Chris Baggott Interviewed by Eric Enge

Published: February 7, 2010

photo of Chris Baggott

Chris Baggott began his career doing database marketing in the catalog industry. his frustration was that in spite of a terrific insight into customer behavior, he was stuck sending a batch of similar books to everyone regardless of the specifics related to individual data. This led him to co-found ExactTarget the worlds leading Data-driven Email Service Provider. As the company evolved he realized that although Email is perfect for building dialog and relationships with people you already know, it does nothing for acquisition. The number one online activity other than email is search, and this led him to found Compendium Blogware.

Interview Transcript

Eric Enge: Tell us a little bit about your background.

Chris Baggott: I am the founder of Compendium Blogware, and also of a company called ExactTarget. My background is in database marketing, and I started my career with RR Donnelley in the catalogue business. During those years, the idea of data-driven communications consisted of putting pages of bathing suits in catalogues going to Wisconsin in February, that was big time stuff back in late eighties and early nineties.

I gradually got into some retail work, building databases and tripping over email as a way to leverage data. One of the things that makes ExactTarget unique is the fact that it was one of the first companies on the web to have an API. The idea that email and communication should be relevant to individual customers was a novel concept at the time. If you think about the early days of email, it was about getting the biggest list possible, and what I call old fashion reach frequency marketing.

All of a sudden, I had this media that is basically cheap paper, and if I send ten million emails, I get x new customers, and if I send fifty million, I get y.

Eric Enge: Like TV commercials.

Chris Baggott: Yes. It's American Airlines sending me e-mails about weekend escapes, where there is a laundry list of 50 trips, none of which ever originate in Indianapolis. I am sure it had a good ROI, but with the ExactTarget model, we've always been about the data. We want to know how we can talk to the right person at the right time with the right message. I may send some people 50 emails a year, and I may send others three emails a year.

I may also make more money on the people I send three to, however, so itís all about data-driven communication. Sometime around 2006, we started focusing on the problem of acquisition, where email is the greatest tool ever invented for maintaining and building relationships with large volumes of people, and search is the greatest way to acquire people. I am not going to ask people if they want to buy a pizza four times, but if they search and say they want to buy a pizza, all I have to do is show up with a compelling offer and I get the chance of winning their business.

Eric Enge: The way I always describe search engine optimization to people is that itís not about finding new customers for your business, itís about enabling people who are interested in the products and services your business carries to find you.

Chris Baggott: Right. It's about listening, and that's kind of the way we approach it. If you think about keywords, they are essentially people telling you what they want. If you want to win a business and build a relationship, you need to be listening very, very carefully, and then showing up. Thatís how we've approached the idea of Compendium, and SEO, by listening in a lot of places. If we listen very carefully across hundreds or thousands of different spots and we are able to deliver our message to that spot, we have a very good chance of initiating a relationship.

Eric Enge: Letís step back to email marketing for just another minute or two.

You gave a little bit of an overview, but what's happening today in terms of response rate declines and snow blindness that people get in emails? Are there problems with emails getting filtered and all those sorts of things, and what are the new things that are going on in the email marketing side of things?

Chris Baggott: All of these are trends that are forcing marketers to pay closer attention to their customers as individuals. If you think about a broad term like social media, it just means human beings.

Peppers and Rogers wrote this great book back in 1992 called The One to One Future. It was about the dream that we can talk to people in this medium like normal human beings. We have been corrupted all these years in thinking consumers are not humans, but are just a brand. The world hates that. Zig Ziglar said people buy from people back in the mid 20th century. This is one thing for the owner of a mom and pop shop who can talk to his customers over the counter, but when those managing thousands or millions of relationships, it doesn't scale very well.

What's wonderful about the era we live in is that there are various tools which actually allow me to listen carefully and collect data. I can tailor my conversation because now we have access to the inexpensive data customers readily give us. We've got to respect that and use these new tools to communicate and build relationships. Email is still the most important and best way to do that, and that's the trend you see.

We are getting away from people talking about their list size. I can remember calling the second largest retailer in the world, which is in the home improvement space, and they had a database of about six million addresses. Since they are the second largest retailer in the world, they wanted to build a database with 30 million addresses in the next year. The reality was that they never got 30,000,000 email addresses, but they make huge sums of money because they respect their customers.

They only talk to them when they have something to say, so I think those are some of the big trends you are seeing. On the downside, all this other social media is really starting to cloud my inbox. The biggest piece of spam I get now comes from Facebook and Twitter asking me to join groups and things like that. I mean, I get 20 or 30 of those a day, and it's not relevant to me.

Eric Enge: The good thing is that corporate marketers like the one you mentioned are a lot more educated about the downside of just blasting crap out there. As regards social media, the problem is that the numbers are still small, and it is not yet fully adapted by the broad public.

Chris Baggott: I was in a meeting the other day with all of the agency partners of one particular retailer. We had a three-hour scheduled meeting, 45 minutes of which was sucked up by some woman talking about the 2,900 fans they had on Facebook, and everyone was enamored with it. I thought it was ridiculous, because they spend $16 million a week on newspaper inserts, and they are talking about 2,900 people on Facebook like itís some kind of win.

Itís just bizarre, but it happens because marketers want new and shiny. We are seeing trends now where people are starting to get more ROI focused, and social media is a big place for that. Last year, they just wanted to chase the shiny thing, now they are asking how it is helping anybody and starting to talk more about ROI?

Eric Enge: If you look at Twitter. youíll see all these articles about the tons of traffic people are getting from Twitter every day. But then if you dig into it, the wild success stories only involve getting hundreds of visitors a day. I don't give a crap about a hundreds of visitors a day; I build sites that get thousands, tens of thousands, and hundreds of thousands of visitors a day.

Chris Baggott: Well, that's right. Last year it was kind of a tough fight, and now we are seeing that turn where we are starting to question what the goals and biggest benefits of social media are. You get the things like blogging and you start talking about traffic and who the audience is.

Itís still growing very, very quickly, and itís getting smarter and smarter. All these companies are coming into the space are focusing on data. Unica, which is database company, not an email company, does email for its clients, and it was just recently announced that they bought Pivotal Veracity for $17,500,000.

Pivotal Veracity is about deliverability; it's an inbox company. For a publicly-traded company like Unica to step up and say that legitimately getting good email into inboxes is a very important business space says a lot about the direction of the industry.

Eric Enge: So the transition is slow in coming, but it is coming.

Chris Baggott: Everyone has a lot of choice, but at the end of the day, email is still ridiculously effective, especially when used properly. The retail company I was just describing is running this simple email program right now. They trigger an email because they are trying to drive store traffic by offering a free screen cleaner and $100 off a Blu-ray player. The only people who are getting this email are the people who recently bought flat screen TVs, and it is an amazing program. The numbers are just phenomenal.

Customers come in for the free screen cleaner, and they walk out with a brand new Blu-ray player. I am sure once they get this beautiful TV home and then hook it up to a crappy DVD player, they want something better. The old model used to involve just sending ten million offers of $100 off a Blu-ray player to everybody, and they would be wasting their time. Now since they are only sending the right message to the right people, everybody is happy.

Eric Enge: The last element of that is that companies have to realize that they only have a limited number of offers they can send people via email before they just shut down. Whereas the scenario you just described probably said something like, ďwe want to say thanks for buying a new hi-def TV.Ē

Something that ties it to the event to get customers to recognize it and want to open the email, and then you give them a gift like the one you just talked about.

Chris Baggott: Right. It is database marketing, direct marketing one-on-one.

What salesmen were doing back in the fifties was tough was to give customers a free gift, have a great catch line, engage people, get them excited and emotionally involved, and make them happy to do business with you. People buy from people, and people buy from people they like.

The only thing really different now is that the tools are better. A lot of the stuff Peppers and Rogers were talking about in 1992 was before anyone could even imagine the Internet.

Eric Enge: Right. They understood the people.

Chris Baggott: Exactly.

Eric Enge: Say the publisher of a website gets millions of visitors a month. Any tips on how they should go about building their mailing list from their audience?

Chris Baggott: I wrote a book on this, called Email Marketing by the Numbers. These publishers have to make it work the customersí way, because specific offers are finite. This home improvement retailer I was talking about ran a very successful program from an acquisition standpoint, where they offered their customers the opportunity to sign up for twelve days of offers, right before Christmas. This was about four years ago, but it worked phenomenally well.

They sent out twelve emails, one every day, and every single email they sent was another opportunity for the customer to engage at another level. They are opting in for a minor commitment before they make a big commitment, so the company had to compel its customers during those twelve days in order to take another offer.

This is typical in the B2B world, and you do the same thing with whitepapers and webinars, things that are short-term commitments. I don't want to get your newsletter or be on your list. The whole model where I have to signup for its newsletter and then get its email every week is outdated. It's the same thing as trying to get me to join your Facebook club. I don't need that.

I want the company to solve my problem right now. If I come to a site looking for a digital camera, I want a digital camera. Offering me ten tips for taking great seasonal photos or some kind of curriculum marketing like that, which is compelling and is a small commitment leading to a bigger relationship, is a much better option.

Eric Enge: Talk a little bit about Compendium and what you are doing there.

Chris Baggott: Compendium is a platform designed to take an organization's blog content and direct it towards Search Engine Optimization. I previously had this opportunity in my life in ExactTarget, where I had this blog called Chris Baggott's Email Marketing Best Practices.

It was a very good blog, as it got me a book deal with Wiley, and one with Forbes Magazine. It was successful from a thought leadership standpoint, which was important back in 2002 and 2003. Then I found myself doing some SEO and trying to rank for terms like "list building strategies", for example. I talk about list building strategies in my blog about 200 times, but you'll never find my blogs using search. I thought if I had a blog called "list building strategies", and if I put all of my content about list building strategies on that blog, I would probably rank highly on that term as well.

A compendium by definition is a collection of similar writings. In our system, a blogger who is typically an employee of a company creates content, and we incorporate a keyword suggestion tool and a keyword strength meter. They usually know the keywords that the company wants them to be using as a part of their normal language. We are definitely not trying to get into keyword stuffing, just good basic keyword rich content.

This keyword meter basically is a little bar that goes from red to green, so if someone writes a good blog post, it's going to turn green. When that post is submitted, our system has an algorithm that reads that content, understands the keywords in the taxonomy, and applies it to what we call a compended blog. If I am writing about "list building strategies" and I've got a blog called "list building strategies", I am going to apply that content to the blog "list building strategies".

We are organizing the content of the organization around topics and keywords, as opposed to organizing it around authors. Nobody really cares about the author, and that's kind of a big shock to a lot of bloggers. If I've got customer service people blogging, ultimately as a searcher I care about my problem and how credible the author is as a source to solve my problem.

If a blogger is telling stories about how they solve problems for people like me all day long, I am going to land on that page, and I don't really care who the author is. I care about the company, the solution, the products, the services and things like that.

We are just about to launch a study we've been doing, called ďwho is your audience? ď This really comes down to traffic source. So many blogs talk about audience as if you have readers who will be coming back to the site tomorrow. The reality is that the vast majority of business blog traffic is coming from first time visitors. They are coming either through search or through referrals, and they are most likely not coming back. They are first time visitors, and they just want to solve their problem.

They are not going to subscribe and they are not going to take your feed, because you've already helped them with what they needed. Thatís the idea behind Compendium. Our clients are almost anybody, and we consider ourselves a database marketing company, data-driven where we are trying to deliver a message.

We look at a keyword as a mailbox, and I am going to put a message into that mailbox and then wait for somebody to come by and open it. I know everything about that person except their name. I usually can tell the geography, the volume, the conversion rates, I just don't know the name of the person. If I put my message in that mailbox, I know that 40,000 people a week or whatever the number is are going to come by and open it.

Eric Enge: Basically you are enabling employees of a company to participate in generating content. And your tool then automatically categorizes and routes it to the right place?

Chris Baggott: Exactly.

Eric Enge: That gives you a lot of leverage, first of all by enabling a broader group of people to participate in content generation. From a search perspective, you are automatically grouping it in relevant ways and not relying on a user to manually pick categories.

Chris Baggott: Exactly. I saw this thing by Vanessa Fox a couple of years ago, where she said search engines looking for that is about one thing. The problem with most blogs is that usually they are about lots of things, so people have to tag and categorize in many different ways. We need to take all that away and just build the page, so it becomes only about one thing. Say I am a Ford dealer and I have a page called Mustang, one called pickup truck, one called sports car, and another called Minivan. In a normal Ford blog, they would just write all that content on one page and categorize and organize it. In our system, this is all done automatically so there is a page that's only about Mustang.

Eric Enge: You must deal with conflicts between the categorizations so you have a post that could potentially go in more than one blog?

Chris Baggott: Oh, that's guaranteed. Thatís actually a desirable feature, so we make sure that everything has a canonical tag and we are clearly pointing back to what the original version was. Letís go back to my Ford example. Mustang is a sports car, so if I write a post about a Mustang, I want that content to go to Mustang.

I don't want it to go to pickup truck, but I do want it to go to sports car. Now, I might write about the Ford F-150 sport version, which is a pickup truck but it might also be considered a sport car.

Eric Enge: So what you do then is put it in both places and then implement a canonical tag so that the relevance occurs the way you want. So let's talk about corporate blogging. From a company's point of view, let's just talk about the key concepts and benefits to them for engaging in this.

Chris Baggott: It starts with the whole idea of wanting to be in social media. People come to us because they feel like they are missing something and they should be doing this, but they are not sure why or how. As a software-as-a-service solution, there is no technology that our clients need to worry about. One of the main reasons employees and customers don't blog is because they don't trust bloggers, so this is why we have a compliance layer. This way, when content gets created, it runs through a workflow, and we can direct it to various places.

Marketing and legal can have approval rights, and no content gets approved until it goes through this workflow. That makes the corporation and the businesses very comfortable by freeing up a lot of people to write content. On the other side, everyone wants to be participating in social networking, and that really comes down to freeing up people and being transparent. How can I be transparent in a controlled environment, freeing up the people who actually are on the frontlines to tell the stories?

The great element of this is the whole compending process, which organizes the content to help it rank better in search engine, but also drives a lot of user engagement. We see really, really low bounce rates and really high click through rates because the stories are compelling. Paula Berg of Southwest always talks about the blog being the hub of the social media strategy. If the blog is the hub, I need to feed this out lots of ways like Twitter and Facebook.

The vast majority of traffic is going to come through search, but that doesn't mean Twitter traffic is unimportant. It's still worth doing, and by having this hub, you get all the benefits of a central place to have your message, and then a launching pad to get it out through lots of different mediums, including search, which is the most important.

Eric Enge: Corporate blogging is one component of social media. There are a lot of other components, ranging from forums to Twitter to Facebook and YouTube, and all these sorts of things. Do you have some thoughts that you can share on how a company can engage with all this stuff?

Chris Baggott: Well, there are lots of different ways. We are working with a large travel company right now, and we have not launched this project yet so I really can't talk about it. But the concept, which I think is great, is that itís one thing to get people to follow the company, but if I can get the customer to share his or her thoughts, itís even better. If I book a trip to Hawaii, for example, this company is going to send me an email saying they would love to hear about my family's trip to Hawaii. They are going to give me this place to post my pictures and basically write a blog post. Once I hit submit, it goes through approval, goes live, and triggers an email back to me thanking me for my post and telling me they just featured my trip to Hawaii on their blog

This content is going to help them win searches on Hawaii, because they are going to get thousands of stories about Hawaii, just as an example. Secondarily, I am going to share that myself. I am going to email all 50 of my relatives and 500 of my friends. I am going to push it out through my Twitter feed, and I am going to feature it on my Facebook bragging that I just got featured on XYZ travel company's website.

This word of mouth that I am providing for the company through my own social channels is going to provide a nice, healthy glow for the company and add measurable ROI. They are going to focus on conversion, and that's one of the big things that we haven't talked about. Companies are really starting to focus on conversion of their blog traffic. Corporate blogs are usually dead ends. There is no place to go, and there is nothing to do. The last time I was at Best Buyís blog, I could find it by typing in something about 1080 DPI television sets, but there was no way for me to actually buy a 1080 DPI television set through that blog. So companies are getting a lot smarter about that.

Eric Enge: The nice thing about the email scenario you talked about was when somebody buys a product, or a trip in this case, and the company emails the customer asking them to talk about their trip, the company is creating that point of engagement, and then the social thing happens.

Chris Baggott: Right. I don't care how many followers I have on Twitter anymore, it's a whole different dynamic. My wife has 500 email addresses, she is on a hospital board and we have four kids in school activities. She is not on Facebook or Twitter, but trust me she has an extensive social network through her AOL email address book.

If you feature her new $25,000 kitchen on your blog, she doesnít care if it is a blog or a website. She is going to send a hundred emails out to all her friends telling them to check out her new kitchen, which was featured on this retailer's site. Again, it's not about how many followers this retailer has, and it's not about publishing it on their Twitter feed, itís about using this as an acquisition tool by getting her to help the company sell its product. If a company makes its customers really happy by making them feel famous and special, that's a relationship, and the customers are going to do something nice for the company too.

I wish it wasn't called a social network. I wish it was called the human network, because itís about being human, and human beings listening to each other.

I love going back to Zig Ziglar, and another quote I use all the time is one from Tom Hopkins, who said that the #1 sales tactic in the history of mankind is the similar situation sale. If you tell me how you've solved a problem like mine for someone just like me, I am going to trust you to solve my problem.

Think about corporate blogging and freeing up employees to tell similar situation stories all day long. The odds of you telling a story about someone like me becomes pretty good. We try and humanize whatever we do. If I am a customer and I talk to someone from a company on the phone, how come my emails don't come from that person? Well, they should.

Those are easy, data-driven touches that just make it human. They are going to send me a follow-up email, and they are going to send me a confirmation email anyway. Why just send me a blank piece of text telling me that what I ordered will be delivered on this day? Why not send me a nice, engaging, human-based email from the person I dealt with within the store. If Bob sold me the TV, how come Bob isn't sending me the email confirming my delivery? So I really prefer the term human over social, but I guess they are getting to be interchangeable.

Eric Enge: People tend to think of Facebook as a network, and that's constraining because the people you reach probably use dozens of networks.

Obviously, the web has enabled an awful lot of new ways for people to connect from social media perspectives. I have a 14-year-old daughter who basically doesn't use email anymore, because email is for old people. She texts, and that's her primary mode of communication. If she actually uses the phone as a device to actually call someone, it's pretty unusual.

I also have a 16-year-old son who communicates with his friends through Facebook. So when we look at all this, what are your thoughts on how social media has remade the Internet?

Chris Baggott: I have kids the exact same ages, so I see the exact same phenomena. There are going to be so many different kinds of media, and you've got to have a way to distribute the right message to the right people at the right time. I also think that the world that you and I play in right now, which is search, is becoming more and more important as well. Kids can communicate and ask questions amongst each other, but when they seek something, they are immune to marketing messages. They are immune to advertising, but they are very well-trained to go to Google and ask for what they want.

My 9-year-old uses Google searches for his homework. I was really surprised when comScore came out with its report on the number of searches people do a day. I was thinking that that number might start going down, but it was up 47% between 2007 and 2009. People are searching more than ever, and every business has to consider that as a real important media.

Eric Enge: Marketers talked about the potential for a paperless office for years, where computing and electronic communication was supposed to eliminate the need for paper. Guess what, we continue year after year to consume more paper than ever before. What we did was actually enable the consumption of more paper. Perhaps social media will enable more search.

Chris Baggott: The other point is that my daughter, who claims she doesn't use email, gets an email every time someone posts on her Facebook wall. I see that she has twenty people writing something to her on her wall everyday, so I know she is using email because each one of those triggers an email. Itís kind of a myth that email is going anywhere.

The other interesting aspect to consider is where privacy really plays in with all of this. Everyone was up in arms about Mark Zuckerberg's statement a couple of days ago that Facebook doesnít care about privacy anymore, or something like that. Everyone complaining was like 40, however, and the reality is that my daughter will probably never care about privacy. She has pretty much everything out there in a healthy way, and she is not worried about it. Maybe people my age care a little bit about personal privacy, but these kids, they don't care about that stuff. Are they going to grow to care about it? I don't think so, but it will be interesting to watch.

Eric Enge: Most people will feel that the convenience outweighs the fear.

Chris Baggott: As marketers, if we can take that information and make better relationships, why not do it? Iíve always said that Iíll give merchants any piece of data they need to make my life better. I donít care if American Airlines wants my toenails and my fingerprints, as long as they can get me through security faster.

All those things are coming true too. Our lives are getting much easier, and that's because we give up this privacy, and the trade off is that things get better for us. Weíll see where that goes, but I think it really is an interesting phenomena. I did this talk last year at Indiana University to the graduating seniors, and I I talked about the unintended consequences of the Internet.

When it comes to Facebook, many employers want to look at an applicantís Facebook page before they hire them, and a lot of students today feel like thatís not fair. What I say is going to give an employer a better idea of what the person is like, a piece of paper that says they had a 3.7 GPA and were in Chess Club, or their Facebook page?

Eric Enge: Of course there is the example of the woman who was about to receive a job offer until the employer discovered she was running an S&M site, and then suddenly thought better of it.

Chris Baggott: Those kinds of things are going to really raise some interesting questions about all this too. We talk about email and idea of delivering, and it's funny in the catalog business because I know what products people bought.

Why do I have to put only one product in the catalogue? If I know someone buys plaid shirts and I buy sweater vests, shouldn't my model have a sweater vest model in it, and yours have a plaid shirt? That kind of personalization where I see someone just like me in my body size, shape, color, age, all that stuff helps conversion because it helps build affinity with the customers. I am obviously very excited about all this stuff.

Eric Enge: What about SEO? How is that going to evolve in this environment?

Chris Baggott: I hope SEO is getting more content-driven, more personalized and more relevant. If you write good content and people like it, you are going to get links in our model. We don't do anything proactively as a link building service for our clients, we don't do anything on linking. We are simply helping them generate a good, healthy volume of the right kind of content, and then organize that content to get in front of lots and lots of keywords.

A lot of customers have hundreds to thousands of blogs, and feeding that content now is the ability to personalize search. Thatís going to become more keyword centric, and the idea of a long-tail is getting longer and longer. To me, that's a good thing, and it's certainly a healthy thing for our business.

We think that's a direction the market is going in, as it gets more recency focused and more content-focused. When Chris Baggott makes a search and you make a search at a different page, it still might be the same company.

Recency is coming to be a big thing, but I worry about it becoming too spamy. I think you've got to be careful about things. People talk about Twitter search and that whoever talks the most wins. How is that helping anybody? What's nice about Google at least is there is some semblance of intelligence.

Eric Enge: Well Google actually made some statements recently about how they were ranking tweets, and two things emerged. Part of it is how many followers the person has, but it's also about how reputable their followers are. Those are two big ranking factors, so they look past just like a simple count of followers.

Chris Baggott: Sure, but the important thing is how that scales. If I am doing a search on digital cameras, I could see the big searches, but again you start getting further and further out on the trail and there is no way to know which is the most reputed one. Itís going to be interesting.

What I do know is if I create a page called digital cameras in Columbus, and I talk about digital cameras in Columbus, I have a really good shot of winning that search. One retailer we are working with has 3,200 blogs targeting 3,200 keywords. They are in the top ten on 2,400 of those pages, and they are #1 on almost 800 of them. Theyíve only been at this for about four weeks, so that strategy obviously works, and I think will continue to work as long as they can continue to feed good, relevant content and get people engaged.

Eric Enge: One of the challenges is what to write about for digital cameras in Columbus that differs from digital cameras in Cincinnati?

Chris Baggott: Right, exactly, and if it is a factor of simply organizing it on a page. One of things we are going to start doing is making each of their six-page newspaper inserts 'a blog post.' If I am in Columbus, and make a search for a digital camera, I probably want a digital camera in Columbus and if I have a recent ad or a coupon for a special on digital cameras in Columbus, thatís good content that the searcher probably wants.

I may or may not want to read a review, and reviews don't scale, so I can probably have a review as part of the sidebar comment. Ultimately, I am probably looking for a coupon or a deal and a source that's credible for me to find this Canon EOS or whatever it is I am looking for. The question then becomes how different does that content need to be between Cincinnati and Columbus, and can it be the same content, just with a different title to the page?

Eric Enge: Well from a search perspective, that's basically seen as a duplicate page.

Chris Baggott: Right. But again, you have a canonical version of the original post. So, the main blog has the content, and then we'll also place it out here in these category blogs if you will. The question is, do I need to have some copy to go with that ad saying if you are shopping for a camera in Columbus, Ohio, here is our special today at XYZ Retailer. Title matters a lot, and so does competition. We are seeing that a lot in these examples, and I am not saying that's right or wrong, but that's what's happening.

If someone puts a small business website online or on Online Yellow Pages, and somebody else is competing and putting up new pieces of fresh content every single day on that page, the more frequent guy is usually going to win.

Eric Enge: Itís going to make for a world while we see all this stuff sorted out. When I was growing up, it seemed like disruptive events happened maybe every decade or so. Today, the pace of disruptive events has greatly accelerated, with Google and other social media sites. My own conjecture is that the pace is actually going to continue to accelerate.

Chris Baggott: I agree.

Eric Enge: This makes for an environment where no one knows what the world is going to look like in our industry two years from now. I don't think there is anyone who honestly has a clue.

Chris Baggott: No, that's right. Itís all about these technologies. A successful business is one that makes its customers really, really happy. Every technology needs to be looked at under the lens of making people really happy. You get what you want in this world by helping other people get what they want in this world. Just think if you keep a focus on the customer and on customer satisfaction, then you will be successful. That hasn't changed for thousands of years.

Eric Enge:Thanks Chris!

Chris Baggott:Thank you!

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Eric Enge is the Founder and President of Stone Temple Consulting (STC). STC offers Internet marketing optimization services, including SEO, Social Media and PPC optimization, and its web site can be found at: http://www.stonetemple.com.

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