When I think about convenience, there’s one story that epitomizes convenience. Convenience score: 10 (on a scale of 1-10). The story:Maze

In Atlanta (and maybe even in other bustling metro areas) there’s this guy who’s known as the traveling barber. His M.O. – he comes to you. His target market – doctors, lawyers, and other elitists. His prices – well, let’s just say the price matches the pockets of his clientele. Simply put, this guy can charge $100 for a haircut that would normally cost the average person between $13 and $20. That’s a $76 dollar premium for something as basic and everyday as a hair cut. (Numbers estimated) Continue reading “What’s Your Convenience Rating Doing to Your Business?”

When I think about convenience, there’s one story that epitomizes convenience. Convenience score: 10 (on a scale of 1-10). The story:Maze

In Atlanta (and maybe even in other bustling metro areas) there’s this guy who’s known as the traveling barber. His M.O. – he comes to you. His target market – doctors, lawyers, and other elitists. His prices – well, let’s just say the price matches the pockets of his clientele. Simply put, this guy can charge $100 for a haircut that would normally cost the average person between $13 and $20.* That’s a $76 dollar premium for something as basic and everyday as a hair cut.* (*Pricing Estimated) Continue reading “What’s Your Convenience Rating?”

Window Displays Aren’t Just for Show
Lady gazing through window
I really enjoy shopping. I mean, I REALLY enjoy shopping, and on the account that I shop so much, I’ve gotten hip to the psychology behind shopping. (Well, that and by reading “The Science of Shopping.”) The way organizations pull you into their stores. The sale signs. The lively colors. And of course, the window displays, showcasing lovely mannequins with beautiful silhouettes covered with trendy layers of cotton tops, laced tanks, and boot cut bottoms.

As you gaze beyond this entry point of aspired adornment, you see racks of even more fanciful items that support exactly what was portrayed in the store’s window. And you feel, “I just gotta go in.”

This, my friend, is a perfect analogy to what your website represents to your customer.

Your site is an extension, or maybe even an entry point to your brand. It’s the place where customers either make their first decision as to what your brand stands for or they further solidify (or diminish) what they expect from your brand.

As users take their first gander at your site, they’re make a decision by subconsciously, or even overtly, asking the following questions:

  • Is this brand trustworthy?
  • Is the site  up-to-date?
  • Can I fulfill my needs or desires?
  • Does it relate with me emotionally? (And if you love saving, the four letter word “SALE” is enough to do it for you.)

Users make this judgment based on the BIFT philosophy.

The B.I.F.T. Philosophy

B is for beauty.

This day and age, it’s not enough to simply have a website. Your website must be beautiful. It must be designed in an up-to-date fashion, using current graphics and terminology helping users know they’re in a place that’s just a much in the 21st century as they are.

Additionally, beauty doesn’t end with graphics. Web copy also lends itself to a site’s beauty. However, as my friend, Clarence said, the copy “doesn’t have to be witty. It just needs to be well written.” I’ll add, the copy needs to be written for the medium, and different types of sites and even mediums on the site would require different copy considerations.

I is for intuitive.

Secondly, users review the time and thought investment it would take to accomplish a task  on your site. In English, they want to know if they can do what they want to do without a lot of thought.

To overcome the “I” barrier, you have to lead customers to take the next step on your page, and you have to help them understand where they will land. Both instructional and call to action copy as well as visual cues such as change in copy color, arrows, etc. help customers understand what action they should take.

F is for Functional

“Functional” is a big word that means – does the site do what it’s intended to do, and in a timely fashion.

  • When I got to your web address, am I greeted with a page?
  • When I click a link, does it work.
  • Does it load quickly?
  • Do the widgets work?
  • Are there pages that say “under construction?”

There are many ways to resolve functional issues.

  • Check images sizes and maybe revise images if necessary, as images can slow down a pages load time.
  • If widgets don’t work, remove them. If possible, create a different solution. However, it’s worse to have something that doesn’t function on your page than not having it at all.
  • Instead of writing under construction, don’t publsih pages that aren’t ready for public consumption.

T for Trustworthy.

Between payments and donations, organizations are asking for sensitive information on the web. And yes, even the payment experience weighs in on the perception of your brand. Questions include:

  • Is the interface up to date?
  • Would you feel comfortable making a payment on the site?
  • What do other payment interfaces look like?

Not only do the answers to these questions determine whether or not you actually obtain the payment, the answers place your brand in a certain class – the class of great, ummm, and no so much.

My Customer’s Already Know My Brand

Yes, they do. And what they’re saying about it depends on the experience they’ve had, which could very well be great experiences. However, if you’re a mom and pop or some other small start-up, looking to take it to the next level, your site can help turn the impression from “my cousin’s shop” to “Jeff’s big time business” taking preconceived notions into brand ambassadors for the future.

Regina R. Patterson, M.B.A.

Marketing & Web Content Consultant

reginapatterson.com

info@reginapatterson.com

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Hyper ManEven  my grandma knows about Twitter. I get it. It’s HOT. But really, after all the cute stuff is said and done, is it converting? Is it doing what you want it to do?

This is more than just making money. (If you’re using only social to drive sales, your mix is so unbalanced even an elephant wouldn’t be able to help tip the scale in the appropriate direction.) 

Here are a few great ways to measure conversion from a social standpoint.

Awareness. Do more people know you exist?
Loyalty. Are your customers or clients more loyal because they have that networked connection?
Engagement. Are people interacting with your page?
Traffic. Are you efforts driving traffic to your site or brick & mortar locale?
Sales. Are your sales increasing as a result of your social efforts? (For most, this is a hard one to measure. However, you may see increased sales in the long run through awareness, loyalty, and repeat traffic.)

I don’t knock social. I’m out there myself. The key is that social media is only a portion of a balanced marketing mix. It’s not the end all, be all, and defintely shouldn’t be treated that way. However, when done well, it for darn sure will have it’s benefits.

Not yet in the social media game. Just getting started?
Social Media…Consume. Contribute. Collide?

For more information on developing a social media strategy, contact:
Regina R. Patterson, M.B.A.
Marketing & Web Content Consultant

Projected on the screen was “It’s Creative. It’s Artisitic. It’s Common Sense.”

“Which of the above is not like the other?” asked Professor Johnson

“Option 3?” rambled the students eager to take on the world through the eyes of accomplished marketers.

“Ding ding ding. We have a winner.” Professor Johnson said in an oh so sarcastic voice.

“In the world of marketing, there are those who know a little about marketing, there are those who specialize in marketing, and then there are those who have reached marketing nirvana. These people realize that not only is marketing creative and artistic, but they also realize that there is both an art and science to marketing. They – my dear students – they are the ones we love,” said Professor Johnson affectionately as she indicated the importance of taking the correct approach to marketing.

Thought this story is fictitious, this is exactly what It’s a Marketing & Web Thing is all about. It’s all about taking those who have limited knowledge about marketing, or maybe even those who believe they are marketing elitists, and moving them to a world of marketing enlightenment.

 

Regina R. Patterson, M.B.A.

Marketing & Web Content Consultant

reginapatterson.com

info@reginapatterson.com

616-443-6401

twitter.com/reginaconsults

facebook.com/reginaconsults