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How to Become a Marketing Mind Reader

My mother taught me how to write. My father taught me how to defend myself (verbally). Art Center College of Design taught me how to present my ideas. But none of these venerable resources taught me how to read minds. What does mind reading have to do with marketing or design: practically everything.

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Five Examples of Great B2B Storytelling Websites

Good storytelling is the new frontier for the website.

As Responsive Design homogenizes the look and feel of websites (I love the usability but dislike the cookie cutter designs that Responsive Design so often engenders); now, more than ever, we need compelling content to break through the visual monotony and fuse the “brand experience” with the “user experience.” This is especially true in B2B, where it is easy to “live above the neck” in a world of features, functions, dense and often technical content.

Here are five websites that successfully use compelling storytelling to build their brands. Read more

Five Tips for a Smooth Website Project

What can cause a web design project to go over budget or off schedule? This question is often asked of web firms. Similarly, client’s ask, “What can we do to ensure success with our website project?”

Good news, bad news: this is not rocket science. In design, success is often subjective. Reigning in subjectivity is where we can realize economies, both in money and in time. To that end, the following recommendations apply to a majority of website projects, regardless of industry and irrespective of intentions.

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Do People Read Long, Scrolling Web Pages?

Mobility has rendered the long scrolling web page the design standard for modern websites. But does it work? By work I mean does it provide a good user experience for your visitors and do people actually scroll down to that 3rd, 4th, 5th panel and beyond? Even as someone that is creating scrolling sites, I’ve had a gut feeling that few visitors venture “beneath the fold,” just as few Google visitors venture past page one of Search results. So I did a little research to either support my instincts or cause me to reflect on my dinosaur delusions. Read more

Six Easy Ways to Update Your Corporate Website Design

Cruise around most neighborhoods this time of year and you’ll see people outside pruning, fertilizing, watering and planting. Like a garden, your website is a living, growing thing. Many people believe that maintaining a website is a lot of work, so we’ve brainstormed six quick ways to revitalize your website design that will improve your marketing and visitor engagement.

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Do I Need a Brand or a Visual Identity?

Sometimes when people come to us for “branding,” I quickly ascertain that what they really mean is an updated “visual identity.”

“So, you’re looking for help integrating your vision, competitive positioning, audience messaging, market perception and corporate culture,” I might ask. Just as often they respond, “I just need an update to our logo, collateral templates, PowerPoint, web design, etc.” For many, the visual manifestations of a brand are “The Brand.”

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An Effective Web Design Strategy Starts with Your Brand

We’ve talked about Market Strategy, Brand Strategy and Content Strategy, so why do we need a Web Design Strategy? Because, of all of these strategies, only your Website Design Strategy is externally facing. Let’s put Website Desgn Strategy into context to clarify how these strategies work in tandem.

Strategy_ffunnel2Using a funnel metaphor, your Market Strategy is your highest level strategic decision, in which you define the markets for your products and/or services and determine whether your market approach is industry specific, solutions or applications-focused or some combination.

Once this is determined, your Brand Strategy encompasses the way you describe what you do, for what audiences with a compettive value statement, which sets you apart from your competition. You socialize this brand internally, and externally at every customer and employee touchpoint.

The power of a relevant Content Strategy — based on sound Market and Brand Strategies — is to create a program to disseminate and exchange your valuable content across all media and over time, which leads us to your Website Design Strategy.

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