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Quality Rises to the Top

Last month we mentioned a great video from a Sony/BMG conference in Rome 2008 about the exponential develop of technology – the articles also showed a 1957 RAND computer promotional video, the key point the core messages about technology growth are the same.  

Anyway, the old link was broken but happily the video reappeared today via a viral email – such is the fundamental principle that quality content and production tends to rise to the top – by that I mean it engages with the audience (builds brand), informs (WIIFM for the viewer/ consumer) and motivates action (ie Seth’s megaphone/ Forresters Technographics online slots – to consume to create).

If it was Sony that put the video out into cyberspace then well done – this is clever thought leader branding.  

I should point out that the raw content is based on a slide show called Shift Happens

Some points

  • China will soon be the #1 English speaking nation in the world
  • Todays learner will have 10-14 jobs….but the age of 38!
  • The top 10 in demand jobs did not exist in 2004
  • There are over 2.7B searches on Google each month
  • There are more then 3,000 new books published every day
  • The amount of new technical information is doubling every two years
  • By 2010 it is expected to double every 72 hours
  • By 2049 a $1,000 computer will exceed the computation capabilities of the entire human species  (note: see creative economy) 

The facts are we adapt, the Y gens of today will be considered the dinosours of their grand children and so on.  One thing that stays constant in the world of change is the human connection – friendship, wisdom, trust and creativity.

Watch out Obama, Motrin Moms movement


Bloggers Ignite Brush Fire Over Weekend, Forcing J&J to Pull Ads, Issue Apology

Much was written about Obama’s use of digital social media and creating a Groundswell for the US Presidential campaign but with a budget of half a billion dollars most people argue you can pretty much do anything.

For most business owners and marketers it is totally understandable the Obama case study and use of the new fangled, time consuming  social network technologies such as Twitter, Facebook and Flickr is just too big for many of us to be able to relate to our own lives, businesses, products and services. 

But today (actually yesterday), every digital marketer has a new case study to roll out into their sales and marketing message – the Motrin Mums campaign.  (see Adage article for a detailed overview).

Twitter comparison #motrinmum

In quick summary, a minor Johnson and Johnson campaign was launched a couple of months ago, over the last week a murmur of discontent snowballed amongst mums who didn’t like the campaign, their discontent then moved online via Twitter, Youtube, via blogs then spreading exponentially.  Post Note: Already send ups appearing (see video) – Saturday Night live and Rove next!

The result, the campaign pulled and apologies all round.

As we all know online marketing campaigns require “cut through” to get attention – Seth’s Purple Cow.  J&J were quick to respond – it showed they were listening (are you?) and J&J can afford it but, what if this was your campaign and your hard earned advertising bucks? 

Yes, in hindsight we all wouldn’t have made this campaign mistake BUT does anyone think there was a deliberate intent to upset – I doubt it – many would say there are more important things to complain about.  Sideline – the facts are the decision makers will probably get a bonus for achieving “cut through” (the clutter) but that’s a whole different thread.  

What I’m interested in is how much response is a knee jerk reaction to critics particularly when there is a constant challenge to try and keep customers/ voters happy all the time?

That is, what is the balance between leadership and popularity? 

As any sales person knows, it is easier to say yes then no BUT what is the cost – personally, socially, economically to your business and brand and how to you respond to critics?

Enough for now, coffee time – full strength!

So you want a new website!

Convergence - Mark McClelland "she thought"

Convergence - Mark McClelland "she thought"

A new potential client has just been referred by a trusted source.  They are a Chamber of Business organisation in a region heavily focused on tourism so I’m definitely interested.There’s a fair bit of information below and I hopefully don’t drown you in it. 

The Current Website

I’ve had a preliminary look at the site and yes, there are a number of ways to improve.

First, a couple of questions.

1. Is there a ball park budget in mind?  How much it will cost is a bit like an open string.  What I’ve done is give you some thoughts and costings below.

2. Is there an Economic Development Plan/ Marketing Plan/ Research which we can derive a more detailed, specific brief?

Do you know what is the profile of the most desired target customers – couples, families at XMAS time; all year round retirees?

Why here? Corporate escape? Holiday?  Weekend?  What are the USP’s (Unique Selling Points)

Benefits? Which target group provides or contributes the most economic and social benefit/ spends the most money;

Who are the desired target market influencers, are they online and where are they? 

Engaging Maxys

From a maxys point of view we can either help as a digital media consultant/ project manager; new website development and/or ongoing website development.  

It basically comes down to size of the business, budget, resources and the nature of the relationship.

Digital Marketing Strategy

A website is just once piece of an overall marketing and media strategy – I’d argue in today’s media world the most important element.

All media should include a tag for the website.

Maxys can help you develop a highly effective digital media strategy.

Some other marketing questions –

Why would people choose you?  Family friendly, not overly developed etc.

What is the competition?  Typical SWOT analysis.  

All these type of questions help define “the brief” – the content and structure of the website. 

Web Development

From a web development point of view

Here are a few pointers.

1. Yes, Search Engine Optiminisation (SEO) is very very important – this is where most new customers begin their search.

Looking at the existing website source code, the current site is not optimised for search engines at all.

Today most people begin their search on Google.  What that means is knowing the most important keywords being searched – for example – “holiday Byron Bay”, “holiday Yamba”, “accommodation north coast” etc and then rebuilding the website so that it incorporates SEO throughout the design and content.

There’s then a whole lot of other technical things including ratio of keywords in content; keywords titles; links from high ranking sites etc that increase your search engine ranking but that all comes into design and development.

As an example –

Here is what we did for one of our business partners – RidgeFilms a Sydney corporate video production company by optimising their website (which we built).  

http://www.google.com.au/search?q=corporate+video+production+australia

http://www.ridgefilms.com.au

You know may on Google the top bar and the right column are paid listings BUT the most important (but difficult to achieve) is the FREE indexed content below the paid ads.  (Most people click on the indexed search results).

Ridge have been ranked #1 on indexed content on Google for their targeted keywords now for over five months.  
95% of new customers now come through Google.  They have implemented a customer centric/ testimonial driven approached.

Google is constantly reindexing so Ridge have an ongoing program to make sure they stay #1.  This involves the management of Ridge actively participating in online forums, press releases, updating news and event etc.  For their part the revenue generated far outweighs the cost and time.

Cost:  Initial SEO is included in new site design.  Ongoing depends on what skills and resources you have available – outsource or DIY.  

2. Website Development

From a technology point of view we develop all our websites now with the very popular Open Source Content Management System (CMS) called Joomla.  Basically Joomla is highly functional and gives you, the business owner the ability to easily update and manage your website content.  Please note, there is a requirement for ongoing investment, either time or money is maintaining the website – Google loves new content.  

Cost: Most of the Joomal code is FREE but some modules are commercial (average $50).  The real cost is in design and implementation. You can create a good basic website from $5-$10K depending on what functionality and features are required.  

3. Online Customer Engagement – When visitors get there.

Most website are pretty boring and ineffective so you need to cut through and grab attention.  Facts are people are busy and impatient – you basically have less than 15 seconds to grab attention before they’ll flick to another site.  

CLIVE

To get attention I’m a big believer in using video to bring a website to life and our new CLIVE technology to increase online customer engagement  http://www.clivevideo.com.au

A CLIVEvideo overlay is $3,500 for a 30 sec clip production which would include script writing and talent.  Three is also a monthly streaming cost.  3,500 plays per month would be $35.

Have a look at our customer showcase

http://www.clivevideo.com/About-CLIVE/The-CLIVE-Project/clive-customer-showcase.html

Corporate Video

CLIVE is very good but we also recommend video to tell a story – a corporate video.

A corporate video for example the SSHED http://www.sshed.com.au or Sutherland Shire Council http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=v-yQXE73FpU production costs range from $7,500 to $20,000 for a 1-2 minute promotion video.

Note: The key issue with video will be what sort of bandwidth the majority of your potential customers will be on.  If your visitors are from the major population areas with good broadband then video works great.  The other important element with video is making sure it is FAST and served via a global video server – what that means is a dedicated video server close to the customer.  Youtube is a cost effective video server (FREE).

4. Social Bookmaking.

The only other thing I’d add is the need to create community (local business directory; local blogs etc) around the website and incorporate social bookmarking technologies (links to Facebook/ Twitter/ RSS feeds etc).  

What you may want is to have someone actively building your online brand – tracking what people are saying about you and your competitors on conversation platforms such as Twitter.  http://www.twitter.com

This is interesting…

Twitter search on “Yamba” http://search.twitter.com/search?q=yamba

Twitter search on “Byron Bay” http://search.twitter.com/search?q=byron+bay

Look forward to speaking with you soon.