Posts Tagged ‘ernie mosteller’

The Tip Of The Spear

Friday, Sep 5 2008

http://remade.files.wordpress.com/2007/11/spear-logo.jpg

Mark Hass, CEO of Publicis’ Manning Selvage & Lee, recently stated the following in the July 28, 2008 Advertising Age article $80 Billion? Online Display Market Is Being Overhyped:

Advertising ought to be designed to support the social-media program, because the tip of the marketing spear ought to be the consumer-generated media piece. Let’s see where consumers take the product and brand, and shape advertising and the rest of the marketing opportunities around that.”

The hypothetical example he provides in the article is “how Febreze might target college students by handing out samples on move-in day. Soon it becomes a subject of conversation within a social network of that community (and if it doesn’t, a brand can suggest it become one, asking students what they’re going to do to make their rooms smell better when their parents come to town).”

While we haven’t been as bold as Mr. Hass, we too at Brunner Digital espouse to our clients that they should be engaging social-media and utilizing it to help mold their advertising campaigns. As our own Creative Director, Ernie Mosteller, wrote in his last post about effective websites, we know it is about content. Content that is compelling to consumers. Content consumers will keep and that they will share. Discover what consumers are doing with your brand on Facebook, MySpace and relevant blogs. Update your site with the brand engagement trends you see in these social-media. You already know it will be attention-grabbing because consumers are creating and sharing it on their own.

The same standard can be applied to 360° advertising campaigns. Given digital dynamic printing and digital production, your direct marketing and broadcast should be able to morph as quickly as your website.

For this to happen, advertisers need to seriously reflect about themselves and their brands. Consumers now expect more-engaging forms of content in every brand marketing communication. If social-media isn’t the tip of your marketing spear, it should at least be a plane of the blade.

Your Site — Then, Now, and From Now On.

Friday, Jul 25 2008

There was a time when you needed a site because — well, because you needed a site. That seemed reason enough. The site was a catch-all for anything that felt like, maybe, it might belong on a site. You built it once, and pretty much left it alone –- except when you decided to add some more stuff that seemed like it probably belonged. That was how it was done. That was, also, then. This is not then. This is…you know.

Now your site has a specific function. A reason for being. A purpose. Yes, it might accomplish more than one task – informing customers about your product range, alerting them to useful news, helping them locate a dealer or connect with like minds – but in the end, now your site is designed to complete an over-arching, specific, marketing function. It might be growing a customer database. It might be e-commerce. It might be soliciting donations, providing directions — or it might be pure brand engagement in the form of entertainment. Whatever it is, the over-arching function for your site is the single most important influence on its design – throughout the process, from wireframe to live. That doesn’t mean it can’t do other things. It just means it should be designed with a single goal as its ultimate mission.

Some brands are in a position to build multiple sites for multiple audiences, or multiple aspects of a campaign or product – each site, potentially, with a different over-arching mission. It happens more often than you might think, and can be a good strategy for the right product, and with the right budget support. But not everyone has that luxury. More often than not, you’re building just one site. And chances are, you’re building a site you’d like to have around for a few years. So choosing a mission for your site is an important decision. You have to choose one you’re going to live with for awhile.

It also means, from now on, there’s a very good chance you’re building a site that contains a number of elements designed to keep people interested, and coming back over time. The days of “set it and forget it” are gone. The social and sharing tools of Web 2.0, along with advances in content delivery, have influenced people’s expectations for your site. They’re used to interactive experiences that feel immediate. From now on, your site is a living, breathing thing that changes and updates regularly — with new information, news, entertainment, and features that keep people interested over multiple visits. Online videos, podcasts, blogs, forums, and RSS feeds are just a few of the tools available to help keep people coming back. As technology and user preferences evolve, there most certainly will be more and different tools. But it’s a good bet they’ll all have one thing in common: They’ll only work well if the content stays fresh.

Back then, in the catch-all site days, designing a site was like decorating your office with a painting. You picked the painting, hung it on a wall, and there it was. Aside from an occasional dusting, there wasn’t much left to do. But now, and from now on, building your site is a lot more like decorating with live plants and cut flowers. You spend a lot of time choosing the right plants for the space and light, and choosing flowers for color and mood — until you get just the effect you’re looking for. But to keep that effect from withering, you need an ongoing program of maintenance, and fresh content.

From now on, a solid plan for ongoing content creation and regular updates is a critical component you can’t afford to overlook.

Site Design and Customer Satisfaction: A Simple Exercise

Friday, Jun 13 2008

“We need a new site. The old one is ugly, buggy, and doesn’t do what we want. We want one that looks like ___________. That’s a really great site.”

I wonder how many times those words have been spoken in conference rooms across the country. Heck, across the world, even. It’s only natural. Each of us has a favorite site, or sites – we like how they look, we like how they work, we like the way we’re able to use them when we use them ourselves. So it’s only natural for us to want to re-create an experience we already know we like for our customers and prospects.

Unfortunately, it’s not that simple.

Because your customers and prospects may be (probably are) looking for something very different from you than a duplication of your favorite website. And what your customers are looking for from you is, in the end, what you need to deliver.

Try this exercise:

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