Oct 19, 2009 by kellyv
Most small businesses know their business. They also excel at explaining how their business operates and probably have a supporting brochure that tells that story. This knowledge creates operational excellence. But, growth potential is found in identifying why customers buy, who is buying from the company, and how to connect with them; this is a reoccurring question for even the most passionate business owners. A marketing strategy is a foundation built on the answers to these questions, a strategy for success. Building a strategy can be simplified if it is broken into small components.
Moving past operational deliverables, a …
Jul 20, 2009 by Marissa Berger
Summer is here and we are seeing business people exploring the opportunities. Some want to re-structure their business to adapt to the current market; others want to start anew and follow their true passion. In today’s marketplace, any business endeavor involves the online world. Whether a website is needed just for informational purposes, or whether the website is the business itself, a website is needed, period.
But… not just a website… a good website. And, what makes a good website? Good planning. A website is a tricky thing to plan for.
- It needs to be flexible so it’s successful today and as …
Apr 20, 2009 by Marissa Berger
Blogging for your business can take a lot of time. To make your time and effort count, you want to make sure you choose the right direction for your blog. Business blogs can fall into three main categories:
Marketing blogs are designed to build traffic, awareness, and sales. The focus of your marketing blog can be to:
- help visitors understand and interact with your market
- raise awareness and visibility
- sell specific products
- support current and prospective customers
2. Public Relations
Public relations blogs are designed to enhance image and influence public perception. The focus of your public relations blog can be to:
Mar 6, 2009 by Marissa Berger
For a website to become a true marketing tool it must have a strategy behind it. To start designing or programming before having an agreed upon strategy usually ends up increasing the budget significantly, delaying the site’s launch, and making the development process frustrating and inefficient.
A true web developer… not a designer, not a programmer… but a developer who understands both business and the web will provide the guidance needed to develop such strategy.
A strategy should cover:
- Business research
- Market/industry research
- Competition research
- Website goals
- Tracking mechanisms
- Detailed scope specifications
- Site map
- Budget broken down by phases
- Time to launch
- Cash flow requirements plan
- Maintenance & marketing plan
The larger the business, …
Mar 2, 2009 by Marissa Berger
The term “site map” has multiple meanings when it comes to websites.
First, there is the site map we create when we start planning a website. This map is a visual representation of all of the pages on the site and of their organization. It typically looks like an organizational chart, with the home page at the top, the main site sections underneath, and the individual pages right under each section. Here’s a sample:
This map helps both clients and web developers to see the whole picture and to understand the hierarchy of …
Feb 26, 2009 by Marissa Berger
As web developers we immediately get asked: 1. can you do what I need? and 2. how much is it going to cost? The first question is easy to answer. The second is not. Why? The cost of a website depends on what’s going to go in it and what it’s going to do. And there are a lot of variables involved in finding this out. We have to ask a lot of questions from each prospect in order to put an accurate estimate together.
We prefer to turn this question around and ask the prospect: what is your budget? We …
Feb 24, 2009 by Marissa Berger
Whether you are thinking about developing a brand new site for your business, or considering updating your existing site, you need a plan. The success of your website, short-term and long-term, will depend on it. There are two parts to this plan. The first part revolves around functionality. The second part revolves around marketing.
Part 1: What is your site to do?
Don’t make the mistake of immediately thinking about deadlines and budgets. First, you have to decide what your website needs to do. Bring in your web developer at this stage. Explain your business, your internal processes, and your existing customer …
Feb 19, 2009 by Marissa Berger
You did your homework of understanding your audience when planning your site. You looked at the demographics and at the needs of each audience that might end up browsing your pages: existing clients, prospects, partners, and internal staff. You organized your content to match those needs and came up with a suitable navigation menu. You even paid attention to their screen resolutions and most used browser versions. Is that it?
How about finding out your audience’s online behavior? What sites are these users browsing when they are NOT on your site?
Why would you want to know? Knowing where these visitors “hang …
Feb 17, 2009 by Marissa Berger
Most people understand the saying “You Never Get A Second Chance To Make A First Impression”. However, it’s not applied to websites so much… and it should. Users get more and more sophisticated with time and have certain expectations of your website. You might be an expert at what you do, but are you communicating that on your site? Better yet, are you showing without telling?
That is the key. You want to show your expertise without having to tell users how great you are. This is done through a combination of engaging design, up-to-date good content, and good programming to …
Feb 6, 2009 by Marissa Berger
We have clients that come to us wanting to re-design their websites. The main reason they give is that their sites “don’t work”. What does that mean?
Sometimes the website is just fine. It’s designed well and it works well. But no marketing efforts have been made to drive traffic to it. A site like this one does not need a re-design. What needs to be determined is how to market it. Don’t blame the site. A site with no marketing plan is just like a physical store with no marketing plan. The only ones aware of it are the …