Category Archives: Online Marketing

Is it time to sell on your website?

free-vector-green-dollar-symbol-on-grey_133634_Green_Dollar_Symbol_on_GreyMaybe. Your cost of sales may be lower but that should not be the driving reason make this big step. You need to make sure that your product or service actually should be sold online. You need to ask yourself some tough questions and be brutally honest in your answers. After all, you will only be fooling yourself and it is an investment to make it happen.

If your sales process is complex or consultative, you need to think long and hard about selling online. Your product or service needs to be obvious, needs to almost be able to sell itself for this to work well. I’m not saying it has to be a pure commodity sale but the closer it is, the better your chances.

So you think you should. There are four components that you need to focus on; Attention, Interest, Desire and Action. You need to guide them through the buying process, even before they get to your website. Getting their Attention and their Interest will mostly happen before they even get to the website so you need strong keywords and very strong optimization to make sure they even get there.

Once on your website, you need to be able to create the desire for your product. Strong imagery as well as concise descriptions are key. If they need to make any decisions about which product to buy, say based on colour, you must make sure to provide the path through that decision and get them to the Action phase quickly, and quickly means seconds. Action is the buy process; always make is as easy as possible, just a few clicks is best.

Above all, you will probably need some help to get it right. There are a lot of options where you can do it yourself but most buying sites now look just like a website with a lot of marketing thought, calls to action and strong visual components, all helping the viewer to move to that next step and start the process to buy your product or service. We understand the buying process and how to market it, so give us a call; we can help.

Marketing & Automation

thought and pictureWikipedia defines marketing automation as referring to software platforms and technologies designed for marketing departments and organizations to more effectively market on multiple channels online (such as email, social media, websites, etc.) and automate repetitive tasks.

There does appear to be agreement among the vendors as well that it is software or technology aimed at making the marketer’s job easier, more efficient and more accurate. In oversimplified terms, it automates your marketing; it does not create it nor does it ensure that the message is what you need. One of the benefits not mentioned is that it also helps to make sure that your marketing is Cohesive; all your campaigns working together to relay a consistent message to the viewer.

In the past, literally before online anything, marketing practitioners relied solely on outbound campaigns that used creative messaging and visuals aimed at specific demographics in the hope of getting them to contact you. Rates of return were quite low and more often than not, very hard to measure.

Initially, automation was used in conjunction with email, focusing on sending batches in blast format and again hoping to gain some traction with the recipients. At least there were some tools available that could help in understanding a limited subset of the behaviours but it was still very limited as to did you influence the prospective buyer of your products or services.

With the prevalence of online today, most buying decisions are made prior to contact with any vendor, never mind the one from whom they will eventually make a purchase. So now you need to find ways to influence and affect the buying decision without actually knowing the customer before they buy.

The software can help us do this but in a lot of cases, a poor campaign is being automated only to fail quicker but fail none the less. So when looking at your marketing vendor, their capability and their tools keep in mind the tools are available to gather data to help understand the buyer’s behaviour and the signals they are sending but the concepts have not changed. Automating a poor process means you have an automated poor process; automate a great one and you may have a winner. You still need to know who your prospects are, where they are and what their likely buying behaviour is going to look like; that we can help with.

Nearly Half the World is Online

While I don’t typically subscribe to the chatter about “trends” and how every marketing plan should incorporate them, I have spent the past few weeks haphazardly doing research to help me foresee and plan what might be good tactics to dovetail into the marketing strategies of some of my clients.

The statistics I found were compelling from both a professional and personal standpoint.

The fact that nearly half the world is online is just one of the statistics that struck me as noteworthy. There’s also data to support that almost one-third of the world uses social media, which, considering its’ relative newness, is quite astounding indeed.

Global population is 7.395 billion.

Here are some key statistics for digital, social, and mobile media in January 2016:

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8 Simple Questions for Website Owners

The Winnipeg business landscape is a unique animal. As a marketer, I have been faced with many client objections over the years – Winnipeggers don’t generally like spending money on anything that is intangible. In my view, the various elements that make up a marketing strategy are not only tangible, but also highly measurable.

Winnipeg customers expect a lot from the companies with whom we do business. Think of our restaurant landscape for a moment; if a new establishment can’t jump in to the realm with both feet and become a popular contender in short order, they usually don’t last very long.

We have incredibly high standards, which, in and of itself, is not a bad thing.

successful-website_elementsWhat becomes a bit unbalanced is when business owners abandon all of the rules to which they believe other companies should adhere when it comes to assessing their own company’s offerings.

The best example of this type of double standard is in the company website. In today’s world, an online presence is required, no question about it. But paying close attention to that online presence is also imperative. There is no more “set it and forget it”.

As a business owner, you have to ask yourself, “Are any of my customers feeling that same sense of frustration I felt as I tried to navigate so-and-so’s website? What can I do to make their user experience better?”

If you are a business and website owner, here are 8 simple questions to ask yourself about your website:

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Maybe it’s P2P?

P2PA couple of weeks ago, November 10 to be exact, I talked about the concepts of B2B and B2C and how that in the current talk online, these terms are starting to mean less, alongside of the frustration of business with not being sure how to or what to do.

I asked the question – Do you sell to businesses or to consumers? What difference does it make? The business doesn’t make the decision to buy; people do, in both cases. So why have we focused on putting definitions and barriers around what we do? Why not step back a bit and realize that all purchases are made by humans, people with emotions, with needs and desires and who are looking to you to fill that need. And then I suggested that maybe all connections with customers are really B2HUMAN interactions. Continue reading

We are a Google Partner!


Google Partners is Google’s program for advertising agencies, digital marketing professionals, and other online consultants, trusted by Google; trusted for their online expertise and a commitment to ongoing learning and skills development. It shows our business is healthy, our clients are happy, and that we follow Google best practices. The badge recognizes companies that excel with Google’s products.

Google Partners are in the business of being ‘in the know’. Partner agencies stay up to date on the latest Google tools and products by passing Google-administered certification exams. Proven success is what puts Partners above the rest. They use industry best practices to manage campaigns and focus on helping you get the most out of your marketing budget.

Partners stay ahead of the curve by working directly with Google. With access to ongoing professional development and product updates, Partners stay on top of what’s going on with Google.

We are proud to be a trusted Google™ Partners Certified Agency.

Letter from a former client (Good and Bad)

We all hate losing clients. We work hard to obtain them and hope the work speaks for itself. In one case we thought we were doing well with a particular clients online marketing program. We met with them every quarter and reported on our activities and results and talked about content ideas and marketing strategies for the next quarter. We had always had positive results and leads to share. Regardless, one day I got a message that they were cancelling our service because the owner thought it would be a good idea to support a local web company.

I was disappointed at first, because I believed we were doing a good job for a fair price. I did ask some questions to make sure his local web company was going to provide similar services so that they were going to continue positioning well with the search engines and keep generating leads from the online activities. The client assured me that they know what they are doing, they are a little cheaper and they are local. I didn’t see the point in arguing and wished him well.

Eight months have gone by and I received an email from this past client last week, with comments like “We used to own half the Google page and now we are dwindling” and “we want to be it, when people are looking for …”. The frustration was obvious.

I reviewed their website to see what had been done in the past eight months and tried to determine what the issues were. Well, to start with, there was very little activity on the website.

Guess what; both your target audience and the search engines like fresh, relevant content.

Some of the activities that we helped this client with from the online service side of things previously was, creating relevant content (information about the industry, products and services that the consumer would be interested in), posting it to the website and social media accounts, making web edits when required, optimizing new content, submitting site maps to the search engines, keyword ranking strategies and social media management.

Good: They are coming back to us.

Bad: The client thought that he was getting a better deal, because the costs was a little lower, but as it turns out with the lower cost, they got very little activity and they lost rankings or as the client put it “dwindling”. Better keyword rankings are achieved with solid online practices. This has turned out to be a costly mistake.

Of course we are happy to help (again).

I’ll leave you with this:
Warren Buffet

Google for Non-profits

google-for-nonprofitsGoogle has a well-kept secret; it wants to help non-profits and charitable organizations with their online marketing, help them drive traffic to their website and indirectly help them with their brand recognition that ultimately results in connecting with relevant users.

Google for Non-Profits offers up everything they have to offer at a price that works with the non-profit and charitable model – no charge. Google Apps (Gmail, Calendar, Drive, Analytics, Google+) are available for your use.

Google Ad Grants is the non-profit edition of AdWords, Google’s online advertising tool. Google Ad Grants empowers non-profit organisations to promote their missions and initiatives on Google search result pages. Your ads must reflect the mission of the non-profit organisation and your keywords must be relevant to the non-profit’s programmes and services.

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Online Success Story

I walk into a client’s office for a 90 day meeting, this is a standard quarterly meeting we have with clients on an Online Marketing Program (OMP) to report on website analytics, results from the online activities and discuss goals, strategy and content planning for the next 90 days. The Online Marketing Programs can include: website edits, content marketing, email marketing, social media marketing, video marketing, Pay-Per-Click Advertising, keyword ranking and always includes map listing, optimization and reporting. Not every client or their target audience is alike, so each program is a little different and so are the results, but we are focused on bringing our client leads from the activities and website. Continue reading

The power of social media – it’s pervasive

Social-Media-Icons-globeLately, the world of online marketing has been more focused on social media, its influence and impact on our world and that it is something that business not only needs to start paying attention to but they should jump on the bandwagon or be left in their competitors’ dust.

Late last week, over this past weekend and today, it become very evident, in Winnipeg, that the speed, reach and effective use of social media is definitely here and can be a positive thing. A horrific event was unfolding as we worked late in the afternoon on Friday and without Twitter, we likely would have been unaware of what was going on.

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