Good morning all – Jean and I had a great discussion during our video blog yesterday and we hope you enjoy it. However, if you don’t have time to watch it or take notes, we’d like to share some of the key points made. The next time you take on a new client, consider these questions or issues to raise, dialogue about and seek answers to in order to successfully manage your clients expectations.
1st Element: Understanding Who Your Client Really Is
A. Find out the type of personality they have & how they best communicate (email, text, telephone or in person).
B. Through discussions, try to extract the purpose of the website and their business goals even if they aren’t clear on them.
C. Stress the importance of branding & being clear about their business identity & its goals so that the website and/or branding efforts are successful.
A. What’s the vision of the company?
B. Who do they believe their customers & consumers are?
C. What do they think their consumers & audience want to see & expect from them?
D. Take the initiative through dialogue/research to get a firm understanding of their product or service and how they want to market it.
E. What are the goals they want their website and branding to achieve?
3rd Element: Setting Client Expectations for the Project
A. What is the projected costs & overall budget (with wiggle room)?
B. What are the time frames for benchmarks and completion?
C. Are you requesting and receiving all relevant content for each page of your website upfront? Consider how this affects time & workflow of project.
D. Are their images web-worthy (i.e. are clear, look professional), of high-resolution and large enough to scale down for editing if needed?
E. Have you established a good client relationship that can endure project delays and/or disappointments?
F. Can that rapport endure if there are issues with responsiveness from the client that affect workflow, benchmarks & completion dates?
4th Element: Clients Expectation for ROI
A. Make sure you set realistic expectations of the actual ROI and timeframe in which they might see the fruits of their investment.
B. What do you do with a client that has unrealistic expectations of ROI?
C. Explain why advertising their website is crucial once it is launched and the need for continued marketing efforts.
– They need figure out how they are going to notify current customers about their new website.
– Make announcements via Social Media platforms.
– Invest in marketing materials that reflect an online, worldwide presence.
D. Encourage them to think outside the box to market their website.
– If you’re a Mom & Pop, consider Small Business Association meetings, posting marketing materials in coffee houses & restaurant/business lobbies.
E. All businesses need to focus on and execute strategic customer outreach campaigns to see profitable ROI.
The Wrap Up It’s important to set the expectations from both parties from the beginning. Set your workflow & do your best to stick to it. Hold your clients accountable for their website’s success. Help them understand that the success of their website requires THEIR initiative, drive
& passion for THEIR business. Remember, good content does wonders for customer engagement and willingness to purchase the product or service. Understand it’s about client relationship & the longevity of that relationship.
The power might have gone out in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome for about 30 minutes but that didn’t slow down the momentum of 2013’s NFL Super Bowl XLVII powerhouse marketing commercials for this highly anticipated event. Yes indeed – the business of the NFL Super Bowl is big business for the marketing and advertising world. Anyone from car manufacturers to soft drink brands and celebrities alike want to capitalize on the most widely televised and watched American broadcast event. So although not a huge football fan, I couldn’t resist witnessing the branding and advertising giants go head-to-head in one of televisions most highly anticipated sporting event.
As highly anticipated as this years Super Bowl XLVII is, it’s got some benchmarks to surpass based on last years numbers. According to the International Business Times, “Super BowlXLVI (2012) was the most-watched television event in American history.” Check out this cool Super Bowl infographic created by Nielsen reflecting how much consumer exposure there is to the event as well as the marketing and advertising opportunity derived from this volume of viewership.
Despite the exposure upside of the jaw-dropping amount of people tuning in, equally jolting t a hefty price tag that viewership for Sundays event comes with. The price of a 30-second 2013 Super Bowl advertisement was $3.8 million and a whopping $7.5 million for a 60-second commercial spot. Needless to say there is big money coming from fat wallets to make you move, groove and laugh all they way to the brand loyalty bank.
Several talented advertising agencies and internal marketing departments pushed the envelope and some emotional buttons as power brands caused us to laugh, feel sentimental and gave us lots of eye-candy in these coveted commercial spots. Let’s see who ranks MVP among marketing genius with innovative concepts and content.
Game Time Advertisers – The Most Valuable Players
Get Happy with Volkswagen! You can’t help but to smile and even crack up thanks to Volkswagen’s innovative and fun commercial during this years Super Bowl. Their marketing team scores big points with the release of several teaser ads leading into their game day ad and a campaign that actually has some longevity thanks to branding not just the concept but downloadable music as well!
Coca Cola gets the most sentimental and socially conscious MVP award with their Give A Little Bit “Security Camera” Super Bowl ad. It reminds us that despite horrific school shootings and self-centered “team me” mentality, there remains quietly kind humanity across our globe. This ad will surely be one of the most memorable ads for me and many others.
Equally moving is Jeep’s “Whole Again” ad reflecting our nation’s wartime heroes, family values and unwavering perseverance all to the powerhouse voice of Oprah Winfrey. A smart move in the wake of our country’s wartime to reflect patriotism from one of America’s most well known brands – kudos Jeep!
Talk about guts for God’s glory! Dodge Ram unapologetically campaigned for brand loyalty with their Guts & Glory ad celebrating God and the life of the hardworking farmer.
The much-anticipated Super Bowl Halftime Show left not just the crowd, but I’m sure many of the football players, swooning as Beyoncé brought her A game with a high-energy, sexy & gyrating performance this year.
Post Game Winner
It’s not just the pre-game teasers and during the game advertising where brand giants coveted consumer face time. Some companies were smart enough to leverage marketing oppotunities even for the team that lost. Check out this unexpected and funny ad from Jello Pudding products for San Francisco.
So whether it was the funny commercials or the super sexy Super Bowl Halftime show, this years Super Bowl XLVII revealed great sportsmanship as well as great branding efforts. Stay tuned next week when I discuss the impact of Super Bowl XLVII on Twitter and Facebook and how brands leveraged these mega social media outlets to their advantage.
Last week Design Theory allowed the outside world an inside look at our audience numbers for our weekly blog postings via Peeking Underneath the Hood at Your Blog #’s. It was great to get feedback by email and comments on the blog as to what people thought of our exposure and how that helped them to consider the importance of analytics. Most companies should know that tracking their visitors through a source like Google Analytics includes hits from search engines, pay-per-click networks, email marketing, displayed advertising and the like. Off-site analytics, like the ones I’ve demonstrated here, are to measure not just the website’s current audience but also it’s potential audience and what we at Design Theory can do to create more opportunities, exposure and buzz (aka comments) about our services. So, the analysis of our web data helps to improve the website and our blog content for Design Theory and it’s visitors.
During the last week of September
887 Page Views vs. preceding week’s 994 Page Views
As opposed to last week, this week we see a significant increase in readership directly from www.jpdesigntheory.com. Additionally, the top referring website is still Google but there seems to be a little less traffic via Google UK than the week preceding and Google.com jumped 46 more than last week as well. Last week there were very few unique readers on Monday & Tuesday (how readers are tagged via a persistent cookie that stores and returns a unique id value so that Client V is always the same Client V whenever he/she comes back to the website) but this week, there are definitely more than its predecessor (361 vs. 221). That’s great because that tells us we are reaching new people and therefore more potential clientele. As far as the blogs go, Daphne & I are still neck & neck, which once again confirms that our blogs and tags are working well for us. Lastly, as ironic as it is, our top view location moved from Ulaanbaatar, New Mexico last week to Meriden, CT this week. I can’t explain that one at all! But at least it reflects the diversity of our readers and confirms that Design Theory has a worldwide presence.
During the first week of October
717 Page Views
What I also notice right off the bat is that Tuesdays readership fell drastically and I know exactly why. I was on vacation and didn’t blog. Yes that’s right, I did it…I took a vacation and I’m not sorry about it. And although I’m not happy the numbers dipped, it did provide us with some solid intel. It shows that I have a reading audience and there is value in the content I create weekly for the blog. So Daphne metaphorically DUNKED on me HARD but that’s ok. Despite having different titles and talents, we have the same goal. And that ultimate goal is increasing the ROI that those talents provide via the blogs and the work we do for our clients.
As detailed in the Audience Stats, our number of visits/readers let us know that people are accessing our website and whether or not we are capturing new audiences. However, something this particular report doesn’t reflect (but should definitely be considered) is the bounce rate. The bounce rate tells us how many people come to our site and quickly left it. Now there are plenty of reasons that happens. Maybe someone had to answer their door or walk their dog…but most often it reflects that they didn’t find what they needed or became bored with the content. There’s no room for ego when looking at these numbers I must tell you. Because what it does is identify areas that we could improve on like imagery, written content and the ease of navigation throughout the website.
So once again we learn, we grow and do better. I’m encouraged by our numbers while knowing there’s ALWAYS room for improvement and I look forward to continue to write and put out great content & tidbits to our readers and clients.
~ Content Writing Inspiration ~
The beginning is easy; what happens next is much harder. ~ Anonymous
You want me to do what? Something else besides read your blog or watch your commercial? Call right now? Give you the name of my friends & their email addresses? As if businesses don’t already require so much from the average consumer already, right! In the grocery stores, they want you to scan your own items & bag your own food. Don’t bother going into the bank when you can just do that account transfer yourself at home.
If you let businesses tell it, it’s really for your benefit you see…all in the name of quicker & saving you $. So when it comes to reading articles online, watching TV or surfing the web, Calls To Action (CTA’s) are peppered throughout just about every source of media to go beyond the current action of the user. For those unfamiliar with the term, a CTA is a statement imbedded in the content of the media source that summons the consumer to act. The goal is to implore the consumer to act upon information for the purpose of obtaining something from the consumer and most often, for making a sale. CTA’s often require an immediate response such as “call now, while supplies last,” write a Congressman to stop some agenda, or as simple as utilizing a coupon before a deadline.
So why are CTA’s so important in the first place and why are they a taking a leading role of so much media content? Here’s why: I have seen & heard of various marketing campaigns falling flat on their faces by failing to compel reaction from its audience. Although entertaining, a witty commercial can totally fail to sell the volume of product stocked in a warehouse because they lacked a clear call to action.
Terminology – Create, View, Buy Now, Subscribe…all are examples of businesses telling users/consumers what they want them to do. The words are usually short & concise because too many options & too many “too good to be true” statements turn users off. Word choice and terminology should always be relevant to the industry of the business. But in order for a business to see any ROI based on these efforts, they have to create a sense of urgency and/or create a limitation that once again, compels the reader or viewer to do something that is advantageous to the business.
Incentives & other “Bene’s”– Creative use of expiration dates and gifting incentives are very important in the world of CTA’s. In most cases, there has to be some type of incentive for the reader/user/consumer to go beyond what they are already doing. Such incentives may include a small token of appreciation such as a gift or discount that is relevant to they company or promotion of another business.
Make it Standout!I just love to see the little blue & white Cox Cable Digeez’ spin & flip around solving my internet & high-speed cable dilemma. http://bit.ly/CoxEspn3 Use of BOLD text, flash media and the like, as well as hyperlinks in web content are all tricks of the trade to peek the curiosity of the user to move them along the conveyor of consume & purchase world. So the main goal of both advertising agencies and media companies is to know how to stand out, get your attention and how to hold it long enough to profit them.
Use natural sounding phrases that are friendly yet enticing Use testimonials to encourage participation Use words that accurately describe the result of your interaction Don’t be overly verbose-create simple & strong CTA’s The bigger and more pronounced your call to action, the more chance it will be noticed and acted upon.
Google and Yahoo have always been on different paths in the quest for being king of the hill among search engines. But as I went to each site looking for Olympic updates & information, I noticed a glaringly obvious difference between the Gold & the Bronze when it came to their homepage content strategy for the 2012 London Games. As the two giants regularly tussle for domination of their sectors, is the competition fierce for the web visitors and advertising dollars during the games? As it’s been pointed out on several occasions, Yahoo has (or “is” based on opinion) a big branded advertising business and isn’t shy about it. Google is all search – you get no advertising on its homepage whatsoever. One could say that Yahoo’s homepage creates a schizophrenic type atmosphere and Google chooses to reflect why people go to any search engine at all – to simply search. Each has a diametrical perspective; which may or may not be shared by minimalistic loving web surfers or those who want to know everything every moment of every day.
Now it may just simply be “tomato v. tomahto” – all up to the users choice of flavor. Let’s see where these two rivals stand on the content podium for the 2012 Olympic Games looking at just this one, but VERY TELLING facet – the homepage. For this year’s Olympics, you can almost see the tumbleweed across Google’s homepage with nothing more than a clip-artish image above its unapologetic, simplistic search box. Whereas Yahoo completely capitalizes on the opportunity to lavish (and possibly overwhelm) you with up-to-the-minute stats on what sport is broadcasting, which country is leading in medals, and all note & news-worthy headlines from every vantage point of this historical event.
Could it be that the choice of a clip-artish image was a passive-aggressive “thumbing of the nose” at Yahoo’s voracious need for your attention? If so, Google gets benched on the therapy couch for this one…lol. But before they end up neck and neck for your search engine loyalty, what finds them at the same starting line is the intent of the user. If one chooses to be in the know, then Yahoo wins hands-down because it is in part what they do best. Yahoo hand-holds you every day, all day- showing you what’s hot (and not) and postings about every media event worldwide. They actually look to be a strategic partner with both their advertisers and users alike. So you are ALWAYS in the loop, whether you want to be or not when just searching for let’s say a great vinaigrette recipe.
Die-hard Google fans will say that their fearless leader displays a search engine decorum truly lacking in their competitor and that if people want news, the can get news BUT only when they ask for news. They provide a discriminating à la carte rather than a force feeding approach. At the end of the day, Yahoo hands down is a true entertainment portal capable of satisfying various entertainment and leisure users. For better or for worst, Google isn’t trying to be an entertainment portal, so it doesn’t even come close to competing with Yahoo in this regard.
So as far as the 2012 Search Engine Homepage Olympics are concerned, Yahoo’s neck is a little more laden than its competitor. Now I know that Goolge lovers might say that “everything that glitters isn’t gold”…Well I guess you’re not Yahoo then are you? LOL.