By Rishi | February 5, 2010
You know what the worst part of dealing with Big Brands are? People who hold the cash money reigns and dont know squat about SEO. Ok, let me amend that. People who hold the cash money reigns and dont know squat about SEO but think they fucking “get it”. I sometimes hate the fact that I get angry at my clients. I shouldnt. And the ones I do, I tactfully retreat and suggest someone else. Luckily I am that stage when I dont “need” to grab ass any job that passes my desk. I am not saying that I am gods gift to SEO, infact much of the inverse would hold true. I dont count myself as an SEO much anymore – after all its been a while since I have implemeented any hands on work.
I guide, cajole, track, create and craft strategies that work (or should) for Brands. Thats how I get my kicks, and thats how I pay the bills.
But the type of people that I have had to deal with in the past makes me wonder what kind of idiots make it to senior management. Now dont get me wrong, quite a few of the upper management, from Departmental Heads to CEO and Director level people I have dealt with deserve to be where they are. Fuck I envy their skills. Some are exceptional at their grasp of theory after only one session of SEO basics, and others are down right awe inspiring in how they adapt and understand the concepts you are sharing, without ever being exposed to SEO before. In fact the people I am working with currently are pretty switched on and its FUN to work with them. Shit SEO is HARD to understand. I think so. Nothing is really black or white, nor are there any textbooks that really explain what needs to be done. Every case merits indepeendent thought to get solved.
But the others? Those douchebags that sit there with a smug smile on their face assuming they know EVERYTHING. You know the ones. Those that think you are just another geek, not far removed from the IT help desk that they so inconviniently have to rely on from time to time? F_U_C_K. These dickheads make sweeping assumptions and decisions that not only doom their business, but can often hurt your credibility if you continue working with them .
They, my friends, are the destructive HiPPO’s.
I first came across the term when I started reading Occams Razor by Avinash Kaushik. Essentially a HiPPO is:
Highest Paid Person’s Opinion
The person who has the biggest pull in the desision making process, and as such most wills are bent to their will. And an idiotic HiPPO can really mess your strategy up. These are the guys who want you to rank for a keyword cause they think it represents the business best – not because it converts well or is even the target market. This is the person who doesnt give a hoot about doing it right, they want results either way. This is the person who decides on a whim to get rid of a core section of the site “because they didnt like it” without informing their SEO. This is the person who consistently shoots down valuable ideas just because they dont want to understand. This is the absolute arse that decides that its time to get involved in the whole “social media” thing because their neighbour’s five year old daughter’s friend’s aunt’s mother-in-law has a facebook a/c. He preps up for a meeting after a decent 20 minutes with the Bullshit generator.
This is Dilbert’s Boss. All I ask is get him the fuck away from my face.
Opening Photo Credit: Thai Jasmine