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3 Attributes Great Digital Marketing Clients have in Common

28 May

Great Clients Like anything in life, if it is worth having, it takes time and that includes building an online brand in an ever-changing web world.  Great clients make it look easy but the truth is nothing in development is easy, because every project is unique.

What makes someone a great client? After working with clients over the last 15 + years in a variety of industries, I would easily say that every great client has these 3 attributes in common:

1. They understand the virtue of patience. No brand was built in a day, websites take weeks and sometimes even months to complete. The first step to building an online brand is to understand the company’s goals, their competitors and current business flow. Once your consultant fully understands the scope of the project, they then translate it to developers, designers and writers.  Rushing design or development elements only produces sloppy work so plan accordingly and trust your team to set the project goals.

2. They appreciate the value of working with a professional and just like they are experts in their field they hire professionals that can make their ideas come to life online. There is a lot to know about digital marketing and the rules are always shifting, work with professionals you can trust to guide you towards the best marketing and technology tools to build your business. And, keep the relationship beyond launch so that they can continue to bring new ideas to you and keep your business on the cutting edge of technology.

3. They know what they want but are open-minded to adapting their ideas or project timeline to fit the development process, budget, timelines, specifications, etc…. Depending on the size of the project, turning your ideas into an online business may require 3 – 10 people working on it. It is important you balance your expectations with what is possible. Let’s face it–anything is possible with technology but often times the budget or time constraints dictate what can be done now and what can be added later. Sometimes it is more important to be first to launch with a quality product that meets your needs rather than last to launch with the product that has all your wants.

Web design, development and content creation should be fun. Take the time to enjoy the  process and really get what you need out of your marketing team. You may find that what you thought you wanted wasn’t what you needed at all. Pick marketing and technology partners you can trust and that don’t tell you what you want to hear, but rather what you need to hear.

Have fun! If you are in the middle of a development project, please share your story with me.

Thank you for following,

Erika

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4 key elements to every successful website

10 Dec

Teamwork in the officeThere are four key elements to every successful website:  creative design, innovative technology, branded content and an online marketing action plan:

1. Creative Design. People are visual by nature so we know that creative design elements affect the way visitors identify with a particular brand and create an emotional connection to it. A professional designer can help you select colors, font styles, design layouts and images to make the biggest impact for your business.

2. Innovative Technology. Technology is the engine that powers your brand. It is what makes customers want to buy from you. Good technology simplifies or improves customer’s lives in some way, whether it is the ease of shopping online, managing an account from their smart phone, being entertained on a plane trip or accessing important information on the go. Typically, the better, more advanced technology means it is simpler to use and results in higher customer satisfaction.

TO READ FULL ARTICLE AS FEATURED ON SHIFT Digital Media, CLICK HERE

As always, good luck creating your new website. It should be one of the most exciting and creative processes you go through as a business professional.

Thank you for following,

Erika Rossi-Raia
http://www.ErikaRossiRaia.com

How effective is your website?

9 Oct

How effective is your website? In today’s New York Times, writer Frederic Lardinois from ReadWriteWeb talks about the various usability tests that are being used to provide companies with feedback on their websites. Clue and FiveSecondTest.com are just two of the online 5-second usability test services listed in the article that offer these type of tests to companies. There are dozens of other companies out there offering similar tests and many are free.

Why use the 5-second test or other usability tests? Websites costs thousands of dollars and having important information about your customer’s online experience can make the difference between gaining a customer or losing one. The test results will tell you what areas of your website need to be improved whether it is in the design, functionality or marketing message. How many sites have you visited that you left because it was difficult to navigate or the design was not what you expected? Did you go back? What about positive experiences online that made you a loyal customer? Did the website sell you on their products and services? That is the information you are looking for as a company.
Introducing New Web Designs or Products. If you haven’t launched your website and/or if you are introducing a new design or product then the usability test can be a great tool for you because you will know what your audience thinks before the public sees it. The results will clearly define your marketability and effectiveness before it is launched and give you a chance to make improvements where needed.

Improving Existing Websites. If you have already launched your website and just want information to improve the effectiveness of your website, these tools can be helpful as well because it will allow you insight into how your customers use your site and how you can organize or redesign it to meet their needs.

No matter what test you choose, there are 3 things you should consider before you begin:
1. Define exactly what you are testing. Do you want to know what people are searching for on your site? Do you want to know if people understand your new product or service? Do you want to know what people are buying online? It sounds simple but there are dozens of usability tests and knowing what results you are looking for will help you find the right test for your website.

2. Define your target. You have to define your target and confirm that the test is being given to people within that market otherwise you will not get the results you are looking for. For example, if you are testing your shopping cart on a group of people who work in the technology field versus your target which is not typically in the business then your results are going to be drastically different.

3. Prioritize your goals. What are your goals? Are you selling a product? Or, a service? Are there critical functions your customers need to perform on your site each day? How important are the design elements to your business? What are the 5 most important things you want your customers to know when they go to your website? Is your site organized in a clear, concise fashion that makes your customer’s online experience a positive one that keeps them coming back again and again.

To learn more, follow my blog by clicking on Follow in the column at the right hand side of this page.

Written by: Erika Rossi-Raia

Starting new Web or Mobile Projects

9 Oct

Starting a new web or mobile project is exciting, it is your time to be creative and explore all the different design and development options out there. Take your time to fine tune your wish list.

The first thing I like to do with clients when we meet is to invite them to relax, put down their pens and paper (or ipads/tablets) and just talk from the heart about their reasons for starting the business. You can learn a lot about your clients and their goals for the new site and determine the overall purpose and feel for the end product.

Second, I like to visit competitor’s sites with my clients and make a list of what we believe they do well and what could be improved. This also allows you to learn about the current market for this particular industry and brainstorm ideas on how new technology and new ideas can help you improve the business concept.

Lastly, I like to create a timeline for my clients that tell them exactly when we will be addressing each of the main components of the site (functionality, content, design, test/prelaunch, launch and others depending on project). Each week we tackle the next component, assign tasks and setup perimeters/guidelines for the next session.

All communication is shared via a project management system (ie basecamp) so that we can reference notes when we start development. Understanding the process and continually managing your list of requirements is important especially when it comes to technology and all the factors that go into its success.

Staying organized and keeping the lines of communication open throughout the planning and development process are the keys to any project. It is critical that you brainstorm and look at all of your options and finalize your list of requirements before development begins. Your developers will be happy to receive your information in an organized, well-thought out plan and you will save time and costly mistakes down the road.
Take your time and enjoy this exciting time!
Written by: Erika Rossi-Raia

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