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Internet Marketing, Business and Sales Strategies

Click to read actionable blog posts on Internet marketing, business and sales strategies to help you immediately boost traffic and sales.

How Your Website’s Crappy Usability Is Costing You Sales

By focusing on how users interact with and “use” your website, you can increase sales and conversions much faster than almost ANY other traffic generating initiative

By: Justin Mifsud
Comments: 1

Everyone always THINKS they know what will improve a company’s bottom line: higher search engine rankings, higher levels of website traffic, more social media outreach, more products, more blog posts and on and on.

But what if I told you that just by focusing on how users interact with and “use” your website to achieve their goals – what is often referred to as usability – by making it easier, friendlier and more intuitive, you could increase sales and conversions much faster and with less time and money spent than almost ANY other “traffic” generating initiative?

So what is “website usability” and how can it be used (no pun intended) to spruce up your company’s current website to immediately convert a higher number of visitors into sales?

I’m glad you asked…  ...Read More >>

Why Most Websites Fail and What To Do About It

What goes terribly wrong with most websites and a comprehensive 3-phase strategy to fix what's broken

By: Chris Fernandez
Comments: 8

 

Most websites fail miserably at the only thing they were ultimately designed to do: Generate sales.

Fortunately, or unfortunately depending on where your website stands, most websites fail because of one simple reason:

They were created BACKWARDS.

Let me explain what I mean with the graphic below from a leadership perspective (a graphic on the technical perspective follows later in the post):

(Click on image to enlarge)

(Note: Please feel free to use any original image in this post on your website, just link back to this post as the original source.)

You see, what often happens is that in a rush to get a website on the Internet and start branding, selling or collecting customer information, a business and the leaders responsible for that website, don't take the time to ensure that they are creating a sustainable and highly converting Internet presence.

Let's call this the "Ready, Fire, Aim" approach vs. "Ready, Aim, Fire" -- with an extra "Fire" thrown in the mix.

  • Ready: We need a website... (Mild panic)
  • Fire: We need more traffic! (Panic level rises)
  • Fire Again: Wait, the traffic isn't converting, we need more conversions! (Really panicked)
  • Aim: Sigh...we need to redesign our entire online presence. (Resignation)

So What Goes Wrong?

This is a classic case of basic human nature rearing its ugly head on a broad scale.  ...Read More >>

The Nest Thermostat: Values, Passion & Emotion -- A Branding Story

How a simple thermostat company reminds us how not to forget the core tenets of using values and emotion to pre-sell a product

By: Chris Fernandez
Comments: 5

Read Time: (5-10 Minutes)

Sometimes we forget what really matters.

We forget that the primary job of marketing is to elicit a strong reaction for our brand, products and services.

Customers don't care how cool YOU think your products are, only how cool THEY think your products are!

The landscape is littered with dinosaurs who thought their products were great (and in fact they might have been) but nobody cared because their marketing and connection with their target audience was not executed properly.

Much to my surprise, a simple thermostat (really, a thermostat!) has reminded me of exactly why we cannot forget the core tenets of marketing, branding and connecting with our customers on a deep and emotional level -- call it Marketing 101.

Let's Talk Thermostats and Internet Marketing -- No Really!

By now you've probably seen or heard about the new Nest Learning Thermostat.

It's sleek, clean, beautiful to look at, and invokes a sense of wonder at the possibilities -- if a simple thermostat can be this cool, what else in your house can be turned into a functional work of art?

But the design, function and launch strategy of the Nest "smart" thermostat -- founded by Tony Fadell, designer of the iPod -- works on many different levels that we can and should be using within our own Internet marketing and business strategies constantly.  ...Read More >>

Frank’s Red Hot “I Put That SH*T On Everything” Marketing Campaign Rocks

While not perfect, tongue-in-cheek spots are memorable, great example of offline + online marketing working together

By: Chris Fernandez
Comments: 1

Read Time: (5 Minutes)

I woke up the other day to the sound of a commercial...

It caught my attention because it had a little old lady talking about how she "puts that sh*t on everything".

The "sh*t" she was talking about is Frank's Red Hot sauce, and it not only caught my attention, but it made me laugh hysterically.

Here's a video clip of one of the ads (the radio spot is a bit different):

Here's another short spot that will lift your spirits and make you laugh:

UPDATE:

Frank's has since released additional commercials -- they are nowhere near as good as the old ones, but play off of the new love affair with dating apps and a new take on spiking the punch:

 

So let's talk about what the company did RIGHT with their offline and online marketing initiatives (as well as their website) and also look at what they did WRONG because inevitably, there are always things that could be done better or are being neglected, that a company can improve upon and that we can learn from.

And while Frank's did a lot right, they also made some key mistakes that you can and should learn from.

 ...Read More >>

How Delta Airlines Used Twitter To Save My Trip

Use of social media shows range of possibilities for your company

By: Chris Fernandez
Comments: 0

(Read Time: 5 Minutes)

Delta Airlines and Twitter just saved my trip -- yeah, I'm as shocked as you are!

I had read about how large Fortune 500 companies were using Twitter for customer service, outreach and for more than just to "engage" -- which I previously wrote was a bad idea in and of itself.

But what I hadn't yet experienced is the power of social media -- specifically Twitter -- when I needed it the most.

Here's a lesson in customer service, social media, and how your company can use this powerful medium to actually get real work done and increase profits, not just waste time.  ...Read More >>

Got Milk PMS Ads: Social Media Disaster Or Stroke Of Genius?

Love 'em or hate 'em, controversial ads served their purpose

By: Chris Fernandez
Comments: 0

(Read Time: 3 Minutes)

Wow, what a "disaster" the latest "Got Milk" marketing campaign turned out to be!

I put "disaster" in quotes because the company behind the controversial ads -- who created a tongue-in-cheek campaign showing how drinking “milk can help reduce the symptoms” of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) -- received such a backlash from the Internet, that they had to remove the website created for the sole purpose of making this campaign go viral...

Go figure!

The California Milk Processor Board in conjunction with their ad agency, San Francisco-based Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, launched a new social media campaign designed for guys to poke fun at something we've all dealt with directly or indirectly at one time or another.

The ads featured pictures of guys holding milk cartons looking quizzically and remorsefully at the camera (presumably at their wives/girlfriends/significant others) with sayings such as:

I'm sorry for the thing -- or things -- I did or didn't do.

and

I'm sorry for listening to what you said -- and not -- what you meant.

Here's a couple more:

To me, the ads were clever, funny, witty and definitely served their purpose: to make the micro-site (everythingidoiswrong.org - now inactive) go viral and utilize social media to do the marketing for them.

And man did it ever work...  ...Read More >>

Social Media Success: What The Top 5% Of Companies Are Doing

Use these strategies to earn profits from your social media interactions, not just followers

By: Chris Fernandez
Comments: 1

(Read Time: 5 - 7 Minutes)

Lately things have gotten insane when it comes to Social Media.

You've got the big 4:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • LinkedIn

You then also have Google+ hot on their heels, as well as a whole host of targeted and niche sites that have started cropping up.

Heck even Google and Bing are using social media for search engine rankings now!

No kidding!

In light of this, I wanted to share with you what the top 5% of SUCCESSFUL companies are doing with their social media presence to actually make real profits via social media, rather than just gain "followers", which is a rather quaint and outdated notion that can actually hurt your business.  ...Read More >>

Google’s Panda Guidelines for Building a “High Quality” Website

If you're not following these guidelines, you're in trouble!

By: Chris Fernandez
Comments: 0

(Read Time: 3 Minutes)

 

Can you honestly tell me that your current website has high quality content on it?

Is it a site that YOU yourself would want to read?

There's been a lot of pandemonium (no pun intended, see below) in the last few weeks regarding important changes to the way Google ranks websites.

We've all known for quite some time, especially intuitively, that creating a high-quality website with great content, is the true way to win the hearts and minds of your target audience.

But never has that been thoroughly backed up more powerfully by Google's own search team than in the last several months as they worked hard to rid their search results of "empty" and "spammy" content.  ...Read More >>

Overstock.com blew it!

Website penalized by Google for unscrupulous SEO tactics

By: Chris Fernandez
Comments: 0

(Read Time: 5 Minutes)

I wanted to pass along and comment on a really interesting article in the Wall Street Journal today:

==> Google Penalizes Overstock for Search Tactics

The article talks about how Overstock.com, one of the largest online retailers, got severely penalized by Google as a result of less than honest practices in trying to improve their search engine rankings.

The same type of scheme was widely reported last week in a New York Times piece as being perpetrated by JCPenny (who would have thought...).

So what did they do that you BETTER not be doing in your company's online marketing?  ...Read More >>