If it ain’t broke…find a way to break it!

The old adage, ‘If it ain’t broke’ don’t fix it’ is just too old fashioned to work anymore. Believe me, I’m old fashioned and I believe in tried and true methods, but the problem is that technology continues to evolve at faster and faster speeds. The result is many strategies or tactics become dated much faster, and if you’re not ahead of that wave, it will crush you!

I’ve seen it over and over, working in the music business when we would actually sell records (remember those!). Or when I worked at Circuit City which had over 560 stores nationwide, and disappeared in a matter of minutes!

It’s not good enough to monitor the competition and try to out-do their best efforts. You have to poke holes in everything you do, and be your own competition in order to fully stay ahead of the game. If your business is in the technology sector, this blog may be a moot point (at least I hope it is), but if you’re not in technology you still have to think the same way, because your customer IS in technology. No matter what you service or sell, your customer is searching online, using smart phones, apps and if you don’t measure up, you will lose market share.

This goes so far beyond having a website (and making sure it’s mobile), but even beyond that, are you truly focused on giving your customers the best experience possible at every touch point? I know it seems overwhelming, but the people at the top of your organization should be challenging each other in this way, every day! I can’t tell you how many times we’ve met with potential advertisers who weren’t really sure who their target market or heavy user is!

What if…is a great way to start the day, or a weekly meeting that digs deep into the ebb and flow of your operation. The scariest thing for a company to experience is success. As we strive and fight to get there, we look at every angle, inspect every transaction and rethink every outcome. Success can often cause complacency, and by the time you look in your rear view mirror, that little one-man shop that opened up last year, is now doing a better job than you, and taking most of your customers.

I recall working in the classified department of the Palm Beach Post, and a wise old manager said, ‘we have a problem…half of our income is coming from classifieds, and a little guy named ‘Craigslist’ is devastating the industry one paper at a time. We need to diversify…’

Well, anyone familiar with the newspaper industry and print in general knows that they did not break that mold quick enough and continue to struggle to replace that income.

I say, break something in your organization every day. Your partner or boss my not appreciate it right now, but in the long run, they will thank you!

5 Reasons why your coupons aren’t working (and why you still keep doing them!)

It seems logical that since ‘everybody’ wants to save money, offering a coupon can entice someone to ‘give you a try’, which turns into increased sales, and new customers.  The age old tradition of coupons seems to be bigger than ever. With the likes of Living Social and Groupon, coupons have reached an all-time high, yet there are many mixed results, let’s review some of the most common reasons why many coupon efforts fail, and how you can make improvements.

1. Nobody knows you – When you offer a coupon and you’re a relatively new company, offering a relatively new product or service, ‘couponing’ your way into the mainstream is not the most effective strategy. First, the perception of a coupon from a company that no one has ever heard of is that the product or service isn’t selling, so they had to discount it. Now you’re giving away your goods because nobody wants them, bad way to start!

2. No perceived value – Picking up on the ‘couponing’ mentality, if the consumer has no perceived value of your offer, it means nothing to them. This effect can come from the first point that nobody knows you, hence they don’t realize the value of your product or service, or your ‘15% Off’ does not entice them because they don’t know what the real savings is.

3. Competing on Price – Everybody wants a good deal, but when you create a business model based on your coupons you are sliding down a very slippery slope. Now you are training your customers (who may be willing to pay full price for the great value, service that you provide), to wait until you have an offer to come in.

4. Promoting ‘cheap’ instead of rewarding ‘loyalty’ – As coupons have the general effect of rewarding the ‘cheap’ to bring in new customers, it often does not create the loyalty you’re looking for. I believe all discounts should be tied into a loyalty program, rewarding consumers for being consistent patrons. This also builds a sense of partnership with your consumers as, they feel appreciated since not everyone who comes in with a coupon can get the same reward they do – hence they earned it.

5. No data – You print a coupon, you get the 1 or 2% conversion, bring in a bunch of customers who just wanted the deal, use the coupon, save the money, cut into your margins (many times coupons are loss leaders), and you never see them again until the next coupon. The worst part of this is that you don’t even know who these people are. You did not collect an email, ‘Liked’ us on Facebook, etc. All coupon offers should have an opportunity to be redeemed online, on your website of landing page, with a simple name and email opt-in so that you can build your database and not start from scratch every time you publish a new coupon.

These are the main reasons why your crazy cycle of coupon marketing is not working, yet you keep doing it.  On the occasional chance that it does work, it does not build up momentum from one offer to the next.

Let us show you a ‘Tradigital’ strategy can increase the results of your couponing by 35% or more, while building your own audience of engaged consumers on your website, email marketing and social media channels.

The Five Keys to Increase Lead Generation.

The ultimate goal of a direct response advertising campaign is to generate new leads, and close more deals. As marketers we look at many different angles and forms of persuasion as possible, but business owner look at one metric: ROI. If you’re putting a direct response campaign together, these five steps are crucial to the success of your campaign:

#1 The Offer: In any direct response campaign the offer has to be appealing enough to capture the interest of the audience in a 2 to 3 second window. This doesn’t mean you have to include the word ‘Free’ or ‘Buy One Get One’ or ‘half off’, etc – it means the offer needs to be clearly understood and offer value beyond that of the competition.

#2 The Delivery System: Whether you use traditional media such as TV, Radio or Print, etc making sure that you have a ‘tradigital’ approach is key in today’s marketplace. Tradigital is using traditional media to drive digital for maximum results. A very small percentage of consumers choose to ‘call’ as their primary response to an ad. An overwhelming majority will prefer to email, text or visit a website, which is why you need to clearly communicate the preferred response option in your ad. Our best advice is to use a landing page online or ‘vanity URL’, that speaks clearly to the offer and only asks for name and email opt-in to redeem it.

 

#3 The Process: Far too often the creative overpowers the call to action, or the offer is cluttered in other messages and agendas. Keep the message to one clear offer, and just as important, one clear way to redeem it or take the next step in the process. If the ‘call to action’ is not clear, you may have a good offer, or a clever message that only a small percentage of people actually act upon.

#4 The Response: If the consumer does not immediately get a reply when asking for information or redeeming an offer, you can forget about making that sale. There are too many competitors and too many other opportunities and options for that consumer to wait for you. Whenever you can add a ‘personal touch’ to that response, it only adds value and increases conversion rates.

#5 The Follow Up: So the fact of the matter, not every inquiry will result in a sale – which is why we have email marketing. Don’t think of 5 new customers out of 500 emails a failure, think of it as 495 new prospects that may need a little more nudging or encouragement, or maybe just a little more time to come around. A sound e-mail drip campaign will dramatically increase your conversion rates as email remains a very strong closer for those on the fence.

Keep these five steps in place and you will see significant increases in the results of your advertising campaigns. For help with this tradigital marketing strategy to increase leads or any other marketing challenges, please call as at Baldrica Advertising and Marketing Group, or our digital agency, ‘b digital’. Thank you.

How much should you pay for a website?

Wow, that’s a loaded question, and one that has many variables. For the sake of this blog, let’s explore the scenario that you, “the client” does not have any prior experience, and that there is no one ‘in-house’ to manage or administer the project, and that is an informational site not e-commerce.

Typically a website is built in 3 parts. The first is the wireframe or blue print based on the needs / goals / wish list that you have determined are important. A good wireframe is the result of several good ‘discovery’ meetings that explore what the purpose of the site is, what a conversion looks like, and what the user can expect to find/access.

The second phase, once the wireframe is approved is to design the site so that it aesthetically meets with all of your requirements, as well the functionality/ tools & resource features you agreed on. If the website developer is experienced, this is where a great deal of that knowledge comes into play. The warning flag is to find your developer agreeing to all of your requests, without any question or challenges. The more you ‘want’ the more they can charge based on more development time.

This is why your initial discovery and needs analysis should be very clear and focused, and that your goals is to build a functional site, that can grow with your needs. I’ve seen many projects go over budget and overtime because the client wanted everything at the same time. Cover your basics, make sure the site is focused on a conversion strategy, and the rest can slowly be added over time.

The third phase is the coding so that the site becomes live and you can actually test all of the functionality and make sure everything is working correctly before it’s published for public consumption.

On average for a new site developed from scratch, you should anticipate anywhere from $750 to $1,000 per unique or “Index page”. For example if one of your pages is a blog, that is an Index page; each blog entry although it counts as a new page on the site, should not have any ‘development’ cost associated to it. Main navigation pages such as ‘About Us’, ‘Services’, ‘Results’, etc., are also referred to as ‘Index Pages’. The pages that are contained under each Index Page, typically referred to as ‘Content Pages’ require much less development cost because they build off of the theme and schematics already developed for the Index page.

A new site, like the one I described above, typically consisting of a Home Page, and 5 to 7 Index pages, which are featured on your navigation, and then 2 to 3 content pages under each index, would end up being between 10 and 15 pages. This is more than enough to launch your site, and should cover all of the information a visitor is seeking on their initial query. The site’s future relies heavily upon the original content added through blogging, updates and links with Social Media, and smart search engine optimization.

So, the answer to the question of this blog is: (for a website developer that understands the process, and implements a good conversion strategy), you should pay between $5,000 to $7,000 dollars.   The best developers never leave off your mobile version of the website, and can be included in this range or add an additional $500 to $1000 dollars for a basic mobile version of the site.  

Of course, there are many variables, and a site that integrates back-office enterprise functions as well as an APP can easily run you $50,000 to $100,000 or more. This post is a good gauge for an effective website that will start generating leads, and move you in the right direction. If you’re in need of a new site, or require updating your current one, feel free to contact us for a website evaluation and make sure that your endeavor gets off to the right start.

7 Reasons you need a mobile website

These are the Top-7 reasons a mobile website is no longer optional for business (as posted by Jennifer Gaines).  If you need more reasons, just keep track of your own mobile habits!

  •  51% of business travelers use mobile devices to get travel information. (Google/OTX, The Traveler’s Road to Decision, 2011)
  •  70% of all smartphone owners use their mobile device while they’re shopping. (Google/OTX, The Mobile Movement, U.S., 2011)
  •  By 2015, more Americans will access the Internet on their mobile device than on their PC. (IDC, 2011)
  • Users expect their mobile experience to be as good as their desktop experience. (Compuware, What Users Want from Mobile, 2011)
  • Users take action on mobile-friendly sites. 1 in 5 website visits lead to an immediate call to the business. (DudaMobile Internal Data, 2011
  •  There are 7 billion people in the world. About 2 billion people are connected to the Internet. And 1 billion have smartphones where they can (and will) access the mobile web. (Eric Schmidt MWC Feb. 2012)
  • You risk losing business if you don’t have a mobile site. Nearly 2 in 3 users are unlikely to return to a mobile site where they had trouble and 40% said they’d visit a competitor’s mobile site instead. (Compuware, 2010)

 

Web.com ‘Small businesses consider mobile marketing crucial to growth’.

This article was so timely and amazingly well done, we had to re-post the highlights here. To view the complete article we have provided the link below.
In recognition of national Small Business Month, Web.com announced results of a Small Business Mobile Survey.

  • 69 percent of small businesses consider mobile marketing crucial to their growth in the next five years.
  • It found that while 69 percent of small businesses considered it critical, a majority had not taken full advantage of mobile marketing.
  • 82.2 million of the 234 million U.S. mobile customers use a smartphone. ComScore measures digital marketing.

The seven key findings:

• Key to growth.

Mobile presence is lacking:

  • The 69 percent of the small businesses surveyed who agreed that mobile marketing is a key to their growth said they will consider increasing their mobile spend this year.
  • While 60 percent of small businesses surveyed have a website, only 26 percent have a mobile-friendly website. Such websites have the same layout and content as the standard site but are adjusted to suit smartphone screens.
  • An even smaller percentage, 14 percent, of small business owners have a stand-alone mobile website, in which the content and layout is designed specifically for mobile purposes.

Mobile presence boosts business:

  • 84 percent of small businesses with a current mobile presence see increases in new business activity.
  • 14 percent have a stand-alone mobile website, of which 84 percent indicated that they have seen an increase in new business activity because of their mobile-marketing efforts.

“This alone serves as validation to make the move into mobile for the majority of small businesses that are skeptical to invest in mobile efforts,” it said.

 Mobile search strategies lacking:

  • More than 61 percent of small businesses currently do not have a mobile search strategy. Web.com said they are missing out on consumers trying to find them via a smartphone device.

Serving existing customers:

  • The biggest motivation to embrace mobile is to provide better serve to existing customers.
  • Asked to rank their top motivations to invest in mobile marketing, small business owners indicated their top three motivations were to provide better service to existing customers (38 percent), attract more local customers (36 percent) and gain a competitive advantage (34 percent).

Lack of time and resources:

  • The survey found that 64 percent of small business owners also are acting as their one-person marketing team. “This puts pressure on the small business owner to wear multiple hats and find the time to build a mobile presence besides running other aspects of their business,” it said.

Spending more this year:

  • The survey found that 64 percent of small businesses will spend more on mobile marketing this year. It explained that 64 percent of the small business owners surveyed expressed an intention to increase their mobile investments this year.
  • Another 33 percent indicated that their mobile spending this year will remain the same as last year.

b digital agency is proud to offer mobile website services. We can create a stand-alone custom mobile site for a competitive price and a 5-day turn around time. Even without a website, we can create a mobile site so don’t put it off any longer! Contact us today for a free consultation.

The survey was conducted online via social networks from April 5-12 among 500 small business owners, defined as those having fewer than 100 employees.Web.com Group provides Internet services and online marketing solutions for small- and medium-sized businesses.

http://www.jaxdailyrecord.com/showstory.php?Story_id=536571