January 5, 2009
All too often I go into a meeting with a new client and they say “I want to update my website”.
I normally then ask them “what do their analytics say?” And they often just sit there and stare at me with a blank look on their face. They often respond to me with “I don’t think we have analytics on our site”, or “I don’t know, I don’t really look to see what it says” or they ask me “what are you talking about?”
So lets talk a baseline report for a minute — This is basically a first report on your web site to track changes over time.
If you don’t have analytics on your site — before you redo your web site, add an analytics tracking package to your current site. Even a small web site will typically take 30 to 45 days to redo and this will give you a baseline report of who goes to your site, where do they go — and what are they interested in. This provides you with the RETURN ON INVESTMENT information you need to measure the value of your investment.
Best of all — You can get analytics put on your web site for free. It takes very little money to add some simple code to your web site pages. Any programmer who is doing your new site, would be happy to assist you in putting this on your old site.
Typical things that you want a baseline report to answer are:
- How many people currently go to your site?
- What are the most popular pages?
- How long do they stay there?
- Where do they go when they come to your site?
- How are they finding you?
- What keywords drove them to your site?
The list can go on and on — but what we are trying to achieve is a baseline report that we then use to measure the changes we have implemented over time with the new site. In addition, it tells us if we are having success with the new web site and was it a strong return on investment for us.
During these economic times, Marketeers are frequently being asked to justify how they are doing work and the value they bring to the company — without these analytical reports — it is often just another pretty web site.
January 2, 2009
As we look at the financial turmoils in the marketplace it often makes organizations take a look at how they can operate leaner in these tough economic times. In addition, in times of adversity often comes the most innovative solutions to age old problems.
So in that regard, I want to consider a possible change in the way current advertising and marketing agencies currently do business. When I had my old company Digital Metropolis, Inc. we used to say that we called the company Digital Metropolis as we were using the metaphor of a Digital City (yes, AOL had already registered the domain name ahead of us) and we brought in the writers, designers and programmers and with the new digital technologies everyone could work independently. This allowed everyone to use the “Hollywood” production methods used for years. Feature films bring together the best talent for a short period of time to work on a film and then they disband after the production is over.
There are obviously pros and cons to this.
- Low cost overhead – you only pay talent when you use them
- Bring in different talent for each job based on the need of the job
- Low cost overhead – you have lower overhead costs on infrastructure
- No need for a brick and mortar office buildng – or reduced size
- Low cost overhead – did I say this before – health and medical benefits for employees are low
- People have more freedom to do what they want to do without the headache of commuting.
Now some of these PROs are obviously from the owner’s perspective — but lets look at some of the CONs.
- You have to wonder what your sales force is actually selling – traditionally it is the talent of the agency — is it now the better value?
- Freelancers tend to work on multiple projects — and there is often a need to keep them focused on your deadlines and projects.
- Freelancers are often looking for a job — with health and medical benefits — as it is expensive to get — if you don’t have it.
- Communication between team members can sometimes be a problem, when you are dealing with people not in the office. You need to set up the infrastructure for the team to communicate as a whole. Virtual offices are good — but they only work when the entire process has been planned out.
Consider this posting to be a random conversation — that over time gets to be clearer.