Archive for the ‘Website Design & Usability’ Category

Caught In A Paradigm Shift – From Outbound Marketing to Inbound Marketing

Little did we know as pioneers in the Search Engine Optimization field in 1996, that The InterCon Group was present at the very beginning of a paradigm shift as to how marketing messages are delivered to the masses.  The shift from an outbound model to an inbound model was just beginning to take hold.

Since the Internet and search has become commonplace, (and now you can add social media), marketing has transitioned from an outbound traditional model to an inbound model.  Let me explain.

When thinking of making a purchasing decision, people today prefer to do their research via Googling  the keyword  of the product or service they are interested in, visiting social media sites to see what others are saying about it, reading blogs to get more information, or watching videos, etc. These are all examples of inbound marketing.  The question is, why do people prefer this method today?

Inbound marketing is a 2 way communication.  The consumer comes to you ready to make a purchase and you as a savvy marketer, provide value to them by educating them (and entertaining them) via your website or the mediums previously listed.

This is opposite of outbound marketing (1 way communication) where consumers are sought out via billboards, TV commercials, direct mail, phone soliciting, radio commercials, etc. wherever they are and whether or not they are in the purchasing mode.  You, as a marketer often provide no value and rarely educate your consumer this way.  In fact to a majority of people, you are intrusive and annoying.

Facts to support this:

  • 200 million Americans registered for the do not call list
  • 86% of people skip TV ads
  • 91% – of email users unsubscribe from an email they previously opted into.
  • 44% of direct mail is never opened.

More facts:

  • 67% of B2C companies have acquired a customer via Facebook.
  • The number of marketers who say Facebook is critical to their business increased 83% in the last 2 years.
  • 42% have acquired a customer via Twitter.
  • 57% have acquired a customer via a blog.

When you engage your target market with interesting and useful content and combine it with a strong presence, you will reap the benefits by obtaining new business.

Another advantage? Inbound marketing costs approximately 67% less per lead than traditional outbound marketing. 

 Today’s consumers are more educated and as a result, will never return to responding well to outbound marketing/advertising.

*All statistics are from ComScore.  (ComScore is a global leader in measuring the digital world and preferred source of digital business analytics).

 

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Website Usability versus Visitor Engagement Reality… Are They One and the Same?

We all know the importance of developing an intuitive Website that meets the needs of our customers.  We structure our navigational maps to deliver content within a click or two.

We conduct keyword research to identify highly searched or niche phrases relevant to our customer’s needs and forms the foundation for our content architecture. We review usability studies and website development best practices; we assess competitor and industry specific informational sites.  We spend months in development and are confident we’ve done the job right.

The Website is launched and data is mined from the onset.  The initial visitor data shows disappointing results in terms of user engagement… how could that be since we did everything right… by the book?  It is not uncommon to build a site ‘correctly’ in terms of on-site components. The real question is, do the components engage your audience?  Will visitors tell their friends and colleagues about it?  Will content areas gain viral exposure?

It is important to determine the areas dragging your site stats down? Replenish poorly performing areas with interactive content.  Study visitor trends and continually make Website adjustments to deliver a superior customer experience.

A structurally correct, content oriented Website does not necessarily equate to optimal performance…

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