYC office where I spend a lot of time with our team, in customer meetings, in trainings and other hosted events, sales conversations or marketing meetings. I’m here to help the team, clients and partners to succeed, and will always do my best to say yes! Once our prospective customers see how quickly and efficiently they can execute tasks with dotmailer solutions vs. their existing solutions, it’s a no-brainer for them.  I love seeing and hearing their reactions.

  1. Tell us a bit about yourself – favorite sports team, favorite food, guilty pleasure, favorite band, favorite vacation spot?

I’m originally from Yorkshire in England, and grew up just outside York. I moved to the U.S. about seven years ago to join a very fast growing startup, we took it from 5 to well over 300 people which was a fantastic experience. I moved to NYC almost two years ago, and I love exploring this great city.  There’s so much to see and do.  Outside of dotmailer, my passion is cars, and I also enjoy skeet shooting, almost all types of music, and I love to travel – my goal is to get to India, Thailand, Australia and Japan in the near future.

Want to find out more about the dotfamily? Check out our recent post about Darren Hockley, Global Head of Support.

Reblogged 3 years ago from blog.dotmailer.com

Becoming Better SEO Scientists – Whiteboard Friday

Posted by MarkTraphagen

Editor’s note: Today we’re featuring back-to-back episodes of Whiteboard Friday from our friends at Stone Temple Consulting. Make sure to also check out the second episode, “UX, Content Quality, and SEO” from Eric Enge.

Like many other areas of marketing, SEO incorporates elements of science. It becomes problematic for everyone, though, when theories that haven’t been the subject of real scientific rigor are passed off as proven facts. In today’s Whiteboard Friday, Stone Temple Consulting’s Mark Traphagen is here to teach us a thing or two about the scientific method and how it can be applied to our day-to-day work.

For reference, here’s a still of this week’s whiteboard.
Click on it to open a high resolution image in a new tab!

Video transcription

Howdy, Mozzers. Mark Traphagen from Stone Temple Consulting here today to share with you how to become a better SEO scientist. We know that SEO is a science in a lot of ways, and everything I’m going to say today applies not only to SEO, but testing things like your AdWords, how does that work, quality scores. There’s a lot of different applications you can make in marketing, but we’ll focus on the SEO world because that’s where we do a lot of testing. What I want to talk to you about today is how that really is a science and how we need to bring better science in it to get better results.

The reason is in astrophysics, things like that we know there’s something that they’re talking about these days called dark matter, and dark matter is something that we know it’s there. It’s pretty much accepted that it’s there. We can’t see it. We can’t measure it directly. We don’t even know what it is. We can’t even imagine what it is yet, and yet we know it’s there because we see its effect on things like gravity and mass. Its effects are everywhere. And that’s a lot like search engines, isn’t it? It’s like Google or Bing. We see the effects, but we don’t see inside the machine. We don’t know exactly what’s happening in there.

An artist’s depiction of how search engines work.

So what do we do? We do experiments. We do tests to try to figure that out, to see the effects, and from the effects outside we can make better guesses about what’s going on inside and do a better job of giving those search engines what they need to connect us with our customers and prospects. That’s the goal in the end.

Now, the problem is there’s a lot of testing going on out there, a lot of experiments that maybe aren’t being run very well. They’re not being run according to scientific principles that have been proven over centuries to get the best possible results.

Basic data science in 10 steps

So today I want to give you just very quickly 10 basic things that a real scientist goes through on their way to trying to give you better data. Let’s see what we can do with those in our SEO testing in the future.

So let’s start with number one. You’ve got to start with a hypothesis. Your hypothesis is the question that you want to solve. You always start with that, a good question in mind, and it’s got to be relatively narrow. You’ve got to narrow it down to something very specific. Something like how does time on page effect rankings, that’s pretty narrow. That’s very specific. That’s a good question. Might be able to test that. But something like how do social signals effect rankings, that’s too broad. You’ve got to narrow it down. Get it down to one simple question.

Then you choose a variable that you’re going to test. Out of all the things that you could do, that you could play with or you could tweak, you should choose one thing or at least a very few things that you’re going to tweak and say, “When we tweak this, when we change this, when we do this one thing, what happens? Does it change anything out there in the world that we are looking at?” That’s the variable.

The next step is to set a sample group. Where are you going to gather the data from? Where is it going to come from? That’s the world that you’re working in here. Out of all the possible data that’s out there, where are you going to gather your data and how much? That’s the small circle within the big circle. Now even though it’s smaller, you’re probably not going to get all the data in the world. You’re not going to scrape every search ranking that’s possible or visit every URL.

You’ve got to ask yourself, “Is it large enough that we’re at least going to get some validity?” If I wanted to find out what is the typical person in Seattle and I might walk through just one part of the Moz offices here, I’d get some kind of view. But is that a typical, average person from Seattle? I’ve been around here at Moz. Probably not. But this was large enough.

Also, it should be randomized as much as possible. Again, going back to that example, if I just stayed here within the walls of Moz and do research about Mozzers, I’d learn a lot about what Mozzers do, what Mozzers think, how they behave. But that may or may not be applicable to the larger world outside, so you randomized.

We want to control. So we’ve got our sample group. If possible, it’s always good to have another sample group that you don’t do anything to. You do not manipulate the variable in that group. Now, why do you have that? You have that so that you can say, to some extent, if we saw a change when we manipulated our variable and we did not see it in the control group, the same thing didn’t happen, more likely it’s not just part of the natural things that happen in the world or in the search engine.

If possible, even better you want to make that what scientists call double blind, which means that even you the experimenter don’t know who that control group is out of all the SERPs that you’re looking at or whatever it is. As careful as you might be and honest as you might be, you can end up manipulating the results if you know who is who within the test group? It’s not going to apply to every test that we do in SEO, but a good thing to have in mind as you work on that.

Next, very quickly, duration. How long does it have to be? Is there sufficient time? If you’re just testing like if I share a URL to Google +, how quickly does it get indexed in the SERPs, you might only need a day on that because typically it takes less than a day in that case. But if you’re looking at seasonality effects, you might need to go over several years to get a good test on that.

Let’s move to the second group here. The sixth thing keep a clean lab. Now what that means is try as much as possible to keep anything that might be dirtying your results, any kind of variables creeping in that you didn’t want to have in the test. Hard to do, especially in what we’re testing, but do the best you can to keep out the dirt.

Manipulate only one variable. Out of all the things that you could tweak or change choose one thing or a very small set of things. That will give more accuracy to your test. The more variables that you change, the more other effects and inner effects that are going to happen that you may not be accounting for and are going to muddy your results.

Make sure you have statistical validity when you go to analyze those results. Now that’s beyond the scope of this little talk, but you can read up on that. Or even better, if you are able to, hire somebody or work with somebody who is a trained data scientist or has training in statistics so they can look at your evaluation and say the correlations or whatever you’re seeing, “Does it have a statistical significance?” Very important.

Transparency. As much as possible, share with the world your data set, your full results, your methodology. What did you do? How did you set up the study? That’s going to be important to our last step here, which is replication and falsification, one of the most important parts of any scientific process.

So what you want to invite is, hey we did this study. We did this test. Here’s what we found. Here’s how we did it. Here’s the data. If other people ask the same question again and run the same kind of test, do they get the same results? Somebody runs it again, do they get the same results? Even better, if you have some people out there who say, “I don’t think you’re right about that because I think you missed this, and I’m going to throw this in and see what happens,” aha they falsify. That might make you feel like you failed, but it’s success because in the end what are we after? We’re after the truth about what really works.

Think about your next test, your next experiment that you do. How can you apply these 10 principles to do better testing, get better results, and have better marketing? Thanks.

Video transcription by Speechpad.com

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Reblogged 4 years ago from tracking.feedpress.it

Best SEO Company Dublin, Ireland – EcelticSEO

http://www.ecelticseo.com. ecelticseo is a leading SEO company headquartered in Ireland with support offices located in Asia. Serving customers in North Amer…

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SEO Company – Pirl Media

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B2e8kYLx9l0

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Reblogged 5 years ago from www.youtube.com

How to Be More Creative in Your Online Campaigns

Posted by ShellShock

The SEO landscape has changed so much in the last few years in the wake of the Penguin and Panda apocalypse that the discipline is now considered in the broader terms of online marketing or digital marketing. The one element that is common is the requirement for new skills such as PR, classic marketing and most importantly: creativity. Agencies and freelance individuals who can’t adapt, evolve and embrace the new mode of thinking/operating are vulnerable with nowhere to hide behind mediocre work and outdated tactics.

Be more creative, is a phrase often used within business and marketing with little consideration given to its meaning. But, what does it mean to be creative?

There is much confusion about what creativity is and a general misconception of mistaking style for creativity. Most designers are stylists: they make things look good. Creativity is about concepts, ideas and innovation. In art school, I was always taught that being able to justify the concept was the most important element of creativity. You had to argue your reason for why the design piece was a solution to the problem. I can still recall how nervous I used to get before a group critique session (the phrase blood bath comes to mind) even though it was over 20 years ago. It’s not about how good it looks – it’s how well it answers the questions.

Creativity is a skill we can all access. Everyone has the capacity to generate ideas. Admittedly, some people are more inclined towards creative thinking, just as some are able to figure large maths calculations in their head or swim like Michael Phelps. But anyone can increase his or her level of creativity by learning the skills of thinking and exercising their idea muscle.

I recently published a free ebook called ‘What is Creativity?’ and the following are six ideas extracted and expanded from the book to increase your creative thinking and improve your online campaigns:


Creativity is not a talent, it’s a way of operating. John Cleese


Learning to switch into open mode
Ex Monty Python, John Cleese understands and defines the creative process as learning to switch between two states or modes: open and closed. When we are under pressure and stress to deliver, such as in our everyday working lives, we are in closed mode. When we are relaxed, detached from problems and playful, we are in the open mode. Open can be considered playful (lateral thinking) and closed logical (vertical thinking). Just as we need both lateral thinking and vertical thinking, we need open and closed states to solve a problem: the open state allows us to develop creative ideas and then the closed state to plan and implement the idea. These are similarly aligned to vertical and lateral thinking processes.

1: How to achieve an Open state
Schedule time to avoid being distracted and remove the pressure to instantly generate ideas; your brain needs time to open up. The optimum amount of time is 90 minutes, it takes a minimum of 60 minutes for the brain to focus on a task and after 90 minutes will be prone to distraction and need a break.

Place of work is essential for creatives to get into state – most writers and artists will follow a routine and often have isolated spaces such as garden offices to minimize distraction. Some artists need to be surrounded by ephemera such as the collection of memorabilia that Paul Smith surrounds himself with for inspiration. Others, like Maya Angelou, prefer minimalism and, like myself, need an uncluttered desk and space for an uncluttered mind to be able to think.

Agatha Christie preferred to work in a large Victorian bath whilst eating apples. Benjamin Franklin would work naked for an hour every morning. Maya Angelou preferred the isolation of a hotel room and requested everything removed from the walls; she would bring her own sherry and ashtray. The eccentric poet Dame Edith Sitwell would lie down in a coffin finding inspiration in the claustrophobic and restrictive space.

You don’t need to go to the extremes of a coffin but find a space which is conducive to relaxation and without distraction, anywhere that removes you from association with work or pressure (preferably not home). Try a coffee shop (JK Rowling famously wrote Harry Potter in her local coffee shop), the library, a hotel or even a camper van (Breaking Bad style). Removing yourself from the usual place of work will remove yourself from distraction, help the brain to break pattern which in turn will switch into a more receptive state for ideas.

To access open mode if you are in a group:
The open state thrives in humor and play so try the dinner party technique: create the dream dinner party guest list, such as Einstein, Da Vinci, Churchill, Kennedy or even fictional characters such as Don Corleone, Jack Sparrow and Luke Skywalker. Each person should take a persona and become their character – they must answer questions and think like they would imagine that character to think. The perfect warm up exercise; it is huge fun, encourages humor, it breaks awkwardness and forces the brain to break pattern from your normal style of thinking. Keep this game going for a minimum of 20 minutes before your brainstorm.

To access open mode if you are alone:
Research has shown a correlation between increased dopamine and creativity. Dopamine is a pleasure chemical which the brain releases to signal success but this chemical is not as straight forward and predictable as a reliable tool. The increase of endorphins will elevate our mood and help us achieve our open state: physical exercise is one of the easiest ways to access a rush of endorphins although, spicy food, sexual activity and pain can also trigger release – so whatever gets you going!

Try a walk, swim or bike ride to stimulate feel good. You want to ensure a careful balance of feeling exhilarated but also avoiding energy depletion. Opt for a route that you haven’t been on before to break any automatic behavior patterns. Walking in a new part of town and observing the unfamiliar territory or running backwards will stimulate new thought and movement patterns thus putting you into a more creative and receptive state.


Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, the just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while.Steve Jobs


2: Make connections with an ideas wall
The ability to make connections and see relationships between seemingly random elements is the secret to creativity. Combining old elements to create something new.

Idea walls solve crimes
It’s no coincidence that you see examples of ideas walls on TV dramas and movies such as: Homelands, Sherlock Holmes, A Beautiful Mind and Three and a Half Days Later. Detectives have long used this technique to assist solving crimes. Placing photographs of the known or suspected perpetrators, victims, crime scenes and evidence on a wall enables items of evidence to be repositioned and grouped; string can link items together for visual affect. A detective can then stand back and mentally take in a great deal of information at once. The brain begins to process and use its natural ability to seek the connections between the items, find the clues and answers to the case.

images from Crazy Walls

When the BBC conducted a site redesign in 2010 they printed out the entire site and mounted on a wall affectionately known as ‘the wall of shame’. To enable them to better visualize what they had and to unify the visual and interaction design of the desktop and mobile sites.

How to create a content strategy ideas wall
Tools needed: paper, colored pens, highlighter pens, print outs of all reference material, colored string and push-pins, post it notes, blu tack or tape, and a large wall space, pin board or sheets of foam board.

  • Organize your reference material into themes or groups and pin/stick to the wall.
  • Devise a color code system for your different groups with the pen color you have and use the colored pens and highlighter and mark and highlight relevant pages and sections of information. (Homelands style, see above)
  • For example, if you are working on content strategy for your site group into:
    • Influencers – list influencers who could help to broadcast your content and sub group in different social media channels, newsletters and authority sites (eg Guardian, Huffington Post, Fast Company)
    • Audit – audit current site content
    • Idea sources – places to mine ideas from such as offline periodicals, online Q&A sites like Quora, social media channels and Google trends
    • Host Locations – potential sites to target for exposure, shares and links: authority hub sites, bloggers, online magazines/publishers, email newsletters and social media sites

  • By grouping related themes we start to see patterns. If you have a piece that doesn’t fit into a group this ‘outlier’ could in itself give ideas.
  • Stand back from the wall and look for potential relationships or connections between the information. Using push pins and colored string make a visual link between the two. (See photos above)
  • The key here is flexibility: move pieces of paper round, create new string links, devise new groups – by repositioning, regrouping and relinking this is where your ideas will start to form and generate as you begin to make the connections.

If wall space is an issue or you prefer a digital version, Mural.ly is an online alternative to creating an ideas wall; describing itself as “an online whiteboard designed to visually organize ideas and collaborate in a playful way.” Mural.ly allows collaboration of team members and you can drag and drop your reference material onto the white board and reposition items and make notes. I have only just begun to play with this tool and it has huge depth and potential to assist in creative projects.

image from Mural.ly

Pinterest is one of my favourite scrapbook tools for collecting visual information as an alternative. I use Evernote extensively for collecting information and research material. Quora is my favourite site for finding ideas for content.

4: How to brainstorm the right way:

Generating ideas for content, marketing strategies or even creative use of data can all be more productive if tackled in a group – the synergy from more than one person will bring fresh perspective, new ideas and energy. But, brainstorming is such a common term that most people don’t consider how to undertake a session effectively.

One of the most important elements within team idea generation is trust and harmony. The group must be able to work well together through respect for each others’ opinions and ability and a general air of amiability. Any disagreeable personalities, critical individuals or large egos are not conducive to successful creative brainstorming and should be excluded from the group.

image from Atomic Spin

The following rules should be set to deter any fear or negativity that can squash creativity so that you can encourage a safe space to open up:

  • A diverse range of skills present in the group works well in bringing alternative approaches, as does varying levels of experience, age, gender and personality.
  • Allocate enough time to warm up and to focus. Between an hour and 90 minutes is preferable – after this the brain loses focus and needs a break. I recommend the ‘dinner party’ game above or another icebreaker to create an open state.
  • Allow the most junior person in the room to speak first and in turn to most senior. This removes any pressure from a junior member who may be intimidated to follow an experienced authority.
  • Stay focused on the topic. It is natural in group discussion to lose focus and drift into other subjects. The moderator must be vigilant in this area.
  • An experienced moderator is essential to the process and should be able to direct and manage the group without obstructing and keep the group on track and focused and ensure everyone follows the rules (such as not being negative or overbearing). The moderator will take notes (on a white board) and assist as an objective opinion to draw connections between ideas.
  • Above all else no judging, criticism or rejection of any idea – anything is valid and can be considered.

Creativity is the process of having original ideas that have value.Sir Ken Robinson


5: Change your thinking, change your life
If your natural disposition is not creative a creative thinker you can become more creative through repeated action, discipline and learning new ways to think.

Repetition and discipline
The more the brain processes a routine or skill, such as a new language or driving a car, the deeper the synapses physically carve a channel in the brain. Which explains to some degree why when we first learn a skill we have to concentrate intensely; it takes a great deal of energy, but through applied discipline it eventually becomes almost automatic and we don’t appear to think about what we are doing, the subconscious takes over.

Ten ideas lists
One of my favorite exercises to train your brain and develop your idea muscle is to generate lists of ideas everyday. I have to credit James Altucher and I recommend his article on how to become an idea machine here:

The concept is simple but challenging: think of ten new ideas. These can be for anything such as ten new business ideas, ten new ways to obtain quality earned links, ten new ways to improve conversion on a page or ten new ways to save energy, ten new ways to make a better cup of coffee or ten new ways to travel to work. For example:

Ten new ways to travel to work for free:

  1. Walk
  2. Push bike
  3. Run
  4. Roller blades
  5. Hitchhike
  6. Horse
  7. Skate board tied to a car (do I need to explain why this is a bad idea?)
  8. Get a job next to a canal and kayak to work
  9. Move to the Caribbean, live in a beach hut and swim to work
  10. Move to the top of a hill and go kart – makes the home journey a challenge (next list?)

The purpose is not to create ideas you will act on or even sensible, rational or reasonable ideas. This is gym training for the mind only so don’t get precious with your lists. Your first few lists may appear deceptively easy but as you begin to run out of obvious ideas you have to work hard just to think of list ideas and ten new ideas for my ten new ideas list is going to make your brain work for it. Don’t make the mistake of underrating this exercise; everything improves and becomes easier with practice and repetition.

6: Garbage in: Garbage out
My advice above all else is to read as widely as possible as I believe this feeds a creative mind more than any other activity. Just as athletes can only achieve their personal best if they eat a highly optimized diet, creatives need quality brain food and mental stimulation on a regular basis to operate at their creative best. You get out what you put in.

This article is an extract from ‘What is Creativity?’ a 76 page free ebook which offers an introduction to creativity with actionable tips to improve your thinking skills. The second part of the book is dedicated to thought leaders interviews who were posed the question: “what does creativity meant to you?”. Contributors include: Rand Fishkin, Bas Van Den Beld, Paddy Moogan, Neil Patel, Dave Trott, Lee Odden and Chris Brogan. You can download a free copy at creativity101 here…

Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!

Reblogged 5 years ago from feedproxy.google.com

The #MozCon 2014 Agenda is Here!

Posted by EricaMcGillivray


*drumroll* …
That’s right, friends, the MozCon 2014 Agenda is here! You can now show this to your boss to get that final approval and start making plans for how many notebooks you’ll be filling with ideas and tips.

But first, I’d be remiss if I didn’t remind you to buy your ticket today, as MozCon has sold out the last several years.

For the best current deal on MozCon, make sure you’re a Moz Pro subscriber. If you’re not, you can sign up for
a 30-day free trial and get the Pro subscriber MozCon price immediately. Cancel your subscription at any time if it’s not for you, and we’ll see you at MozCon 2014 either way!

Okay, let’s talk about just how great this MozCon’s going to be. We have topics ranging from technical mobile SEO and A/B testing to “big content” idea generation and getting maximum value from your PR efforts. There is truly something for every type of online marketer. We have returning MozCon favorites such as Wil Reynolds, Dr. Pete Meyers, and Nathalie Nahai, as well as new speakers like Kerry Bodine, Cindy Krum, and Jeremy Bloom. Plus, we’re trying a new format—a fireside chat—with our CEO Sarah Bird, so we can really dig into what life at Moz has been like since she and Rand switched places.

Not to mention all the photos with Roger, the wonderful swag, yummy food, and all the other MozCon trimmings you expect. And yes, we’re letting Cyrus Shepard emcee again. (I’m pretty sure it’s in his Moz employment contract.)


Wil Reynolds at MozCon 2013


The MozCon Agenda


Monday

8:00-9:00am Breakfast


Rand Fishkin

9:00-9:20am Welcome to MozCon 2014! with Rand Fishkin
As our ever-changing industry keeps us on our toes, Rand gives a look at recent changes and where he sees the future of search and online marketing going.

Rand Fishkin is the founder of Moz, and he currently serves as an individual contributor, blogging, speaking, designing tools, and helping marketers worldwide level-up their game.


Kerry Bodine

9:20-10:20am Broken Brand Promises: The Disconnect Between Marketing and Customer Experience with Kerry Bodine
Companies chase the business benefits of customer experience, but advertising and marketing communications that aren’t aligned with the true capabilities of the organization foil these efforts.

Kerry Bodine is the co-author of Outside In: The Power of Putting Customers at the Center of Your Business. Her ideas, analysis, and opinions appear frequently on sites like Harvard Business Review, The Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, Forbes, USA Today, and Advertising Age. She holds a master’s degree in human-computer interaction and has designed interfaces for websites, mobile apps, wearable devices, and robots.


10:20-10:40am AM Break


Lindsay Wassell

10:40-11:20am Improve Your SEO by Mastering These Core Principles with Lindsay Wassell
Discover how SEO tactics that win in the long run complement web-friendly business practices and core principles, and how to incorporate this approach into optimization strategies for changes in search results.

Lindsay Wassell is the CEO at 
Keyphraseology, an Inbound & Search Marketing agency. Prior to Keyphraseology, she led the Moz SEO Consulting Team.


Richard Millington

11:20am-12:00pm How to Use Social Science to Build Addictive Communities with Richard Millington
Richard will explain how you can use proven principles from community science to build highly addictive online communities for your organization.

Richard Millington is the founder of 
FeverBee, an organization which has figured out how to apply proven science to build powerful communities from any group of people.


12:00-1:30pm Lunch


Kyle Rush

1:30-2:30pm Architecting Great Experiments with Kyle Rush
A/B testing will no longer be a mystery after Kyle does a deep-dive on every part of the experimentation process.

Kyle Rush is the Head of Optimization at 
Optimizely. He uses a data-driven engineering approach to execute hundreds of A/B tests.


Cindy Krum

2:30-3:10pm Mobile SEO Geekout: Key Strategies and Concepts with Cindy Krum
Learn all the technical nuances necessary to make your websites rank and perform well in mobile and tablet search!

Cindy Krum is CEO and Founder of 
MobileMoxie, a mobile SEO consulting and tools provider based in Denver, CO. She is also author of Mobile Marketing: Finding Your Customers No Matter Where They Are, which is the first book to explain mobile SEO and gets 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon.



3:10-3:30pm PM Break


Mike Ramsey

3:30-4:00pm Local Lessons from Small Town USA with Mike Ramsey
Whether your audience is in one region or thousands of major metros across the world, these small town lessons will guide you through the complex world of local search. 

Mike Ramsey is the president of 
Nifty Marketing with offices in Burley and Boise, Idaho. He is also a Partner at LocalU and has an awesome wife and 3 kids who put up with all his talk about search.


Lexi Mills

4:00-4:30pm Top 10 PR Tactics and Strategies of Successful Content and Link Building with Lexi Mills
Everyone’s had an outreach pitch rejected, but Lexi will show you that by slicing and dicing your content, you can turn those no’s into yes’s. 

Lexi Mills is a PR SEO specialist, with over eight years experience working with both small firms and big brands. She has designed and implemented integrated PR, SEO, content, and social campaigns in the UK, Europe, and USA for B2B and B2C clients.


Mike King

4:30-5:10pm Digital Body Language with Mike King
No matter your business goals, Mike will teach you how to harness the power of lead qualification and nurturing through both implicit and explicit user information. 

Currently a consultant, 
Mike King has led teams covering consumer insights, content, social strategy, and SEO for Enterprise brands. With working for brands like HSBC, SanDisk, Ralph Lauren, Johnson & Johnson, and Citibank, his breadth and depth of experience continues to fuel game-changing insights. Mike is a frequent speaker, blogger, and a published author that loves to share his insights on how to do better marketing.


7:00-9:00pm #MozCrawl
More details coming soon!


Tuesday


8:00-9:00am Breakfast


Pete Meyers

9:00-10:00am How to Never Run Out of Great Ideas with Pete Meyers
Learn how to stay afloat in the coming flood of content, as Dr. Pete provides concrete tactics for sustainably creating high-value content.

Dr. Pete Meyers is a marketing scientist for Moz, where he works with the marketing and data science teams on product research and data-driven content. He has spent the past year building research tools to monitor Google, including the 
MozCast Project, and he curates the Google Algorithm History, a chronicle of Google updates back to 2003.


Stacey Cavanagh

10:00-10:30am Scaling Creativity: Making Content Marketing More Efficient with Stacey Cavanagh
Stacey will talk you through tactics and tricks to help you scale your content marketing efforts without cutting corners on quality.

Stacey Cavanagh lives in Manchester, UK, and works as head of search for 
Tecmark. Stacey also blogs regularly on digital marketing, social media, and her favorite TV ads.



10:30-10:50am AM Break


10:50-12:10pm Community Speakers!
While not finalized, community speakers are one of our most popular sessions. Four speakers from our community will give 15 minute presentations on what they’re passionate about. This year, Moz’s Director of Community, Jen Lopez, will be introducing them. 



12:10pm-1:40pm Lunch


Marshall Simmonds

1:40-2:20pm Keep the Focus on the Doughnuts with Marshall Simmonds
If you’re in a time and resource crunch, Marshall will share which tactics you should implement and prioritize, from the basic to the highly technical, based on measured and quantified data from billions of page views.

Marshall Simmonds has been involved in the search industry since it began. Over the past 17 years, he’s solidified himself as one of the top consultants in publishing and enterprise audience development. Many of the tactics you continue to employ today as best practices were either developed or refined by this guy; he’s “Internet Old.”


Jeremy Bloom

2:20pm-2:50pm Dare to Fail: How the Best Lessons Come in the Form of Defeat with Jeremy Bloom
Everyone experiences failure, but Jeremy will share the lessons he’s learned from an athlete to start-up CEO in how to leverage adversity and turn it into a road-map for success.

Jeremy Bloom is a world-champion skier, a two-time Olympian, a World Cup gold medalist, and a member of the United States Skiing Hall of Fame. He played professional football in the NFL for the Philadelphia Eagles and the Pittsburgh Steelers. In 2008, Bloom founded Wish of a Lifetime, which grants lifelong wishes to 80-, 90-, and 100+-year-old people, and in 2010, Bloom co-founded the marketing software company 
Integrate. Integrate has raised over $20M of venture capital from Comcast, Foundry Group, and Liberty Global. It was named “Best New Company” at the 2011 American Business Awards in New York.


Justin Cutroni

2:50-3:30pm Supercharging Your Digital Analytics! with Justin Cutroni
Despite having lots of analytics tools, we too often settle for the default data and reports so let’s look at a few ways that you can get more insightful, actionable data to make better decisions!

Justin Cutroni is an author, blogger, father, skier, and the Analytics Evangelist at 
Google. He is a long-time fixture in the digital analytics community and has been nominated as the most influential industry contributor for the past four years.



3:30-3:50pm PM Break


Amber Naslund

3:50-4:20pm Developing a Formidable Social Platform with Amber Naslund
Learn what makes for a compelling online presence, balance your personal and professional self, and build a system to keep yourself sane. 

Amber Naslund is a business strategist and the president of 
SideraWorks, a social business advisory firm that helps companies adapt their culture and operations to the demands of the social web. She’s the co-author of The Now Revolution, and you can find her on Twitter at @ambercadabra.


Elizabeth Marsten

4:20-4:50pm Shop ’til You Drop: Google Shopping PPC with Elizabeth Marsten
If you’re wondering what happened to Google Shopping, Elizabeth will explain all, including how to set up PPC the right way and why it matters for your overall marketing.

Elizabeth Marsten is the Vice President of Search Marketing at 
Portent, Inc. here in Seattle. She is a PPC person at heart, but also oversees the SEO, Social, Content, and Project Management teams.


Phil Nottingham

4:50-5:30pm YouTube: The Most Important Search Engine You Haven’t Optimized For with Phil Nottingham
Phil will take a deep-dive into YouTube, the world’s second biggest and most forgotten search engine, looking at the best ways to use the channel on both a strategic and tactical marketing level, no matter your budget.

Phil Nottingham is the video strategist at 
Distilled, where he works with businesses of all shapes and sizes to define their approach to video on both a creative and technical level. He joined Distilled in April 2011, after impressing the company founders with his ability to look like a serviceable pirate, following minimal costume changes, and has since spent loads of their money on cameras and lights.


7:00pm-12:00am MozCon Party at Garage Billiards (MozCon badge required!)


Wednesday


8:20-9:20am Breakfast


Wil Reynolds

9:20-10:20am You Are so Much More than an SEO with Wil Reynolds
The label’s irrelevant as you have skills, tools, and knowledge to help get rankings and so much more, and Wil will show you the marketing goldmine you’ve been sitting on.

Wil Reynolds founded 
SEER Interactive in 2002, which now employs over 70 people and is among the 100 fastest growing companies in Philadelphia. In addition to digital marketing, Wil is also passionate about giving back to the community and sits on the advisory board of Covenant House.


Paddy Moogan

10:20-10:50am Beyond SEO – Tactics for Delivering an Integrated Marketing Campaign with Paddy Moogan
Everyone talks about the need for SEOs to diversify, but Paddy will give you actionable tips to go away and do it, no matter what your current role is.

Paddy Moogan is Head of Growth Markets at 
Distilled, working in their London office. He is a comic book geek and loves Aston Martins. His heart lives with the Hobbits in New Zealand.



10:50-11:10am AM Break


Sarah Bird and John Cook

11:10-11:40am A Mozzy View with Sarah Bird and John Cook
Moz CEO Sarah Bird sits down with GeekWire’s John Cook for a candid discussion about risk-taking, thriving with constant change, and the future of Moz.

Sarah Bird serves as CEO and as a member of Moz’s board. She loves and welcomes conversations on inbound marketing, business models, entrepreneurship, productivity tips, women in tech, and fostering inspiring company culture. Sarah’s sharp business acumen is always paired with her passionate belief in TAGFEE, Moz’s core values.

John Cook is the co-founder of 
GeekWire, a leading technology news site and community based in Seattle. A long-time tech journalist, John has covered hundreds of startup companies over the years, everything from aQuantive to Zillow.


Richard Baxter

11:40am-12:20pm Developing Your Own Great Interactive Content – What You’ll Need to Know with Richard Baxter
Even if you’re not a technical genius when it comes to interactive front-end web development projects, Richard will show you how to make something the Internet loves from ideation and conceptualization to rapid prototyping, launch, and huge coverage.

Richard Baxter is founder and CEO of 
SEOgadget, a digital marketing agency specializing in conversion rate optimization, large scale SEO, keyword research, technical strategy, and link building in high competition industries, with offices in London and San Francisco. He is a regular SEO industry commentator and proud Moz Associate.



12:20-1:50pm Lunch


Annie Cushing

1:50-2:30pm Demystifying Data Visualization for Marketers with Annie Cushing
We’ve all been frustrated with not knowing how to corral data into cool, sexy visualizations, but Annie Cushing will pull back the curtain and provide tips, tricks, and hacks to transform raw marketing data into works of art in plain English.

Annie blogs at 
annielytics.com, teaching marketers how to scavenge for marketing data and then make it sexy.


Dana DiTomaso

2:30-3:10pm Prove Your Value with Dana DiTomaso
Dana will show you how to report so there’s no doubt in your client’s mind that they’d be lost without you.

Whether at a conference, on the radio, or in a meeting, Dana DiTomaso likes to impart wisdom to help you turn a lot of marketing BS into real strategies to grow your business. After 10+ years, she’s seen (almost) everything. It’s true, Dana will meet with you and teach you the ways of the digital world, but she is also a fan of the random fact. 
Kick Point often celebrates “Watershed Wednesday” because of Dana’s diverse work and education background. In her spare time, Dana drinks tea and yells at the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.



3:10-3:30pm PM Break


Nathalie Nahai

3:30-4:10pm The Psychology of Persuasive Content for “Boring” Industries with Nathalie Nahai
If your content needs a jolt of life, Nathalie will show you how to apply targeted persuasion through psychology.

Nathalie Nahai, also known as 
The Web Psychologist, is a best-selling author, consultant, and international speaker who specializes on the psychology of online persuasion. With a background in psychology, web design, and digital strategy, Nathalie coined the term “web psychology” in 2011, defining it as “the empirical study of how our online environments influence our attitudes and behaviours.”


Rand Fishkin

4:10-5:10pm Mad Science Experiments in SEO & Social Media with Rand Fishkin
Whether it’s anchor text or sharing on Google+ instead of Facebook, Rand’s spent the last few months formulating hypotheses and running tests, and now he’ll share these fascinating results to help you.

Rand Fishkin is the founder of Moz, and he currently serves as an individual contributor, blogging, speaking, designing tools, and generally trying to be helpful to marketers worldwide.


Now, are you ready to buy your ticket? 🙂 We’ll see you there!

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