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Moz: A New Beginning

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A New Beginning
Rand Fishkin | Moz All Hands | June 2013

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Topics:
1. Moz’s Core Purpose, Values, Strategic Vision, and BHAG
2. Our Key Initiatives for the next 12 months
3. Making ...

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Moz’s Core Purpose, Values,
Strategic Vision, and BHAG

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Moz: A New Beginning

  1. A New Beginning Rand Fishkin | Moz All Hands | June 2013
  2. Topics: 1. Moz’s Core Purpose, Values, Strategic Vision, and BHAG 2. Our Key Initiatives for the next 12 months 3. Making TAGFEE Actionable 4. Q+A
  3. Moz’s Core Purpose, Values, Strategic Vision, and BHAG
  4. Why Does a Company Exist? “Many people assume, wrongly, that a company exists simply to make money. While this is an important result of a company’s existence, we have to go deeper and find the real reasons for our being. As we investigate this, we inevitably come to the conclusion that a group of people get together and exist as an institution that we call a company so they are able to accomplish something collectively that they could not accomplish separately—they make a contribution to society." - David Packard
  5. Vision-Based Framework
  6. Defining Core Purpose Purpose (which should last at least 100 years) should not be confused with specific goals or business strategies (which should change many times in 100 years). Whereas you might achieve a goal or complete a strategy, you cannot fulfill a purpose; it is like a guiding star on the horizon -- forever pursued but never reached. Yet although purpose itself does not change, it does inspire change. The very fact that purpose can never be fully realized means that an organization can never stop stimulating change and progress. - Jim Collins
  7. Our Core Purpose (aka “Mission”) Moz's mission is to help people do better marketing.
  8. Defining Core Values Core values are the essential and enduring tenets of an organization. A small set of timeless guiding principles, core values require no external justification; they have intrinsic value and importance to those inside the organization… Ralph S. Larsen, CEO of Johnson & Johnson, puts it this way: "The core values embodied in our credo might be a competitive advantage, but that is not why we have them. We have them because they define for us what we stand for, and we would hold them even if they became a competitive disadvantage in certain situations.“ - Jim Collins
  9. Our Core Values Transparent Authentic Generous Fun Empathetic Exceptional
  10. Defining Strategic Vision Strategy takes what you want to achieve and develops a plan to get there. From strategy you can develop tactics and implement them. For me, strategy is as much about what you are not going to do as what you are going to do. Strategy is important because the resources available to achieve your goals are limited. - Fred Wilson
  11. We Believe (and have evidence) that Marketing Spend & Effort Will Shift from the Red to the Blue
  12. Our Strategic Vision Power the shift from interruption to inbound marketing by giving every marketer affordable software to measure and improve their efforts.
  13. Moz Analytics, Local, and Alerts are all designed to help marketers here
  14. In the future, we might help marketers in these areas, too.
  15. Defining a BHAG To build a visionary company, you need to counterbalance its fixed core ideology with a relentless drive for progress. One way to bring that drive for progress to life is through BHAGs (short for Big Hairy Audacious Goals). With his very first dime store in 1945, Sam Walton set the BHAG to “make my little Newport store the best, most profitable in Arkansas within five years.” As the company grew, Walton set BHAG after BHAG, including the still-in-place goal to become a $125-billion company by the year 2000. The point is not to find the “right” BHAGs but to create BHAGs so clear, compelling, and imaginative that they fuel progress. - Jim Collins
  16. NASA’s 1960s BHAG To put a man on the surface of the Moon, and return him safely to the Earth.
  17. Our BHAG One million people paying to use Moz’s products by May 29th, 2018
  18. 2007-2013: 21,616 Subscribers, 2.16% of our goal.
  19. 2013-2018: 97.84% to go
  20. Moz’s Strategy Over the Next 12 Months
  21. Our 5 Major Strategic Initiatives 1. Increase customer retention in every cohort 2. Return to profitability 3. Reach a broader marketing audience with our products, content, and brand 4. <redacted> 5. Improve Moz’s company culture
  22. #1) Increase Customer Retention We believe it is achievable to cut each of these numbers in half in the next 12 months.
  23. Why Greater Retention? Low retention (high churn) is an indication that our software isn’t critical or valuable enough to the customers trying our product. High retention (low churn), indicates we’re building something our audience needs, uses, and loves. That’s one of the key reasons we’re here! Higher retention enables us to grow and improve profitability much faster. High retention improves the valuation of our business in a sale or IPO scenario.
  24. How Do We Improve Retention? Improve our in-app, email, and upfront product marketing to create better awareness & usage. Launch email alerts for Fresh Web Explorer to help better show the value of the data. Launch Moz Analytics, continue to upgrade features and improve based on customer feedback. Start our customer mentor program to engage 1:1 w/ our subscribers, help them learn our product, and incorporate their feedback. Build & launch Moz Academy to educate customers through video. Improve nav, design, user assistance and UX across our sites to make products more usable.Make Mozscape the web’s best link index, surpassing our competitors on the key metrics of size, freshness, accuracy, and correlations. Ensure great uptime & reliable access to data
  25. #2) Return to Profitability We made a lot of big bets the last 12 months and spent a lot of cash, too. We need to see them pay off before we can re- invest in growth at the pace we want.
  26. Why Profitability? Reduces risk of more extreme cost-cutting measures in the future. Lets us invest in new opportunities through cash flow growth Means we don’t need to raise any more capital or take dilution Removes the emotional challenges of having a limited runway
  27. How Do We Get Profitable? Increase the retention rates of our Moz Analytics subscribers. Reduce contractor costs, particularly in software dev for Moz Analytics. Launch Moz Analytics publicly and re-open our free trial customer acquisition funnel. Move the vast majority of our data and software off of AWS and onto our private clouds in TX/VA/WA. Grow subscription revenue by improving our marketing funnel from top to bottom (visits, CRO, etc). Grow our API revenue by fixing billing errors and improving data quality.
  28. #3) Reach a Broader Audience
  29. #3) Reach a Broader Audience 22 million local businesses in the US 70% say they use Facebook to market 1mm have claimed Yelp profiles Sources: Merchant Circle, Quora, Yelp, SELand, Bloomberg, Facebook 80mm worldwide claimed G+ listings 100mm worldwide in Apple Maps 11mm businesses have Facebook pgs
  30. We Will Do This w/ New Products Moz Local $TBD/month Serves small biz owners and marketers focused on local listings Moz Alerts $TBD/month Serves entrepreneurs, PR folks, investors, and marketers of all stripes Moz Analytics $99/month Serves professional web marketers focused on inbound channels Moz Data $Variable Serves software devs & enterprises who need link & mention APIs
  31. And Through Our Content/Marketing/Brand We have many guides similar to the Beginner’s Guide to SEO planned over the next 6 months. Social’s up first!
  32. Why a Broader Audience? Leverages existing data sources & talent to create more value for communities we already reach and for future customers we want to help, too. Gives us a greater long term opportunity to achieve the growth we (and our investors) want. Reduces reliance and risk on a single product, and creates revenue & customer diversity (valuable to investors/market) We need to convert a smaller percentage of a larger audience, and we can start to tap into early adopters in more fields. A broader audience will help give us feedback and ideas not present in the SEO world. If we want to grow, we need to reach a wider audience with our content and marketing efforts.
  33. How Do We Launch Local & Alerts, and Broaden Our Content/Brand? Alerts will use the technology we’ve built for Fresh Web Explorer. Adventure Teams! Local already has a team and Alerts will get one after Moz Analytics is publicly ready. Local will use the GetListed backbone, email lists, and marketing platform to get early traction. Publishing, e.g. our new Inbound Marketing book and a marketing book by Rand coming in 2014 Blog posts, videos, social sharing, and community Big content pieces like guides, ranking factors, studies, and surveys Participation at conferences and events in broader marketing fields, about broader topics Creating relationships in a wider array of marketing venues on and off the web through business development and partnerships Moz “CV” project to build a “Dribbble” for marketers
  34. #4) Redacted. Sorry!
  35. #5) Improve Culture
  36. What Does Culture Do For Us? Makes our professional lives more enjoyable, and helps us get through tough times and frustrating work Keeps us accountable to TAGFEE and to our mission/vision Helps us attract, motivate, and retain the best & brightest people; our most important resource Provides a consistent framework for how we work together that we can all believe in
  37. How Can We Improve? Eliminate negativity while supporting and acting on constructive criticism Improve our communication styles, channels, and processes Be more empathetic to one another by experiencing each other’s perspectives and challenges Create more consistency and transparency across teams and processes Return to a less stressful, more stable/sustainable, high growth environment Hire a VP of People to help take on ownership, strategy, and execution of these endeavors
  38. Everything we work on must be: 1) Mapped to one or more of these initiatives 2) Measurable with numbers that are made transparent to everyone at the company 3) Prioritized against other things that can move the needle on our initiatives
  39. e.g. Make Mozscape the Best Happier customers, because our data maps to what they see from their analytics, Google, and our competitors Make Mozscape the web’s best link index, surpassing our competitors on the key metrics of size, freshness, accuracy, and correlations. More loyalty and evangelism from expert OSE/Mozscape users Directly makes other products (FWE/Moz Analytics) better and more useful
  40. e.g. Make Mozscape the Best Comparison via AnalyticsSEO Some numbers we can use to measure, report progress, and define goals
  41. e.g. Make Mozscape the Best Big data team could instead work on: Google Analytics alternative Link analysis/building- focused features inside OSE/Moz Analytics Traffic estimation project Keyword research alternatives
  42. e.g. Make Mozscape the Best Big data team could instead work on: Google Analytics alternative Link analysis/building- focused features inside OSE/Moz Analytics Traffic estimation project Keyword research alternatives None of these feel as high priority or directly impactful to our current strategic initiatives
  43. Making TAGFEE More Actionable & Accountable
  44. TAGFEE Can Seem Nebulous This project should be more Transparent.
  45. TAGFEE Can Seem Nebulous This feature isn’t exceptional.
  46. TAGFEE Can Seem Nebulous Trying to ship Moz Analytics is not fun.
  47. Balancing TAGFEE Can Be Hard I don’t like talking to you while I’m eating lunch. TA but not GFEE
  48. Balancing TAGFEE Can Be Hard Sure <chew><chew>, let’s chat. G but not TAFEE
  49. Balancing TAGFEE Can Be Hard How do we talk about what went wrong with Moz Analytics? A retrospective might help, but it will take a lot of careful balance between transparency & empathy.
  50. All of Us Get TAGFEE Wrong Sometimes Are Sarah and Rand really firing each other if we don’t launch Moz by June 1? We were using “firing each other” as a forcing function, but it was probably in poor taste and not TAGFEE.
  51. We Don’t Need to Change TAGFEE
  52. We Do Need to Apply TAGFEE In More Places Teams (Functional & Adventure) Meetings (all kinds) Bi-annual Performance Reviews Weekly 1:1s w/ Managers Product Design & Development Website UX Marketing Efforts How We Interact With Each Other
  53. We Need to Make It Actionable In situation A do X and Y to make A more TAGFEE
  54. e.g. After a 1:1 where a manager has given critical feedback to a direct report follow up via email with that person to help make the process better documented, more transparent, and to be empathetic to folks who may not have perfect memories
  55. We Need to Have Answers to Tough Questions How can we be inclusive while staying agile? Which is more important, or does it vary based on what’s being done? How do we prioritize TAGFEE? What if being TAGFEE to one person is non-TAGFEE to a team or to customers? How can I better understand a project that I’m worried about without bothering/derailing the people working on it How can we give critical feedback that is still empathetic? When does it make sense to define a process vs. just doing something fast? When is it right to break an existing process?
  56. We Need to Give It Some Process These are Amazon’s core values made actionable (and probably a bit scrubbed for public consumption). We need to do some of this at Moz.
  57. And We Need to Make Ourselves Accountable How do we measure if feed authority is sufficiently transparent? How do we measure how generous FWE is or isn’t? How do we improve if we didn’t build it right the first time? How do we know if the product design process was empathetic?
  58. We Will Make TAGFEE Better Together As I noted in my Top 5, I’ll be working with some folks internally to brainstorm the right questions and answers over several working sessions. If you’re passionate about this, please email nicci@moz.com and join in.
  59. Rand Fishkin | Moz All Hands | June 2013

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