The biggest question to ask when starting a website design project

As a business owner, there are many questions you should ask yourself before embarking on a website design project, including: “what kind of website development platform do you want to use?”,  “do you want to hire a web design specialist or build the site yourself?’, “are you willing to spend money on digital advertising?”, and many more. The single biggest factor you should consider before starting a website design project, however, is the purpose of your site. Defining the purpose of your website can seem like a deceptively simple task, but your goals for the site can have a profound impact on how you approach your website design project.
To help you get started, we’ve outlined the top three most common goals for new websites. Before you ask yourself any other website design questions, tackle this one. You can use your response as a framework for the rest of your project.

  1. 1. Company information and brand awareness

One of the most common purposes of many websites is to provide general information about an organization and build brand awareness. In this instance, your site would provide insight into your organizational history, values, and brand personality. These types of sites tend to use more traditional web design principles and easy-to-use information architecture so consumers can quickly find what they are looking for. If this is the goal for your website design project, you should feel comfortable using standard menu options and crafting content-rich pages packed with pictures and information. Just remember, your most important information should be front and center on the homepage to ensure newcomers get a clear first impression of your business. This is your opportunity to show off your company’s tone and establish a unique voice that resonates with your customers, so don’t be afraid to let your personality shine.

  1. 2. Searchability and SEO ranking

On the other hand, if your goal is to make it easier for new customers to find your business, you may want to consider basing your website design project strategy around SEO principles. Search engines such as Google and Bing are the Yellow Pages of the internet. When customers search for words associated with your business, you want your website to show up first. Although you probably won’t have trouble ranking at the top of Google’s recommendations on brand-specific words such as your company name, you may be competing with many other companies on more general terms, such as the type of products or services you offer. Increase your chances of ranking by including internal and external links to relevant information and other websites associated with your top search keywords. Make sure your website text includes specific, relevant information about these terms so search engines can easily recognize and index what your site is about. You may also consider building a blog with your site to help establish your search ranking more quickly.

  1. 3. E-commerce sales platform

Are you primarily planning to do business on your website? If so, you’ll need a credible, secure e-commerce platform. If you want your customers to buy products or schedule services and make payments online, your website design questions will focus largely on the type of platform you need and the security of your clients’ information. That isn’t to say the branding and content on your site isn’t important in this case, but rather, that your purchase flows will need a lot of extra love. Consumers often chose not to buy a product online if the e-commerce experience looks outdated, runs slowly, is confusing, or seems like it is not secure. If your goal is to conduct business and drive sales, your online purchase experience should be at the top of your to-do list.

Framing your website design project questions around your site goals will ensure your website accomplishes what you need it to do. Then, once the foundation of your website project is complete, you can begin layering on additional functionality such as social engagement and new, digital technologies. Still have lingering questions before you begin your website project? Contact our team of web development experts to get started with ease!

5 interesting content ideas for healthcare marketing success

Modern health providers interested in educating their patients in today’s world face challenges.
First, they have to be cautious of the information they provide. HIPAA, the rules which govern patient privacy, require providers to exercise care in not revealing patient information without permission, or potentially face violations in the hundreds or thousands.

Providers also may be hesitant to spend their time – or that of their staff members – on healthcare marketing efforts, since these initiatives aren’t directly tied into billable patient time.

Along the school of thought, the need for reliable information from trusted sources is also especially critical, and who can be deemed a more trustworthy source than one’s local doctor? For this reason, many physicians have the capacity to reach many patients quickly using more efficient modern digital methods – versus trying to educate patients on an individual basis.

Medical marketers in search of ways to inform patients in the most timely manner should try to incorporate the following five tried and true strategies into their overall efforts:

  1. 1. Electronic newsletters

    These can offer fresh content about general medical info, including details specific to a particular location or business. For instance, a monthly edition could consist of topics such as medical precautions people could be taking, or different health information for a certain time of year. Personal touches are also a good idea to boost engagement and generate interest, including staff bios, details about the local office, or other noteworthy activities.

  2. 2. Social media

    Common channels like Facebook or Twitter receive high traffic and statistically speaking, have many active users. They’re also easy media to be used to track the volume of visitors and interactions/engagements on your business’ pages. Both sites are also good avenues to grow rapport and loyalty. You, or whomever you delegate management of your social media efforts to within your staff or agency, can share interesting health articles from external sources, provide info about office “happenings”, promote events, and try to engage with your customers/supporters through online discussion. The tone on Facebook can actually be quite casual – in fact, sometimes all you need to post for effective content marketing is a fun picture to accompany a simple message.

  3. 3. Business blog

    A blog attached to your main site has the potential to offer more in-depth information about local, national and international health topics, including longer paragraphs than you would have room for on your social network pages (the best practices for length of Facebook posts are less than 40 characters, and less than 100 for Twitter.) A blog, especially one with rich and regularly updated content, may also increase a visitor’s time on your site, rather than simply inviting quick verification of basic info such as phone numbers, appointment processes, and details about the clinic.

  4. 4. Regular texting

    Since more and more people are using their mobile phones, texting is becoming a preferred outreach method, at least for some recipients. While the 160-character limit doesn’t necessarily lend itself to complex and detailed information, you might consider including links to other interesting health articles or good links within your blog/site to boost engagement and position your practice as a thought leader.

  5. 5. Podcasts

    Though time-intensive, podcasts have the capacity to reap good pay-offs in terms of interest, and being seen as provider open to connecting in new ways. A podcast is a short audio segment that you record and make available to anyone who wants to subscribe. Your podcast may last for only 5-10 minutes, although some go longer, and yours can grow in length once you’ve established your production. Typically, podcasters interview other experts, or often, simply host with no guest interaction. This forum presents the perfect opportunity to offer a personal perspective on health topics proactively, rather than allowing patients misjudge medical information by reading and perceiving something inaccurately via mainstream news. A podcast is also the perfect place to say “that article wasn’t quite right.”  For instance, a recent study eluded to the negative health benefits of sitting for long periods, and news outlets went wild with scary headlines. The Mayo Clinic tried to offer a better perspective by explaining that the actual study included other risk factors. A trusted provider can make sense of a study and inform listeners to the real concerns that might be of harm to them. In this case, the podcaster can offer a more positive and reassuring message, such as “here’s how being active provides daily health benefits.”

Overall, the abundance of information online presents plenty of opportunities for local health providers to offer valuable, accurate expertise. For additional strategies and outreach methods to include in your healthcare marketing efforts, contact our experts today!

The demystification of the conversion marketing matrix

As the marketing landscape has evolved over the years, so have the expectations for more quantifiable success metrics. Considering that marketing is the precursor to sales, it’s no surprise that measuring advertising reach, impressions, and brand/product awareness, are no longer satisfactory results in the justification of return on investment. The swift journey through the sales funnel is of paramount importance to businesses today and optimizing the number of sales conversions is a core measurement in evaluating the success of any marketing program.
Venture capitalist Bill Gurley, formerly one of Wall Street’s top Internet analysts (he was the lead analyst on the Amazon.com initial public offering), wrote that conversion rates are “the most powerful Internet metric of all” in a Fortune magazine article. While there is plenty of discussion out there with respect to conversion marketing through digital and online channels, most fail to integrate offline conversions to the mix. I’m as excited as anyone about the opportunities that digital marketing offers brands however, it would be careless of us to ignore the fact that a large amount of people still convert to a lead, prospect, customer, and sales through traditional methods. Conversions on a website are certainly important whether or not there is any e-commerce, but the brick and mortars also seek to drive qualified traffic into their locations for some desired in-store conversion. A successfully implemented conversion marketing program should consider both online and offline platforms as well as interplaying the two. For example, a conversion funnel may begin with entry through online channels with the completion requiring an in-store visit or vise versa.

In order to better understand how conversion marketing works, it’s important to understand its inner mechanics. Conversion is part science and part art that relies on understanding the psychology and process of persuasion and adapting it to the associated medium. It requires that close attention by paid to the point of action (POA), because objections should be answered at the point the customers are getting ready to take an action. That is where they experience their greatest cognitive dissonance, and so that is where your persuasive answers have the most impact. Additionally, the AIDA (attention, interest, desire, and action) test should be applied, as it is instrumental in driving the process of turning visitors into buyers or curiosity into action.

Examples of POA:

  • Customer privacy statement on online purchase by submit button
  • A toll-free number to call with questions and problems
  • Confirm and provide follow up communications to every purchase
  • Clearly indicate the return policy at the final sales conversion point

Examples of AIDA:

  • In-store POP or online store page with compelling messaging that grabs attention within eight seconds or less
  • Messaging that is personally relevant so as to stimulate their interest and reinforce that they’re in the right place
  • Emotionally driven and inspirational triggers that drive their desire to take action
  • Clearly visible and easy to understand call-to-action (CTA) and action completion information

The psychological elements of conversion balance the scientific methodology and should not be underscored. An understanding of human behavior here is key. At its root, human beings are driven by the need to avoid pain and the desire to gain pleasure. Even when we do something that appears to be painful, we do it because we associate pleasure with the action.

Firefighters run into burning buildings because they associate pleasure with helping people and saving lives. Likewise, marathoners put themselves through 26.2 miles of misery because they associate pleasure with completing the course.

In conversion marketing, you need to first understand what your customers associate with pain and pleasure, because not everyone associates pleasure with helping people from a burning building or running a marathon. Once you understand who they are, what they want, and what influences them, you can apply what is called the A to Z Technique. Simply put, customers want to get from point A (where they are now) to point Z (where they want to be). Carefully constructed marketing communications should help guide leads through this journey, getting the customers gradually closer to Z with each touchpoint or step. The closer they get to Z, the more likely they are to make a purchase in order to go the final few steps needed to arrive at their desired end result. Through this process, they start to associate the business with the pleasure they get from the results produced as they arrive at all the milestones between A and Z.

At BIGEYE, we have developed the BIGEYE Conversion Matrix™ (BCM) which is a methodology used to identify an audience, set success metrics and finally drive them through a conversion funnel.

Conversion Marketing Matrix

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Once a conversion marketing program is actively running and generating results, regular analysis and measurement is required to ensure that the rate of conversion is constantly increasing with an ultimate goal of converting 100% of all visitors and leads. This is what’s called conversion optimization or conversion rate optimization (CRO). In this BCM model, the CRO program rounds out all five steps in the activation phase.

In search of a conversion marketing strategy custom-tailored for your brand, and guaranteed to target the right customers? Contact our team of conversion marketing professionals today, and we’ll help you get your program up-and-running ASAP!

 

How to spend your Q3 and Q4 retail marketing dollars

Whether making a last minute push to meet year-end numbers or simply subscribing to the reality of “use it or lose it,” most retailers pick up the pace when it comes to their Q3 and Q4 marketing methods. Wondering how to aim for and achieve the best possible results? Consider these seven proven ways to maximize your retail marketing allocations.

1. Better your blog

Unfortunately, many retail business blogs miss the mark when it comes to achieving their full potential. Why? Because they exist out of a sense of obligation, as opposed to as an extension of a company’s overall business strategy.

Blogs are cost-efficient, highly effective marketing tools….unless they’re left to languish, in which case they offer value to neither you nor your consumers. Conversely, a well-executed blog can help you build engagement and foster consumer loyalty while also enhancing SEO rankings and search results. Stop thinking of your blog as your website’s “ugly stepsister,” and start thinking of it as more of a fairy godmother of sorts — with the magical potential to generate sales leads.

2. Look harder at search engine marketing

Odds are, you promote your website via Search Engine Marketing (SEM) throughout the year. However, did you know that Q3 and Q4 offer the enhanced opportunity to take a closer look at your conversion rates? Are your average costs per lead and conversions meeting your expectations?  If not, consider where your efforts may be failing.

For many organizations, the critical element is poorly-designed landing pages which fail to generate search marketing ROI. After all, different campaigns have varying search optimization parameters. Taking the time to customize each campaign can yield powerful results right when you need them.

Also, keep in mind that while starting new campaigns may not yield realizable ROI by year’s end, maximizing your existing processes and programs has the potential to improve outcomes.

3. Focus on Facebook

While social media in general presents valuable opportunities for marketers, Facebook takes second place only to Google when it comes to worldwide net digital ad revenues. When was the last time you evaluated your Facebook advertising approach? Whether you’re looking to cast a wider net or increase sales, Facebook offers a captive audience to savvy advertisers.

Not only that, but Facebook’s robust analytics allow you to target your audience, choose from different ad formats, and understand your results through reporting, tracking and measuring capabilities. If your marketing efforts are going awry, these metrics can help you take swift, corrective actions.

4. Go for growth

While dwindling resources may compel you to trim expenses, it’s also important to keep an eye on the prize: building value. This doesn’t necessarily mean cutting costs, but instead amping up accountability. Execution-driven strategies position you to demonstrate the effectiveness of your retail marketing campaigns, and information management is a critical part of the process.

Today’s retail marketers have access to more actionable data than ever before. Demonstrable results are not only essential to assessing ROI, but also to making any last minute adjustments to move forward in the most productive way during retail’s busiest season.

5. Optimize email efforts

On that note, heading into the holiday season, it’s particularly important to deliver content to consumers via the most appealing and accessible means. While social media gets the lion’s share of attention, email remains a preference for many in your target market.

But not just any emails. From delivering coupon codes to informing recipients about upcoming in-store and online flash sales, emails can drive both traffic and conversions.

And don’t forget about the importance of mobile. Responsive, aesthetically pleasing email messages can also further optimize Q3 and Q4 outcomes.

6. Count on content

The typical 21st century consumer doesn’t want a hard sell; he/she wants value. As consumers prepare to open their pocketbooks during the season of giving, give them a gift of your own: meaningful content that either answers a question or enriches their lives in some essential way.

Content should be consistent, relevant, unique, and focused on making the entire shopping process more accessible and user-friendly. When designing your content strategies during Q3 and Q4, keep in mind that the best content is not about completing a sale, but about telling a story that engages consumers and bolsters your brand.

7. Cultivate the consumer experience

We can agree by now that contemporary customers are all about value over hype. With consumer confidence harder to come by than ever before, retail marketers can position themselves for success by earmarking Q3 and Q4 funds for enhancing efforts to understand what motivates their customers and deliver on these insights.

Don’t overlook the power of omni-channel marketing. Relevant real-time content delivered via a consumer’s preferred mode of communication has the potential to increase both sales and consumer engagement.

Finally, Q3 and Q4 also offer an ideal opportunity to nurture your leads. Are you doing everything you can do — in the most direct, targeted way — to get better ROI out of your lead generation?

As the calendar year draws to a close, retail marketers are greeted with unprecedented opportunities to put their end-of-year retail marketing dollars to optimal use. These seven techniques are sure to help you focus your marketing efforts where they’re least likely to overdraw your resources — and most likely to generate ROI.

Our team of retail marketing experts understands the challenges of doing more with less – and we’re poised to assist you in doing just that! Contact us today to schedule a consultation!

Differentiation and retail consumer packaged goods design

With great packaging, comes great power.
We may have butchered the Spiderman quote just a bit, however when referring to retail consumer packaged goods design, these truly are wise words for a brand to live by.

When analyzing consumer behavior, and contemplating the all-important psychology behind a buying decision, it might seem relatively obvious, but prospective consumers will tend to notice a product’s packaging first; and arguably, a product’s packaging is just as important as the product itself. I can’t tell you the number of times that I’ve willingly skipped over, or perhaps even overlooked, a potentially great product, simply because the packaging seemed inefficient, cluttered, or just didn’t catch my eye. As the old adage goes, we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover – but if it saves me money, and prevents the opportunity for me to unknowingly taking home an inferior product, I’ll likely stick to my gut, and the lasting first impression of a brand as it’s been initially instilled in my brain. And did I mention that if delivered in a manner that is enticing enough to match-up with a product’s perceived value, it’s hard to resist temptation? Many retailers are well aware of this game – and have it completed mastered – although some have taken heed of how to maximize the effectiveness of retail consumer packaged goods design concepts and strategies.

Keeping this type of compelling design in mind, nearly every aspect of a brand’s packaging must be determined by the brand’s overall identity. The game-changers in the field of retail consumer packaged goods design are those who know how to sufficiently intertwine the presentation of how the package and product should appear to the eligible consumer. Think about this example from Silicon Valley: Apple has practically made unboxing a new iPhone an art form, likely because of the sleek, minimalistic packaging – no pesky plastic to break apart or cardboard to cut – and this is reflective of the iPhone’s sleek design and uncomplicated interface. It’s just so much fun opening that clean, white box with the expectation of what awaits. While it may not be your first iPhone, the attention to detail and extent to which the package becomes a part of the buyer’s brand experience is undeniable. And while enjoying the sheer bliss of unwrapping my iPhone 6 Plus earlier this year, I couldn’t help but ponder the fact that I’ve been a long-time customer of the Apple brand, and the experience – as matched appropriately with the functionality and capabilities of the mobile device – keep me coming back for a newer model year-over-year.

While possessing some degree of retail consumer packaged goods design differentiation undoubtedly has its benefits, attaining the iconic status in packaging that retailers Apple and Tiffany & Co. have mastered, and as mentioned in our previous blog, doesn’t happen simply by chance. [quote]Achieving such branding perfection begins in large part with the presence of strong brand identity, a dose or two of creativity – and immense knowledge of your ideal consumers’ expectations. (And capitalizing on those expectations.) At BIGEYE, we’ve compiled three key tips to consider when developing your own captivating retail consumer packaged goods design concepts, in an effort to ensure that each has the potential to resonate with your target audience on an iconic level:

1. Know your audience. What issues does your ideal client complain about most when it comes your product type? What aspects do they praise? When seeking to create sleek, beautiful, or practical packaging, the responses to these simple questions are a thought-provoking launching point. For example, it’s absolutely crucial for make-up companies, to listen to women’s reviews on products – especially on packaging. Studies prove that women are almost overwhelmingly turned off by the lack of a pump on a foundation bottle, regardless of the product’s quality; while in other instances, women have reportedly – and more often than not – impulsively purchased expensive lipstick simply because the tube was gilded and gorgeous – with an often prominent logo. Listening to what your consumers both need and want from retail consumer packaged goods packaging design can honestly make or break a perfectly great product – even if the vibrant shade of said lipstick is undeniably perfect for the season. Madame Coco Chanel, I’m talkin’ to you.

2. Give experiential packaging a try. While not conceivable for all products, the consumer’s experience with a product’s packaging doesn’t have to come to an abrupt end when the item has been successfully taken out of the box. HBO’s dark-humored drama, Six Feet Under, released a beautifully designed “complete series” box set a few years back that corresponds with the show’s somewhat grim subject. A tad tongue-in-cheek, the top of the boxed set features fake grass and a grave marker, displaying the name of the series and the date it began and ended, while the sides of the box resemble dirt. Taking it one step further, the box containing the series’ DVDs stands at 6 inches tall. Equally creepy and stunning, the smart design correlates with the show itself (and doubles as outstanding Halloween decor).

Take a look at how BIGEYE took an established coffee chain, Barnie’s Coffee, and modernized their packaged goods design. 

3. Explore the benefits of going green. Research proves that it’s often worth it to ensure that your brand is perceived as “earth-friendly.” Nielsen’s 2015 Global Survey on Corporate Social Responsibility shows that 66% of global online consumers across 60 countries are willing to pay more for products and services from companies that are committed to positive social and environmental impact. What does this mean for your brand? It’s simple: packaging a product in recyclable, reusable, or sustainable container is a consistent reason for consumers to choose your product over a competitor’s. For this reason alone, socially conscious initiatives are not only beneficial to Mother Nature, but might also prove lucrative to your bottom line. And admit it, that’s a real win-win.

Truth be told, whether a brand’s retail consumer packaged goods design lends itself more on the side of quirky over stunning, or simplistic over creative, its popularity in a competitive buyer’s market truly boils down to a unique selling proposition. Your brand must communicate its product and benefits in a manner that is equal parts functional, entertaining, and enthralling. Apple watch, I can’t wait to see what your packaging holds in store.

If you’re looking for ways to unleash the power of your brand’s identity though innovative retail consumer packaged goods design, contact us today! We’re poised to provide the necessary expertise to conceptualize a myriad of new and innovative solutions to ensure that your product is this season’s (and all of those that follow’s) must-have.

Betting on an impulse: Visual retail merchandising

Considering the prevalence (and incredible convenience) of online retail outlets such as Amazon, it’s no surprise that these channels are gaining popularity. In fact, a whopping 81% of shoppers research products online prior to completing a purchase, causing retailers with brick and mortar shops to grow increasingly creative – with even more compelling offers – in an effort to nudge prospective shoppers out of their homes (and their footie pajamas), and actually into stores. As a result, creating emotional and visual intrigue and really connecting with your target demographic has become even more critical to a brand’s marketing strategy – due in large part to the digital shopping cart.

This desire to be blown away (and out of those comfy pj’s) by in-store design hasn’t emerged out of nowhere; in fact, it’s part of my biology… and part of yours, too. It’s well documented that as a group, humans tend to make purchasing decisions based largely on this type of emotional connection. We’re actually hard-wired to pursue certain stimuli, and it’s this arousal and consumer intrigue that honestly compels us to spend money, initiating purchases that we often weren’t planning on making. (Those retailers are onto something, aren’t they?) Truth be told, this is why I can’t simply walk past the Brooks Brothers window display without feeling the urge to stop in for a quick gander around the store – only to find myself at the checkout with yet another button down shirt, perfectly starched pair of khakis, or a stylish new sport coat.

Furthermore, there really is both an art and a science to creating effective retail visual merchandising displays. On the artistic side, the BIGEYE team encourages our clients to design expressive displays that create a sense of awe and intrigue – driving the target customer to connect with the brand so much so, that they cannot possibly return home empty-handed. However, on the more scientific side, we rely on facts and data to determine what will drive customers into a store, drawing from fields as diverse as neuroscience, anthropology (this time, the study of humans, past and present), and psychology. It seems to harken back to the old advertising industry adage, often quoted by the “original Don Draper” himself, David Ogilvy that, “It’s not creative unless it sells.” Typically, this expression pertains largely to copywriting, but upon further contemplation, we think it especially holds true for retail visual merchandising component, as well.

According to a 2014 research report from Merzer, the physical store environment is an important element in retail decision-making, as 75% of purchases are unplanned or made on impulse. How many times have you gone in to Target for “just one thing,” only to end up in a busy checkout lane, complete with a fully loaded shopping cart? This is telling, as is shows us the power of a well-designed store, and to a more concentrated degree, the presentation of the in-store displays themselves. Our goal, then, as marketers, is to enhance this experience, so much so that we’re building the retailer to consumer connection, and ensuring that the correct messaging is being delivered to the desired customer – as component of the overall branding experience.

Specifically, when it comes to retail visual marketing, the questions that we specifically want to answer boil down to:

  • Which brand elements are going to generate the greatest degree of interest from our target market?
  • How can we best appeal to a relatively broad demographic that represents our ideal customer?
  • How are we able to develop a display that entices our target demographic to select products proffered by our brand – and to complete a purchase – versus choosing the competitor’s product?
  • What is our audience seeking when selecting specific companies, brands, products, and services – and how do we connect on an emotive level?
  • Which specific marketing elements may we incorporate into our overall strategy to build awareness, and to ensure that our brand is perceived as a differentiator?

We all know that with the hustle and bustle of our lives, we find that we’re busier than ever before, and in this digital era, it’s imperative to design a display that will capture a consumer’s attention – and fast. After all, your brand may not only be in heated competition with other brick and mortar retailers, but also with the plethora of online shopping options. Although the online landscape was once presumed to be the end of the storefront, it’s now evident that shoppers want to continue to engage in heightened brand connections through in-store experience shopping. Companies are event able to employ sophisticated marketing techniques to combine their in-store displays with innovative digital campaigns to take advantage of capturing new customers in both stratospheres, developing a perfect media mix.

Oftentimes, we hear about retailers who have not yet partnered with a developed marketing team, and as a result, they fail to understand the connection between their in-store displays, and the impact on ROI. As marketing experts, we are armed with the knowledge and experience to tap into the human psyche to drive individuals to make purchases. Not only are we able to provide the necessary expertise to encourage optimization of these displays for success; we are also able to use purchasing information to better analyze the ongoing success of these recommendations. When it is determined that an initial strategy needs further thought and strategy, we’re poised to complete the additional testing required to maximize revenue opportunities – developing insights that inform and enhance a brand’s overall marketing strategy.

If your brand is seeking highly effective retail visual merchandising strategies, BIGEYE is well-equipped to partner with you. We’ll ensure that your retail environment is an immersive brand experience that truly connects with your target consumer and drives them to purchase. Contact us today by calling 407.839.8599.