Tag Archives: sales

The cross selling and upselling business model

This is the ninth part of the series on how companies can make money from high traffic websites. In this post we’ll discuss cross-selling and upselling. As we’ll demonstrate, cross selling doesn’t need high traffic to sell more products.

At Endava we work with companies who are capturing data about their visitors and attempting to personalise the experience, usually with a goal of providing superior service, or selling more goods.

It’s all about the customer (and CRM is key)

At the heart of this solution is a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system. CRM has become synonymous with large, expensive and difficult IT programmes.

Continue reading The cross selling and upselling business model

Hugh Jackson, director of MediaCo on Venice and Panda

Almost to reconfirm how I described how the first morning at ad:tech had been full of

It's a sobering thought that on some searches the 3rd result is below the fold!
It’s a sobering thought that on some searches the 3rd result is below the fold!

practical tips and advice, Hugh Jackson from MediaCo, an SEO company, gave a good, practical presentation on two of the latest Google algorithm changes and how to take advantage of them, despite all the bad press they’ve received.

The two algorithm changes are Panda and Venice.


Results are now based upon the local results of where the user is located. (My Note: Actually, they’ve always been local, so if you searched for ‘Spurs’ in the UK you’d end up with Tottenham Hotspur Football Club, and if you searched for Spurs in the US you’d see the San Antonio Spurs basketball team. Now, results are localise for everything, down to a far more granular level).

So if you type in say, tyre dealer, you’ll get very different results if you’re based in New York, London or Manchester.

This is the only way results are ranked organically (i.e. not paying for an ad in the results) for generic terms.

To take advantage of Venice, you need to create truly unique content for your user’s locations. National companies without local offices are at a disadvantage.

The SEO strategy to take advantage of Venice is to create landing pages and change the site structure to reflect localised pages. The example Hugh gave is Autotrader, which now has regions, and then local cities where car results are displayed for that local city or region.

The tried and tested SEO technique for Titles and Descriptions has been slightly updated, so you should now use:

Title + location + brand

for AutoTrader, the example given was:

Find used cars in Manchester – used cars | Autotrader

Also, inbound links should ideally include the location in the anchor text, although Hugh pointed out that Google sometimes perform U-turns on best practice for inbound links.

Other techniques to improve natural results include having local reviews, directions to the location, a local address for the business, and a local phone number. These are recommendations though, not necessities.

Finally, put your local addresses in the site schema.


It's [almost] always about content, content, content...
It’s [almost] always about content, content, content…
Panda uses real world, human user data to verify the quality of sites. So a site that simply provides links to other sites, and users spend a very short period of time browsing, will be hit hard by Panda. This real user data comes from Google +, Chrome usage stats and toolbars.

Use google.com/trends and adwords.google.co.uk/keywordplanner to help with your SEO terms.

You can now have a page with little text, perhaps just a couple of sentences, followed by a video, and this may perform well. The reason is that users will stay on the page (watching the video), and this gets fed back to Google, who then interpret this as a sign of a real user finding the page interesting. This is very different to previous SEO techniques where keywords were the most important SEO consideration.

To create inbound links, Hugh recommended that you create Infographics and distribute these to other websites, making sure you have credit for the work, through good quality anchor text.

It’s important to ‘announce’ new content by promoting it on social networks – Twitter, Google+ and Facebook for example. This builds authority and will help develop you as a thought leader and people will link to your page.

Another good technique, which Google has been vocal about, is to attribute content to a particular person by linking to their Google + page.

And finally, it’s a sobering thought that on some search results such as ‘Manchester United’, the 3rd result is already below the fold!

The real value

Of course, Panda and Venice are details. The main reason why natural searches are still so important is because when a user performs a search on Google (or Bing, or any other search engine) and arrives at your website, the chances are that you have a genuinely and fully qualified lead!

See the other presentation notes from ad:tech.

Are accountants being replaced by IT professionals?


Fifteen years ago the professionals who worked across an entire organisation were the accountants. My best man trained as an accountant, and I thought his university course was excellent – it taught all aspects of business, so that he would understand each function of an organisation from manufacturing to HR to marketing to IT to sales.

In the last five years, it’s now the IT professionals who work across the organisation. IT are invited into all aspects of the organisation. A new manufacturing plant needs to be kitted out with technology. The HR department want a new HR system. Sales need a new CRM system. A new marketing campaign will probably involve a website, and even if IT doesn’t produce the website, IT will still have a decision role in the choice of Content Management System or agency. IT will probably have a role in recommending specific social media.

IT have become very good at understanding the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of doing something within an organisation.

Producing a Facebook Page doesn’t cost anything. Someone in IT is going to ask who will look after it, who will answer the comments, who will keep the content fresh, what will the complaints process be. Suddenly the Facebook Page isn’t free, it requires a couple of people to spend a couple of hours a day on Facebook.

This is because IT has become more mature in project management and understanding that Total Cost of Ownership. Ten years ago, IT got burnt buying software and then realising training cost more. And more powerful servers were required. And maintenance cost a lot more. So IT departments realised that to do something required calculating the Total Cost of Ownership.

Universities need to catch up quickly – they need to train IT professionals about the rest of the organisation and to learn to speak their language. Accountants have historically been good at this communication, and IT have been awful. IT love buzzwords and jargon. The rest of the organisation dislikes it. IT love to deep dive into detail. The rest of the organisation is bored by it.

I’d like to thank Ilan for inspiring this post a few weeks ago, and for a gentleman at Internet World yesterday for reviving the thoughts.

The case for SIs and agencies


Firstly a disclaimer – I wrote this article a number of weeks ago and have delayed the publishing time to avoid any correlations or coincidences!

The case for System Integrators or Technical Agencies as they’re sometimes referred as has never been stronger.

There are more and more product vendors out there in the marketplace, and by way of some sweeping generalisations, 1. they don’t understand client issues, 2. they can’t talk in the client’s language and lastly, 3. they can’t sell well.

Due to our customer list, we are regularly pitched to (sometimes ‘at’) by vendors. Some are so bad that we ask for the pitch to stop, and we’ll just ask questions. Sometimes the product doesn’t actually exist (we’re good at spotting those). Most of the time though, the thought of these vendors going directly to our clients and trying to pitch their wares is just embarassing.

System Integrators need to understand our clients business because we’re usually brought in to understand the problem, then fix it.

Software vendors usually go in saying “here’s the latest widget, isn’t it brilliant?” Well, yes, it probably is, however what’s the ROI or business benefit for this client? The standard pitch won’t do.

Of course, there are some vendors who can do this well. From my experience though, sadly they are a rare breed.

Photo courtesy of Anthea Brown on Flickr.

Book Review: When I Stop Talking, You’ll Know I’m Dead


Actually, the full title of the book is “When I Stop Talking, You’ll Know I’m Dead: Useful Stories from a Persuasive Man” by Jerry Weintraub.

I confess that I’d never heard of Jerry Weintraub before. The thing that jumped out at me on the back cover (written by George Clooney) was that he produced the films (if you don’t know what a film producer does, this book will explain) Ocean’s Eleven, Twelve and Thirteen.

He’s done a lot more than that in his colourful life, from playing tennis with both George Bushes (together), taking Elvis and Sinatra on tour (separately), managed George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Matt Damon, as well as learnt how to deal with the mafia (tell the truth and keep the law). Not bad for a child from the Bronx 70 years ago.

He happily divulges his secrets – he doesn’t think he’s particularly clever, just persistent and excellent at sales. And he demonstrates the same sales process time and time again. One of my favourites was selling the LP sleeve of a John Denver album before Xmas (sending it top of the charts), without the record inside! Because Denver was late finishing the record, and Weintraub sold everyone the concept that you’ll get the record later. Hilarious, ridiculous, and gutsy.

He also did a thousand other things which most of us would love to do, each in it’s own entertaining way.

The book is really easy to read. I found myself hiding in corners of the house on the weekend trying to read it quicker. I had a bath on Saturday evening (which I only normally do when I have a bad cold) for an hour while I read it. And I must confess it was I who blocked the escalator from the Northern Line at Bank station this morning because I was midway through the chapter on Dancing with the Rebbe.

OK, there’s a liberal dose of American-yeehar-I’m-so-successful in there, however you can see that he tries tempering this with the love for his family (parents, brother and children) and friends. His thoughts on death and religion were like having a conversation with a close friend.

And that’s the book’s style – it’s like he’s there next to you telling you lots of interesting stories. I still don’t know what his voice is like, but I feel like he’s been talking to me all weekend!

Thanks to Alex for lending me the book. Alex asked me to pass the book on to the next person. Just remember I spent an hour in the bath with it on Saturday.