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Marketing Grunt Work

Stop stressing over details! Some marketing tasks are time consuming and mundane. The work has to get done. 

You don't have the time or tolerance to do it yourself and you can't pull staff members away from their regular duties. What do you do? OUTSOURCE IT!

If you have "grunt work" that needs to get done, call 2Q Solutions for help.


EXAMPLES OF MARKETING GRUNT WORK

  • Trade show prep or follow-up: Many companies face the dilemma of trying to follow up on leads with existing staff, but their people are already tied up with regular tasks. They soon get overwhelmed and the leads grow cold. 
  • Database updating: Mailing product literature and other marketing materials to people who are no longer there gets expensive. Why not get your database up to date and perform a customer survey while you're at it? 
  • Research: Getting prices on a number of options and coordinating many sources can be a poor use of your valuable time.


CALL TODAY to find out how you can get help with your marketing grunt work - 636-699-8772

Top 12 Website Review Questions

Monday, March 03, 2014

 

Comparing website proposals can be a pain, especially when they're all formatted differently. It's a lot easier when you have a template and several good questions.

Ask these twelve questions when reviewing a web proposal. Download this template to organize and compare your notes.

1) What are the merits and weaknesses of the proposed platform?


From my perspective there are three general platform categories. CMS (Content Management Systems) are generally the better solution.
  • A static HTML site   
  • Open source CMS sites like WordPress  
  • Proprietary CMS sites like Adobe's Business Catalyst.
Ask good questions during the interview process and make notes that will be useful for the proposal review.

2) How many web pages are covered in the proposal?

People don't like unexpected charges. When considering a web proposal be sure to verify how many pages of content are included. One proposal might cover the entire content of your current site while another might only cover a home page and five inner pages.

3) Who will write new content?

Even if your web person is highly capable, do not assume they're going to write new content for you. Clarify this point so you don't end up with an extra bill you didn’t expect.

4) Who will optimize the pages for SEO?

You might be buying a platform that's capable of being optimized. But that's not the same as the work actually being done. "On page optimization" is less important than it used to be. But there are some pieces that still matter to SEO professionals. It will help you to understand exactly what's being quoted.

5) What are the hosting costs?

This is easily compared between proposals. Do not, however, assume that they'll be the same. Monthly charges can vary greatly. Don't forget to ask about redundancy and how your site will be hosted.

6) How many users are covered with the hosting package?

Building and launching a website is just the beginning. Managing and editing your site is an ongoing effort that may require several people. Many of my clients prefer to have someone else make simple updates. They want to stay focused on their core business activities.

There are several aspects to a website that frequently need to be managed with different levels of permission. Some people might need access to make simple page edits. However, it might not be appropriate for them to see or edit sensitive information. Consider also the consequences of human error. A few harmless typos is one thing. Blowing up your navigation or deleting entire sections is quite another. Consider the number of people who might need access and their appropriate permission levels when assessing your hosting needs.

7) What kind of support can I expect?

You might not be able to quantify this aspect. But get a general description of what can be expected before choosing your web developer.

8) How will the site display on different mobile devices?

Before asking this question you need to have an idea about how the mobile experience fits in your marketing plan. Modern websites now display better on smart phones, but you might need a more finely tuned mobile site. What do you want users to see on mobile, and with how much effort? What actions do you want them to easily take?

In my opinion the best way to approach this is to have a site built with responsive design so it can be viewed on any device or orientation.


9) What automation can be achieved with respect to collecting email addresses?

Most of my clients use email marketing on some level. One key function of their website is collecting email addresses. Make sure your site will automatically load those addresses into a list connected with your ESP (email service provider). You should also get an alert when someone subscribes.

10) What happens if the web developer disappears or discontinues web support services?

You need to know that your website hosting package and support won't suffer if your web provider ceases to exist. Is a contingency plan required?

11) What pieces can be easily "bolted on?"

It may well be that there are things you want your site to do that you simply cannot afford just yet. Make a prioritized list of things that your site needs to be able to do in the future. Make sure that each of those things can be added at a later date without a major overhaul.

12) Consider the WHO

This template makes it easier to review and compare web development proposals. It's important to quantify the differences between prospective vendors. Once you've considered those differences and similarities I want you to think about something else.
 
Price is not the only factor. The people you work with make a big difference. Pay attention to the chemistry and communication habits of the people you've interviewed. There's a great deal of value in a quality relationship that contributes to your success. It's not just about the what, it's also about the who.


Steve Smart works with busy entrepreneurs who want to improve their marketing efforts. He lives in St. Louis and can be reached at srsmart@2Qsolutions.net or 636-699-8772.

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What to Wear for a Video Shoot

Friday, January 31, 2014

 

Clothing and Preparing for a Video Shoot

Avoid that odd moire' pattern

I like to help people make the best presentation possible. So before shooting video, I provide guidance about what my subjects should wear. You may have seen that odd effect created by certain clothing patterns. It's distracting for the viewer and detracts from your ability to make your best presentation. Tight patterns and stripes are often the culprit. You might get away with a larger pattern but I like to recommend a dark solid whenever possible.

Why darker colors?

In this video you can see that I'm getting away with a light blue shirt. The lighting in this situation allowed for that. I've been in other situations, however, where a light color (especially white) washed out because of a light source I couldn't control. Darker might not always be necessary, but it's a pretty safe bet.

About the microphone

There are other options, but it's helpful to wear clothing that easily allows a microphone to be attached, centered a few inches under the chin. Keep in mind that there will probably be some kind of box that will be attached to a belt or waistband. That box will have a little weight to it.

When attaching the mic, your technician might want to hide the cord. That's often done by dropping the line down a shirt or wrapping it around the back underneath a sport coat. Be prepared for that.

For the ladies

That little box, as I said, might have a little weight to it. Make sure that your skirt's waistband is substantial enough to avoid sagging down. You don't want to be distracted by that during your presentation.

About jewelry. Yep, you look great! But pay attention to anything that could make noise during the recording. Earrings and bracelets can jangle, making it very distracting for the video viewer, even if its not audible to your live audience. Necklaces can also create problems.

I recently had a situation where my subject moved around to test for jewelry jangle. It seemed that all would be fine, but she moved during the presentation in ways we didn't anticipate. It created an audio problem we could only solve by pausing the presentation to remove her necklace. Keep that in mind as you dress for your shoot.

Clothing is just one element, but now you'll be a little better prepared for your video shoot.

Steve Smart works with busy entrepreneurs who want to improve their marketing efforts. He lives in St. Louis and can be reached at srsmart@2Qsolutions.net or 636-699-8772.

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