Archive for July, 2008
Flash has been a naughty Word as far as SEO or Search Engine Optimisation is concerned now for some years. It was always a shame that Google and the other engines could not read into the code of a Flash made website, or Flash elements within an HTML site until now.
The Google Webmaster Central Blog announced on the 30th June that it has improved the ability to index textual content in SWF files of all kinds. This includes Flash “gadgets” such as buttons or menus, self-contained Flash websites, and everything in between.
Flash is owned by giant Adobe and they must have been scratching their heads for ages about this problem. Marketing companies like us would tell clients “avoid Flash” wherever you can as it cannot be read by Google or other search engines. We often did this with a heavy heart as Flash websites are the most attractive on the internet for sure!
So the era for more dynamic content with SEO capabilities is upon us and it’s well overdue. Though this is still in its infancy, I predict that within a year we will see much movement in this area.
Google has developed an algorithm that explores Flash files in the same way that a person would by clicking buttons, entering input, and so on. The algorithm remembers all of the text that it encounters along the way, and that content is then available to be indexed – perfect!
One of Objective Marketing’s specialties is that of Search Engine Optimization and we are absolutely delighted with this news. Albeit, HTML sites can have dynamic content and look dynamic, there are still restrictions.
Flash will enable marketers like us to serve clients better, hone their key messages with more clarity, USPs and give them something more outstanding that we are able too now. The revolution has begun!
Flash meets Google – it had to come and thank God it did! Watch this space for more information (you can tell we are excited!).
July 16th, 2008
The number of people accessing the Internet from their mobile pones is on the slide, according to exclusive figures supplied to PC Pro Magazine by TNS Technology
In the UK, 35% of users access the internet from their mobile phone – down from 39% in 2006 – and no wonder as the rendering of .mobi web sites is appalling.
Only 6% use their mobile internet daily, and this has to be about our handsets and what they are capable of. These figures mirror a worldwide decline in mobile internet usage, with only a fifth of people browsing the web on their handset, a 5% decline on last year.
Smartphone users are far more active on-line, with 77% of them using their handset to access the internet.
The report goes on to say that it is believed that the access will decline. We fervently disagree! As handset becomes more internet friendly, we will see massive increases in usage and my thinking is purely based on the experience with a Smartphone, reflecting the figures above.
Now, haven’t Apple and the iPhone got it just right, and especially with the new 3G version. Though web browsing is faster on the new model, there is no need to see a .mobi web site that all marketing companies and graphic designers have hated from day one – having to re-purpose already well made content into something ugly and not user friendly made us all very unhappy!
The iPhone allows you to surf the web and increase or decrease size of the page, which makes reading easier – albeit not perfect. This means that we do not have to repurpose content but can use it completely as it is, saving everyone a huge amount of money!
Evidently, the other Smartphones are to follow suit, but this is still a way off to match the capability and excellent design of the iPhone.
Now, for us and our clients we can get much more out of our marketing Pounds through this medium knowing, that on a PC or Smartphone our web site can be accessed, seen and enjoyed and our message delivered!
Personally, I never thought the mini web sites of the .mobi era would last and this time I was right and I am so relieved.
Internet capable Smartphones, Apple or otherwise, offer our clients the ability to use and enjoy the internet as it should be.
Long live the iPhone and all that follow her or him or it – it’s just fantastic, whatever gender it is!
July 16th, 2008
Are you going to let the “Credit Crunch” crunch you? Even though the present negative press and media coverage is enough to make you pack up and head for the hills - don’t! Or, burying your head in the sand isn’t going to help either - you need to take some positive action!
In ignorance, many companies pull the plug on their marketing budgets when times get tough - but that is very short sighted. Why is your business in decline? It’s because you have less clients, or your current clients are spending less. So what is the solution? Yes, you need more clients or encourage those you work with to spend more with you.
As a marketing company, we often have people come to us when they are in trouble. Through months or possibly years of neglect of their sales pipeline, they have reached difficultly where their cash flow dries up, and their forward forecasts will no longer gain them credit with their bankers. That’s such an awful place to reach! So, please learn from other’s mistakes and concentrate your efforts on sales and marketing.
So - how’s your sales pipeline? Have you dedicated sufficient man hours or staff to ensure that new business will continue to flow your way?
It’s highly recommended to introduce new practices in the current climate and here are a few suggestions to get you going:
- Re-educate your sales staff to the new demands of business under the Credit Crunch i.e. you are going to have to negotiate harder than before and deliver more
- Re-evaluate your current spend on marketing and where possible increase it
- Adapt new methods of lead generation and find new sources
- Network with increased intensity amongst your clients, prospects, collaborators, partners, suppliers and competitors
- Rekindle your relationship with current clients and ensure you are getting your share of business if other suppliers are involved
- Tighten your credit control to ensure constant cash flow
- Take fewer financial risks than before, and if possible, increase the level of deposits on orders to spread your risk or costs (if applicable)
- Introduce something new (Product or service) to make sure your visibility levels remain high with current and potential clients
- Automate your sales pipeline using a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system like www.salesforce.com - so you never ever miss another lead or opportunity, and you can track your sales pipeline accurately
- Ensure that you confirm at least 30% of this quarter’s pipeline - more if possible
- Ensure you are using the internet to your advantage using Search Engine Optimisation, Web 2 practices such as blogging, and raise your presence in social networking and book-marking sites such as Digg, Reddit, StumbleUpon, Facebook etc
July 8th, 2008
As a marketing company, we are often asked about how to get the best “lead generation” from local advertising for Fitness Centres, Gyms, Yoga and Meditation Classes, Beauty Salons, Hairdressers, Nurseries and Non-Profit organisations. As the world of traditional print and online advertising merge, how can you take best advantage of your local and immediate population from print advertising? (You also find plenty of information on our web site about internet online advertising)
One of the most effective forms of advertising, from our experience working with clients in the sectors mentioned previously, has been with UK local government publications. These are delivered into households within Boroughs, Municipalities or Counties. Most of these publications are focused on around 200-225k households, so not huge (UK statistics). However, because they go into each home in the area, their penetration value is excellent and their readership is correspondingly high. In comparison, readership of a local newspaper, free or bought, is usually around 30k - so you see the difference and the potential. Also, the costs are similar between both publications, but the return on investment is much higher for the government publications. Many of these local governments require external funding to afford a large print run, and that’s why they need advertisers like us.
From our experience, these types of publications work extremely well for the aforementioned businesses, and we have a number of our clients benefiting from very positive lead generation by using them.
Many companies and organisations give up on a print advertising campaign too soon. We have a superb article on Life Value Cycle - The Cost of Client Acquisition which shows that if print advertising is performed correctly, it can bring very positive results. This article explains that just one response to an ad could have well paid handsomely for your investment.
Define your Target Audience
Firstly, it is important to define your target audience. With researching your current client’s ages and other demographics like income, size of home, number of cars etc, you may find that the majority of sign ups were from people aged 30-45, as an example. Remember that it is not effective to target over many different demographic levels and ages, so settle for the obvious core or most popular age band, income or ethnicity - whatever is more relevant to the service or product you are selling.
Firstly, design your ad so as to appeal to this audience with the correct wording. Make sure the ad looks professionally created and do not use clipart and amateur photography. A perfectly formed ad can convey a message effectively, and a well chosen photograph can work wonders! (Have a look at photo library www.dreamstime.com where you should find the images you require and many for less than £1)
So, what do you need to do?
Firstly, check your local municipality, borough, country or state online via the internet and see if you can find the details (as you may not receive the publication personally). If you receive the publication, give them a call to discuss your requirements and target audience, however broad or narrow.
The art of marketing is to test - test - test - so give it a go, but make sure that the message in your ad reflects your expected response outcome. Ask yourself, “Will my target audience respond to such an ad”?
Why not offer some free inductions or courses? Do also remember that the most powerful word in Marketing is “free” - we all love something for nothing!
Please do get in touch if you require any further information on this subject.
July 7th, 2008