Archive for March, 2009

Crash Course: (Almost) 2 years and Counting

Crash Course: (Almost) 2 years and Counting

College. The best 4 years in one’s adolescent life. Pre-paid dining cards, daytime naps, endless free time, (sometimes) free adult beverages. It’s all fun and games and then you graduate. What now? I knew I wanted to be the advertising business early on in college. I graduated at 21 and pursued a career in this field here in Virginia Beach and was lucky enough to land a job at Launch Interactive as an Account Coordinator. Here’s my crash course on what I’ve learned in the last 2 years and counting:

1)    There’s Nothing like Being Thrown in the Trenches

You think you know…but you have no idea. Sure in college, you take classes in advertising/web design/marketing but they hardly teach you the down and dirty of this business. I had a fantastic professor at JMU that taught advertising and I rocked the tests if I do say so myself, but nothing will prepare you for this industry. It’s fast-paced, always changing, stressful and definitely worth every minute you put into it. Experience is the best form of learning – make mistakes, pick yourself up, learn from them, and move on.

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Reinventing the Wheel…Again. Reasons To Redesign Your Site

Reinventing the Wheel…Again. Reasons To Redesign Your Site

In Fashion?
We all know that style will eventually come full circle. But normally you have to wait at least a decade. Just like sporting the zippered parachute pants, websites are a  sure way to show the public that you haven’t been keeping up the pace. Investing the time and money in a redesign can bring you up to speed as well as improve how people are getting there. Technology changes how search engines are indexing your content. Do I even have to mention keeping ahead of your competition?

Online Brand Shift
If you Twitter and are on Facebook, then you know what I mean. Static informational websites are a thing of the past. With social marketing pulling impressions and perceptions of you, your brand and brand experiences in full-force, realigning your site may help connect with your audience. Putting the information on the page is one thing, but keeping your visitors engaged should be the ultimate goal.

Blind Handshake
There’s no way to put this lightly, but your site is the most important impression people have of your business. It is the most likely the first introduction and the most impressionable. If your site is less than professional, then there is no excuse. You just showed up for the interview unshaven and in a wrinkled suit.

Having a web site is no longer the first step, having a well designed and content-savvy site is. Make sure that your site is making the right impression for who you are as well as your clients. If you are embarrassed to send them there, chances are they are too.

Just like the “we’ve moved” postcard you get in the mail, sending your audience back to your site to experience your recent renovation can be a powerful marketing tool, especially in these economic times. There are also several ways to keep them connected through email marketing, blog or RSS feed. Like a lot of businesses, it’s even more important to stick to your core character and communicate to your clients your who you are.

Site First
It’s time to get serious about using your site to drive business, get new leads and communicate your message. Putting your site up is only part of it. You have to make sure that you are getting results and pushing all of your other marketing efforts towards your URL. Find a new purpose for your site. Let it be the core of your marketing engine.

Saving Green
[Dollars] A lot of marketing budgets are being cut short these days, but don’t automatically think that you should cut out your online efforts. There are more inexpensive online marketing projects that you may be aware of and a lot of them can be repurposed with new content and images. You can’t say that about a printed brochure.

[Trees] And not to bash the smell of a freshly printed brochure, the reality is that online marketing efforts are tree-friendly. It’s cliché but true. If you are among the hundreds of environmentally aware businesses, you should be online now more than ever.

The Who
Sites can tell a lot about who is visiting, where they are coming from and at what point they are leaving. These trends can reveal some secrets that can be essential in redesigning your site or even to market your audience. If your site is missing important tracking and analytics, then you are missing the most important part of the story.