Articles for December, 2009

Website Tune-Ups

by Mark Hess
Amazing Brain by M. Hess
Amazing Brain by M. Hess

Revisit your websites’ design to improve your bottom line. What once seemed more than adequate, may now be lacking. A website designed a couple of years ago, even with updates, may not be ideal today. Part of this is because our minds are so good at seeing improvement all around us and then integrating that new knowledge into our expectations of everything else we see. As we see more examples of cleaner, or more useful website design, with better layouts and content delivery systems, we become achingly aware of sites that look dated or are confusing or seem standard or funky or whatever. We are beings who constantly improve ourselves and expect enhancements in the world around us. This is what drives the auto industry, the music and film business, the fragrance and fashion industry, computers and technology, communications, and almost any other business you can name; not only new, but improved is what we crave.
When it comes to business websites, whether for individual creatives like artists or writers, or giant enterprise conglomerates, another (more…)

Beauty Enhances Usability

by Alec

Read a great article today that I have to share. It explores the value in having beautiful layouts and graphics in web design. This is obviously something we at Full Voice believe strongly in and I’m not just posting it in an effort to digitally turn my nose up, stick my tongue out and squeal “Told you So!”

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No I actually find this article incredibly useful. It explores how attractive graphics with seeming little function actually play a large role in a user’s experience.

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Design isn’t the best way to inform, or to argue a point, and it sometimes gets in the way of allowing you to fit additional functional elements onto your page. But without attractive design people won’t even want to be on your page in the first place.

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Enjoy.

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Article: http://www.alistapart.com/articles/visual-decision-making/

Author Patrick Lynch

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30
Dec

Classic Marketing Mistakes

by Mark Hess

Classic Mistakes by R. Hess
Classic Mistakes by R. Hess

Check out this great article from Paul Christ at KnowThis.com:
It has been nearly sixty years since organizations began to understand the real importance of marketing strategy and planning.  Prior to the 1950s most companies did not have marketing departments, but instead marketing activities were scattered among many departments such as advertising and sales.  Things began to change as scholars and consultants pushed for companies to adopt strategies designed to unify a variety of marketing activities carried out in different parts of the company.  By the 1960s most major college and university business programs were preaching the importance of marketing and an avalanche of books and magazines supported this cause.
With so much time and energy directed to improving marketing decision making, one might think that past mistakes attributed to lack of marketing knowledge would now be all but eliminated.  In reality, there are many mistakes that are bound to be repeated no matter how much attention is directed to understanding marketing.  Here are a few:

1. The Research Tells Us So
Relying on the results of market research as the deciding factor when making (more…)

29
Dec

An Uncomfortably Brief History of Marketing:

by Alec
Old Marketplace

“Marketing is as old as civilization itself.” It is the art of persuasive communications. A practice as basic as convincing a friend to come to the movies or as complex as a website presenting you with links to products that match the interests you wrote in your online profile.

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You’ve most likely seen films about ancient times with images of bustling market places filled with traders actively engaged in persuasive communications. Take for example Ancient Mesopotamia, widely considered the cradle of civilization dating back to over 7000 years ago. It developed because it was where a large number of people crossed paths. It is one of the earliest examples of diverse trade; where the concept of producing for the sole purpose of trade became commonplace. Of course these traders would not have called their activities marketing but that is exactly what it was.

(more…)

28
Dec
Categories: Marketing

The Right Fit

by Mark Hess
The Right fit by R. Hess
The Right Fit by R. Hess

Finding the right mix of media offerings for any client is the most important part we can play in helping maximize resources and in turn raising brand awareness. This has always been true but with the opportunities available via the Internet the choices become ever more complicated, which makes it even more important to carefully consider all the many permutations an effective promotional/advertising campaign might take. We’re working with a small art gift company that doesn’t have a website, yet is still quite successful. At this point in time I think it is assumed that any going concern will at least have some presence on the web, even if it’s just, in effect, a digital business card. You know, a page or two with address and phone numbers, maybe a picture of the physical location or owners and a few representative pics of the service or items for sale to make it easy for potential customers to find basic information. Of course a more (more…)

24
Dec

In Praise of Schedules

by Mark Hess
Blank schedule page
What’s Doing Today? by M Hess

OK, I admit it, I’m not naturally a very organized soul. I tend to get caught up in the business at hand and time seems to slip away and before I know it the day is gone. I’m a bit of a perfectionist and when something I’m working on takes longer than I expected, well, I just keep at it like I have blinders on. But recently I’ve been convinced to use scheduling to try and control my natural tendency to block out the world when I’m working. What a difference! By writing in my Google calendar the things I should be paying attention to hour by hour and day by day. I not only seem to get more done, but I have a better idea of how long things are taking. I know, most of you probably learned to keep a tight schedule in grammar school, but for all of you out there who don’t I highly recommend this small change in your lifestyle. The rewards are great.

22
Dec
Categories: Advice, Strategy

The Value in At Least Trying

by Alec
Trying

Read all the e-books and blogs you want but you wont be able to find a definitively “right” way to conduct social media marketing. That’s because their isn’t one. There isn’t a “right” or “correct” way of making TV commercials, or print advertising either and we have had those channels for far longer.

The truth is that while there are principles which help guide us in creating successful content and engagement, their does not exist a definitive right or wrong, effective or ineffective. There is no secret to producing viral content every time you lift a pen, touch a keyboard, or record a video.

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The most important concept is trying. Putting yourself and your content within reach of potential customers and hoping they bite. Then modifying that delivery and hoping they bite. They trying some new angle and hoping they bite. Its like that old saying about throwing everything at the wall and seeing what sticks.

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My message is this: Social Media Marketing, like all marketing is not an exact science. Many things you do wont make a big difference. Accept that but realize that NOT participating is guaranteed to make NO difference.

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