Tuesday, November 9, 2010

7 C's of a Website - Prominent Venture Group Evaluation

Websites can either make or break a business. A good website is crucial to any business. There are 7 C's that should be considered when designing a website.
  1. Context: layout and design
  2. Content: what is in the site (text, pictures, video, or sound)
  3. Community: user-to-user interaction
  4. Customization: ability to tailor the site for different users
  5. Communication: site-to-user interaction (what is being communicated on the other side?)
  6. Connection: site linking to other sites
  7. Commerce: capabilities to complete a transaction
For our class project, my team is working with Prominent Venture Group. When we accessed their website, we found their site to be appropiate in all areas.
  1. Context: very easy to use and interact with
  2. Content: good text and visuals, no sound or video
  3. Community: none, but not a high priority for their business
  4. Customization: once a member joins PVG, the member can tailor the site - very useful and appropriate
  5. Communication: very little - we thought their "Contact Us" tab needs more information on how to contact them
  6. Connection: no connection, but not a high priority for PVG
  7. Commerce: PVG is secured by authorized.net, which assures customers their transaction and information will be secured
Evaluating a website, like PVG, helps understand how important the 7C analysis is.

Thank you for reading.

To look at Prominent Venture Group's website visit:

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Competitive Advantage of Truth

The article "The Competitive Advantage of Truth" featured on AdAge talks about how marketers have long accepted a "truth gap." The following is an excerpt from the article:

It's inevitable. Today's conversations reach far beyond social marketing tools to constitute a context in which everything your business declares and does is added to the mix. Even if you don't explicitly lie in your marketing, you are implicitly not helping truth perception when you promulgate content that has low to no truth quotient. You tolerate a truth gap.

I thought this article was a nice, fresh perspective. The Internet makes companies more accountable to their consumers, but it also gives companies a weapon. It allows them to dazzle customers with flash media, YouTube videos, and fun music. This article says that is all fine and dandy, but that the real goal of marketing is to inform customers. It is not to tell half-truths (which are also half-lies) by covering it with fluff. I think this is a very worthwhile read. To read the full article, go to http://adage.com/cmostrategy/article?article_id=146687.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Ford's Social Media

A few weeks ago our class studied Ford's advertising methods. It was really interesting to see how they have gone away from the traditional advertising and have now incorporated social media into their corporation. There were a few fascinating points Jim Farley Ford's CMO made. Anyone can see the video or article from this website: http://mackcollier.com/ford-cmo-jim-farley-social-media-leading-to-massive-cost-savings-for-ford/.

One point is Ford has started launching cars early online. Farley notes it has created customers to become interested and excited about the car before it is out for sale. He also notes it creates people to talk about a product before it is even out. When a business can create that - the advertising has been effective.

Another point Jim makes is that social media helps a business by:
  • Generating Sales
  • Lowering Costs
Farley touches on something that is overlooked with social media and that it generates sales. People see social media as a way to lower costs or create awareness but it also generates sales.

Social media is fun to study and looking at examples of companies that have done an excellent job of incorporating it into thier business. Ford is a perfect example of this. Thank you for reading!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

"3 Things Any Video Needs to Go Viral"

Viral marketing is fantastic and awesome because it costs very little money, if any. It's a creative and fun way to get a message out. We like this article from Mashable (http://mashable.com/2010/10/19/viral-video-science/?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter) because it narrows the requirements down to three essential things.

The three things a video needs to go viral are:
  1. Physiological share motivation
  2. Easy shareability
  3. A data-driven stratey
Well, what the heck does that mean?

Let's start with physiological share motivation. The article breaks it down into three more manageable parts: emotions, identity and self expression, and information. This ties in to what Patrick Bultema (CodeBaby CEO) was talking about to our e-commerce class. It is all about getting inside their head and fueling marketing with emotions. Consumers like things that they can identify with.

Next, easy shareability sounds pretty self-explanatory, but it's important to pay attention to more than just forwarding a link. The content must download quickly and have media that is compatabile in different formats.

The third and final thing is to use a data-driven strategy. This means a consideration of what you're going to share, who you want to share it with, what time of day people will be watching, etc. Time and strategy has to be implemented to be successful.

That being said, we would love it if people linked their favorite viral videos, or even videos that they have made. Thanks for reading!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

CodeBaby: Cracking the Code

Last week in our e-commerce class, the CEO of CodeBaby, Patrick Bultema, graced the class with a fantastic speech and presentation. For those who don't know what CodeBaby, here is a brief overview:

You know those avatars that show up on websites to converse with you upon landing on a website and  during exploration? Those are created by CodeBaby. CodeBaby claims that a CodeBaby conversation is personally engaging, emotionally intelligent, and highly interactive. Most importantly, it offers dramatic results.

It was surprising that most of Bultema's presentation ciculated around the brain and how it processes information. He tied together human emotions and marketing. By understanding this link, CodeBaby is successful in improving customer's website experiences.

We encourage everyone to check out CodeBaby's website: http://www.codebaby.com/. Whether you're interested in using CodeBaby for your own business or curious about how your own emotions affect your behavior, it's worth checking out. Don't forget to read some of Bultema's blogs too!