Saturday, October 28, 2006

Evils of Flash Catching On???

Here is a blog that I read on a regular basis and it appears they have posted a quick article on the evils of Flash. I read the blog and agreed with all the points. Unfortunately many of the comments posted were negative because they claimed this was an old argument and that Flash was simply a tool and that any tool could be used incorrectly. Fair enough, but unfortunately many designers that say that still use the tool incorrectly.

Rather than write out a long article on this, I will simply refer people to a position paper I wrote on the how Flash damages your Internet marketing efforts and why. You can read the the position paper for free here. I will also direct people to the post on this fellow bloggers site which you can access...

Blog Here

My short answer to all of this is that even if you don't build a site out of Flash which is one of the worst things you can do most designers still use it incorrectly because while they understand technology and miss the mark on marketing. There is a process that people go through in the sales/marketing process and in almost all cases using Flash on a web site throws a wrench into that process. Read the position paper and learn more.

Michael Temple

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Blog Use Growing in Canada

Here is an interesting article that shows that almost 1/3rd of active Internet users in Canada have used a blog in the last 3 months. While the study was performed in Canada, you can probably safely extrapolate those numbers to just about any industrialized country in the world and it would be fairly accurate representation of blog use.

The article mentions that blogs are a double edged sword. On the one side it gives companies a great way to spread information about their product and services as well as feedback from customers, but on the other side it gives customers a great way to spread complaints.
Finally, it mentions that blogs can be written by professionals or amateurs. Let me just say that if you are a company wanting to use blogs as part of a marketing campaign that you don't hire amateurs. Not to say amateurs can't write well or help boost existing marketing efforts, but they should never be the marketing effort.

For an effective blog strategy to work you need to formalize it as you would any marketing or PR campaign. You also need to use a professional writer to help develop the content for the blog. Finally, you need an Internet or marketing consultant that can help you integrate this into your existing marketing and PR efforts and make field adjustments along the way to get the most from your investment.

Here is a link to the
full article

Michael Temple

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Blogging Changing the News World

I found this interesting story and I wanted to share it with my readers. The story is about how blogging is becoming a "source" for journalists when finding, researching, and writing stories. The author of this article is going to be presenting this talk at the DMA Association meeting coming up, but the stats of journalists turning to blogs instead of press releases and more traditional PR firms for stories is staggering.

Click Here for the Story.

I found it interesting that the author of this story used the words push vs. pull in terms of PR. I have written and used this terminology for years regarding advertising and marketing, but this is the first time I have seen someone else use it in conjunction with PR. However the strategy is the same in either case. The audience (in this case journalists) wants to pull their stories and sources as opposed to having stories pushed on them or "pitched" as the term is often used by PR firms.

This will really change the way PR firms work in the future if the trend continues. If you want to see my thoughts on this same topic regarding Internet marketing and advertising see my
white paper I recently wrote on this topic in conjunction with Flash based ads and web sites.

Also a couple of years ago I came across
this article that discusses the need for "corporate blogging policies" if the blogging trend continues. Basically, the thought is that PR firms can sanitize or spin stories certain ways to achieve a certain effect and it appears that journalists are pushing back against this by using blogs as sources, which they probably feel gives them a different angle to look at or a more "raw" version of the story before the PR people re-work it.

If corporations are going to include blogging as part of their marketing and PR strategies then how they use blogs will have to be formalized, just the current PR strategy is. You don't want cowboys out there in your company writing whatever comes to mind in a blog and having it become the "official" position of the company or put the company on the defense because a journalist read the blog and follows the trail.

From politics to business to life style, blogs are changing the Internet and offers a tremendous opportunity to businesses if it is implemented correctly. I offer help and consulting on this topic as well as many others and if I can be of help to your company please
give me a call or email me with your questions and thoughts.

I am also working on a new white paper about blogging strategies that will be published on my
web site soon. Please check that or this blog for an announcement when I have it ready. Until next time may your Internet marketing strategies be successful.

Michael Temple

Sunday, October 15, 2006

The Trinity Strategy

The trinity of Internet marketing is a triangle of competencies you need to focus on to build your web site strategy. If you focus on these 3 areas your Internet strategy will improve. If you focus on just one of them to the detriment of the others you will develop an unbalanced strategy that will not yield the results you are looking for. Here are the 3 competencies...

Customer Centered Web Site: The first step in any web marketing strategy is creating a great customer centered web site. This is much easier said than done. You need to understand who your audience of your web site is. What problems do they face? what solutions can you provide?

Once you know that your site needs to match the two things together. It is ok to talk about your services and products, but remember if that is all you got than don't expect too many visitors to come and stick around. People search the web for information if your site can provide that and other value based information and resources visitors will want to visit, spend time, refer others to the site, link to the site, and many other great things you want them to do.

Traffic: It doesn't matter if you have the greatest web site on earth, if nobody knows about it and don't visit, your site will fail. Now once you build your great web site and create content you need let people know. Obviously being listed in the search engines is a key and the fact that your site is content and value driven will make this process easier. Work on building incoming links to your web site. Share the wealth, give away some of your content for others to put on their sites or put in their blogs with the understanding they link back to you. let the press know about your site with press releases that offers links back. Finally, don't forget about good old advertising both online and offline to let people know what they can find if they come to your site.

Action & Loyalty: Once you have visitors on your site you need to do two things before they leave. You want them to take some type of action. This action can be purchasing a product, calling about a service, signing up for a newsletter or Filling out a form for a free whitepaper or special report. This step generates a lead, sale, or prospect that you can market to in the future, but people won't do this unless they find enough value in what you are offering and trust you enough to take this action. That is done with effective copywriting.

The second step is creating some type of loyalty program, i.e. giving people a reason to come back and be repeat visitors, not just a one time visitor. Ideally this visitor has the ability or resources to offer a link to your site, recommend it to others or bookmark it for future reference. If this is what you want them to do make it easy and obvious for them to see this and take that action with design and copy. Another component of your system needs to be capturing their information in your CRM (customer relationship management) database so you can begin the process of building a relationship with them which will create the highly coveted trust that is required in business and the very profitable repeat business and increased lifetime value of a customer.

There you have it, the trinity. If your sites focus on all three of these elements you will be on your way to a better web strategy, more visitors, increased leads, more sales, and higher profits.

Michael Temple

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Content & Value Win Award

Here is an interesting story that backs up what I have been saying for years. has won for another year the Web Awards, which is awards that are given to the 96 top industry web sites each year for excellence in Internet marketing. Here is a link to the press release...

What I find interesting about the story is the fact that content is one of the key reasons given for winning the award again. The site offers drawings for engineers, news, etc. Obviously a site that has done it's homework on what the audience wants/needs and provided it via their web site.

The days of simply throwing up a web site and forgetting about it are (thankfully) long gone. We are in the era of content equals value. If you need some value based content for your site check out some of the services I have on my site such as copywriting and development of white papers. If you really need to step up to the next level a full blown consulting project on developing a destination site may be in order. these items can really help you begin creating the very valuable content that will win customers and bring new visitors to your site.

Michael Temple