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“HELP! This Website Is A Monster!”

“HELP! This Website Is A Monster!”

Does that sound familiar? If so, you’re not alone. Seriously. It may be the most common phone call we get from clients after a successful web launch.

It starts out innocently enough. You need a web site, and you find a creative partner to develop the new site. Perhaps the site even includes online tools that will allow you to update the site without a ton of technical-know-how. In just a few months there’s a shiny new web site to show off to current customers and potential clients.

Lasting Impressions NewsletterThat’s when it all starts to go downhill. Work gets in the way, as it should. You’re not sure what content should be included. A few weeks pass from the online training session and you forget how to log in to make changes. Updates get further and further behind. The next time you think about updating the web site, it has become an unruly monster with so many “to dos”, you don’t have the time to do half of what needs to be done. In defeat, you turn off the light and walk away.

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When Vanity Metrics Don’t Measure Up

When Vanity Metrics Don’t Measure Up

Marketer is the award-winning, bimonthly member journal of the Society for Marketing Professional Services, reporting on current business development and marketing practices, issues, and trends within the A/E/C field. Elke Giba shared her thoughts as a “My Turn” contributor in the April 2013 issue.

A few years ago, our internal marketing team marched into a mahogany-lined boardroom to report the results of our recent marketing efforts to several C-level executives. The numbers were dazzling, depicted in complementary colored graphs and charts, documenting all the activities over which we had labored in previous weeks. But just a few minutes into the presentation, watching the blank faces of the executive team, we realized with a gut-dropping panic that we had missed the point. We had measured results that had little consequence to their sales-oriented objectives, which should have been the focus of our presentation in the first place. My fears were confirmed when the CEO asked, “So what?”

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Resolved: 4 Questions To Get To Your Goals

Resolved: 4 Questions to Get to Your Goals

Lasting Impressions NewsletterAh, a new year! Which means it’s time for a little reflection on the previous 365 days, and a little projection for the days ahead. Many of us set resolutions at the beginning of the year, and then abandon the new habits just a few weeks into January. Resolutions don’t work for me either, so I set goals instead. I use a quick 4-question survey to look back on the previous year, and make a plan for the next year. No pain, no fuss. Just four questions. When I’m done, I have a simple action plan to make this year successful.

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Four Ways To Keep Talking

Four Ways to Keep Talking

Every day, we talk to all kinds of clients who need help building their brand. There is a reoccurring theme to these conversations — clients want to find new customers and keep the ones they have. Who knew? And exactly how do you do that?

One answer is to start a conversation offline. Any good conversation worth having contains equal parts of talking, and listening. Our digital impulses tend to shut off the listening part of the conversation. Here are four ways to step away from the keyboard, and have a conversation with your customers.

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Where Are You And Why?

Where Are You and Why?

On a trip to lovely Nashville, Tennessee, a tub of Blue Bell Kentucky Delight Ice Cream jumped out of the Kroger freezer case and into our grocery cart. (What? You don’t go shopping at the grocery store when you’re on a trip? Hmm.) Turns out it was simply yummy pecan pie pieces and caramel folded into brown sugar ice cream.

It was advertised as Kentuckian. It even featured the outline of the Bluegrass state on the packaging. Sure, some bakers  may splash a little bourbon in their pecan pie recipe. But Kentucky Delight? We have pecan pie in Texas, so there is no way it should be limited to Kentucky! And where is Kentucky exactly? Isn’t it north of Oklahoma?

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How To Alienate Customers And Lose Money

How to Alienate Customers And Lose Money

It is time to talk about JCPenney and their new marketing strategies under Ron Johnson. It was possible to hope for a different outcome, but cracks started to appear before the fresh coat of paint was even dry. How effective is their aggressive jump into a new branding and sales campaign!

In a rush to implement new marketing strategies, like changes in pricing structure and store design, JCPenney forgot about their consumer. No doubt they were trying to attract a new shopper, or at least get her to shop more often. And in the meantime, they completely alienated current customers with a sudden shift in pricing and no incentives (coupons) to drive purchases. Sales have suffered and the perception of the previously solid retail brand has been damaged. JCPenney is suffering from an identity crisis. Not only are the trying to redefine what the retailer looks like, they have completely lost sight of who was buying items at their store in the first place.

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