the greatest marketing myth of today…

the greatest marketing myth of today…

THE MYTH OF THE ZERO DOLLAR MARKETING BUDGET

“Lean Marketing”, “Minimum Viable Product”, “ Zero Dollar Marketing Campaigns”, and countless other analogies that allude to the idea that you don’t have to spend a penny on marketing to grow your business.

FALSE. 100% UNDENIABLY, CATEGORICALLY FALSE.

Right now you may be attempting to argue the point by listing off the incredible list of names and companies that have proven otherwise.

WRONG AGAIN.

The root of the issue is how people define marketing and for most people, marketing= paid advertising. plain and simple.

based on this extremely narrow definition, then yes, you can absolutely grow your business without advertising.

but you can not execute a $0 marketing budget UNLESS you are lucky enough to have volunteers running your organization who fully donate their time, knowledge and talent without any form of compensation.

the majority of those claiming astounding results with a $0 marketing budget are fooling themselves. the truth is they have full time staff managing their social media, full time staff hitting the phones for their PR and full time staff managing their website(s) and brand touch points.

what they fail to realize is that every single dollar of their salaries, bonuses, share options, benefits, etc.. all count towards the marketing budget.

on the end of the scale, you have larger, well financed organizations augmenting their in-house staff with talented AD, creative and marketing agencies that allow them to unlock their full potential.

if you have a $0 marketing budget. you have $0 in revenue. guaranteed.

hot soup media is a creative agency, headquartered in Vancouver BC and provides graphic design, website design, AD design and branding services to our clients. hot soup media has the people, the processes, the tools, the knowledge and the intuition to be the ideal business/agency partner for your [company, campaign, vision, brand, product, service]

July 2, 2014 0

be a passenger…

be a passenger…

have you ever been a passenger while someone else is driving and felt like they were out of control?

But then you quickly glance at the speedometer and realize they are going the speed limit?

when you are behind the wheel, you have a different sense of the world around you, everything is in control, you know the car, you know the road and have no earthly idea why your passengers are gripping onto the the roof handle for dear life.

your customers are your passengers.

your goal is to help them have, share and experience the same sensations, emotions and reactions as you.

some call this perspective, or empathy – either way, you can not have it until you trade places with your customer. you will soon realize that their perception of your actions/messages/ideas/vision are either exaggerated or muted, but rarely ever perfectly inline.

this is why branding can seem so ethereal…it is a continual ebb and flow, balancing, adjusting, tweaking with the aim of bringing the passengers world in-line with the drivers.

hot soup media is a creative agency providing branding, graphic + web design & advertising services to clients looking to launch new ideas, campaigns, products and services, recapture the imagination of their customer or enter new markets and opportunities.

June 30, 2014 0

designing a great website – step 8

designing a great website – step 8

launch and maintenance

there are two key areas where you will notice the difference between the web ninja, wizard, expert you found on Craigslist or Yelp and the the digital agency or creative agency that you properly vetted.

1) how your new site is promoted

2) the maintenance plan

there are two big myths in website design and development, one being “if you build it they will come”. part of investing the time, energy and resources into re-designing or building a new website is including a roll out plan for promoting the website itself, new features and information.

the second biggest myth is that website design and development is a one time cost. you can definitely treat it as a one time occurrence that only happens every 24-36 months – but if you are unlucky enough to be in a competitive industry or field – you will lose out. to get the most out of your online marketing and website, you need to have an on-going maintenance and management plan that includes content editing and updates as well as technical and security updates that will optimize your website for search engines, viewing and interaction for your users.

ideally your website designer, digital agency or creative agency has a pro-active monthly/quarterly maintenance plan or if you are large enough to have your own internal IT department, part of launching and promoting your new website also includes a transition plan to shift ownership and maintenance to your IT and marketing departments.

 

hot soup media is a creative agency, headquartered in Vancouver BC and provides graphic design, website design, AD design and branding services to our clients. hot soup media has the people, the processes, the tools, the knowledge and the intuition to be the ideal business/agency partner for your [company, campaign, vision, brand, product, service]

 

December 16, 2013 0

designing a great website – step 7

designing a great website – step 7

 

finalize development

when you are working with an experienced web design team or creative agency, they always recommend a content freeze when you are finalizing the development of your new website. this helps for smoother and faster production of screen graphics, HTML files, page templates (if applicable) – as your goal should be to get to beta testing as soon as possible.

once the beta site is approved, it should be released to a select user group within the organization as well as participating audience members to perform quality tests, user tests and generate a list of necessary revisions and bug fixes.

build in the time to test – treat your website and online marketing campaign as a “physical product” – develop the working prototype and fine tune it before shipping it out. the beauty of the digital age and actually working with a talented website building team – is that digital touch points such as websites – are organic and evolve continuously. (where as a physical product may go through a scheduled and fixed upgrade cycle every 24-36 months – or even less often)

 

hot soup media is a creative agency, headquartered in Vancouver BC and provides graphic design, website design, AD design and branding services to our clients. hot soup media has the people, the processes, the tools, the knowledge and the intuition to be the ideal business/agency partner for your [company, campaign, vision, brand, product, service]

 

December 15, 2013 0

designing a great website – step 6

designing a great website – step 6

 

 developing the technical design

for some reason, this is where a lot of website design conversations begin…and often how an amateur will approach your website and online marketing needs.

technology is a tool to leverage and/or execute on an idea – TECHNOLOGY IS NOT THE IDEA.

if you the web design agency, company or team that you are meeting with starts the conversation with buzzwords like WordPress, HTML5, Responsive, AJAX, PHP,e-commerce, CMS, SEO, XML, JSON, JavaScript, Ruby, Perl, Python, Drupal, Joomla, and any other odd combination of letters and numbers – kindly thank them for their time and move on.

a great website building team, company, agency always chooses the best technology for each specific project. what YOUR goals are, what YOUR website’s purpose is and what content will be shared – determine how to best choose, implement and leverage different technologies – NOT what the developer is only comfortable with.

how good is the fanciest and smartest phone – without any sort of network/internet connection?

 

hot soup media is a creative agency, headquartered in Vancouver BC and provides graphic design, website design, AD design and branding services to our clients. hot soup media has the people, the processes, the tools, the knowledge and the intuition to be the ideal business/agency partner for your [company, campaign, vision, brand, product, service]

 

 

December 14, 2013 0

designing a great website – step 5

designing a great website – step 5

 

 create a visual design

for you the client – this is usually the fun part, where you finally get to see layouts for key screens, website navigation ideas, colour palettes, visual effects and ways to integrate media. when you work with a website design company, or creative agency that knows what it is doing – you have a site structure that is based on content, not screen design – which helps ensure that your visual design and user experience meets visitor expectations, communicates clearly (and visually) and is of course easy to use and intuitive for your audience.

this is also the stage where you begin planning how different areas of your website and how content will act on different screens (responsive design) – which helps ensure that visitors have an appropriate and unique experience on each platform, while achieving key strategic objectives (building awareness, selling a product/service, educating, informing).

 

hot soup media is a creative agency, headquartered in Vancouver BC and provides graphic design, website design, AD design and branding services to our clients. hot soup media has the people, the processes, the tools, the knowledge and the intuition to be the ideal business/agency partner for your [company, campaign, vision, brand, product, service]

 

December 13, 2013 0

designing a great website – step 4

designing a great website – step 4

 

 preparing content

there are many benefits to working with a creative agency, digital agency or actual web design companies – over freelancers. one of those key benefits is providing your web or online marketing project with insight and knowledge on more than “just design” and “just development” (coding).

one area of insight in planning, designing and building a great website, whether it be for a short term campaign, a corporate website or a product/service website, is to identify and create web specific copy and content. by now, you have established an internal team to work with your chosen creative or digital agency (or website company) and you can establish an editorial workflow that starts by organizing content, looking within your organization for unique content and having the agency rewrite the copy specifically for the web.

(it is also important to have someone from legal review the copy and content going on your website.)

at this point you will have a clear vision of what content needs to be created and you can allow your selected creative team commission this new content which could be copy and/or visual and media assets.

this makes perfect sense when you think about how your organization is built – you have people that have specific skills, educations and abilities into roles where they can flourish and deliver the best results – rather than trying to force an accountant, to also be a sales person, or a sales person to manage a supply chain.

 

hot soup media is a creative agency, headquartered in Vancouver BC and provides graphic design, website design, AD design and branding services to our clients. hot soup media has the people, the processes, the tools, the knowledge and the intuition to be the ideal business/agency partner for your [company, campaign, vision, brand, product, service]

 

December 12, 2013 0

designing a great website – step 3

designing a great website – step 3

 

define structure

the most common misstep in planning, designing and developing a new website is thinking that content is the last step. content is critical. content is the reason your audience wants to engage with your brand online. content is why your marketing efforts drew them in. before any concepts are developed, before any layouts are approved – your content plan needs to be outlined and the relationship between all of your content needs to be mapped out.

once you have defined and logical relationships – not based on your company’s hierarchy or department structure – but based on how your audience will be interacting and engaging with your website(s). this takes thought and insight – this is what separates “web designers” you will find on craigslist and web design & web development teams that work within creative agencies.

deciding on technology and feature sets – all depend on the content you plan to have online, so worry more about web specific content and less about wether your website will be responsive, running wordpress, use HTML5, JQuery and yada yada yada – if you hire a great digital agency and web design team, they will show you all of the cool things your website could do.

there is a difference – and your marketing ROI will show it.

 

hot soup media is a creative agency, headquartered in Vancouver BC and provides graphic design, website design, AD design and branding services to our clients. hot soup media has the people, the processes, the tools, the knowledge and the intuition to be the ideal business/agency partner for your [company, campaign, vision, brand, product, service]

 

 

December 11, 2013 1

designing a great website – step 2

designing a great website – step 2

 

build groundwork

step 1 was about establishing core guidelines as well as laying out some initial assumptions. for a web designer, u/x designer and developer assumptions help map out ideas, but the key to building a great website is actually testing those assumptions.

we all would like to believe that our businesses are truly unique and there are no competitors that could do what we do. 99.99% of the time this is the first assumption that is thrown in to the bin. a critical activity in website design and development is a competitive audit – which means establishing a peer group to baseline against. what is often overlooked is including ideas and benchmarks from other industries who engage with the same target audience.

the reason why most successful companies enlist a creative web design agency is to provide unbiased and objective feedback/evaluation of the existing site and to revisit the goals and objectives.

this is also technology is explored as well as sources of content and resources for ongoing site maintenance.

 

December 10, 2013 0