by PeterV, VP, Marketing
You've likely noticed by now that there isn't a bunch of activity on this blog. That's because we've moved. To access the latest Web Design Industry News, check out our redesigned blog at www.352media.com/blog. While you're there, subscribe to the RSS feed and enjoy the posts in your inbox or where ever you'd like!
Thanks for your loyalty, and keep the great comments coming!
by Leonard, Acct Mgr
A lot has been made recently about the inclusion of a blog on a web site. Many companies struggle with the decision as to whether to include a blog on their web sites and many corporations grapple with how to gain maximum exposure leveraging a blog. When implemented correctly, a blog can greatly increase traffic to a web site which over the long-term will increase revenue. Not only can a blog drive traffic to your web site, but a well written post can also be picked-up by other bloggers or even online PR web sites. The following is a list of 10 tips for effective blogging:
1. Blogging is a great marketing strategy on the Internet. The number of readers of your blog will increase over time so it’s not a mechanism that will result in increased revenue immediately. It is a long-term strategy that with increased readership will cause more web traffic to your site and establish you as a subject matter expert (“I am an expert on this field and I am posting information other people find compelling”). Over time, the increased traffic to your site will result in additional business. Think of blogging as a PR campaign using the Internet as a vehicle.
2. You must be committed to blogging. If you implement a blog and then don’t post to if often, it will actually do more harm than good. If you implement a blog on your site be committed to posting to the blog a minimum of once a week.
3. Establish an overall tone, some blogs set a highly professional tone, others are humorous, sarcastic, etc.
4. Provide unique content that makes your blog a compelling place for the user to go. Many blogs are unsuccessful because they are just rehashing information posted to other blogs on the Internet.
5. In order to get your blogs readership from ten’s or dozen’s of readers to hundred’s or thousand’s of readers, it is important that you network with other bloggers that already have successful blogs. Comment on their blog sites, refer to them on your blog and hopefully they will do the same driving readers to your blog.
6. Choose topics carefully. Post topics on your blogs based on keywords. Keywords are the terms that people are entering on search engines (Google, Yahoo, MSN, AOL, ASK, etc.) when searching for information. Before posting a blog entry, research topics that people are interested in and is already getting a lot of buzz on the Internet, so keyword research is important. There are several tools available to help determine keywords. A popular keyword research site is Word Tracker (www.wordtracker.com). Be sure to include the keyword in the title of your blog entry and this will dramatically increase traffic to your site. This methodology will insure that your article title and topics are based on words that people are actually searching on the Internet.
7. Check out the Bloggers Choice Awards web site (www.bloggerschoiceawards.com). It’s a web site that lists blogs and people vote on the quality of the blog. Look at the blogs that rate high, see what those bloggers are doing and model your blog after successful sites.
8. Use pop culture type of vehicles on your blog that can be read quickly and are popular like ‘Top 10 Lists”.
9. Create pages on social media sites to create not only your company but your blog in particular. They’re free and have a vast audience (and help with link popularity as well). Site like Dig, LinkedIn, MySpace and Facebook are the more popular sites.
10. Always include a “footer” to your posts that include an “about your company” (just like a press release) in case your post is picked-up by a third-party site. Be sure to include your company’s URL within the about section (which can help increase your link building initiatives).
by PeterV, VP, Marketing
We're very excited to be exhibiting at the Technology for Marketing and Advertising Tradeshow next week in London. It is our first show abroad, and given the favorable exchange rate, we're hoping to make a big splash. Given the weak dollar, European buyers are in a position to get top of the line interactive marketing from us at a bargain price. Just think of us as the new India...just to the west this time.
Anyhow, in addition to showing off our services, we'll be giving away several iPod nano's in our stand. Here's how it works. Fill out this form and we'll send you an email back with an iPod serial number. Bring the email (printed, on your mobile, whatever) by our stand at tfm&a, number H38. If the number matches one of the iPod's, it's yours! Simple as that.
If the number doesn't match, you have two choices: you can call us some choice words and storm off, or give us your business card. We'll use those to raffle off any iPod's that aren't claimed by the end of the show.
And yes, we will be giving out some real serial numbers. Several people will actually win. I mean I don't want to have to pay taxes/VAT for bringing those ipod's back through customs!
So go to the form at this link, and then come by our booth at H38.
by PeterV, VP, Marketing
I had the pleasure of attending the American Marketing Association's Mplanet conference last week, and was really impressed. As an exhibitor, I didn't go in with the highest hopes. I expected the economy to have a big impact on not only the number of attendees, but also on the quality of the prospects. I was happy to be proven wrong!
The AMA staff did a great job filling the holes in the attendee list with Florida companies that didn't have to spend as much to travel, which was great for us since we're also based in Florida. In fact I brought our sales person from Tampa, Len, as well as our sales person from Jacksonville, Tom. So we had the state covered from both corners.
We're hoping to pull in some great new accounts as a result of the show. Assuming we can close the deals, then it was a big success.
I also had another person success, thanks in no small part to Tom's inability to hold in his excitement. During the down time, we stepped across the hall in the exhibition hall and played Rock Band at one of the other vendor's booths. After playing for a few minutes, Tom told me I should hit the Rock Band game at a booth across the room. When I asked why, since we already had a great game going, he said that the high score for the conference wins the game bundle (guitar, mic, drums, and game!).
Here's where it gets downright dumb. Tom told me this while he held the high score. That's right...he was winning. So of course I went over and blew his score out of the water. At first, neither Tom or I thought it was a big deal, because the game was for the Wii, which neither of us owned. However, after winning, I was told I could have it for whichever platform I wanted! Tom was upset, at himself I hope, but felt better when I told him I'd bring it to the office to use with our Wii. I can't wait until it comes in!
The game was at the booth of a company called Tableau Software. They offer a great software system that lets you quickly analyze your data with amazing graphing ability while easily showing you the relationships between the data. What was cool is how they used the software to display the high scores from Rock Band. They actually took the score and weighted it based on the difficulty level you played. Then, in addition to a bar graph showing the scores, they had circles on the map representing the cities of each player, with the circle diameter representing the score. It was cool to see how my circle eclipsed Tom's little circle. :)
There were some other great companies there like SAVO, www.references-online.com, and many others. I hope the show was just as good for them as it was for us!
Here's Tom is our booth, pretending he doesn't care about his loss:
by PeterV, VP, Marketing
We're giving tradeshows a second chance. We did a few years ago with little success. Granted at the time we were a much smaller company and were at the cheapest booth with the cheapest display. Now, we can do them right!
One of the first shows we're doing is the mPlanet conference in Orlando next week. It's put on by the American Marketing Association. I've been to a few of their events, and they've been well done. The exhibition hall at mPlant is especially unique as all the social events and meals take place in that room. Should result in a more relaxed environment.
One way we're hoping to stand out is our great booth design. Our goal was to create a booth we could customize and personalize for each event we do. We've created a three panel display with one panel that we swap out as needed. Just today we got the third panel in, and it looks great (thanks to our designer Tim). What's cool about it is there is a real monitor poking through to show our demo reel. What's even cooler is that we took the picture of the other monitors ourselves. Take a look at the before and after Tim got a hold of it:
The color is a bit off in the picture, but you get the idea. I'll take a few shots when the booth is all setup next week in orlando so you can get the full effect. Wish us luck, and if you're going to be in town for the show, drop me a line!
by Declan, Acct Mgr
April 5, 2007 I received a call from Kari Brill, The Orthopaedic Institute Marketing Director, about redesigning their company website: http://www.toi-health.com/ .
This how the site looked before the redesign:
After several discussions and much brainstorming, Kari and I reached what we felt was an exciting redesign solution. The redesign solution was finalized on January 9, 2008, and the official Statement of Work (SOW) was sent to Kari. Approval from Kari followed on March 4, 2008. Some readers may be thinking this is a considerable amount of time from our initial contact to being awarded the contract, it is actually it is quite normal in my experience.
Some background on Kari Brill and The Orthopaedic Institute:
Tell us about your background and your role in the company?
I graduated, with honors, from Southern Methodist University with a Bachelor’s of Arts in Creative Advertising (minor in Psychology) in December of 2000. I began working for The Orthopaedic Institute (TOI) in early 2003 as the company’s first Marketing Coordinator. During my first year with TOI, I evaluated and reallocated the marketing efforts and budget and was responsible for the design and implementation of all marketing pieces. Now, as Marketing Director, I supervise all marketing and advertising initiatives with a focus on creative services, referral sources marketing, employee education and development, community support initiatives, media relations and budget management.
What are your main services?
The Orthopaedic Institute is a private practice group of 24 fully trained physicians. Our physicians provide complete musculoskeletal care from prevention and diagnosis to treatment and rehabilitation. Our services include:
* Non-Surgical Orthopaedics
* Orthopaedic Surgery
* Joint Replacement Surgery
* Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation
* Hand and Upper Extremity Surgery
* Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
In keeping with our objective of providing the full spectrum of musculoskeletal care, the following services are also available on site:
* Digital X-ray
* Physical and Hand Therapy
* Outpatient Surgery
What makes your company different from other companies competing in your industry?
The Orthopaedic Institute has numerous competitive advantages. We strive to provide accessible, compassionate, quality care that is truly patient centered. We achieve these goals by offering same or next day appointments in 4 convenient locations in North Florida – Gainesville, Ocala, Lake City, and Alachua. All staff is screened and trained in going above and beyond to delight every patient.
Tell us more about your company’s success story?
The Orthopaedic Institute, formally The Orthopaedic Center, has been providing quality care to North Florida since 1980. Twenty eight years ago, the practice began with 3 physicians in Gainesville, Florida. Currently in 2008, we have 24 physicians providing care to patients in over 18 counties in North Florida. Our office locations are in Gainesville, Ocala, Lake City, and Alachua. We have around 118,000 patient encounters a year.
The Development Process
Why did you decide to have your website redesigned?
The Orthopaedic Institute’s main focus is the care of our patients. We wanted a site that was patient friendly… meaning a site easy to navigate, filled with patient education and the ability to register for appointments and complete paper work.
Why did you choose 352 Media Group?
We chose 352 because of their wide range of abilities and great service. We reviewed their portfolio and knew they were capable of creating the site we were envisioning.
How was the overall process of the new site design, is there anything you would / we could have done differently?
The overall process was longer than expected, but as the client, we changed some design elements that caused some delay in the process. We were very satisfied with the entire process and especially the final result. Declan and Stephanie and other 352 staff made it a great experience.
What feedback have you received from your clients?
We have received nothing but positive comments on our newly designed web site from our own employees and physicians, to numerous patients/clients utilizing the site. Their positive feedback has proven that we achieved our objectives of creating a beautifully designed, informative and easy to navigate web site.
Here is the newly redesigned site that we built for The Orthopaedic Institute, which was launched October 2008.
So what did The Orthopaedic Institute project consist off?
Information and Technical Architecture Documents · Sitemap Documentation · Design Preference Documentation · Wire Frames with Component Descriptions · Hosting Configuration Documentation
Home Page -- http://www.toi-health.com/
Inner Page- http://www.toi-health.com/Our-Services.aspx
Logo Design touch up’s
Coding and Content Integration
Animated Flash Presentation -- http://www.toi-health.com
New Patient Email Form -- http://www.toi-health.com/newPatient.aspx
Newsletter Sign and unsubscribe -- http://www.toi-health.com/unsubscribe.aspx
Content Management System (CMS)
Thanks to the Project Development Team!
Stephanie Lindsey - Project Manager
Katrice Crawford- Project Manager
Declan O’Neill- Account Manager
Evan Blake – Business Analyst
Jodi Higbee - Senior Manager
Lincoln Anderson - Lead Designer
Peter Brownstein - Lead Programmer
Jason Reeder - Lead Programmer
Andrew Keller – Network Support
The Orthopaedic Institute recently commissioned 352 Media Group to add further functionality, a Newsletter Manager, to http://www.toi-health.com/ . This is great news for both TOI and 352 Media, as it is extremely important to foster and maintain relationships with all clients, especially local clients.
by Declan, Acct Mgr
Each year I see posts from various bloggers aimed at Holiday gifts for Geeks notably Designers, Programmers, etc… but never for the humble Account Manager. So I took it upon myself as an account manager to list out 10 gifts that would either make our lives easier, or our offices much better environment in the coming year. These gifts are in no specific order nor have I taken price into consideration…
1. Pac-Man 25th Anniversary Arcade Game.
- By putting this game in your office, it could attract some developers, once in your office you can pick their brains for knowledge.
2. Nokia E71
- Great phone (and one of my clients) -- it is important to have access to email and the web when you are out of the office.
3. Office Chair with 4 Motor Massage
- As account managers we are sitting most of time, so it is important to have a good chair (Note: keep your old chair and give the massage chair to a client during meetings so they are more relaxed).
4. HP L7590 OfficeJet Pro All In One Printer
- Printer, fax, scanner, I have one and it’s fantastic.
5. Garmin nüvi 760 4.3-Inch Widescreen Bluetooth Portable GPS Automobile Navigator
- There is no excuse to be late to a client meeting and when Google maps do not cut the mustard. Get a GPS, my life has not been the same since I got one, to be honest I do not know what I would do without a GPS system.
6. Apple iPod touch 16 GB (2nd Generation).
- For Listening to web design related podcasts going to and from work in the car.
7. Samsung Touch Of Color T240HD 24-Inch LCD HDTV Monitor
- I find it impractical working with one screen, having dual screens has made my so much life easier – Now I have 2 screens I want a third.
8. Iomega Prestige 1 TB USB 2.0 Desktop External Hard Drive 34275.
- It’s important to have a ton of storage to save all your proposal back-up’s and client specific files.
9. Wii with Mario kart or Tiger Woods
- Great for relaxing when you have had a tough day.
10. Livescribe 2GB Pulse Smartpen.
- What a great tool for taking notes during meetings, this pen records audio and links the audio file what you write on paper.
You will notice that I have added 9 of the gifts to an Amazon page, if you plan on purchasing any of the above gifts for the Account manager in your life I would appreciate that you purchased them by clicking in the appropriate link in the widget. Once purchased via Amazon I will get a commission from the sale and I will donate 100% of the referral payments to “Making Strides Against Breast Cancer”.
by Geoff, Pres/CEO
I have tremendous respect for Microsoft and how they operate as a business. (It doesn't hurt that they are one of our top clients too). But their new TV commercial really doesn't make sense to me. Take a look:
What makes it even more disappointing to me is that I like Bill Gates and I am a huge Jerry Sienfeld fan. I'm disappointed the combination doesn't work here. I just think the writing is bad. Strange, dry humor that underdelivers.
I'm not the only one who feels this way. A blogger for Computer World wrote "It's one of the worst, most pointless ads in history", while a headline in the Sydney Morning Herald read " 'Bizarre' Microsoft ad misses mark."
Worse, I have no idea what this commercial is actually promoting. I'm guessing Microsoft is tired of getting bashed in the funny Mac vs. PC commercials, so they wanted to have a creative commercial of their own. Unfortunately the Mac vs. PC commercials are legitimately entertaining, while this is not.
I did read that one of the ad producers' goals was to get people talking. I guess that worked... but maybe not in a good way.
by PeterV, VP, Marketing
Is this old? From the Tony Snow quote, I'd say yes. But is it still funny? Again, I say yes. Enjoy:
Breaking News: All Online Data Lost After Internet Crash
by Donald, VP, Sales
So it's finally here. Wifi while you are taking that Big Delta Bird across country. Had this been a few years ago, the service might have been free. Heck, Delta's Song flight was already great. Back when everyone was trying to create a discount airline with perks. Now Song, Ted and even Independence are the thing of the past and everyone is scrambling to make money.
1st bag $15, 2nd bag $25, $2 for the"drink service" that used to be free. Everything has a cost, but I think that the $9.95/$12.95 is the right spot for the business traveler. It's not really a necessity when you think about how short flights are, but if it's something that you can piggy back with a service like TMobile where you buy a day pass or something, then it could be nice.
My guess is that they won't.