Walmart has not been known as an innovative company (except operationally, where it has crushed the competition with its supply chain efficiency). “Everyday Low Prices” is not exactly the cry of the creative.

Over the past 20 years it has allowed Amazon to grow into the dominant online retailer, even if Walmart’s total revenue grew more than Amazon’s during that period.

Now Walmart is fighting back, and one area of focus is food.

Walmart is already the largest seller of groceries, with close to 25% of the market.

Now Walmart is trying to create unique, branded foods in its Culinary and Innovation Center. There they are working on developing bright yellow watermelon and candy-flavored grapes – and that’s just what they’ll talk about in public.

It’s similar to how Netflix and Amazon started by carrying other companies’ movies but then went on to create their own. If you want “Stranger Things” or “Orange is the New Block” you can only get them on Netflix, just like you’ll only be able to get that yellow watermelon at Walmart.

People shop more regularly for food than for anything else. That’s one reason that Amazon bought Whole Foods. If Walmart can increase even more its lead in the grocery business, it can also sell people many other items while they’re in the store.

While Yelp has 1-5 star ratings, in practice its ratings are:

5 – Amazing; get there tonight

4.5 – Outstanding, not to be missed

4 – Good. Recommended

3.5 – Avoid this.

3 and below – Out of business

Each Yelp star produces considerably more business. And why would you go to a 3 or even 3.5 when there are so many 4-5 rated restaurants around.

Unless the restaurant is owned by Food Network star Guy Fieri.

Low Yelp reviews

Fieri is immensely popular and his restaurants do well even with terrible ratings on Yelp and from critics.

There’s an old saying in marketing, “Nothing kills a poor product faster than great marketing.” For five years the Food Network jetpack has helped Fieri defy gravity. The curiosity factor has outrun the reviews. Maybe someday they will catch up.

When giving talks on digital marketing I often include a slide that shows what Google AdWords costs per clicks (CPC) can get bid up to in competitive industries. I recently updated the slide and found that for many keywords CPCs have declined by 50% or more since last year.

AdWords CPC comparison 2016 and 2017

So I did some research and found that people first started to comment on this in August. Many AdSense users – people who own sites where Google ads appear – were complaining that suddenly they were being paid far less.

But for advertisers and marketers this is a windfall. This may make search advertising affordable and cost effective in industries where it wasn’t in the past.

Bing has far lower CPCs than AdWords. And you can see from the chart that its older, less tech savvy users are really not searching for tech solutions.

If LinkedIn is important to you for professional networking, social selling, or other purposes, then you want people to be able to find you when they are searching. LinkedIn is a search engine, so you should optimize your profile for search.

You can see the search terms that people are using to find you if you go to your profile, click on “search appearances” in your dashboard, then scroll down to What Your Searchers Do

LinkedIn profile searchers

…and Keywords Your Searchers Used

LinkedIn search terms

Having Business Owners as the #1 group that is finding me on LinkedIn is good: those are often my clients. But the keywords that I’m showing up for are not really on-target. The second is possibly good (but kind of odd), and who knows what someone looking for SMB or “digital” is interested in?

In response to looking at this I went through my profile and added “marketer”, “business strategist” and other terms appropriately.

I was recently reviewing the Google Analytics website data from a company. They have 11,400 pages on their site, but 59% of traffic is going to just the 100 most viewed, and another 10% is going to pages 101-200. So fewer than two percent of their pages account for 69% of their traffic.

This is a dated website – it’s not even responsive (doesn’t display properly on smartphones) – and it needs a major overhaul. But with that many pages it’s going to take months just to figure out what to keep, update, and delete. And it’ll take considerable money to create the strategy and design for a new website, create entirely new content, and select, license and implement a new content management system, etc.

Meanwhile, by making the site responsive, which could be done relatively inexpensively in just a few weeks, and focusing on improving those most important 100-200 pages, they can see measurable results quickly.

Perfect is the enemy of good. Don’t overlook a substantial, quick improvement while waiting on it.

PS: Donors to schools and colleges are also skewed much more than the traditional 80:20 Pareto rule suggests. In many cases just 5 percent of donors give 95 percent of the money with a few, big gifts. What’s the Pareto distribution for revenue among customers at your company? Or for other key metrics?