Category Archives: Marketing

Moving on to MicroArts and a New Adventure in Ubiquity

After almost 2 years at VONT + HMG, I’m about to embark on a new ride.

Most don’t realize this, but I was a search newbie when I was hired. For almost 10 years I was deeply involved in online marketing, but only unofficially dabbled in SEO. Joining VONT + HMG threw me into the search marketing pool deep end, and without guidance, education and friendship from many search professionals online and in person, I would have sunk straight to the bottom. Instead, alongside my colleagues and friends Ginny Marvin and Sarah Kutzen, we redefined our search services, building out to include full SEO audits to social media marketing. It’s been a tremendous experience, and I am extremely grateful for the relationship and knowledge shared these past few years.

So where am I headed?

MicroArts Creative Agency

On February 1 I’ll be joining MicroArts Creative Agency as the Practice Director for Search Marketing, collaborating with an awesome team with amazing creative brainpower and marketing smarts, working together in a culture that’s too good to be true. These guys get it, and now it’s time to get their clients to the next level when it comes to search marketing. Admittedly, this is going to involve refining some PPC chops (wish me luck, I’ll need to have multiple come-to-Jesus calls with Dana Lookadoo, David Szetela, Joanna Lord, Kate Morris and Steve Plunkett). Those calls will only become fodder for future posts, I’m sure of it.

But it doesn’t stop there; there will be Ubiquity


Ubiquity is a book project MicroArts is launching this year – a collection of  “proven internet strategies for pioneering brands” written by “Entrepreneurs, Innovators and Downright Crackpots”. Since I seem to attract and befriend a lot of crackpots, they thought it would be a good idea for me to serve as a voice for the book, working with collaborators from all walks of Internet marketing. Rather than me define Ubiquity – take a look at some pages yourself, and let us know if you are interested in contributing.

This is an opportunity to take part in something extremely special. Establishing a brand while building a viable business has changed. Getting heard – let alone getting attention – is arguably a challenge in such a noisy space. This is going to be awesome project, and I can’t wait for the crackpots to share what they’ve got.

(Update: I would be amiss not to mention MicroArts on Twitter, so plugging that here at the end.)

I Am Only As Good As My Network


I would like to share this one thought about “sharing expensive knowledge”…

I learned SEO, social and marketing organically, and am continuous student. If it weren’t for many, many people in the SEO community sharing their knowledge and expertise, via blog, time, etc. I know I could not be in the position I am in today. I have never gone to a class – my former employer paid for my first conference,  others I have gone to as a speaker or on my own dime. The SEO and online marketing community is general is very generous with sharing knowledge for free. If anything, sometimes they like to “one up” each other testing different tactics and creative. But they always share.

I can certainly see the view about not wanting to share expensive knowledge. But as someone who does this every day, it’s not only MY knowledge that counts – it’s my community’s knowledge that keeps me moving forward. I am only as good as my network. If we aren’t learning from each other, the community – and I –  will remain stagnant.

Monica Wright: Certified Viral Marketing Scientist

By Dan Zarrella

What is Viral Marketing Science?

It is most efficacious to look at social and viral marketing on a campaign level, evaluating viral marketing campaigns as a whole instead of each individual component. Viral marketing science is all about figuring out what and how things spread, as opposed to the more general “how communities interact online,” and so the science comes in when various elements are interacting with each other and with the audience.

It is important to note that this does not mean that viral marketing is purely tactical; on the contrary, there is a great deal of strategy present in how these campaigns fit into a brand’s overall marketing mix. The science is in hitting the sweet spot between viral tactical elements and overarching marketing strategy.

The fields viral marketing most commonly draws from include sociology, neurology, statistics, history, psychology (especially evolutionary), economics, biology and memetics. Metaphors and epidemiology models or terms also serve as useful tools when communicating about viral marketing, as these are much more commonly understood.

Much of the information currently available about social and viral marketing is comprised of two distinct types: conjecture-driven and data-driven. The former is the majority, a formulation of advice based on anecdotal evidence and “what seems right.” Work with multivariate testing, combined with research from The Tipping Point and Freakonomics, has shown that the actual data often disproves the conclusions drawn purely from gut-feelings. Recent efforts have focused on creating content that is backed by facts, not feelings, and falls into the data-driven bucket. This is called viral marketing science.

One of the first literary works to expose the potential power of scientific viral marketing was, surprisingly, a work of fiction: Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash. In it, the villain creates a biolingusitic virus based on a prototypical, brain-stem related Sumerian language. He uses the virus to practically enslave a large segment of people in a world domination plot.

There is also room for art in viral marketing; the creativity, intuition and improvisation involved in a successful campaign often come from a deep understanding of the data involved. But the brute creative genius most people assume is the core of contagious campaigns can make the entire exercise seem like entirely unpredictable black magic. However, using scientific methods, it is possible for mere mortals to create repeatably viral campaigns.