Eating Our Own Dog Food

Watch as a technology-based digital marketing firm boldly experiments on itself

By Gregg Newby

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If you’ve ever taken high school geometry, then you’re sure to remember all those bothersome proofs. In geometry, as in life, nothing is true unless you can prove it.

The same goes for digital marketing as well. Many a claim’s been made about this approach or that, but few Internet gurus ever bother to back up their assertions with any evidence. Maybe this is why so much digital marketing theory comes across as indecipherable. With enough doublespeak anything seems true.

What makes EdgeTheory different is that we have long sought to back up our claims with verifiable outcomes that clients can build upon. Every client defines success differently, but at heart they all want the same thing: to generate more online business. What varies between clients is simply the manner in which they achieve it.

So rather than simply demanding you accept our techniques at face value, we’d prefer to prove them to you with measurable results. All you need do is sit back and watch while we do all the heavy lifting.

But what exactly is the EdgeTheory approach, and how in the name of Dickens are we going to prove it works? Actually, it’s not all that complicated. As for our methods, EdgeTheory is built on the premise that mass deployment of targeted messaging yields tangible business outcomes. You can deploy your messaging anywhere you like, but our preferred platform is Twitter. We prefer Twitter because it’s an open social network that gets repeatedly indexed by various search engines and other content aggregators. Send out enough of the appropriate content on Twitter and you’ll rise in the Google rankings as well. People will find you when they’re not even looking for you.

Thanks to some back-end technology we’ve developed, EdgeTheory is able to deploy considerably more messaging on Twitter than any individual — or even marketing team — could ever hope to accomplish alone. And it’s not all the same content, either. Our proprietary Graph database uses keyword substitutions and variations in phrasing to ensure that each version of a particular tweet is unique from the others. Let’s say an original tweet for a client selling mountain gear reads, “You can’t climb Mt. Everest without a proper ice axe.” The next time the system posts that particular tweet, it will choose phrases and keywords that render a completely different message. It might now read, “Never try to take an Alpine ridge without durable climbing shoes.” Later, it might tweet, “There’s no scaling a vertical cliff face without dependable ropes and footwear.”

As all of these messages get repeatedly indexed by various web crawlers, Google begins to sit up and take notice. The client then begins to rise in the search rankings. See how that works?

Now for measurement. Because EdgeTheory’s technology is built for deployment across Twitter, we’ve also created an analytics tool that measures our client performance. This tool — known as Kudzu — is able to count screen views, link clicks, new followers, and so on. It’s even able to tally the number of times a client’s tweets get indexed by crawlers. We’ll be using Kudzu to measure our own performance and openly sharing the results here on Medium.

But that’s not the only way we’ll be measuring our success, however. We’ll also be tracking our performance via certain Google search terms, most notably “conversation,” “conversation media,” “conversation technology,” and “conversation share.” Once this project has been successfully executed, a person who searches Google for “conversation” or “conversation media” will get a page one link leading back to EdgeTheory.

Actually, let’s aim a little higher and say that, in time, we want to land at the very top of the search results. This is no less than what EdgeTheory strives to do for all of its clients. Only now we want to eat our dog food, so to speak. We want to prove our method works by using it on ourselves.

So here’s what we’ll be doing: Over the coming months, I’ll be blogging around the topic of online conversation on the EdgeTheory website. You’ll be able to view that material here. As that blog content gets posted, I’ll also be blanketing Twitter with relevant messaging that leads followers back to it. Kudzu will then record the relevant data, which I will post and discuss here for you to review. We’ll also track our progress in Google page searches, which you’ll be able to verify for yourself.

In the meantime, there’s still some setup work to be done before the project can start gaining steam. I’m off to take care of some of it and to get the messaging going out on Twitter. I’ll be back in a few days to share some initial results and to say a little more about what we do at EdgeTheory.

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