Nov 30

The new project triangle of marketing and web development

Posted by Mandy Minor, marketing strategist and copywriter   I’m sure you’re familiar with the project triangle: fast, cheap, or good, where you have to pick two.  It’s fairly ubiquitous; heck, it even hung in Stump’s Supper Club when I worked there in college.

Project Triangle

But with good marketing and web development projects the conversation should be about rushed, inexpensive, and perfect instead.

Fast vs. rushed: All good marketers will get you what you need as fast as they can.  But if you need it yesterday, that’s an issue of rush services.

Cheap vs. inexpensive: Cheap isn’t a word you want associated with your marketing and web development.  But inexpensive – that’s different!  We all want what we need to be inexpensive.

Good vs. perfect: Again, good marketers and web developers will deliver good work all the time.  Perfect, on the other hand, takes your project to a higher level and consequently requires a higher level of service.

So there you have it, the new project triangle of marketing and web development – and graphic design, copywriting, resumes, and all other professional creative services.  Rushed, inexpensive, or perfect.  Which two are most important to you?

Oct 01

When push marketing isn’t so bad

Posted by Mandy Minor, marketing strategist and copywriter   I resisted starting Twitter and Facebook accounts for awhile, but now I’m on both and like them.  They are two small parts of the new social-media-as-marketing applications.  I like them so much because they represent an economical form of push marketing.

TV ads are traditional push: Show your stuff on TV and the right customers for you will respond.  Works great, but takes a big budget.

Guerilla marketing came in to save the bucks but took a lot of time and required you to do a lot of work to ferret out a few “good fit” customers and get them to listen to your message.  Not so fun.

Now social media combines the best of both – push marketing, but to the right people with less effort!  Don’t get me wrong; your messaging must be relevant and meaningful, which takes work.  But you just write it once, post it once, and watch people respond.  Love it!

Every day I get a new follower on Twitter, and who knows?  They – or someone they know – could become a client.

Just be careful what you post.  Before hitting “post” or “update,” think about who might see your words; realize that they will likely live on the Internet forever.

Apr 01

Tickle me SEO

SEO is hot, smokin’, on fire.  Everybody wants it, even if they don’t know exactly what it is or how to do it.  It’s coveted almost as much as Tickle Me Elmo was a few Christmases back – we’ll call it Tickle Me SEO.

Thing is, SEO is just another marketing tactic.  It’s not a strategy or plan, but an actionable pursuit that you can – but don’t have to – use as part of your larger marketing strategy.  So when companies rush to jump on the SEO bandwagon before evaluating if SEO really belongs as part of their marketing strategy, they’re not doing themselves any favors and may be wasting money.

Before you pump oodles of cash into your website and press releases getting them “optimized,” follow this list of action items to make sure you’ll get the best of what SEO has to offer.

1. Know the purpose and goals of your online marketing.  This means spending some time determining what you want your website to do for you and what level of return would deem the SEO a success.  After all, if you don’t know where you want to go, how will you ever get there?

2. Know your audience, what makes them respond and take action (also known as psychographics in Big Words Land).  You may know that women between the ages of 18 and 24 want your product or service, but those women have a few different reasons for buying.  Only if you know those reasons can you appeal to them.

3. Create relevant content.  You need your website or press release to pique interest and motivate people to take action.  What does this is information, not flashy ads and declarations of how many years you’ve been in business.

4. Present your content well.  If you have a pot of gold on your website but it’s buried in a fourth-tier page, no one will take the time to find it.  People want to find what they’re looking for with as little effort as possible, so make sure your site delivers that.  If you need to bring in a navigation expert, do it – the investment is well worth it.  This step also means designing and arranging your site for your visitors, not the search engines.  People first, machines second – it’s the people who buy!

5. Test it out.  Have employees, clients, and friends spend some time on your website or read your press release.  Take their questions and comments to heart, because if they’re wondering something you can bet other people will too.

After you’ve built and tested an easy-to-use site with lots of great content you’re ready to optimize – if you even need to at all.  And now you know you’ll get a great ROI instead of just guessing and hoping like those poor souls who stood in line for hours to get a doll!