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If your web providers walk like slimeballs and talk like slimeballs, they're probably slimeballs.
Face it; there are a lot of unprofessional website providers out there. Some have slick selling tactics that create urgency and promise the impossible - including overnight results and special bargain-basement pricing if you act now.
Do you really want to put something as important as your business website in their hands? You know the old adage: if it sounds too good to be true, it's probably too good to be true.
Others providers take advantage of you by talking their techno-speak, which makes everything sound complex and difficult to do. They'll make you feel helpless and create a picture of mission-critical, enterprise efforts needed to solve your web marketing requests.
Do you really want to deal with people who techno-blab all the time?
It isn't hard to set up shop and call yourself a Website designer. That's the problem. And that's exactly why most businesses and organizations face delays, cost overruns and disappointing results.
The web marketing industry is especially prone to unprofessional and unethical conduct. We're still in the industry's infancy in many ways. Reports suggest that 89% of websites fail to deliver results. There's plenty of blame to go around, but the bottom-line is that you can avoid being a member of the 89% group. First, don't walk but run if you're approached by slimeballs or techno-blabbers. Next, develop a vendor/partner criteria list and stick to it.
So, how can you develop the right criteria for selecting the right firm for you? Of course, due diligence is always a necessary step, but we'd suggest these additional steps for our industry:
That's why, whenever the performance of web marketing is vital to your future, FireWolf is the solutions provider of choice. Consider the qualities that have established FireWolf team as the leader in web marketing, and join a world of satisfied clients.
FireWolf can build an end-to-end, web-enabled marketing infrastructure that keeps up with your ever-changing needs √ no matter how complex the environment. FireWolf can also provide many other strategic business advantages, including the ability to serve as a powerful yet economical platform for business and marketing improvements.
"Houston, we've got a problem." These famous words, spoken by astronaut Jim Lovell from space in April 1970, launched a famous public demonstration of solution-finding. The spacecraft was made of three components: the main command module, the service module, and the lunar landing module. 55 hours into the mission, a cryogenic tank exploded in the service module - causing loss of oxygen and power to the command module. From that moment, Gene Kranz, lead flight director for Mission Control, quickly realized that the mission was not about success. It was about something far more important: solving an unforeseen problem under sudden and unexpected limitations. That's when Kranz announced to the ground crew in Houston "Failure is not an option," - equally famous words that are applied today to the importance of achieving success in every aspect of life from home to work. So when recent surveys report that 89% of websites fail to deliver results, it's clear that failure has become an all too frequent and eventual outcome. It doesn't have to be this way and it shouldn't have to be this way. The surveys that benchmark web marketing success examine dozens of critical factors that include: business plan, strategic planning, ROI projections and measurements, site architecture, navigation, application functionality, reliability, search engine marketing, content, graphics and imbedded marketing tools.
There are some startling conclusions such as the overall 89% failure to deliver results rate, the lack of any planning or ROI projections in over 85% of the population and more than 50% fail in basic web development and marketing techniques. An increasing number of sites are starting to pop up that are truly beautiful design executions, yet have been found to annoy most visitors who expect to find and access their desired information in less than 10 seconds √ making a web home page the equivalent of a 65-mile per hour car glancing at an expressway billboard.
No wonder we hear so many businesses and organizations saying, we've got a problem. We believe that mindsets must first change. Accepting less than stellar outcomes should never be tolerated. Setting the bar low is just as unacceptable. Web marketing and its technology components is a predictable science and, therefore, outcomes can be estimated and projected within a statistical probability √ and that usually means you'll hit within 5-10%, positive or negative, of your targets.
Support that success mindset with a comprehensive business, sales, marketing and technology solution for your web marketing program. Are you building a website? Or are you launching a critical asset that will enable you to make business improvements, increase market share and reduce costs? Follow that with a commitment to excellence in all the critical components of a web marketing program, and you will not have a problem because success was the only option.
The test pilot's mission is to go to the edge - knowing that survival depends on a few special qualities √ high performance, time-proven reliability and stability at high speeds.
Sound familiar? In an age where technology acts as a catalyst to revolutionize world dynamics, market penetration and success means fighting the marketing battle in an intensely competitive world and driving the business to a commanding position.
Only the strong will survive no longer prevails. The key to success lies in unleashing your organization's potential through a business process - triggering unprecedented web marketing excellence.
High Performance. Extracting the highest levels of experience and functionality from a website for visitors under any circumstance is a necessity. You must consistently outperform competitors in search engine marketing results, site functionality, page views, repeat visitors, click-throughs and conversion. You must also sustain your superiority across time, business cycles, industry disruptions and unexpected changes. Then you have high performance.
Time-Proven Reliability. All the best websites in the world still have to stand up to the ultimate test: can they provide day-in and day-out access and full functionality to a wide variety of audiences and deliver results? Whether your organization is a one-person firm or a Fortune 500 enterprise, you have to create a long and successful track record, a culture of quality and a commanding presence to a multitude of audiences through your web marketing efforts. Then you have time-proven reliability.
Stability At High Speeds. Web marketing has moved at light speed as new technologies emerge. Accelerating at this pace will continue with the introduction of Web 2.0 solutions. What takes place today in a second, will take place tomorrow in a fraction of that time with far more predictability. Access to these technologies and marketing methods through proven, industry leaders will have the effect of accelerating an organization's web marketing efforts. Then you have stability at high speeds.
Today, usability is key to the success of your web site because more users are coming to find specific information, interact with your databases, contact your people, and use your services. That's why segmentation, the concept of grouping people with similar demographics and psychographics together, has become a critical component in web development and design. The combination of demographic and psychographic information can provide valuable insights into your best customers √ allowing you to find more like them.
Demographics looks at characteristics of people that include age, income, education, occupation, household size, home ownership and home value, among other factors. Psychographics delves deeper into people's lifestyles and behaviors, including their interests and values.
The information you glean from a journey into your target audience's brain is often key to your marketing efforts, particularly the positioning of your product or services. It includes the audience's activities, interests, and opinions. You have to work through behavioral factors, economic factors, and even interpersonal factors to get to the root of purchasing behavior.
Yet, customization and personalization are key factors in today's marketing. It seems to fly in the face of segmentation theories. That's why psychographics plays an even greater role in web marketing because it can help craft powerful messages - each directed at specific target audiences and each pinpointed to their specific psychographic profile.
A methodology preferred for web marketing development is to create user personas based on psychographics. A persona is a user archetype you can use to help guide decisions about product features, navigation, interactions, and even visual design. By designing for the archetype whose goals and behavior patterns are well understood≈you can satisfy the broader group of people represented by that archetype. In most cases, personas are synthesized from a series of ethnographic interviews with real people, then captured in 1-2 page descriptions that include behavior patterns, goals, skills, attitudes, and environment, with a few fictional personal details to bring the persona to life. For each product/service, or sometimes for each set of tools within a product/service, there is a small set of personas, one of which is the primary focus for the design.
It's easy to assemble a set of user characteristics and call it a persona, but it's not so easy to create personas that are truly effective design and communication tools. Here are some tips from persona gurus to help you perfect them:
(1) Personas represent behavior patterns, not job descriptions;
(2) Keep your persona set small;
(3) Your marketing and sales targets may not be your design targets; and
(4) Add life to the personas, but remember they're design tools first.