One of my favorite topics these days is how each of us blend of marketing expertise with technical know-how. For Jonathan Goodman of Halyard Consulting, it was the journey that brought him from an education in photography to a career in internet marketing. It seems that so many of our guests, and our team here at DragonSearch, has made a similar leap. As Jonathan says, “You need to understand all aspects of the project you’re working on.” We agree! That’s how we’re able to integrate web development with digital marketing.
One prime example of the convergence of technology and marketing is Freebase, Google’s free online database. Right now, the more technical communities contain the most active contributors, but Jonathan says that could soon change. “At some point the development community will kind of off-shoot to the marketing community.” This would then cause excitement (as marketers know, there’s nothing more exciting than data), at which point the resource ends up back in the hands of developers with renewed vigor and actual business applications.
We had a great time chatting with Jonathan Goodman, and we hope you enjoyed it as well. Have something you’d like to add or a question we should ask Jonathan on his next visit? Leave us a comment below and stay tuned for our next Marketology in Motion video.
ABE UCHITELLE: Welcome to another installment of Marketology in Motion. My name is Abe Uchitelle of DragonSearch. I’m here today with Jonathan Goodman, who is the President of Halyard Consulting. Jonathon is the Author of, The World of Internet Marketing: The Basics, and is also a notable speaker. Some of the topics that you speak about, Jonathan, Schema, EdgeRank, and Freebase, these are some of the things that I’ve heard you speak about. And really happy to have you with us today, thank you so much for joining us.
JONATHAN GOODMAN: Thank you for having me.
ABE UCHITELLE: So I kind of want to open by asking you a little bit about your background. How did you get started in digital marketing?
JONATHAN GOODMAN: Yeah, it’s a great story because, I wasn’t – obviously I’m a lot older than you are, by 20 years. So, I have a background in graphic design and photography. I come from the College of Ringling School for Art and Design in Florida, and it just happened that the year that I graduated was the big foldout of Apple, graphic design on the computer and everything like that. And so I graduated, I was in graphic design and HTML started to come around. Very, very, basic, basic stuff. And over the next couple of years, after graduating, I had opportunities to build a couple websites out, and then I wound up in the dot-coms during the dot-com era and companies that I was involved with Iaunched and went public and that was a great and exciting time for me. And that was really my first foray into digital development, digital media. Building out ecommerce sites for companies, and then continued that until now we’re at a point where I have Halyard Consulting, which is an internet marketing company, located in New Jersey. And we’re focused on optimizing websites, particularly, specifically and exclusively focused on WordPress. And that’s where we’re at.
ABE UCHITELLE: So it’s interesting. There’s a lot of folks that we’ve talked to that have kind of gone from a design to development to marketing, kind of trajectory. And particularly digital marketing, obviously, because there is a definite connection there. And as more and more people start to learn different types of technology, start to learn to code and marketing, digital marketing, starts to really develop and grow, what is the right blend of technical chops with marketing chops for today’s digital marketers?
JONATHAN GOODMAN: Right, yes, so they are two different sides of a coin. You do have the art side and the development-math side. But, you do find that the understanding and the comprehension of somebody who’s working from a development side to understand why they’re working development and why they’re building something, why they’re building an app, why they’re building a form, why they’re building a website. Understanding the marketing side of that is critical. And you really can’t have the…you can’t work in a vacuum. And so you need to understand all aspects of the project that you’re working on.
ABE UCHITELLE: Okay. So, I’m kind of curious about something that I’ve heard you speak about, about Freebase. It’s a really cool database resource that’s out there and a lot of folks, or some folks, I won’t say a lot, but some folks are starting to put products around it, accessing the database and creating resources there. But as a marketing tool, I’m kind of curious, what value is there in Freebase, or have we not even gotten there yet?
JONATHAN GOODMAN: Yeah, I think that, I think Google, who is responsible for Freebase, is starting to do a mild push. They’ve gotten to where they understand what it is that they want to use Freebase for and now they’re slowly rolling it out. They had a great session at Google I/O this last year and there was a lot of excitement around it, but there aren’t necessarily, it’s not a large enough community. I think that at some point the development community will kind of offshoot to the marketing community and there’ll be excitement from the marketing community. Once that happens, and once the conversation goes from marketing back to development, then the question of why, why use Freebase, will be answered. I think that some companies have it right. There’s Small Demons that brings in information from a book, music, places and things like that. But it’s kind of done almost as a hobby, right? There is dollar and monetization behind it, but I think that we need to have marketing understanding what the capabilities of Freebase are, and then you’re going to just have a big boom of this utility.
ABE UCHITELLE: So today, is there anything that we can do with Freebase to help our clients or, if you’re on the brand side, take advantage of this? Or is it something that needs to be developed more?
JONATHAN GOODMAN: It does need to develop a little bit more, because it needs to be a little bit easier to put data into Freebase, but I think that Google is doing a good job in kind of making sure the editors are functioning well, right? You don’t, you know, Wikipedia kind of works the same way, where you kind of need to qualify the editors that are working on these projects and at some point that’ll open up and loosen up in the way that you can put data in. It’s a little difficult to put data into Freebase right now. You kind of need to have editorial experience in this. But, once that issue is done and resolved, you’ll really be able to build out almost anything. I mean, I was talking to today specifically, United Airlines, right? If you could build a travel website that showed all the hubs of United, interconnected using Freebase, the technology, and then put marketing behind those individual hubs, created an app, you could actually walk off the plane, open that app, it could tell you’re in Chicago O’Hare and it could automatically fill you in on, the Google Now kind of situation, “what is the temperature, what is the best restaurant for pizza, where is the nearest theatre”, all these kind of elements that come together, of course understanding who you are from the app side, and then providing you real, real specific information and data.
ABE UCHITELLE: Ok, so it sounds like it’s going in a pretty cool direction then.
JONATHAN GOODMAN: It is, I mean there is a lot of potential there, and I really hope that there’s a larger community that goes around this. I mean I’m not as involved with it as I would like to be, because I simply just don’t have the time, but I’m on the outskirts, I’m hovering around, waiting for a simpler usage of the tool.
ABE UCHITELLE: Yeah, I think that the direction that things like that are going really provide the impetus for companies like ours to try and train some of their staff on how to code and how to really develop some of these kind of technical chops from the marketing to more technology standpoint.
JONATHAN GOODMAN: Yeah, I was talking to Ric at lunch actually, and I said “All we need is that one project, right? That one client that is interested and unique in what they want done, outside of what can currently be done, but can be done with Freebase and then that’s the project we’ll start really working on Freebase.” And I think that’s true with so many companies out there. They are just waiting. They know what the tool can do, and they’re just waiting for somebody to come and say “Can you build this?”
ABE UCHITELLE: Cool. Alright, I want to ask you a question about Facebook. I know that you speak about EdgeRank a fair amount, and recently Facebook has updated their algorithm and some people have been saying this is going to have a huge impact on the digital marketing industry. Specifically, social media marketing and how brands are able to get their content out there. They’re going to be favoring higher quality articles, over the latest cat meme, which is the example that is getting thrown out there. So, in terms of EdgeRank does this have to change the way that we’re approaching EdgeRank, or is it just another layer?
JONATHAN GOODMAN: It’s, well, I first have to kind of correct you. If somebody wants to look at cat memes, they’re going to get cat memes.
ABE UCHITELLE: Right.
JONATHAN GOODMAN: And they just won’t be that person that you’re able to market to for, let’s say, the latest movie or something like that. Facebook is doing a good job in the sense that they’ve created, they’ve expanded EdgeRank to now machine technology, machine understanding, added a hundred thousand different points, and unfortunately they’ve dialed the number up a little bit too high so we’re all now still seeing the same, or the 10 friends that we have, still seeing the information over and over again. But they’re going to fix that pretty quickly. The way that you have to market to Facebook now is you have to understand that there are certain people that like articles, certain people that like videos, and certain people that like photos. And because of these changes in the algorithm, people who like photos will be shown more photos, people who like articles will be shown more articles, and people who like videos will be shown more videos. What that says to me is that my clients need to expand and broaden the information that they’re providing. It can’t simply just be article, article, article, article. Because then you’re going to wind up only talking to one segment of the population on Facebook.
ABE UCHITELLE: Alright, well Jonathan, thank you so much for joining us today. This has been really great, we appreciate your time. You can check out Jonathan, you can follow his company on Twitter, Halyard Consulting. And this has been a great Marketology in Motion. You can leave us a comment down there in the comments, and whether you’re watching this on YouTube or on our blog, dragonsearchmarketing.com, definitely stay tuned for more updates. Thanks so much!
JONATHAN GOODMAN: Thank you.