As 2017 comes to a close, we’re nearing my favorite time of the year. I’ve brought my Texas-themed Christmas blanket – charmingly decorated with cowboy-hat-wearing snowmen and light-covered cacti – to the office, decorated my Christmas tree at home and spent the majority of the past month’s morning commutes singing along with the 1997 Hanson Christmas album. There’s just one last thing to do – finish up the digital media advertising reports for 2017! But what all should we study when examining the numbers?
Not once, not twice but three times. I have heard it, read it and said it a thousand times, content is king.
If you are like me, while I am at the office on my desktop computer, I also have my phone out for in-app browsing. Since the rise of smartphone and tablet usage, marketers have been focused on reaching users across their different devices to serve relevant content and ads. With the advance of technology and access to more useful data, cross-device advertising has become more accurate.
With the progress in digital technologies and access to audiences across the globe, the potential to grow market share in new regions and expand reach is easier than ever…in theory. The opportunity to launch global marketing campaigns that consistently communicate a company’s messages and differentiation is available but global programs are not without challenges. For the purposes of this article, I will focus on three main challenge areas – organizational, cultural/regional and tactical.
For some time now, people have been spreading an ugly lie about website development. You’ve probably heard it as many times as I have, although maybe you didn’t know that it’s untrue. They say, “Content is king.” Don’t believe them. While content is important – it keeps people engaged with your brand and helps them learn more about you, your products and your services – it simply should not be the ultimate brass ring of your website efforts. In fact, content is only a means to an end.
The true king of all is conversions.
A solid foundation is key to a successful digital campaign. Don’t be fooled into thinking that simply buying digital space, running an ad and posting on social media will create a desired result. In order to optimize the effectiveness of any campaign, advertisers need to specify objectives, determine metrics, develop creative that will execute against the objectives and include means for the audience to act. And don’t forget important details like strategic and tactical media planning, proper tagging and ongoing analysis and maintenance. Point being, the world’s best digital campaigns have a lot of moving parts.
Last month, a few of my colleagues and I ventured down to Austin, TX for SXSW. After attending countless sessions, eating my own weight in tacos and jalapeño-laced food, and walking a little over 30 miles in five days, I’m back in my office mulling over all that I learned. The most important lessons were about common data analysis and visualization mistakes and how to avoid them.
We are all familiar with the basic chatbot on websites. It pops up somewhere in the first few minutes of browsing a website and is limited to basic question/answer responses. Generally, these chatbots are used by retail brands to provide customer service. Until now, they haven’t provided value or even sufficient capabilities for B2B brands.
Like so many people, I am greeted each day by hundreds of emails. Many are from well intentioned companies that would like to help me solve problems, innovate processes and make more money. In other words, to help me be more successful.
As a generally optimistic person who is always hopeful that the newest, greatest thing that will take us to the next level is just a click away, I open and read. From time to time, something sounds so good that I will click through to a website to get more information. After all, M/C/C is in the marketing communications business, and we want to use the best tools available to help our clients be successful.
Continue reading “The Good and Bad of High-tech Marketing Tools” »
For this month’s blog, I was asked to list my top reasons for updating your site. But that topic is a red herring. You need only one reason to “update” your site – because you can. That’s the beauty of websites, versus TV commercials, brochures and other kinds of marketing communications. You can and should refine, create and delete content, functionality, design elements and images in order to improve your visitors’ experiences. These updates should be an ongoing point of focus. They should be based on analytics, and the changes should come monthly, weekly or even daily, depending on the traffic your site receives.
So the real question isn’t whether you need to update your site. It’s whether you need to replace it. At M/C/C, we’re big advocates of something called iterative web design and development. In essence, that means your website should evolve over time in response to user actions. If you practice iterative design and development correctly (and luck breaks your way), you may never need to build a new website again. Instead of launching a new site every couple of years, your site could just fluidly become something else over time through an ongoing series of small improvements. Having just written that, I will admit that sometimes even the best-laid plans go astray when luck doesn’t break your way.
Here are five instances when you need to put your website out of its misery: