Spending Some Tech Time with Marco

One of the things we love to do is bring in other media types to the News Hour and have a Marco Santana 10 April 2014 discussion on their speciality. Here is Marco Santana from the Des Moines Register talking up technology in Iowa...and the economic impact it brings the state.  

We continue our "All Tech Thursday" discussion with Marco Santana. We visit about the "Tri-Techta" that went on this week from the Technology Association of Iowa: The Prometheus Awards, Pitch & Grow and I2Iowa and more.  And, yes, we did lots and lots of "name dropping"!  Here is that conversation:

 
Insight on Business the News Hour with Michael Libbie is heard Monday - Friday from 5PM to 6PM on 1350-KRNT, Des Moines.  Connect with us on Twitter @IoB_NewsHour and, for more fun, here is our Facebook Page.
 

Stunned...

When we saw these numbers we were...stunned.  But on second thought, Man Surprised we should not have been.  Ready? Last year Google (you've heard of them...right?) showed that 97 percent of Internet users (consumers) look online for local goods and services. Meanwhile, only 45 percent of American businesses with fewer than 250 employees have built a...website.

What is worse is that even a smaller percentage of those who currently have an online presence can be...found and seen.  And, nope, we're not talking about SEO mystic science but simple fixes that business can do to get found as well as been seen.

Getting Found:

If you want to spend your money on SEO or Search Engine Optimization go ahead...blow a wad.  But, if you want organic results turn to several in-house methods from blogging to video to traditional advertising.  You see, if folks don't know you exist...they can't find you.  And, while SEO is nice, we've also seen horror stories.  Why not spend some time and build your brand...yourself?

Being Seen:

With over 50 percent of online searches being done using mobile devices if your website can't been seen, worked with or used to make contact with you...guess what?  You are missing out of tons of opportunities.  So, is your site...responsive?  Can it be seen, and more importantly, used, across many platforms?

It's way past time...start this process today and...win! 

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Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications can be found on Twitter @InsightADV, on Facebook and we are the fuel that powers Insight on Business the News Hour heard Monday - Friday on 1350-KRNT, Des Moines. 


They Don't Matter...

Yesterday morning I got an 'excited' email from a local company sharing Man What the Heck with me the news they just 'revamped' their website.  Because we're in the business of helping companies build websites...we wanted to take a look. It's very pretty.  Nice images, clear text and not too crowded.

On a hunch I decided to try to bring it up on my iPhone.  Disaster.  The 'new revamped website' was not...responsive.  In other words to actually use the site on my phone I had to 'pinch and scroll" around just to fine the phone number.

Weary...and...sad.

This very public, very connected company must think that the 50% of web searches that are done on a mobile device simply don't matter.  That of 1,000 people that search for their site only 500 will be able to use it properly.

And, nope...it's not money.  This company has...plenty.  It's just silly. And a waste and...

Never mind.  I can tell it doesn't do any good.

Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications is the fuel that powers Insight on Business the News Hour heard Monday - Friday from 5PM to 6PM on 1350-KRNT, Des Moines.  Here is the podcast page...

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What Was That Stat?

From Insight on Business the News Hour with Michael Libbie a report Woman Shopping Mobile from this week:

The National Retail Federation reported that spending over the Thanksgiving weekend dropped 2.7% compared to a year ago. On the crucial Black Friday shopping day, online sales accounted for 44% of the total, up from 41% last year, the NRF noted.

So, why should you care?  Here is the rest of the story:

Shoppers are shifting more of their holiday purchasing online for several reasons we think: E-commerce websites are more convenient than physical stores, more deals and promotions are on the web now, more people have mobile devices which makes it easier to shop online and hot holiday items that sell out quickly are often still available on the Internet.

Notice what we wrote and highlighted.  Which begs the question, "Can consumers use their mobile device to access your website and actually use it?"

If not...you must get "responsive design"...now.

You are welcome.

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To connect with us on Facebook or on Twitter it's @InsightADV thank you for reading.


The Lowest Bidder

Let's say you are a membership driven organization...like a chamber of Woman Bidder commerce and you're going to have a company build out a new website.  Of course you take bids and, in the end, you accept the lowest bidder.  The problem is folks that use mobile devices can't use your site because it's not responsive.

And it's not like you didn't know.  Because you were told, several times, that close to 50% of website usage is now from smart-phones.  People trying to access web pages using Android or iPhones.  Several times.  However, you chose to ignore the advice and accepted "the lowest bidder".

In the end you drive away consumers, customers and people who are trying to use your site to connect with your members because...you didn't listen and accepted the lowest bidder.

Maybe accepting the lowest bidder isn't such a good idea.

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Connect with us on Twitter @InsightADV and on Facebook.  We're also the fuel to the only daily, local, live radio broadcast about business in the Des Moines Metro:  Insight on Business the News Hour airs Monday - Friday from 5PM to 6PM on 1350-KRNT. Business news and business news-makers every day on the drive home.



Just Say "No"

It's a blog about advertising, marketing and communication for business from our business Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications. How about that...

Last week we were visiting with a young marketer from a well known Man Undecidedbusiness in Des Moines who told us, "We're pulling all of our traditional advertising in favor of search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM)."  That's right.  No television, radio, print, billboards...nada.  Going all digital.

Great Idea or Train Wreck?

While we love SEO and SEM we also believe that putting all your eggs in one basket is a train wreck in the making.  Why?

Because pulling everything from traditional media leaves your existing customers lost.  While we would all like to believe that every consumer is sitting down in front of a PC, tablet or smart-phone surfing the world for stuff they need/want...it isn't reality.

We would have advised, had they asked, a complete review of what traditional media the company has been using and what media outlets fit their specific demographic.  Cut out what does not fit and then use those marketing dollars to work the SEO/SEM side of the business.  That way you don't lose the top of mind awareness of your existing customer or the "almost customer" who needs the priming to make a buy.

Feel free to leave us a comment here or let's connect on our Twitter Feed @InsightADV and our Facebook Page is right here.

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Responsive Web Design - DWebware

Last week I got a call from my long time friend Andy Priestley regarding Dweb new signthe new things going on at DWebware.  For full disclosure, we've used the services of DWebware for as long as they have been in business.  We've done this because they are a great local based business that never, ever, talks down to their clients.  And they are honest and helpful.

So, when Andy says, "Come on over."  I'll make a call. (Besides they always have the best candy sitting around.)

We sat down with Andy, Jordan and Jennifer and went through the Responsive Web Design tour which also incorporates heavy Social Media Interface.

Impressive and some huge take-a-ways:

  • Call to Action - Are you using your website as a billboard or are you trying to sell a product/service?  If you are in business to sell something include a call to action on your home page.  Seems simple no?
  • How Do You Look? - Can I use your website in mobile applications?  Does it scale correctly? Does is the "flow" of your site seamless?  Welcome to responsive web design.
  • Social Media Interface - Sure you can encourage folks to "like" your page but do you allow visitors to share your blog with their tribe and is the placement of those sharing icons correct?

Dweb new conferenceBesides the education we got to peek at their swanky new conference room and bold paint colors.  Hey...ya gotta be pretty too!

We're been honored to have been with DWebware for the past ten plus years and hope to work with them more.

Thanks for coming by.  If you would like to leave a comment here, feel free.  Or connect on our Twitter Stream @InsightADV and/or our advertising agency Facebook Page is right here.

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The QR Code Controversy - Are They Dead?

Recently B.L. Orchman wrote a piece for Ad Age Digital with this
headline and tagline: QR Codes Are Dead, Trampled by Easier-to-Use Apps - New Technology Can Make Almost Any Product Interactive, No Download Needed." Whew!  That would make you think investing in a smart campaign that correctly uses QR Codes might be a waste of time.  But hold on there...all is not as it seems. QR Code Video

The article makes a big deal out of how new technology can make products "come alive" by simply "touching your smartphone to a product".  Trouble is...each of the tech items mentioned requires a download.  And, because there are three different technologies highlighted...that is three downloads. (Never mind that the tag line says you don't need to download...you do.)

QR Codes are far from "dead".  While many consumers still have not figured out what they are and how to activate them, QR Code use continues to increase.  And, if you are smart about explaining what they are and how to use them they will make a difference in driving traffic to where you want consumers to go.

BTW one of the downsides of an app is that you, as a business, have the cost of creating the app and then marketing the app to consumers whom you HOPE will take the time to download your nifty new contraption.  Meanwhile, out side of some proprietary code readers, a QR Code reader is free and so too is the conversion from a url to a QR Code.  One and it's done.

So, before you order flowers for the funeral it might be a good time to re-think QR Code use.  Need some help?  We're here.

If you want to read the Ad Age article, here is that link.

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If you would like to comment here, feel free.  And/OR let's connect on our advertising agency Twitter Stream and/or our agency Facebook Page which is right here.




The Fridge Magnet & Pizza

We're always on the lookout for some neat ideas and when we saw this Red-tomato-pizza-ordering-button campaign from TBWA/RADD for their client Red Tomato Pizza we were impressed. It recently won the 2012 Caples Award for direct marketing.

Not only did they stay in budget ($9,000) but according to the story deliveries went up by 500% and over 93,000 requests from new customers but the company also hit the bulls-eye with free media (this post being one) that was worth over $8 million.

The down-side:  The pizza place is located in...Dubai.  But, what the heck it's still a very cool idea.  Here's a look at their video:

 


So, what new way can you connect with your consumer base?  Come on now...think!

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If you want to comment here, feel free or follow our advertising agency Twitter Stream @InsightADV or our agency Facebook Page, which is right here.  Thanks for coming by!


Could It Be?

We've struggled, for several weeks, with Internet Explorer and Chrome. Firefox_logo  First it was Twitter which didn't work correctly when using IE, then Chrome would simply freeze up. So...

We moved to Firefox.

Will it work?  We don't know but, already, we're seeing a major difference in speed and the ability of several applications working better. The short story is we're impressed and we'll keep you in the loop!

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