In the WordPress community there’s a guy who’s become something of a legend. Joost de Valk is so famous that he’s become known by a single-word, almost-the-English-pronunciation-of-his-name nickname.
Yoast is a big deal.
Yoast has written some of the most-used WordPress plug-ins, including Yoast SEO, widely considered the gold standard of WordPress plug-ins for search engine optimization. How big a deal is Yoast? Search for “yoast seo” and Google ranks the Yoast web site at position #1. In fact, it ranks four different references to yoast.com ahead of WordPress SEO by Yoast‘s page in the WordPress Repository:
This despite the fact that the WordPress Repository, which is where Yoast SEO began its trek to market dominance, is the best place to promote a WordPress plug-in.
Yoast is so big that the official name of his WordPress SEO plug-in is WordPress SEO by Yoast. And WordPress doesn’t allow use of the word “WordPress” in product names. Yoast simply plays by different rules than anyone else in the WordPress universe, where not only WordPress publisher Automattic but most members of the WordPress community treat you as a pariah for this behavior.
Kim Gjerstad gives a little shout-out to Yoast in his 360-degree marketing presentation for MailPoet at WordCamp 2013. But aside from the name-drop, Gjerstad had a very real point to make; WordPress plug-in marketing has exposed a fallacy that’s long been a staple of business projections. The idea behind thoughts like “if we can just penetrate x% of the market … “ is no longer meaningful. Business has evolved, fragmented, and become in many cases so specialized that measuring success against a piece of a big pie doesn’t mean anything:
Powerful stuff, and largely true. I alluded to this in our previous piece; sometimes your product isn’t what you think it is and isn’t what people believe it to be when they first come across it.
As difficult a marketing conundrum as that may be, it’s also emblematic of the base changes taking place in business today. I happen to have had a back-and-forth with a long-time client yesterday about this very issue; what do you do when business is changing all around you and you don’t quite understand what the changes mean?
The answer, of course, is that you talk to The Answer Guy. We’ll get your business change and the way you implement and manage your business processes under control, so your marketing can work as well as MailPoet’s.
Or if you prefer, you can keep chasing unmeasurable and unattainable market share and market penetration numbers.