A concept gathering considerable momentum in the world of software development is the the Minimum Viable Product (MVP). And it tends to be more valuable for mobile and tablet apps than elsewhere.
We all make the mistake this addresses, but I have to confess that I am one of the worst offenders. That’s because once I embrace an idea, all of my creative juices spring into action, and I go all out. My brain wants to run off to explore every possible feature, bell and whistle and extension imaginable. And this can be a really bad idea for a first release of a new product.
The problem arises from our assumptions, and they in turn reflect what we don’t know.
E-mail and postal are probably the two best methods of reaching out to highly targeted prospects, but it’s a real challenge to generate response rates that are high enough to make a difference.
By making it easy for recipients to share your content via social sites such as Twitter and LinkedIN, you just might increase your readership, with the implicit stamp of approval that comes from a trusted third party recommendation. According to a recent study, e-mail with social sharing buttons enjoy click-through rates that are over 2.5 times that of those that do not.
As a result, I decided to do an informal survey of the marketing e-mails I subscribe to. Most are from prominent, well-respected companies in fields such as publishing, marketing automation, finance and software.
You probably already realize that your website has a big job to do. Whenever a prospective customer, employee, investor or anyone else is considering a relationship with your company, the first thing they do is check you out on-line.
The core content of your site, which typically describes your products and services, is important, but it may not be enough to hold the attention of your visitors long enough for them to appreciate the value you have to offer.
You may have a great company, but your prospects may never find out.
Today, people do their research on-line before they buy, and it doesn’t take much to lose the trust of someone who doesn’t know you. They will find your website whether it’s good, bad or indifferent and judge you by it, regardless of what else you have to offer.
Unless they’ve worked with you before, almost everything they know about your company may be based on what they see on your site. And when that happens, nothing else matters — not your beautiful facility, your caring staff, your great product or your outstanding service.
We’ve developed quite a few websites for insurance agencies including retail P&C, life and health, specialty agencies and wholesalers/intermediaries, and we thought we’d share some ideas about what makes a site successful.
The first requirement in developing a great site is to understand your audience and their needs. Since agencies are so diverse, we address each major category of firm separately, but the guiding principles are remarkably similar.
E-commerce isn’t right for every organization, but it is the fastest growing sales channel for many retailers, wholesalers and distributors and manufacturers.
Today’s best on-line stores have really grown up. They use much more sophisticated merchandising techniques to help shoppers find the products they want, entice them to buy, and cross-sell other products.
I’ll be candid. I am a recent convert to the whole web 2.0 thing.
Interactive features such as blogs and discussion groups have been around for a while, but I wasn’t in any hurry to embrace them for our business clients. (more…)
It certainly depends on the type of business they’re in, but in the brick and mortar world, some stores do become hangouts. These are the businesses that tend to take off while their competitors languish, simply because of the traffic, the enthusiasm of their customers and the referrals they generate.
Perhaps dry cleaners don’t become hangouts very often, but coffee shops and bookstores often do. Plumbing supply, auto parts and electrical supply stores also may become hangouts, if only among plumbers, electricians and hotrodders.
For a small or highly homogeneous organization, managing website content may have its challenges, but it lends itself to a highly centralized approach. However, as an organization grows and becomes more diversified, life can become complicated in a hurry.
Problems may occur when different departments, divisions or product groups begin to appear. Each one may operate with some autonomy, as they should, so that they can respond quickly to seize opportunities based on the needs of their customers and their product innovations. If each group were to involve the others, or senior management, in every customer facing decision, it would slow them down considerably. (more…)
We all know the difference between a professionally developed site, and one that looks like your nephew built it.
That is, we all know it when we see it. But rarely do most people have much insight into what causes us to perceive one website as highly professional and another as amateurish.
Once upon a time, life was simple. Depending on your business and your customers, you had several publications where you could advertise. Postal direct mail also offered a cost effective solution, and it was particularly effective for lead generation. Occasionally, someone would use a card deck or an insert, and that was considered pretty exotic. (more…)
As web developers, we have been seeing quite a bit of confusion recently from prospective clients about what they should be doing on-line.
On the one hand, almost every organization knows that they need an attractive, up-to-date website, because their customers (and donors, lenders, investors and employees) have been telling them they do. Unfortunately, many don’t have a clear vision of how it will help them, or what they really need. (more…)