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    Leveraging Technology Leveraging Technology Document Transcript

    • Leveraging Technology Internet Marketing Plan Red Hare Consulting Christopher Ferry Allan Johnson David Koster Chukwuma Morah Myneco Taylor
    • LEVERAGING TECHNOLOGY Internet Marketing Plan Dear Leveraging Technology, The Red Hare Consulting Group would like to extend its appreciation to Leveraging Technology for its time and cooperation in our didactic endeavors. Working with your firm has allowed us to synchronize our educational efforts in the marketing field while gaining exposure to the software and “implementation” consulting industry. As Leveraging Technology moves forward in this challenging market, we hope our analysis and suggestions will offer valuable assistance in the advancement of your firm’s mission and reach. Thank you again and we wish you well! Sincerely, Red Hare ConsultingLeveraging Technology | Red Hare Consulting
    • TABLE OF CONTENTSPreface • Executive Summary ………………………………………………………………………………………….. 5 • Privacy Policy ……………………………………………………………………………………................. 6 • Team Purpose & Profiles . ………………………………………………………………………………… 7 • Team Code of Conduct . …………………………………………………………………………………… 9 • Previous Client Interactions . ……………………………………………………………………………. 10 • Assumptions …………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 11Section 1 – Where are we now? • Introduction …………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 13 • Company Profile ………………………………………………………………………………………………. 13 o Current Business Model ………………………………………………………………………. 14 • Target Market ………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 14 • Customer Value Proposition …………………………………………………………………………….. 15 o Perception …………………………………………………………………………………………… 15 • Current Website Experience Map …………………………………………………………………….. 16 o Brochure Model …………………………………………………………………………………… 16 • Buyer Behavior Process ……………………………………………………………………………………. 17 • McKinsey’s 7S Model ……………………………………………………………………………………….. 18 • 7 C’s of Web Design & Quality ………………………………………………………………………….. 20 • Industry Audit ………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 21 o Competition ………………………………………………………………………………………… 21 • SWOT Analysis …………………………………………………………………………………………………. 23 o Applying SWOT To Overall Strategies ………………………………………………….. 24 • Conclusion ……………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 25Section 2 – Where do we want to be? • Introduction …………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 27 • Objectives ………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 27 Leveraging Technology | Red Hare Consulting • Desired Web Experience Map ………………………………………………………………………….. 28 • Customer Satisfaction Heuristic ……………………………………………………………………….. 29 • Overall Strategies (Themes) ……………………………………………………………………………… 30 • Gap Analysis …………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 31 o Ratings Defined …………………………………………………………………………………… 31 o Evaluating Strategies by Ratings …………………………………………………….…… 32 • Conclusion ……………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 33 2
    • Section 3 – How might we get there? • Introduction …………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 35 • Description of Tactics ……………………………………………………………………………………….. 35 o Google Analytics ………………………………………………………………………………….. 35 o Promotional Video ………………………………………………………………………………. 35 o Blog ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… 36 o Testimonials ………………………………………………………………………………………… 36 o Web Polls …………………………………………………………………………………………….. 36 o “Need Help” Tab ………………………………………………………………………………….. 36 o Employee Profiles ……………………………………………………………………………….. 37 o Newsletter …………………………………………………………………………………………… 37 o Chamber of Commerce ……………………………………………………………………….. 38 o Legal Notices ……………………………………………………………………………............ 38 o Registration Process …………………………………………………………………………… 38 o Twitter ………………………………………………………………………..……………………… 39 o Search Engine Optimization …………………………………………………………………. 40 o Social Networking ………………………………………………………………………………. 40 o Second Life ………………………………………………………………………………………….. 41 o Website Revamp …………………………………………………………………………………. 41 o Intern …………………………………………………………………………………………………… 42 • Choice Criteria Chart ………………………………………………………………………………………… 43 • Conclusion ……………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 43 Section 4 – Which way is best? • Introduction …………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 45 • Tactic Selection Rubric …………………………………………………………………………………….. 45 o Expected ROI ………………………………………………………………………………………. 45 o Implementation Time & Ease …………………………………………………………….. 45 o Implementer Interest ………………………………………………………………………… 46 o Ease of Maintenance .………………………………………………………………………… 46 o Risk Exposure ……………………………………………………………………………………… 46 o Useful Lifetime …………………………………………………………………………………… 46 o Dissolution Cost ………………………………………………………………………………….. 46Leveraging Technology | Red Hare Consulting o Relative Simplicity ………………………………………………………………………………. 47 • Rubric Applied to Tactics …………………………………………………………………………………. 47 o Ranking Scale ……………………………………………………………………………………… 47 o Google Analytics ………………………………………………………………………………… 48 o Promotional Video …………………………………………………………………………….. 49 o Employee Profiles ……………………………………………………………………………… 50 o Blog ……………………………………………………………………………………………………. 51 o Web Polls …………………………………………………………………………………………… 52 o Testimonials ………………………………………………………………………………………. 53 o Social Networking ……………………………………………………………………………… 54 o Registration Processes ………………………………………………………………………. 55 o Newsletter ………………………………………………………………………………………… 56 • Conclusion ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… 57 3
    • Section 5 – How Do We Ensure Safe Arrival? • Introduction …………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 59 • Performance Standards Metric ……………………………………………………………………….. 60 o Google Analytics ………………………………………………………………………………….. 61 o Promotional Video ………………………………………………………………………………. 62 o Registration Process ……………………………………………………………………………. 62 o Testimonials ………………………………………………………………………………………… 62 o Newsletter ………………………………………………………………………………………….. 63 o Blog ……………………………………………………………………………………………………… 63 o Website Revamp …………………………………………………………………………………. 63 o Social Networking ……………………………………………………………………………….. 63 o Employee Profiles ……………………………………………………………………………….. 63 • Objective Timeline …………………………………………………………………………………………… 64 o 2009 Timeline ……………………………………………………………………………………… 65 o 2010 Timeline ……………………………………………………………………………………… 66 • Schedule of Implementation …………………………………………………………………………… 67 • Feedback Channels ………………………………………………………………………………………….. 69 • Return on Investment …………………………………………………………………………………….. 70 • Payback Period …………………………………………………………………………………………………. 71 • 7S Model ………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 72 • Contingency Plan ……………………………………………………………………………………………… 72 • Limitations ……………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 73 • Conclusion ……………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 74Summary …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 75Appendices • Appendix A – Further Reading ………………………………………………………………………….. 77 • Appendix B – References ………………………………………………………………………………….. 78 • Appendix C – Competitor Website Layouts ……………………………………………………… 79 • Appendix D – Competitor Registration Process ……………………………………………….. 81 • Appendix E – Successful Company Twitter Accounts ……………………………………….. 82 • Appendix F – Successful Newsletters ………………………………………………………………. 84 Leveraging Technology | Red Hare Consulting • Appendix G – LinkedIn Examples …………………………………………………………………….. 86 • Appendix H – Successful Blogs …………………………………………………………………………. 90 • Appendix I – Documentation from Client Meetings ……………………………………….. 92 • Appendix J – Glossary ………………………………………………………………………………………. 93 4
    • EXECUTIVE SUMMARY This report is structured around five questions: 1. Where are we now? 2. Where do we want to be? 3. How might we get there? 4. Which way(s) is/are best? 5. How do we ensure safe arrival? “Where are we now?” analyzes the current state of the organization, including its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. This information is used to take a snapshot of Leveraging Technology’s current business structure and position. “Where do we want to be?” describes the organizations objectives, reflecting the desired direction and positions. Objectives discussed throughout this analysis indicate Leveraging Technology’s current status and their desired status. “How might we get there?” lists the different tactics that are suggested for the organization. These tactics are discussed in detail and all relate to the objectives that were set in question two. At the end of the section is a choice criteria chart which explains the tactics best suited for Leveraging Technology according to the developed selection rubric. “Which way(s) is/are best?” describes each of the tactics according to their appropriateness and attractiveness according to the tactic selection rubric in response to the selected metrics selected for the choice criteria chart and discussed in at the end of question three. This section highlights recommended suggestions for the organization and explores possible steps that could be taken and some examples of each (discussed further in the appendix). “How do we ensure safe arrival?” explores the process the organization might use to ensure thatLeveraging Technology | Red Hare Consulting tactics are implemented properly, pertain to the overall objectives of the report, and are benchmarked according to a timeline. The timelines and schedules provide a measurement that the objectives are being met. 5
    • PRIVACY POLICY The information contained in this report is for general guidance on matters of interest only. Theapplication and impact of laws can vary widely based on the specific facts involved. Given the changingnature of laws, rules and regulations, there may be omissions or inaccuracies in information containedin this site. Accordingly, the information in this report is provided with the understanding that theauthors and publishers are not herein engaged in rendering legal, accounting, tax, or other professionaladvice and services. As such, it should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professionalaccounting, tax, legal or other competent advisers. While we have made every attempt to ensure that the information contained in this report hasbeen obtained from reliable sources, Red Hare Consulting is not responsible for any errors or omissions,or for the results obtained from the use of this information. All information in this report is provided "asis", with no guarantee of completeness, accuracy, timeliness or of the results obtained from the use ofthis information, and without warranty of any kind, express or implied, including, but not limited towarranties of performance, merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose. In no event will RedHare Consulting, its related partnerships or corporations, or the partners, agents or employees thereofbe liable to you or anyone else for any decision made or action taken in reliance on the information inthis report or for any consequential, special or similar damages, even if advised of the possibility of suchdamages. Certain links in this report connect to other Websites maintained by third parties over whomRed Hare Consulting has no control. Red Hare Consulting makes no representations as to the accuracy orany other aspect of information contained in these Websites. Leveraging Technology | Red Hare Consulting 6
    • TEAM PURPOSE & PROFILES The aim of Red Hare Consulting is to produce an advisory document containing a market analysis and critically filtered recommendations for Leveraging Technology. These suggestions are intended to enhance Leveraging Technology’s Internet marketing approach, focusing on more effective, efficient, and measurable results. Allan Johnson Marketing axj4965@rit.edu LinkedIn.com/in/AllanJ (585) 889-8099 Allan is a senior Marketing major with a focus in entrepreneurship. Allan hopes to grow and contribute his abilities in communication, networking, and business development within private education, foreign business development, and/or business-to-business selling in the future. Christopher Ferry Marketing cgf7746@rit.edu (585) 820-3477 Chris is a junior Marketing major who has a strong interest in Advertising. After college he would like to become a Marketing consultant and eventually run his own firm. His hobbies include, lacrosse, snowboarding, and mountain biking.Leveraging Technology | Red Hare Consulting Chukwuma Morah Industrial & Systems Engineering chukwumamorah@gmail.com (585) 301-0494 Twitter: ChuBoi // LinkedIn: Chukwuma Morah // www.chuboi.com Although “Chu” is enjoying his last year in college as an Industrial Engineer, his interests lie in the fields of marketing and advertising. His goal is to become a marketing executive for well-known company in the entertainment or video game industry. 7
    • David KosterNew Media Marketingdbk4253@rit.edu(631) 576-7219Twitter: davekoster David is a junior New Media Marketing major who is passionate about his field. His interests lienot only in marketing, but design and advertising as well. He hopes that his cross-departmental skills willallow him to become a brand manager at a major technology firm.Myneco TaylorInformation Technologymxt2340@rit.edu(312) 404-1041Twitter: mytaylor Myneco is a 5th year Information Technology student focusing in human factors with aconcentration in psychology. Myneco is excited to study abroad in Germany during the summer of 2009and return to pursue a career in Project Management. Leveraging Technology | Red Hare Consulting 8
    • CODE OF CONDUCT The team agrees to adhere to the following standards: • PERFORMANCE_____________________________________________________________ Team members agree to maintain a professional work ethic that guarantees both diligence and timeliness. Each person is expected to attend meetings well prepared, completing work based on strict deadlines. These assignments must be carefully reviewed to ensure the utmost quality and acceptance by all members of the group. Socially, all members will treat one-another with respect. No manner of personal attacks is acceptable at any time. • ATTENDANCE_______________________________________________________________ All meetings require mandatory attendance from all members. Commitments to weekly times have been made and they are expected to be kept. Exceptions will only be made in severe cases. Being absent requires that the member in question still submit his/her work through other means so as not to negatively impact the group schedule. Other team members must be sure to provide a detailed report of anything that may have been missed by absentees. • ACCEPTANCE OF CRITICISM_____________________________________________________ Members must understand that work is being done for professional purposes and thus criticism is a reflection only on the project itself and not personal integrity. Complete honesty on all matters is expected at all times, be it harsh or supportive, as long as it remains constructive. Opinions must both be contributed and listened to by all parties. One person’s voice will never become more important than another. • REGULAR CONTACT TIME AND DAYS_______________________________________________ Meetings will take place weekly, on Wednesdays, at 6:00PM. Contact amongst members must remain constant, but reasonable. Communication should be kept to typical business hours, not extending into the deep night and early morning. Contact during normal hours is encouraged to be by meeting or telephone. If contact must be made during extreme hours, e-mail is preferred.Leveraging Technology | Red Hare Consulting Signed, _____________________ _____________________ _____________________ Christopher Ferry Allan Johnson David Koster _____________________ _____________________ Chukwuma Morah Myneco Taylor 9
    • PREVIOUS CLIENT INTERACTIONS1st Meeting – December 16, 2008 7:30amDuring the first, meeting Leveraging Technology gave a detailed description of the firm’s current stateand vision for the future. Red Hare Consulting provided Leveraging Technology with a list of benefits inallowing us to develop the marketing plan and our individual areas of expertise. Leveraging Technologycontinued by explaining their method of obtaining customers through seminars and their IBMpartnership. While gathering the information on past methods used to attain Leveraging Technology’sgoals, we all brainstormed innovative ideas that may achieve those goals.2nd Meeting – January 14, 2009 12:00pmDuring the second meeting we presented Leveraging Technology with a recap of the previous meetingto assure accuracy of our analysis. Following was a list of recommendations for building an onlinepresence. Suggestions included tactics like implementing Google analytics or production/promotionalvideos. Each suggestion was accompanied by how it could be beneficial to Leveraging Technology andother companies that are using that exact tactic. Together, the tactics were narrowed down to mosteffective for further exploration.3rd Meeting – February 18, 2009 1:00pmDuring the last official meeting a telephone conference call was held to ensure that the Marketing Planwas on target with Leveraging Technology’s objectives for the project. Other preliminary questionswere revisited to guarantee that our proposed tactics and matrixes were still sustainable.E-mailThroughout the entire project there have been constant e-mails with Leveraging Technology to ensurevalidly of our meeting minutes. Leveraging Technology | Red Hare Consulting 10
    • ASSUMPTIONS For the Internet marketing plan, Red Hare Consulting assumes: • The budget to be $8,000 for the implementation of the Internet marketing plan. • Leveraging Technology will take suggestions seriously and implement tactics to improve their online presence. • Change their focus to include both an online and offline presence. • The client is going to follow the suggested timeline to implementation. • Red Hare Consulting has made suggestions using strategies and tactics that are relevant to Leveraging Technology.Leveraging Technology | Red Hare Consulting 11
    • Section 1 – Where are we now?STEP: 1 2 3 4 5Where are we now? Leveraging Technology | Red Hare Consulting 12
    • Section 1 – Where are we now? INTRODUCTION The purpose of this section is to explore Leveraging Technology’s current status in their industry. The various elements of this section provide critical feedback on the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and possible threats that concern their organization. It is essential that this question is answered thoroughly in order to provide an appropriate analysis that can be used to structure the rest of the internet marketing plan. By correctly identifying the firm’s current position, Red Hare Consulting was able to formulate suggestions that will improve the current online status of Leveraging Technology. The elements that are explored throughout this section are: • A current company profile that explores the current business models being used by Leveraging Technology. • McKinsey’s 7 S model • The 7 C’s of web design and quality • Industry Audit • An analysis of Leveraging Technology’s current competition • Current website experience map • SWOT Analysis COMPANY PROFILE Leveraging Technology, an IBM Premier Business Partner, is a technology consulting company that is a proven leader in integration and design projects for a vast array of complex business issues and a variety of clients. Experience in various technologies and understanding how to leverage clients for business results continues to be the driving force behind their success, and more importantly, the success of each of their clients. They are able to integrate the implementation of business criticalLeveraging Technology | Red Hare Consulting services and their use of IBM software to help their clients become more efficient. This is a direct result to their knowledge and expertise in the rapidly changing field of technology. Leveraging Technology prides themselves on working closely with their clients in order to build long lasting relationships that turn many clients into repeat customers. With this mentality, they have been able to create many positive relationships with their clients that have turned into successful results for both their clients and Leveraging Technology. 13
    • Section 1 – Where are we now?Current Business Models Identifying Leveraging Technology’s current business models will allow for more effective andcustomized suggestions through identification of revenue streams and value proposition assessment.Broker Leveraging Technology’s business model hinges on two approaches: the broker andcustomization/consultancy models. The broker model is utilized in selling IBM software, which serves asa platform to supply consulting services with the customization/consultancy model. Some revenue isgenerated from the broker model in selling software; the greatest revenues are generated fromconsulting services. Therefore, the customization/consultancy model serves as the primary model forLeveraging Technology and the broker model is secondary.Customization When dealing with a large variety of clients, there is a high level of customization that takesplace with each project due to the different needs of each client. Customization enables each client tofeel as if they have a high level of importance to Leveraging Technology. By providing a consultancyservice to their clients, it is important that Leveraging Technology develop brand loyalty, and a strongreputation in their industry so that clients are able to see the value gained by doing business with them.This is evident with most of their clients who feel as if they are gaining added value by doing businesswith Leveraging Technology.Consultancy Being that Leveraging Technology relies strongly on their partnership with IBM, the sales ofsoftware opens the door for the implementation of consultancy. The sale of software allows LeveragingTechnology to form a relationship with the customer by helping the customer install the software and bymaintaining the software. This is where Leveraging Technology generates the majority of their revenuebecause they then form a long-term relationship in which they perform many other tasks for the client.TARGET MARKET Leveraging Technology | Red Hare Consulting Leveraging Technology services mid to small size businesses in upstate NY, thus very largebusiness or those outside of the upstate NY area are not targeted. Since customer retention is so high,the firms customer base in generally growing slowly but steadily. Therefore, positioning for this targetmarket should include business organizations within the upstate NY region. The small to mid-size businesses in upstate NY are considered Leveraging Technology’s primarytarget. Their secondary target market would include those small to mid-size businesses outside ofupstate NY and larger businesses in upstate NY. The current market for small to mid-sized businesses inNew York is very large, which will allow for the expansion of Leveraging Technology’s current customerbase. The unmet needs for the current client base consists of, the inability to communicate withLeveraging Technology on a consistent basis (i.e. feedback, blogging, and other networking devices), 14
    • Section 1 – Where are we now? access to information through the internet is little to none, and unable to be quickly informed on new forms of technology that can help their business become more efficient. In order to make up for the clients unmet needs, Leveraging Technology has made an attempt to create a high level of customer loyalty. Customer loyalty is important to Leveraging Technology because the majority of their business is done with repeat customers. This is achieved through building strong relationships with their customers. By building these relationships, their customers feel that Leveraging Technology is concerned with the success of their business, which generally leads to the return of that customer for other projects. Building strong relationships with their customers is something Leveraging Technology prides itself on because it has become something that that has made a top priority to accomplishes. CUSTOMER VALUE PROPOSITION Customer Value can be defined as the difference between what a customer gets from a product, and what he or she has to give in order to get it. The value for Leveraging Technologys clients comes from the implementation consulting they receive for IBM software available for purchase. The software is valuable to customers because it allows them to operate more effectively, simply, and/or efficiently. The consulting adds value through an understanding of the technologies and their useful functions and features. The relational and thorough manner of Leveraging Technologys highly competent consulting serves as their main competitive advantage. This is reflected by their extremely high customer retention rates. The competitive position can remain constant. However, the competitive position should be communicated in the most effective manner possible to help attract clients with a proficient and professional company image. Perception There are no organizational reviews conducted on Leveraging Technology as a business.Leveraging Technology | Red Hare Consulting Websites such as vault.com, jobvent.com, glassdoor.com and salary.com are dedicated to providing organizational information such as insider information on top employers and education programs, job search advice, salary info, job listings, employee message boards and surveys. By providing information to these websites, Leveraging Technology will be able to build better brand recognition and also a good reputation that would come along with good reviews. Also, the upstate NY chamber of commerce, and the better business bureau of upstate NY all have no record on Leveraging Technology. 15
    • Section 1 – Where are we now?CURRENT WEBSITE EXPERIENCE MAP Homepage Consulting Support Software Sign-In Overview Services Case Studies Certifications Training Contact The current Leveraging Technology website is very basic; it serves as an online brochure.The home page is linked to four separate pages: “Consulting”, “Support”, “Software”, and “Sign-In”.The Consulting page provides a brief overview of the company, the services they offer, links toprevious case studies, certifications, the company’s training services, and their contact information. Leveraging Technology’s website currently uses the brochure model to inform consumersBrochure Modelabout their consulting and software services. Presently, this is limited in its breadth, providing onlya brief overview of each category and what they may entail. This does not include any sort of Leveraging Technology | Red Hare Consultingextensive company profile, proof of accomplishments, or dynamic interaction points. 16
    • Section 1 – Where are we now? BUYER BEHAVIOR PROCESS The buyer behavior process consists of a five-step process that describes purchasing behavior of customers. The steps that are included in the process are: need recognition, Information search, evaluate alternatives, purchase of the product, and post purchase behavior. The need recognition that is formed with Leveraging Technology’s clients comes from two main areas. The first is the attendance of the different seminars that Leveraging Technology conducts. When customers are able to see what technology is available for their businesses to become more efficient, they need to implement the software arises. The other is through need recognition when business activities are not as efficient as expected. This then leads to the need for outside help to increase the level of efficiency. The next step is information search. This is the area where Leveraging Technology lacks the most resources. When there is need recognition, where does the potential client go to find information? This is where a revamped website that provides all necessary information will help clients begin to gain answers to their questions. Rather than having to attend seminars, clients can search for information on the website, and during the seminars Leveraging Technology is able to refer them to their website for more information. The evaluation of alternatives becomes important when clients are searching for services and software because they want to get the most benefits for the least amount of money. Leveraging Technology can differentiate themselves from the competition by offering preliminary suggestions to clients on their website before contact is made. This will provide the client with the chance to see what they will be getting for their money. Another useful tool is this stage is the use of case studies, which show the prior services Leveraging Technology has performed for past clients. When purchase of the product is made, Leveraging Technology must be able to fully understand the needs of the client and meet those needs by implementing strategies that will benefit the client’s current state. This will lead to developing a good reputation with clients who may refer services to other businesses.Leveraging Technology | Red Hare Consulting Post purchase behavior is probably the stage where Leveraging Technology is performing the best. They are able to build long term relationships that generally bring clients back to be repeat customers. However, there is much to be done, such as, the ability for clients to leave feedback for suggestions, updated information on different technology advances that may help clients, and an increase in post purchase communication, which may be done in the form of follow up emails and with other communication devices such as Twitter or Blogs. 17
    • Section 1 – Where are we now?MCKINSEY’S 7S MODEL1 F IGURE 1: T HE M C K INSEY S 7S M ODEL McKinseys 7S model is used to organize a company in an effective way. Management usesthis to determine the way in which the business operates. It is important to understand that each Sis independent, and that over time their importance could change depending on the situation. Thethree Ss along the top of the diagram (Strategy, Structure, and Systems) are also considered thehard Ss because they are the main focus of the organizations goals. The four Ss that make up thebottom of the diagram (Shared Values, Skills, Staff, and Style) are also considered the soft Ssbecause they relate more to the cultural environment of the organization and are generally lessfocused upon overall. The three Ss along the top of the diagram (Strategy, Structure, and Systems) are also Leveraging Technology | Red Hare Consultingconsidered the hard Ss because they are the main focus of the organizations goals. The four Ss thatmake up the bottom of the diagram (Shared Values, Skills, Staff, and Style) are also considered thesoft Ss because they relate more to the cultural environment of the organization and are generallyless focused upon overall.1The 7S McKinsey Model. Building Brands.http://www.buildingbrands.com/didyouknow/14_7s_mckinsey_model.php [Accessed 20Feb 2009] 18
    • Section 1 – Where are we now? Strategy is “the direction and scope of the company over the long term.” Leveraging Technology’s Internet strategy is to display an image of the company to try and solidify their • company image to potential clients. Structure is “the basic organization of the company, its departments, reporting lines, areas of expertise, and responsibility, and how they inter-relate.” The firm’s online structure is • built according to the brochure model, based on the strategy of promoting Leveraging Technology’s image. Staff is “the companys people resources and how they are developed, trained, and motivated.” A very capable staff serves as the primary source of value generation, since • consulting services, in the customization/consulting model, are the main source of significant earnings. Skills are “the capabilities and competencies that exist within the company.” Leveraging Technologys skills allow for effective implementation assistance with customers within a • range of technological fields. Shared Values are “the values and beliefs of the company.” Ultimately they guide employees towards the same valued behavior. To provide long-term relationships by • helping customers solve technological problems and implement this improvements. Style is “the leadership approach of top management and the companys overall operating approach.” A clear, professional style is portrayed to communicate Leveraging Technology’s • goals and abilities. Systems are “the formal and informal procedures that govern everyday activity, covering everything from management information systems, through to the systems at the point of • contact with the customer.” Daily activities in the company systems include preparation and presentation at seminars used to attract clients.Leveraging Technology | Red Hare Consulting 19
    • Section 1 – Where are we now?7C’S OF WEB DESIGN & QUALITY Context - Possessing a modern design that is simple and clean, the site is appealing to the eye. The interface built into the main design is also simple, but subsections lack both • substance and clarity of navigation. Over-simplicity may be an issue due to the lack of sections within a single page. This may cause either overflow of information in certain sections or missing information entirely. Content - Provided content is strictly informational and limited almost entirely to description of services. There are brief sections dedicated to case studies and company • information, although all case studies are not written from the perspective of the customer and thus lack impact, and the company information is strictly a list of accreditations and limited contact information. Community - As it stands, the Leveraging Technology website lacks any sense of community entirely. There are no interactive sections to be found, and the only provided • contact points are a single phone number and email address. Further, there are no external sources of community associated with Leveraging Technology via sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, or YouTube. Customization - Leveraging Technologys website is static in nature and will not adapt to the user currently viewing it. This can be contributed to lacking a protocol that can identify • different users in the first place such as a registration or Google Analytics. Communication - The website does not convey any sort of message well, if at all. Considering the lacking interface and limited content, there is no unified vision that is • apparent from every page. Connection - Leveraging Technologys website unfortunately stands alone in terms of its Internet presence. There is no sort of associated social network or association that • customers can become a part of to strengthen their bond with either Leveraging Technology as a company or its employees. Leveraging Technology | Red Hare Consulting Commerce - While the website lists software products and services that Leveraging Technology provides, there is no means to purchase them online. This, however, may be • irrelevant due to the personal interaction that is required for each transaction, whether it be consulting or software. 20
    • Section 1 – Where are we now? INDUSTRY AUDIT Consulting clients demand information system implementation assistance along with high-level business advice in order to make their business more efficient. Organizations such as Leveraging Technology provide assistance with the implementation of software and new technology to help clients become more efficient. As the consulting business model has adapted over the years, which now offers both business strategy consulting and IT consulting expertise to private sector and government clients, these consultancy organizations must also adapt to meet the standards that are set by the rapidly developing technological environment. Moreover, software firms have moved into the consulting field to capture some of the enormous new demand for design, implementation and management of all sorts of technology-based business information. Leveraging Technology merges both the software and technology consultancy together in order to meet the technological needs of many businesses. Competition: The competition that exists for Leveraging Technology falls under two categories, software and services. These competitors are leaders in the field of technology and all mostly represent where Leveraging Technology would like to eventually be. Below, each competitor’s website is broken down into the strengths and weaknesses. These can then be evaluated to choose the appropriate solutions for Software: the Leveraging Technology website. CDW Strengths - The CDW website allows users to select different options that best represent their status, such as; home office, small business, medium to large business, and other sectors of business. This then breaks down the information on the site to better fit the needs of the user. The site is also filled with information on new technology and software that has recently been released, and also allows users to sign in to an account in which they are able to access information that pertains to the user, and also allows them to buy software online. There is a tab that lists everything they offer the customer, and under each category, there is an in depth description of each service offered.Leveraging Technology | Red Hare Consulting Weaknesses - CDW’s website is very cluttered. Although they have a lot of information to offer, the presentation of the information is scattered. The home page contains so much material that it could cause the user to feel overwhelmed. Dell Strengths - Dell is an award winner in their industry. Their website allows users to select a path that customizes the information displayed. The website is also updated frequently with new information that entices users to return for updates on the latest news. The information displayed is very easy to read, so that everyone is able to understand it. Dell’s website also provides explanations for things that may be confusing to certain users; such as when talking about different software that they sell, Dell simplifies the description so that it is not confusing to anyone. 21
    • Section 1 – Where are we now? Weaknesses - There appears to be only a couple weaknesses when exploring the website. Themost obvious weakness is the feedback tab that is not clearly placed for people to find. This is importantbecause people generally like to leave feedback when they are satisfied or unsatisfied and thereforecausing frustration when they are unable to.Sirius Strengths - Sirius’ website is very well put together. They offer a lot of accessible informationright on their homepage, and it is clearly labeled, which makes it easy to read. They offer the chance tosign up to receive their online newsletter. This is a way for them to receive information about thewebsite users, which allows them to profile their clients. Other noticeable strengths include, “Did YouKnow?” tabs and a recent news tab which allows them to draw attention to certain topics and increasethe time spent on the website. The last strength is that they have links to all their other forms ofcontact, such as, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and MySpace. Weaknesses - The noticeable weaknesses on the website are that there is no access to userfeedback, and there does not appear to be recent updates to the page. By creating a Blog or weeklyupdates, users are able to feel that there is actually someone communicating with them and that thewebsite is more than an informative brochure.Services:IBM Strengths - IBM is a world leader in their business solutions. The first thing that stands out ontheir website is the home page’s the catchy headlines. They provide information on the latesttechnology that is making many businesses more efficient. This is a way for new clients to see what IBMis doing with their current clients. Leveraging Technology is able to do this with their current use oftechnology and would potentially lead to the conversion of more clients. Weaknesses - There does not appear to be any noticeable weaknesses to their website. The onlything that appears to be missing is the use of Twitter and other social network links on their website. Leveraging Technology | Red Hare ConsultingProlifics Strengths - Prolifics lists their case studies right on their home page. This is useful for searchengine optimization, which enables users to get information quickly without having to search. They alsolist upcoming seminars on their home page, with the information on what is going to be talked about atthe seminar. Both of these tactics create interest in users and therefore add to increased time on thesite. Customer testimonials are listed at the bottom of the page for another feedback resource. Weaknesses - The page takes a long time to load. There is too much flash therefore causingloading time to increase. 22
    • Section 1 – Where are we now? SWOT ANALYSISLeveraging Technology | Red Hare Consulting The purpose of a SWOT Analysis is to identify the company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities in the current market, and threats that might prevent the company from achieving their goals. The SWOT analysis helps the Red Hare team construct ways for the Leveraging Technology to use their strengths to overcome their weaknesses, take advantage of their opportunities, and minimize the effect of external threats. Strengths Aside from offering unique solutions to make businesses run more efficiently, Leveraging Technology’s true strength lies in their customer service. Their customer retention rate is very impressive and most clients are more than willing to acquire their services more than once. The services they offer are personalized for each client, which helps build a friendly relationship between the two parties. The members of the LT team are considered experts in their respective fields based on their skill sets. 23
    • Section 1 – Where are we now?Weaknesses The company’s main weakness is its ineffective website, which lacks detail and does notproperly convey the full potential of the Leveraging Technology brand. The LT brand itself is notoptimized for search engines and isn’t easily recognized on the Internet. The LT team is unaware of anydirect competitors in their current market, which could lead to a false sense of security. Lastly, the firm’sclient base is relatively small; they interact with only 2-3 clients each year. Therefore, losing a singleclient can have a severe effect on the firm’s revenue streamOpportunities In order to improve brand awareness the company can utilize online social networks to attractnew customers and keep current clients coming back to their website. A redesigned website thatintegrates breakthrough technology and different types of social media (i.e. blogs and flash video) canalso achieve similar results.Threats An unexpected threat to Leveraging Technology is the supplier of its software solutions, IBM.Since Leveraging Technology was initially unaware of direct competitors they were vulnerable tounsuspected competition in the market. During the current unhealthy economic climate companies arecutting down on costs. Therefore potential customers might not be able to afford LeveragingTechnology’s services.Applying SWOT to Overall Strategies Web Presence – Leveraging Technology has an incredible brand that represents smart andthorough work with a personal touch. The company is confident in their ability to reinvent their clientsthrough proven expertise, and while this claim may be bold, it is entirely justified by their incrediblecustomer satisfaction and retention rates. LT already possesses the tools necessary to create a strikingvalue proposition; they merely need to transition their real world practices onto the web. Leveraging Technology | Red Hare Consulting Customer Feedback – As highlighted by LT’s exceptional retention rates, the company hascreated a proven formula for customer satisfaction. The most core component of this satisfaction istheir ability as consultants to work with the customer, not for them. Consulting from LeveragingTechnology is typically only the start of a very long sales cycle that the customers themselves are heavilyengrained in. To transition this type of experience onto the internet requires extensive feedbackchannels that allow both existing and potential customers to learn more about Leveraging Technologyand its employees. Customer Conversion – The main purpose of any business is to make money. LeveragingTechnology will gain the most benefit from a new web presence when they can use it to convert randomconsumers into paying customers. Relying on consistent customer retention, while proven successful, is 24
    • Section 1 – Where are we now? inherently a weakness due to how large of an effect that a single lost client can make. Therefore, for Leveraging Technology to grow in an increasingly digital age means they must use their website as a new channel for finding customers. Web Quality – What remains the grounding reminder when developing a new web presence such as this is how difficult it can be to ensure execution goes smoothly and each piece of the solution does as it is intended. If the tools necessary for providing a quality web experience do not function as intended then everything else is virtually pointless. Because of Leveraging Technology’s inexperience with web based initiatives and their general unawareness of competitors and target markets it will be naturally difficult to know what will work as intended. Thus it is imperative that each piece of the new web experience is extensively evaluated on an ongoing basis. If one piece is not functioning as intended, it may need to be revamped or removed entirely. The experience as a whole must be monitored regularly to ensure it is providing the extension of the Leveraging Technology brand that the company expected. CONCLUSION The information that has been collected throughout this section is used to structure the other four questions: Where do we want to be? How might we get there? Which way is best?, and How do we ensure safe arrival? The snapshot that is taken with the use of “Where are we now?” will allow Leveraging Technology to see how the tactics explored in further sections will be used to move them into where the want to be by illustrating the transitions that need to be taken into account.Leveraging Technology | Red Hare Consulting 25
    • Section 2 – Where do we want to be?STEP: 1 2 3 4 5Where do we want to be? Leveraging Technology | Red Hare Consulting 26
    • Section 2 – Where do we want to be? INTRODUCTION The purpose of this section is to determine desirable positions for Leveraging Technology within its market. This will help us answer the question, "Where do we want to be?” Objectives meeting the "SMART" criteria (Specific, Measurable, Agreeable, Realistic, and Time-specific) can then be derived and benchmarked for future effectiveness assessment. OBJECTIVES • Gain 2 new consulting clients via online connections by December 2010. Since clients have traditionally been located through seminars and other in-person channels, gaining 2 new clients through online portals will break the ice for Leveraging Technologys online strategy. In the future, many (if not most) clients could be located through these online channels since businesses are increasingly utilizing online sources to find and create connections for their business networks. A large portion of the target market could be missed if such channels are not established and the competence of the technology implementation consulting team would appear less capable (since web presences reflect technological ability). • Increase weekly web traffic by 50% within the first 6 months of site redesign and 5% each year after that time. Increasing the rate of web traffic could greatly increase Leveraging Technologys chances of attracting and servicing new clients who are searching for consultants in the upstate NY region. This traffic could also come from customers leaving feedback and making comments (a vital aspect of a virtual presence). This would help Leveraging Technology pin-point areas of their services which clients feel are lacking. In identifying these lacking elements, services could be greatly improved toLeveraging Technology | Red Hare Consulting meet the needs and wants of both present and future clients, and this improvement of quality would result in greater customer satisfaction; the foundation for Leveraging Technologys strategy with long-term customer relationships. • Establish online feedback channels with at least 100 connections to unique clients by the end of 2009. These online feedback channels would allow Leveraging Technology to keep closer relationships with clients. Trends and opinions could be more quickly detected. This would allow Leveraging Technology make more informed, timely, and effective decisions for their clients and even allow for first-mover advantages in some instances. This would also improve the quality of services delivered and customer satisfaction as a result. 27
    • Section 2 – Where do we want to be?• Receive 20 unique pieces of written feedback (at least 100 words each) different clients by the end of 2009. This initial gathering of feedback would serve as the starting point for Leveraging Technology to build a well-functioning feedback system. Testimonials (positive reviews) could also be displayed to improve the companys image and attract new clients and build confidence with existing customers.DESIRED WEB EXPERIENCE MAP Homepage Company Twitter Feed Overview Need Help Tab Log-In Tab Consulting Software Community About Us Overview Overview Blog Company Profile Employee Profiles Contact Registration Sign- Accomplishments Products Promotional Video Telephone up Testimonials Services Certifications Email LinkedIn Profile Twitter Feed This site map suggests a general navigation system for the finished website upon Leveraging Technology | Red Hare Consultingimplementation of suggested strategies and tactics. It expands on the existing brochure model by addingmore pertinent information plus dynamic interaction points. This adds to the homepage to create amore fluid interface and personal design. Further, there is more relationship driven information such asemployee profiles, an expanded contact list, and a blog that is tied to registration system. 28
    • Section 2 – Where do we want to be? CUSTOMER SATISFACTION HEURISTIC Customer Loyalty Customer Satisfaction Website Feeling of Quality Community System Quality Intuitive Relevent Registration Consistent 3rd Party Reliability Content Design Information Security Updates Contact Points Informative Customer Complete Trust in LinkedIn Content Sensitive Content Experience Reliabale Twitter Testimonials Employee Credentials Company Certification Establishing customer satisfaction through a brochure model based website must rely primarily on content. This includes both traditional and interactive content. Traditional content consists of any information that is intended to educate the customer of company services, benefits, and relevant assets. This must include not only an explanation as to how the services work, but why they are beneficial to customers. Benefits can be proven by use of previous customer testimonials and introducing the staff and their qualifications. Ultimately these benefits mustLeveraging Technology | Red Hare Consulting help convince the customer to trust the company. Interactive content consists of community based, dynamic information that speaks not only to the customer’s mind, but also to their emotions. Examples include mediums that generally possess two- way communication features such as a blog, or social network. This type of content is ever evolving and must be consistently updated to remain relevant. Further, this information is often customer specific and requires a registration process which demands secure systems to manage all of it. 29
    • Section 2 – Where do we want to be?OVERALL STRATEGIES (THEMES) The present themes within these objectives reflect their underlying strategies. There are fourprimary strategies or themes around which these objectives are constructed:Web QualityLeveraging Technologys web quality should reflect the firms professional expertise and leave afavorable impression with viewers. Web quality will greatly increase the number of unique (SEO) andreturning visitors, thus tying to the increased web traffic objectiveWeb PresenceA distinctly progressive and professional web body/presence would help capture and retail customermind-share while establishing online access to a diverse group of contacts. This strategy is also linked tothe increased web traffic objective as well as the unique links objective.Feedback ChannelsA thorough and comprehensive understanding of the customer bases wants and needs will helpLeveraging Technology to customize and improve their value propositions accordingly. Effectivefeedback channels play a vital role in this process and correlate with the objective for gleaning pieces offeedback.Customer ConversionSuccessful conversion of "lookers" (who are exposed to Leveraging Technologys online presence), into"bookers" (who actually pay for the firms services) is an essential function of a complete web marketingstrategy. This strategy correlates to the successful online customer conversion objective. Leveraging Technology | Red Hare Consulting 30
    • Section 2 – Where do we want to be? GAP ANALYSIS Gap Analysis Themes 1 2 3 4 Web Presence • X Feedback Channels • X Customer Conversion • X Website Quality • X The purpose of a gap analysis is to compare the current performance of the website to the desired performance that Red Hare Consulting wishes to achieve. The scale ranges from 1 to 4, 1 being ‘ineffective’ and 4 being ‘very effective’. The major functions of the website are being evaluated, including web presence, feedback channels, converting website visitors into customers, and website quality. Those aspects with the widest gap are the aspects that Leveraging Technology should pay the most attention to, as the wider a gap is, the more a function is not providing its expected returns. Ratings Defined 1 – Ineffective. A rating of 1 or “ineffective” suggests that there is no return being seen from the perspective of major functions whatsoever. Core processes are either being executed ineffectively or the processes are entirely nonexistent.Leveraging Technology | Red Hare Consulting 2 – Somewhat Effective. A rating of 2 or “somewhat effective” suggests that returns are being seen, but they are minimal at best. Processes are likely being implemented poorly or they are not appropriately tailored to the desired major functions of the website. 3 – Effective. A rating of 3 or “effective” suggests that major functions of the website are being well- executed and sufficient returns are being seen. This, however, means there will be room for improvement and that processes are not effective as they could be. 4 – Very Effective. A rating of 4 or “very effective” suggests that major functions are almost perfectly executed and related processes are providing the largest return possible. Improvements beyond this point are almost entirely maintenance related. 31
    • Section 2 – Where do we want to be?Evaluating Strategies by Ratings – “Where are we now?” Web presence – Leveraging Technology’s website lacks any sort of substantive message that cangenerate any sort of significant awareness on the web. The company is not capturing mindsharebecause it fails to provide any value to both existing and potential customers. Further, there is no eco-system that surrounds the website by which customers can become familiar with the brand in the firstplace, either through third party experiences or the website itself. Feedback channels – Leveraging Technology’s website currently only allows information to flowin a single direction. Customers have no means by which to express their satisfaction or dissatisfactionwith the company’s web presence. As a consulting firm, working with the customer, not just for them, isan important part of the long-term sales nature of the business. Customer conversion – Leveraging Technology’s website provides no means for randomconsumers to become paying customers. Processes must be put in place to create cause for thecustomer to contact the company and learn more about what Leveraging Technology can do for them. Website Quality – Leveraging Technology’s website, from a purely technical standpoint, islacking severely. While the aesthetic design is simple and appealing, the function of the website isunclear and its navigation is confusing. A lack of quality content is the major cause of this.Evaluating Strategies by Ratings – “Where do we want to be?” Web Presence – For Leveraging Technology to succeed with any sort of Internet based strategy;it must capture mindshare and create brand awareness. Creating significant customer value and amessage that relays how they can receive that value through Leveraging Technology can only do this. Onthe Internet, “Rochester Technology Consulting” and Leveraging Technology should be almostsynonymous. Channels that reach customers looking for this type of service must be tapped and byproxy convey the Leveraging Technology value proposition at all possible occurrences. Feedback Channels – The nature of business consultation requires a long-term sales cycle thatcreates a mutually beneficial relationship. This cannot be achieved if information is only flowing in onedirection. Customers should feel they can express their opinion on Leveraging Technology at any givenmoment, and should thus be able to do so through always on, Internet enabled mediums to satisfy theirneeds. Not unlike the real world, the firm and the customer must work together to reach their desiredresults, and the Leveraging Technology website should exemplify this through a mix of channels that Leveraging Technology | Red Hare Consultinginclude interactive and social media. Customer Conversion – Leveraging Technology, after establishing a web presence, should beable convince customers to learn more about what the company can do for them by promoting contactpoints. Be it through social network or a traditional phone call, random consumers, should they findLeveraging Technology’s value proposition appealing, must be able to start the processes of establishingthemselves as a client. Every piece of the website should encourage a sense of urgency, persuading thecustomer that not only can they do more with their business, but Leveraging Technology is the firm thatcan help make it happen. Website Quality – In order to establish a worthwhile web presence that consumers areinterested in exploring at all, it must first be technically capable of bringing in those consumers in thefirst place. The website should be easily found by means of search engine optimization and socialnetworks, and upon arriving at the website it should be clear as to how a consumer should navigate it. If 32
    • Section 2 – Where do we want to be? the website itself is technically lacking then consumers will not consider listening to a value proposition. The website must be enjoyable to interact with, while at the same time providing all the functions consumers would expect to receive from it. CONCLUSION In order to move Leveraging Technology from its current position within their industry to the desired positions, plausible tactics must be explored and scrutinized. The following sections explore and discriminate between possible tactics that could be executed to move Leveraging Technology across the gap from current to desired positions.Leveraging Technology | Red Hare Consulting 33
    • Section 3 – How might we get there?STEP: 1 2 3 4 5How might we get there? Leveraging Technology | Red Hare Consulting 34
    • Section 3 – How might we get there? INTRODUCTION The purpose of this section is to explore possible tactics for accomplishing the goals expressed in Section 2. Each of these tactics is a result of brainstorming and research conducted to find links, portals, and infomediaries that could connect Leveraging Technology with its desired positions. The advantages and disadvantages of each tactic and a brief exploration of the potential usefulness of each is then given. DESCRIPTION OF TACTICS Google Analytics The benefits of implementing Google Analytics are that it tracks website visitors from start to finish (including Google Adwords campaigns, email campaigns, referral links, banner ads, and other advertising campaigns). Not only is this tactic simple to use and easy to implement, it is also free to implementers. Google Analytics is by far one of the most useful cost-free applications on the web. By placing it on the web page, Leveraging Technology will be able to see where their web traffic is coming from, how long they spend on each page, and what they search for in order to get to the page. All of these will enable Leveraging Technology to structure their website around the feedback they receive from the Google Analytics results. In terms of return on investment, there are no monetary disadvantages to Google Analytics. Because it is free, fairly easy to install, and can offer a large amount of valuable data, there are no perceived disadvantages in implementing Google Analytics. Promotional Video Leveraging Technology’s promotional video would seek to accomplish 3 goals: portray the vision, focus, and specialties of the firm, display the competence and expertise of the firm, andLeveraging Technology | Red Hare Consulting lastly, increase web presence with memorable content. This video should include a conveyance of the company mission and general services from leading members of the business as well as compelling testimonials that portray the firm’s value-adding activities. Live segments for both business-minded and technologically inclined individuals should be included to appeal to both groups of viewers within potential client groups. Personal verbal segments accompanied by solid, convincing ROI and value- adding portrayals will result in a compelling presentation. The video could be posted as a YouTube flash video (which could then be displayed on the company website) or other promotional channels. 35
    • Section 3 – How might we get there?Blog There are many important reasons why a web log (or “blog”) can be a successful online tool inorder to expand a company’s online presence. The first benefit of implementing a blog is that LeveragingTechnology will be able to increase their Search Engine Optimization (also known as SEO). As theamount of blog content starts to increase more terms recognized by search engine trackers will increaseas well. The cross-linking between different blog posts and other information throughout the websitewill drive traffic to the other more important pages. The benefit of doing this for Leveraging Technologyis that as the content in their blogs increases, more traffic will be drawn to their site due to Googlesearches and the generated interest created by the blog. Another reason why a blog will increase traffic on the Leveraging Technology website is to keepclients frequently updated. By writing about interesting topics, clients will be able to quickly accessimportant information that Leveraging Technology has to offer and can respond via comment orthrough the “Need Help” tab that is listed on the site. By posting relevant articles, LeveragingTechnology will be able to inform clients of new technology, staff activity, and recommendations thatthey feel are important to their clients. Sharing information through a blog allows clients to harvest amore personal relationship with the company. This builds upon the current relationship by providing aform of two-way communication in which clients and Leveraging Technology can interact. The last benefit of implementing a blog is an increase in office cohesiveness. By allowing employeesto maintain their own blogs, other employees at Leveraging Technology are able to interact with eachother. This provides a community within the office in which there is a fun atmosphere for employees todiscuss topics that interest them and impact the company.Testimonials Testimonials from previous clients would help solidify the company’s image in the eyes ofpotential clients. Emphasis should be placed on communicating Leveraging Technology’s capabilities,integrity, effectiveness, quality, helpfulness, loyalty, and other valuable aspects of the firm. A list ofdesirable touch-points should be compiled and highlighted in various portions of gathered testimonials.This will help portray the desired company image through the opinions of previous clients. Thesesegments could be displayed on the website, the promotional video, and other promotional materials. Leveraging Technology | Red Hare ConsultingWeb Polls Web polls are an effective way for organizations to gain quick information on their websiteviewers. By asking simple questions with a choice for an answer, Leveraging Technology will get a betterunderstanding of what their users feel are important topics, and what they feel are unimportant. Thiswill allow them to structure the rest of the website around these topics to increase web traffic.“Need Help” Tab A “Need Help” tab will allow clients and the website viewers the ability to ask simple questionsto Leveraging Technology by filling out a brief form. Leveraging Technology will then post common helptopics and respond to concerns by email to try and help users with their problems. This is often used asa gateway to acquiring new clients. 36
    • Section 3 – How might we get there? Employee Profiles Employee profiles are useful for many reasons. They allow clients the chance to see whom they are working with, provide a list of each employee’s strengths, and help create a culture for the organization. Employers are able to uncover hidden talents of their employees by allowing them to create an employee profile. This will enable the organization to compliment the strengths and weaknesses of their employees to create a more efficient workplace. Clients that are able to see the qualifications for different employees are more likely to trust the work that these employees are doing for them. This creates a better relationship that generally leads to gaining repeat customers.Leveraging Technology | Red Hare Consulting Newsletter A monthly newsletter could help keep interested clients informed about new releases and helpful features. This would increase product awareness and serve as a reminder of Leveraging Technology’s services. It could also help entice potential and existing customers to register on the company’s website (in order to gain access to the feature). 37
    • Section 3 – How might we get there?Rochester/Syracuse/Buffalo Chambers ofCommerce Membership (online profile created) With profiles on the Chambers of Commerce in Rochester, Buffalo, and Syracuse LeveragingTechnology would increase their online presence by multiplying the number of customer portals thatpotential clients can search for their services. Many Chambers of Commerce in various regions havea directory on their websites. Local businesses often search these directories when seeking aparticular type of business partner, such as a technology and implementation consulting firm.Creating profiles with these chambers would allow Leveraging Technology to reach new potentialcustomers. Also it is free of charge.Legal Notices There should be a legal notice posted somewhere on the page that discusses the rights and lawsthat concern the users of the website. This will protect Leveraging Technology against any liabilities withthe use of their website. It is important operate within the law and to make sure that every aspect of thewebsite is maintained in an ethical manner.Registration Process A registration process could be used to create and maintain closer relationships with existingand potential clients. Visitors could be encouraged to register to gain access to Leveraging Technology’snewsletter or other features. This would also help gather information for the customer database thatmight prove useful later on when more specific segmentation and pointed propositions could beextended. Leveraging Technology | Red Hare Consulting 38
    • Section 3 – How might we get there? Twitter Twitter is considered the first major medium for people to communicate through “micro- blogging”. Blogging usually entails a previously thought-out, detailed story that adds perspective through the words of the blogger, while Twitter’s limit of 140 characters per “tweet” creates an entirely different experience. Twittering is used to share information quickly and easily, such as an interesting link or a brief update on a major project. Websites will typically add a Twitter “feed” on their homepage showing the most recent few updates. This creates two major benefits for the site; a consistently fresh homepage and new content for customers to explore. By implementing a Twitter feed, visitors of the website will be able to see when the last tweet was made, showing them that the site does not remain stagnant and is in fact dynamic. This lets the visitors know that the website is being taken care of consistently and that it is not a simple brochure. Additionally, the added content creates incentive to visit the site on a more regular basis. Lastly, Twitter can add incredible value to Leveraging Technology because of its “following” features. This lets Leveraging Technology know exactly who is reading their information regularly and identify potential customers. At the same time, these other Twitter-ers can be followed themselves, allowing the company to keep current on the activities of their clients.Leveraging Technology | Red Hare Consulting 39
    • Section 3 – How might we get there?Search Engine Optimization Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a process by which a web entity makes itself more visible, ormore easily found on the Internet. In order to be successful, bringing more visitors to the website shouldbe top priority of any Internet marketing strategy. These visitors are not necessarily current customersthat can simply be referred to the website; they should also be entirely new customers who may nothave even heard of Leveraging Technology before. Many if not all of these new customers find thewebsite through search engines such as Google or Yahoo! by using descriptive terms that describe theservices they require. Using Leveraging Technology as an example, potential customers should be ableto find the homepage by searching using terms such as "Rochester Technology Consultant" or "ImproveBusiness through Technology". Leveraging Technology should not simply appear on this list, it must be atthe top of the list. This can be done in two ways, the first being to pay for it. Google, for example, will list"sponsored links" above normal search results for those who have paid a certain fee. This will provideinstant results and enormous exposure, allowing Leveraging Technology to jump-start its new web-presence before other SEO tactics begin to provide a return on investment. Unfortunately this tactic willonly work for as long as the firm chooses to pay for it, and even further there will be other results thatappear on the same page that did not have to pay, which is the optimal SEO implementation. To create an optimal SEO experience, paying for it simply isnt enough. Search engines must beconsidered when designing the very core components of ones website. Search engines as a mechanismwill rate content through algorithms to determine the relevance of a website as compared to a personsentered search terms. This is done through a series of keywords found through the websites content.Relevant or chosen keywords must be within the actual body text of the website as much as possible.Two obvious examples for Leveraging Technology are "Technology" and "Consulting". Content that isvisible on the website is only the first step, however, as meta-content must also be considered. Meta-data is essentially content within content. An image, for example, has a file name, so a search enginecan index keywords that are embedded into the file itself. The same principle applies to video content,or even the base code of the site itself. Individual pages should have relevant titles that appear at thetop of the page, and their file names should be as closely associated to major keywords as possible. It is Leveraging Technology | Red Hare Consultingonly through a culmination of all these variables that search engines will quantify how relevant awebsite is to a persons search. The more the search engine finds these keywords throughout bothregular content and meta-data the higher the probability of a respectable ranking.Social Networking Being a technology-consulting firm, it is important that Leveraging Technology be on the forefrontof technological changes. This shows their clients that they too are implementing the latest technologyto help make their business more efficient. The use of social networking has become one of the mostdesirable additions that businesses are adding within the past few years. The benefits include being ableto expand brand awareness through the expansion of different online communities, the ability toupdate these networks with fresh content fast and easily, and it being a free way to advertise thebusiness. 40
    • Section 3 – How might we get there? I. Facebook The phrase “Everyone’s on Facebook” is becoming extremely common. That’s because it’s almost true. As of January 2009, over 42 million people have created a Facebook account in the United States alone 2. With the ability to connect to millions of people for free, this tool allows users to expand their online community. Leveraging Technology can use Facebook to increase brand awareness and also expand their online community. The introduction of new technology can be talked about through Facebook to spark interest in many new clients. Facebook will provide them with the tools to increase their online presence. II. LinkedIn LinkedIn is a social networking site that allows users to create profiles to build a professional network in a business environment. By creating a profile, users are able to become friends with one another and employers are able to post current job openings. This is an effective tool because it will expand the network for Leveraging Technology and will also provide them access to talented individuals that may help with the expansion of the organization. Second Life The use of Second Life will allow Leveraging Technology to expand their ideas into a virtual world. The latest technology that the company uses in order to provide support for their clients can be shown through Second Life in order to give new clients a first hand view of the technology working in Second Life. Website Revamp Ultimately, the online body of Leveraging Technology should communicate a favorable message about the abilities and tech-savvy nature of the firm. This web presence would be the primary portal and all other web presences and extensions would lead to this main location. Leveraging Technology’s current website (as portrayed above under section 1) lacks in-depthLeveraging Technology | Red Hare Consulting involvement opportunities and content for visitors to look at. The home page should present a clear group of options for visitors to click on depending on what they’re looking for. Some visitors will be coming directly from a Chamber of Commerce website and will be looking for information about the firm and its functions/capabilities. Others will be directed through search engine results (after the site is optimized for these channels), and will be looking for location, rates, and other pertinent information. Another group of visitors might be previous clients who hope to read up on the latest activities of 2 Corbett, P., 5 Jan 2009. 2009 Facebook Demographics and Statistics Report: 276% Growth in 35-54 Year Old Users. istrategylabs. http://www.istrategylabs.com/2009-facebook- demographics-and-statistics-report-276-growth-in-35-54-year-old-users/ [Accessed 23 Feb 2009] 41
    • Section 3 – How might we get there?Leveraging Technology (on the company blog and newsletter feeds which would also be available on thewebsite). Legal notices for privacy and information should also be included at appropriate locations on thesite to comply with Federal and NY state regulations. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) should increase the searchability of Leveraging Technology’swebsite by including key words and phrases at multiple locations. This will draw users looking forconsulting or technology on various search engines (primarily Google). The home page should include a few images relevant to the firm and pleasing to look at withblog/twitter and newsletter feeds in the corner. The promotional video could also be streamed from thehome page for an introduction to the firm and its capabilities (as discussed in the “Promotional Video”section of this report). A “Need Help” tab could provide a quick click-point for businesses seeking consulting and shouldlead the visitor into the section with the promotional video (including testimonials) and contactinformation. An online registration process would allow members to view these feeds and keep current withLeveraging Technology’s activities (a good deal of repeat business could be derived from this source).Employee profiles could provide a more personal touch to the confidence being built behind theLeveraging Technology brand and provide contact points for specific inquiries. Familiarity withLeveraging Technology’s staff would also allow potential clients to see the expertise and success of eachindividual within the firm’s workforce. This could help build confidence and further strengthen thecompany’s image. This would prompt many first-time visitors to contact Leveraging Technology,increasing the demand for Leveraging Technology’s services (and as a result, the number of offers eachyear). This increase in demand would result in greater leverage when it comes to price quotes,Leveraging Technology the opportunity to charge higher rates for their services and screen outundesirable offers. Testimonials would also reinforce the company image and could be included in an “About Us” Leveraging Technology | Red Hare Consultingsection. User-generated content (such as the reviews from other clients) tends to be highly convincingfor potential customers.Intern An intern from a nearby college could serve as a helpful assistant for implementing thesesuggestions. He/she could help design and implement the new website, contact clients to make thecustomer database and gather testimonials, establish and maintain various networking links, analyzedata gathered from Google analytics and customize site features according to flow and popular sections,or even help create the promotional video. Leveraging Technology could select a student with any rangeof skills to assist with any of these projects at a relatively low cost. This intern could also offer invaluableperspective on current trends and new media conditions on various networking sites. This low-costoption might greatly improve the implementation of any of these tactics. 42
    • Section 3 – How might we get there? CHOICE CRITERIA CHART Testimonials Registration Networking Newsletter CHOICE Web Polls Employee Analytics Twitter/ Profiles Google Promo Social Video Blog CRITERIA Expected ROI 10 8 6 2 4 10 2 8 8 1 = low (Value Added) 10 = high Cost of 10 4 10 10 8 6 10 8 10 1 = expensive Implementation 10 = cheap Time of 10 4 8 10 8 6 6 8 6 1 = long Implementation 10 = quick Ease of 10 4 8 10 8 6 8 8 6 1 = hard Implementation 10 = easy Interest of 10 10 6 2 4 10 2 8 8 1 = low Client 10 = high Ease of 10 8 8 2 6 10 4 8 4 1 = hard Maintenance 10 = easy Simplicity of 10 4 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 1 = hard Method 10 = simple Useful 10 5 8 10 4 10 9 10 9 1 = short Lifetime 10 = long Risk 10 9 7 7 9 10 7 10 9 1 = extremely Exposure 10 = none Dissolution 10 9 10 8 10 10 9 10 7 1 = expensive Cost 10 = cheap Totals: 100 65 79 69 69 86 65 86 75Leveraging Technology | Red Hare Consulting This tactic selection rubric shows the numerical designation of each tactic relative to each criterion. The totals show the overall attractiveness (according to the criteria) of each tactic based on ROI. CONCLUSION In order to distinguish between highly desirable tactics and less profitable tactics, we must derive choice criteria consistent with and reflective of the 4 themes of web quality, web presence, customer conversion, and feedback channels. This will help to highlight the level of usefulness of each tactic relative to Leveraging Technologys desired market position. 43
    • Section 4 – Which way is best?STEP: 1 2 3 4 5Which way is best? Leveraging Technology | Red Hare Consulting 44
    • Section 4 – Which way is best? INTRODUCTION The purpose of this section is to assess each of the potential approaches to meeting the SMART objectives set for Leveraging Technology. A tactic selection rubric is utilized to ascertain the respective value and attractiveness of each method within the context of the 4 themes: web presence, feedback channels, customer conversion, and web quality. Each of the values assigned to each tactic according to the selection rubric is then discussed and explained. TACTIC SELECTION RUBRIC A tactic selection rubric can be used to determine which of the considered tactics would be most beneficial and profitable for Leveraging Technology to implement given the firm’s current and desired market position. The following tactic selection rubric intends to prioritize the proposed tactics in terms of overall benefit relative to aggregate costs. Expected ROI (value added): “How much money will this tactic generate relative to its cost?” All businesses are essentially grounded in their ability to generate profitable revenues, and Leveraging Technology is no exception. Therefore, the estimated short and long-term return on investment (ROI) is the greatest consideration when selecting appropriate and desirable tactics. Implementation Time & Ease: “How much time and effort will this tactic require to implement?”Leveraging Technology | Red Hare Consulting The cost, time, and ease of implementation are highly important factors as well because these weigh into the overall ROI. While a given tactic may have a very favorable ROI in terms of the direct costs and benefits, the indirect costs (such as time and effort) may heavily influence the level of benefit a given tactic might provide Leveraging Technology because of the firm’s fluctuations in market activity, available capacity, and relative opportunities for a tactic. 45
    • Section 4 – Which way is best?Implementer Interest:“How much interest do the involved parties have in this tactic?”While Leveraging Technology’s interest in any given tactic will ultimately determine which tactics areutilized, the interest level of implementers will tend to have an effect on the thoroughness, expediency,and overall success of a tactic’s execution.Ease of Maintenance:“How much time, effort, and cost will this tactic incur in the future?”The future time, effort, and cost of maintaining each tactic should also be taken into account since theselong-run implications can weigh heavily on the usefulness and ROI of a given tactic.Risk Exposure:“What risks must we take to implement this tactic?”It is important to note the assumed risks of an endeavor and to compare these risks with the estimatedROI to gain an understanding of how bold a proposed tactic would be. The risk level of pursued tacticsshould be consistent with the firm’s strategies, preferences, and overall mission.Useful Lifetime:“How long will this tactic remain beneficial?”The longevity of proposed tactics could heavily influence the usefulness of a given tactic over a givenperiod of time. Leveraging Technology | Red Hare ConsultingDissolution Cost:“How much, if anything, would this tactic cost to discontinue?”Generally, there is no cost for discontinuing a tactic since by the time it is being considered fortermination, it is no longer worth its total costs to the user. However, fixed costs associated with somelong-term tactics (generally contractual in nature) can have an effect on the tactic’s risk-level relative toits useful lifetime. 46
    • Section 4 – Which way is best? Relative Simplicity: “Is this tactic the simplest method for accomplishing the desired goal?” Since the best way to get from point A to point B is a straight line, the simplest and most convenient tactic for bridging a strategical gap is preferable. RUBRIC APPLIED TO TACTICS Each of these selection criteria can now be applied to the discussed tactics in order to determine which would be most favorable for implementation given the expected ROI, time/cost/ease of implementation and maintenance, tactic simplicity, useful life, risk exposure, and any dissolution costs. Tactics with the highest ratings are more recommended for Leveraging Technology to implement (refer to the tactic selection rubric diagram to compare tactic recommendations and ratings). Ranking Scale Each criteria is applied on a scale from 1-10, with 1 being extremely unfavorable and 10 being highly favorable. This favorable/unfavorable rating scale is applied relative to each criteria’s consideration. For example, “Cost of Implementation” would be ranked from 1 (extremely expensive) to 10 (free). This will assist the discrimination amongst tactics.Leveraging Technology | Red Hare Consulting 47
    • Section 4 – Which way is best?Google Analytics – (Overall Rating: 100 out of 100) Google Analytics will greatly increase Leveraging Technology’s ability to observe usage patternswhich will help the firm format their website in a fashion that best suits customer conversion (as didAgency.com which increased its conversion rates by 25% using Google Analytics -http://www.google.com/analytics/case_study_agency.html). Knowing where customers visit, how longthey spend, and other such facts will help Leveraging Technology recognize what portions of the site areof greatest interest to viewers. There are not costs in implementing Google Analytics and the revenue it would help generate(by more effectively directing and converting potential customers) would render the ROI of this tactic a10. The American Cancer Society has experienced highly favorable ROI results using Google Analyticson its website. Alexander Negash, Manager or Web Analytics and User Experience for the ACS, notedthat Google Analytics assists the firm in spending its dollars more wisely towards its mission by providing“a holistic view of all of our marketing campaigns." Since its implementation in 2005, the ACS hasincreased their CTR (Click Through Rate) by 908.22%, with ROI in various segments of the site increasingfrom 116-600%. The ACS used Google Analytics to analyze user traffic and determine where it had beengenerated from and which searches had lead customers to the site(http://www.google.com/analytics/case_study_acs.html). More information and case studies can beseen at google.com/analytics. Google Analytics would be quick and easy to implement on the site (justpasting the html code into the site’s code). This would be relatively simple, easy to maintain, and havean extremely long lifetime (as long as the internet is around). The only risk assumed through this tacticwould be minimal since it is also the risk of Google’s database getting hacked, and considering thecompany’s size and internet market dominance, the chances of this are slim to none. There would be nodissolution costs in truncating usage of Google Analytics. Given these applications of the choice criteria,we can conclude that Google Analytics is a high priority tactic. Google Analytics Unfavorable Favroable Leveraging Technology | Red Hare Consulting 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Expected ROI (Value Added) Cost of Implementation Time of Implementation Ease of Implementation Interest of Client Ease of Maintenance Simplicity of Method Useful Lifetime Risk Exposure Dissolution Cost 48
    • Section 4 – Which way is best? Promotional Video – (Overall Rating: 65 out of 100) A promotional video would help promote a memorable, competent, and compelling company image. This would greatly increase mind-share among current and potential clients (which would result in greater customer retention and conversion). Creating the promotional video could cost anywhere between $100 and $1,500 and take anywhere from one week to six months, depending on how the video is created (either professional film-maker or a student making it for a film project). People remember only 20% of what they see (like testimonials on the website) versus 45% of what they both see and hear (like with the promotional video). Potential clients could watch this video with both stimuli at their own pace and convenience, which would contribute in customer retention/acquisition. This combined with the uniquely progressive image the promotional video would portray (since very few technology consultants have created their own promotional video, and this would put Leveraging Technology ahead of the pack in terms of web marketing) would result in a favorable return on investment (http://www.houstonpromotionalvideo.com/html/promotional_video_benefits.htm). It would also be relatively simple and standardized for each client, making it easy to maintain. The video could include customer testimonials and segments where employees and company leaders tell viewers about the mission, expertise, and successful history of Leveraging Technology. This would help solidify the company’s image. The useful lifetime of the video would only be a year or so, at which point a new video could be created to keep the firm’s information current. There might be some losses in dissolution of this tactic if the video was abandoned midway through creation. The only risk assumed by this project would be the publishing of non-current or sensitive information. However, attention to specific details could help avoid any potential problems in this capacity. Promo Video Unfavorable Favorable 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10Leveraging Technology | Red Hare Consulting Expected ROI (Value Added) Cost of Implementation Time of Implementation Ease of Implementation Interest of Client Ease of Maintenance Simplicity of Method Useful Lifetime Risk Exposure Dissolution Cost 49
    • Section 4 – Which way is best?Employee Profiles – (Overall Rating: 79 out of 100) Creating profiles for each of the employees at Leveraging Technology would help gain somemind share (for those remember specific individuals) and increase confidence (contributing to customerconversion). The quality of the website would also be enhanced with more specific information aboutthe competence of consultants. The expected ROI would be moderately favorable, since the profiles would take little time andeffort to create, but would satisfy the curiosity of clients. The simplicity of the method would lend tomaintaining it in the future. Individual employees could periodically update their profiles and addinformation about projects they have been working on (to stimulate interest in potential clients).Profiles can be as simple or extravagant as Leveraging Technology desires, creating basic textualbiographies with credentials or including pictures, blog feeds, personal websites, etc. This method couldbe used throughout the company’s lifetime. There would be no costs involved with dissolution of thistactic. The only risk with employee profiles would be that of employee privacy, the effect of whichwould vary from employee to employee. Employee Profiles Unfavorable Favorable 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Expected ROI (Value Added) Cost of Implementation Time of Implementation Ease of Implementation Interest of Client Ease of Maintenance Leveraging Technology | Red Hare Consulting Simplicity of Method Useful Lifetime Risk Exposure Dissolution Cost 50
    • Section 4 – Which way is best? Blog – (Overall Rating: 77 out of 100) Blog feeds would help clients to keep current on the company’s activities. This would help increase mind share (with periodic publishing of activity), open a channel for feedback, improve the quality of the website, and also increase the probability of customer conversion by eliciting potential customer interaction. Several blogging and micro-blogging sites (like Wordpress and Twitter) are available for quick, easy, simple, and free access to blogging tools. And these tools are highly useful for promoting business activities and informing current and potential clients. Sarah Lacy of BusinessWeek notes that “Blogging has moved far beyond a hobbyist phenomenon and proved itself a legitimate news force and shaper of opinion” (http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/sep2008/tc20080923_460488.htm). However, maintenance of this feature would be highly-involved and require a great attention to the information-exposure of posted content (these feeds are legally binding). Dissolution costs, in the form of customer opinions, could affect Leveraging Technology if an active blog was discontinued, causing suspicion, confusion, and frustration over the disappearance of the online presence (this could be avoided if a formal explanation was posted in the event that the blog was discontinued). This tactic could be used as long as desirable. However, risks would arise from users who might post disagreeable, inappropriate, and/or sensitive content on the blog. Competitors might also follow Leveraging Technology’s feeds, increasing the risks of exposing sensitive or competitive information. Blog Unfavorable Favorable 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Expected ROI (Value Added) Cost of Implementation Time of ImplementationLeveraging Technology | Red Hare Consulting Ease of Implementation Interest of Client Ease of Maintenance Simplicity of Method Useful Lifetime Risk Exposure Dissolution Cost 51
    • Section 4 – Which way is best?Web Polls – (Overall Rating: 69 out of 100) Web polls could be used to collect data about visitors to the Leveraging Technology website.These polls would help Leveraging Technology glean customer feedback and potentially improve thequality of the website. The ROI of these web polls would be somewhat low despite the simplicity and low time/costinvolved in implementation. This is because the benefit of such polls would be fairly low, since fewclients are predicted to visit the website and even fewer would actually complete the questionnairewithout getting frustrated (and this would work against the company’s image/impression). Theusefulness of the information would also be limited because many of the questions would be covered inpost-service interviews and/or the customer database. This tactic would be fairly simple and would havean arbitrary useful life, determined by the user. While there would be no risk assumed in this tactic andno dissolution costs, it simply doesn’t have a great ROI. Web Polls Unfavorable Favorable 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Expected ROI (Value Added) Cost of Implementation Time of Implementation Ease of Implementation Interest of Client Ease of Maintenance Simplicity of Method Useful Lifetime Leveraging Technology | Red Hare Consulting Risk Exposure Dissolution Cost 52
    • Section 4 – Which way is best? Testimonials – (Overall Rating: 86 out of 100) Acquiring and displaying testimonials of satisfied customers would help solidify confidence in Leveraging Technology’s abilities and effectiveness. This would help improve customer opinions (mind share), increase the quality of the website (with interesting and relevant content), and help convert customers. The ROI of this tactic would be very difficult to measure, but the highly favorable impact on the company’s image would be invaluable. And since these testimonials would be somewhat easy to collect (using selected portions from client interviews), the ROI would be extremely favorable. A good deal of time would be involved in soliciting clients, conducting interviews, and shaping the final testimonials. It could also be fairly difficult to establish an overall format for these comments in both the visual and textual formats. It would, however, be relatively simple to accomplish each step of this process (with clearly defined objectives) and would be very easy to maintain (periodically gathering new testimonials). This tactic would also be necessary to complete a compelling promotional video. Testimonials Unfavorable Favorable 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Expected ROI (Value Added) Cost of Implementation Time of Implementation Ease of Implementation Interest of Client Ease of Maintenance Simplicity of MethodLeveraging Technology | Red Hare Consulting Useful Lifetime Risk Exposure Dissolution Cost 53
    • Section 4 – Which way is best?Social Networking – (Overall Rating: 65 out of 100) Social networking on sites like LinkedIn and Facebook would help Leveraging Technologyestablish a web present reaching farther than their own website. This would greatly increase mind-sharethrough customer interaction (and resulting feedback channels) while increasing web quality. There would be no monetary cost in creating and maintaining social networking profiles.However, these social networking presences would require a good deal of time and effort forimplementation and maintenance (greater than that of the blog). This would be a fairly simple tactic toimplement (but complicated to maintain) and would involve some risk exposure since a good portion ofthe content on these profiles would be user-generated. Therefore, risks would arise from users whomight post disagreeable, inappropriate, and/or sensitive content. Like the blog, dissolution costs, in theform of customer opinions, could affect Leveraging Technology if social networking profiles arediscontinued (causing suspicion, confusion, and frustration over the disappearance of the onlinepresence; this could be avoided if a formal explanation was posted in the event that the blog wasdiscontinued). This tactic could be used as long as desirable. The ROI of this tactic could vary accordingto the nature of this tactic’s implementation and relevance to clients (how many of LeveragingTechnology’s clients use each of these networks?). Social Networking Unfavorable Favorable 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Expected ROI (Value Added) Cost of Implementation Time of Implementation Ease of Implementation Leveraging Technology | Red Hare Consulting Interest of Client Ease of Maintenance Simplicity of Method Useful Lifetime Risk Exposure Dissolution Cost 54
    • Section 4 – Which way is best? Registration – (Overall Rating: 86 out of 100) A registration process before or after service is administered could be used to compile a customer information database. Direct feedback and recommendations for the company website might be gleaned through this tactic. The cost, ease, and time of implementation and maintenance involved with a registration process would be fairly minimal and would give Leveraging Technology access to highly desirable information. A registration process would be very simple, have an indefinite useful life, involve no dissolution costs, and require no significant exposure to risk. Altogether, the ROI of this tactic would be highly favorable, given the low level of monetary and non-monetary costs involved and the high level of usefulness to Leveraging Technology. Registration Unfavorable Favorable 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Expected ROI (Value Added) Cost of Implementation Time of Implementation Ease of Implementation Interest of Client Ease of Maintenance Simplicity of Method Useful Lifetime Risk Exposure Dissolution CostLeveraging Technology | Red Hare Consulting 55
    • Section 4 – Which way is best?Newsletter – (Overall Rating: 75 out of 100) A monthly newsletter would allow Leveraging Technology to increase mind-share (with constantreminders and updates for readers) as well as the quality of the website (with the newsletter content). The newsletter would be fairly low-cost to create and publish every month (since most or all ofthe content would be posted on the website and blog, as opposed to mailing out hard copies). The timeand effort required for maintenance, however, would be significantly higher since content would needto be compiled, filtered (for security and relevance), and distributed every month. This would very easilytranslate into several hours of work each week. This tactic would be simple in concept (though complexin creation), have an arbitrarily indefinite useful life, and involve negligible levels of risk exposure.Dissolution costs, however, would (like the blog and social network profiles) be incurred from anyunfavorable effects on general customer opinions. Unlike blogging and social networks, the newslettercontent could be more formal and refined to avoid undesirable exposure (which would be more likelywith raw, unchecked blog feeds). This newsletter could be used as incentive for customers to register inthe company’s customer database and could integrate feeds from news services (likelockheedmartin.com) or other sources as desired. Newsletter Unfavorable Favorable 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Expected ROI (Value Added) Cost of Implementation Time of Implementation Ease of Implementation Interest of Client Leveraging Technology | Red Hare Consulting Ease of Maintenance Simplicity of Method Useful Lifetime Risk Exposure Dissolution Cost 56
    • Section 4 – Which way is best? CONCLUSION Red Hare consulting therefore recommends Leveraging Technology utilize the highest rated tactics according to the selection rubric. These tactics should help Leveraging Technology in improving the firms web presence, feedback channels, customer conversion, and web quality. In order to measure and control the effectiveness of each tactics implementation and use, performance metrics and benchmarks should be set for future reference. The following section explores these considerations and presents possible metrics, benchmarks, and control considerations for successful implementationLeveraging Technology | Red Hare Consulting 57
    • Section 5 – How do we ensure safe arrival?STEP: 1 2 3 4 5How do we ensure safe arrival? Leveraging Technology | Red Hare Consulting 58
    • Section 5 – How do we ensure safe arrival? INTRODUCTION This section provides matrices for each suggested tactic that was evaluated in the previous section. Measuring the effectiveness of a recently implemented system is usually overlooked, and this leads to uncertainty in what worked best and why. The causes of success or failure might also be overlooked without an effective measurement and control system. This section is significant in providing the exact procedure of executing each tactic to obtain its objective.Leveraging Technology | Red Hare Consulting 59
    • Section 5 – How do we ensure safe arrival?PERFORMANCE STANDARDS METRICObjective Tactic Metric Control Increase by 50% (first Visit the website 6 moths) reminders Web traffic Increase by 5% Increase locations of (annually) URL Increase search terms Reuse successful Search Terms that target users terms 100 unique links by Place URL after each External Links December 2009 comment Google Analytics Appear on first page Google Rating of search engine by Increase key terms December 2009 Minimum of 4 pages Suggest next page on Pages Visited per visit each web page 5 minutes per visit 6 Place promotional Length of Visit months after website video on home page revamp Increase places 20 views/month by Promotional Video where video’s URL December 2009 appear 60% registered by Send customer Registration December 2010 appreciation letters Marketing Effectiveness Send customer Testimonials 2 by December 2009 appreciation letters Leveraging Technology | Red Hare Consulting Divide content of Newsletter Monthly each newsletter 20 unique written Expand on popular Blog feedbacks by topics December 2009 Complete by August Assess realistic time Website Revamp 2009 table for completion 100 unique Delegate individual Web Networking connections by responsible for web December 2009 activities Employee Profile for Add 1 profile per Employee Profiles each employee week 60
    • Section 5 – How do we ensure safe arrival? The Performance Standards Metric graph is an illustration of the tactics and metrics used to achieve stated objectives. The objective, marketing effectiveness, includes strategies to gain client feedback, develop web presence, increase customer conversion, and increase the quality of website for Leveraging Technology. Web presence for current clients, employees, and other stakeholders includes available online availability and awareness relevant to Leveraging Technology’s online presence. In order to obtain the objective (marketing effectiveness through the four strategies) 9 tactics were suggested: Google Analytics, a promotional video, a website registration, client testimonials, newsletter, a Blog, a redesign of Leveraging Technology’s website, web networking, and employee profiles. Each tactic is accompanied by a metric to measure the process of achieving that tactic and ensuring its success. The control column provides a suggestion of what Leveraging Technology can do if the metric has not been successfully met. Tactic 1: Google Analytics Google Analytics provides a large amount of valuable information for websites; Leveraging Technology will focus on the statistics of web traffic, most frequent terms used for searching Leveraging Technology’s website, links that users click to arrive at www.leveragingtechnology.com, the website’s rank in search engines, the number of pages each user visits, and the length of time each user spends on a unique visit to the website. With the tactics suggested in question 4, Red Hare Consulting believes Leveraging Technology will be able to experience a 50% increase in web traffic within the first 6 months of revamping the website, and a 5% increase each following year. If after 6 months web traffic has not increased, Leveraging Technology is encouraged to send out quick e-mail reminders to their clients to visit their newly remodeled website or to increase the disbursement of the URL; for example, placing the URL on each business card, after each e-mail signature, after each Blog post, on social networking websites, and on each brochure or any other promotional materials.Leveraging Technology | Red Hare Consulting With the proper placement of the website’s URL and tactics used to promote the newly designed website, Leveraging Technology should receive visitors who have clicked on 100 unique links by December 2009. When local businesses use search engines to seek out a Rochester-based, technology consulting company, Leveraging Technology’s website should appear within the first page of the search results. Google Analytics identifies the search terms that are most effective in enabling the website to appear. Increasing the amount of key terms identified by Google Analytics increases the efforts of ensuring that the company’s website will appear on the first page of search engines by the end of 2009. 61
    • Section 5 – How do we ensure safe arrival? After users begin utilizing the newly revamped website, each user should click on atleast four (4) pages per visit and spend at least 5 minutes on the website on each visit. IfAnalytics displays that users are hitting less than 4 pages per visit after 6 months, LeveragingTechnology can counter this by suggesting pages for users to visit after viewing a previous page.For example, at the bottom of the “About Us” page the company can display a hyperlink stating“Check out our experts”. To increase the amount of time spent on the website the promotionalvideo can be placed on the homepage and the web polls can change more frequently. This willlead users to other pages and increase customer knowledge of Leveraging Technology.Tactic 2: Promotional Video Production of the promotional video will coincide with redesign of the website. AfterDecember 2009 the promotional video should receive 20 views per month. If LeveragingTechnology notices that each month, after December 2009, the video is only being viewed 15times per month there a few control methods that may aid in reaching the goal: 1. Increase thenumber of locations that the video’s URL appear. 2. Send a friendly message to clients askingthem to watch the new video. 3. Create a Blog about the production of the video and link to it.4. Create a Twitter asking users to view the new video.Tactic 3: Registration Process Leveraging Technology is encouraged to begin efforts in recruit clients to register ontheir website before it is fully revamped. This will cause excitement and anticipation amongclients who are unsure of all the benefits that come with being a registered member. ByDecember 2010, 60% of clients should be registered through the website. To guarantee thispercentage, friendly e-mail reminders of registration initiation can be sent out to clients, orcustomer appreciation letters can be mailed out encouraging customers to register. Registeredcustomers can be titled “Elite clients” or “Partner clients” to cultivate pride in registering. Leveraging Technology | Red Hare ConsultingTactic 4: Testimonials With the increasing concern of client privacy, Leveraging Technology isn’t expected orcapable of providing testimonials from all of their clients. However, having client testimonialswill be very beneficial in exhibiting Leveraging Technology’s aptitude. Efforts should begin nowin gaining client approval for complete testimonials and two (2) testimonials should be viewableby the end of December 2009. An effort to gain the two (2) testimonials may include sending aclient appreciation letter valuing the completed projects done together and asking participationin sharing that experience. It is expected that the testimonials will also contribute to anincrease in customer conversion through the conveyed competence. 62
    • Section 5 – How do we ensure safe arrival? Tactic 5: Newsletter At least one (1) fresh newsletter should reach clients once a month. The newsletter is a tactic aimed at increasing web presence and increasing client knowledge. If it becomes difficult to distribute an extensive newsletter monthly, then the content of each newsletter can be divided so one-half of a story comes out one month and the follow-up section continues during the following months. The creation and perfecting of the newsletter can be shared among more employees. Tactic 6: Blog The purpose of the Blog is to increase web presence and primarily develop client feedback. A new Blog topic is encouraged weekly, but responses to Blogs are encouraged daily. The amount of time invested in presenting attention-grabbing topic will increase the probability of gaining responses. By the end of December 2009 each Blog should generate 20 unique written responses, including ones from Leveraging Technology. To increase the chance of success of feedback following Blogs should expand on previously popular Blogs. Tactic 7: Website Revamp The website revamp is intended to improve the quality of Leveraging Technology’s web presence and will include most of the proposed tactics. It is encouraged that the website is completely revamped by August 2009, exactly six (6) months after the presentation of this marketing plan. Six (6) months allots time for a co-op student of intern to complete the project. If the website revamp cannot be completed in six (6) months Leveraging Technology can internally determine a suitable period. Tactic 8: Social Networking After five (5) months of the website revamp it is expected to gain at least 100 unique connections through LinkedIn, Twitter, and Blogging. These connections will create feedbackLeveraging Technology | Red Hare Consulting channels and presumably increase web presence, customer conversion, and web quality. If 100 unique connections are not made after five (5) months of access then more time should be allocated to using each site and different individuals can be delegated to one particular site. Tactic 9: Employee Profile Employee profiles will make leveragingtechnology.com a more personable website resulting to an increase in web quality. Leveraging Technology has approximately 14 employees with specialized expertise that should be shown off to clients and users. Certain users may not know what technology is needed to resolve an issue but they may be aware of the category of skills required. Employee profiles create trust in by assuming clients that Leveraging Technology employs experts. 63
    • Section 5 – How do we ensure safe arrival?OBJECTIVE TIMELINE The 2009 and 2010, timelines are included to serve as a monthly guideline forcompleting tactics. The timelines also illustrate the month to measure the success or failure ofa tactic. Not every month is included in the timelines, so the efforts of the previous monthshould be continued within absent months.Understanding the timeline example: • Tactic: Web traffic • Metric: Increase by 50% after first 6 months of revamped website • Control: Send reminders to visit the website In the 2009 timeline under August 2009 is the metric “Completion of website design”.Under January 2010 is the metric “weekly web traffic up by 50%” for the above tactic. Leveraging Technology | Red Hare Consulting 64
    • Section 5 – How do we ensure safe arrival? Examine Marketing Plan March and delegate tactics to individuals Call Red Hare consulting. 2009 Timeline May We want to hear from you! Begin production on June promotional video Completion of Website August redesign Active Blog September Active Newsletter 2009 Active promotional video Evaluation of successful key terms for search engines November 20 promotional video viewsLeveraging Technology | Red Hare Consulting 100 unique links Appear on first page of Search engines December 2 testimonials on website 20 unique responses to the Blog 65 20 video views
    • Section 5 – How do we ensure safe arrival?2010 Timeline Weekly web January Traffic up by 50% Continue efforts February to increase Client Registration Ensure that all March web material is still relevant 2010 Evaluate April registration process Customer August appreciation letter 60% of clients Leveraging Technology | Red Hare Consulting registered on website December 2 new consulting clients 66
    • Section 5 – How do we ensure safe arrival? SCHEDULE OF IMPLEMENTATION The schedule of implementation is a layout of tactic implementation to ensure the success of the objectives. The schedule does not include every tactic or replace currently used tactics. Instead, it simply functions as a reminder. Example, under Annually: Leveraging Technology has tactics that will gain 2 new clients annually, and Leveraging Technology should personally contact each client by sending out a customer appreciation letter. What is not included is Leveraging Technology’s previous tactic of holding seminars that usually result in new contacts.Leveraging Technology | Red Hare Consulting 67
    • Section 5 – How do we ensure safe arrival?Schedule Graph Respond to Blog posts Daily Respond to E-mails New Blog post Weekly Social Network activity Web Polls Schedule New Newsletter Monthly Analyze Google Analytics Should have: 5% increase in web traffic and 20 promotional video views 2 new clients Leveraging Technology | Red Hare Consulting Annually Customer appreciation letter 68
    • Section 5 – How do we ensure safe arrival? FEEDBACK CHANNELS Feedback channels are open terminals that allow clients to communicate with Leveraging Technology. The chart below was formed to demonstrate the amount of information that is potentially being lost due to limited feedback channels. Current Channels Suggested Channels  Telephone  Web Polls  E-mail  Blog  In person  LinkedIn  Seminars  Twitter  Testimonials  Promotional Video Responses  Newsletter Responses  Registration commentsLeveraging Technology | Red Hare Consulting 69
    • Section 5 – How do we ensure safe arrival?RETURN ON INVESTMENT Return on investment is used to measure the effectiveness of an investment.Calculating Leveraging Technology’s return of investment was difficult because the tactics,minus the promotional video, require time and not money. The ROI chart displays the tacticsand their total cost. Red Hare Consulting suggests Leveraging Technology hires an intern/co-opstudent for implementation of the tactics. Tactics Cost of Implementation Google Analytics 0 Website Revamp • Intern/co-op $4000 • Promotional Video/ $500 Equipment • Blog 0 • Newsletter 0 • Web polls 0 • Employee profile 0 • Testimonials 0 Social Networks 0 Total: $4500 Google Analytics, Testimonials, social networking, newsletter, Blog, and employee Leveraging Technology | Red Hare Consultingprofiles will not require monetary investments. Red Hare Consulting suggests a 3-month co-op/intern at $10 an hour for 40 hours a week equaling $4000. The intern/co-op student will beresponsible for revamping the website and creating the promotional video. Along with thepromotional video an estimated cost of $500 is applied for video equipment. The $4000 for theintern/co-op + the $500 for equipment total $4500. The tactics are created to gain 2 newclients per year. Over a lifetime each client generates revenue of $400,000. For the ROIequations: The gain from investment = number of new clients per year + average lifetimerevenue from a single client. Cost of Investment = Salary for intern/co-op student +promotional video equipment. 70
    • Section 5 – How do we ensure safe arrival? = 176.77 x 100 = 17,677% ROI The calculation of return on investment illustrates that a one time investment of $4500 will result in a return of 17,677%. PBP (PAYBACK PERIOD) During the first year of implementation, Leveraging Technology will see an estimated return on investment of $4,500. This tentative return could easily be surpassed if tactics complement each other.Leveraging Technology | Red Hare Consulting 71
    • Section 5 – How do we ensure safe arrival?7S MODEL As described in question 1, McKinsey’s 7S Model is used by Management to determinehow the business operates. Again, strategy is “the direction and scope of the company over thelong term.” Systems are “the formal and informal procedures that govern everyday activity,covering everything from management information systems, through to the systems at thepoint of contact with the customer.” After complete implementation of this marketing plan,Leveraging Technology will see a change in their strategy and systems. The strategy will includea web presence that will mature as the company grows. The systems that Leverage Technologyuses will now include social networks, Blogs, newsletters, and production videos. If LeveragingTechnology’s strategy and systems have not changed the plan has not been properly executed. Strategy Systems Leveraging Technology | Red Hare ConsultingCONTINGENCY PLAN A contingency Plan is developed as a secondary option for a specific situation as a bufferagainst unexpected changes and/or failures (i.e. Plan B). This contingency plan will serve as aguide in the event that results are unfavorable to Leveraging Technology. In this case,unfavorable results are not necessarily unfavorable, but they might not allow for the gaining oftwo new clients per year or gaining more than two new clients per year. In other cases gainingmore clients than expected is viewed as positive, however, for the present moment, LeveragingTechnology works most effective with an average of obtaining two new clients per year. 72
    • Section 5 – How do we ensure safe arrival? As agreed, this marketing plan and any of its components can be implemented by the choice of Leveraging Technology. All of the tactics, metrics, and controls are suggested to achieve the overall objectives. Omitting any of the tactics may cause difficulty in achieving certain objectives. The metrics are more subjective. After viewing the tactics and metrics, Leveraging Technology can modify the metrics to more desirable to realistic results based on their capability at the time. Most of the metrics were created as a length guideline. For instance, a 50% increase in web traffic 6 months after the website revamp. If the website revamp isn’t fully completed until December 2009, instead of the suggested date of August 2009, then the 50% increase in web traffic is expected to be seen by June 2010 instead of January 2010. Overall, all of the suggestions are based on the tactics that fit best with the objectives. Any of the controls can we reserved to decrease the result of certain actions. Likewise, any of the tactics can be eliminated if they cause conflict with other successful methods. LIMITATIONS This section is included to explain Leveraging Technology and this marketing plan’s limitations. Not only are tactics evaluated by the choice criteria listed in question 3 (and the tactic selection rubric explained in question 4), but also on both parties’ limitations in the short- term. Limitations  Resources - Human Capital  BudgetLeveraging Technology | Red Hare Consulting  Time Leveraging Technology’s main limitation includes their recourse of employees. Few employees currently have free time to strictly dedicate their time to the proposed tactics. Some of the suggested tactics require a great deal of invested time but will sustain without requiring a lot of time on maintenance. Red Hare Consulting’s limitations for developing this marketing plan include budget restrictions and time. Although budget restriction is a limitation, all of the objectives and tactics were developed before knowledge of the budget. As a result, Red Hare Consulting was able to select tactics strictly on the bases of effectiveness without trying to exhaust the budget. 73
    • Section 5 – How do we ensure safe arrival?Once Red Hare Consulting received the budget, the tactics were reexamined to guarantee theyfit into the budget. Time has become the primary limitation for Red Hare Consulting. However, the objectivesare intended to increase mind share and accomplish Leveraging Technology’s desired goals.Due to time limits Red Hare Consulting is unable to measure the effectives of mind share onLeveraging Technology’s clients in a more comprehensive manner. However, none of thelimitations have caused enough intricacy to obscure the completion of this marketing plan as awhole.CONCLUSION Question 5, “How do we ensure safe arrival?”, provides a list of metrics for evaluatingthe success of each proposed tactic. The proposed tactics have been established to achieve theoverall objectives with increased customer feedback, web presence, customer conversion, andweb quality. Each metric includes a method for controlling the reach of that tactic. Due tocurrent and unforeseen limitations, a contingency plan has been developed advising LeveragingTechnology to expand timelines suitable to arising conditions. Leveraging Technology | Red Hare Consulting 74
    • Section 5 – How do we ensure safe arrival? SUMMARY Question 1, “Where are we now?” provides collected information used to structure the following questions: “Where do we want to be?”, “How might we get there?”, “Which way is best?”, and, “How do we ensure safe arrival?” Question 1 allows Leveraging Technology to examine their current market position to see how the suggested tactics could advance the firm to desired positions. Question 2, “Where do we want to be?” evaluates the desirable position Leveraging Technology seeks within their industry. In order to achieve this shift, plausible tactics are explored and scrutinized. The following questions explored and discriminated between possible tactics could be executed to move Leveraging Technology across the gap from current to desired positions. Question 3, “How might we get there?” lists all of the tactics considered to reflect the 4 themes of web quality, web presence, customer conversion, and feedback channels. Lastly question 3 provided a choice criteria chart that measures the effectiveness of each tactic. The choice criteria chart helps to highlight the level of usefulness of each tactic relative to Leveraging Technologys desired market position. Question 4, “Which way is best?” recommends Leveraging Technology to utilize the highest rated tactics according to the selection rubric. These tactics should help Leveraging Technology in improving the firms web presence, feedback channels, customer conversion, and web quality. In order to measure and control the effectiveness of each tactics implementation and use, performance metrics and benchmarks are introduced in the next question. Question 5, “How do we ensure safe arrival?” explores metrics for evaluating the success of each proposed tactic. Each metric includes a method for controlling the reach of a given tactic and projects a reasonable timeline for implementation and effectiveness. Contingency plans and limitations of suggested tactics are included to encourage LeveragingLeveraging Technology | Red Hare Consulting Technology to continue exploring internet marketing options. 75
    • Appendices Appendices76 Leveraging Technology | Red Hare Consulting
    • Appendices APPENDICES Appendix A - Further Reading The following books and online articles serve as guides to get a better understanding of Further Reading social networks. Naked Conversations: How Blogs Are Changing the Way Businesses Talk With Wordpress Customers by Robert Scoble and Shel Israel. Visual Quickstart Guide: Wordpress 2 by Maria Langer and Miraz Jordan. • LinkedIn and Twitter Profile Optimization LinkedIn http://www.anvilmediainc.com/linkedin-twitter-profile-optimization-article.htm Search Engine Optimization DigiMarketing: The Essential Guide to New Media Marketing by Kent Wertime & Ian Fenwick • Search Marketing Strategies: A Marketer’s Guide to Objective-Driven Success from Search Engines by James Colborn. • Twitter A Guide to Twitter: What It Is, How to Use It, and Twitter Tools http://www.lostartofblogging.com/twitter-guideLeveraging Technology | Red Hare Consulting • An Introduction to Twitter Hashtags http://www.wildapricot.com/blogs/newsblog/archive/2008/03/11/an-introduction-to- • twitter-hashtags.aspx Appendix B - References Colborn, J., 2006. Search Marketing Strategies: A Marketer’s Guide to Objective-Driven Success from Search Engines. Bodmin: Elsevier. Corbett, P., 5 Jan 2009. 2009 Facebook Demographics and Statistics Report: 276% Growth in 35-54 Year Old Users. istrategylabs. http://www.istrategylabs.com/2009-facebook-demographics-and- 77
    • Appendicesstatistics-report-276-growth-in-35-54-year-old-users/ [Accessed 23 Feb 2009].Langer, M., and Jordan, J., 2006. Visual Quickstart Guide: Wordpress 2. Berkeley: Peachpit Press.Leaman, R., 11 March 2008. An Introduction to Twitter Hashtags. Wild Apricot Blog.http://www.wildapricot.com/blogs/newsblog/archive/2008/03/11/an-introduction-to-twitter-hashtags.aspx [Accessed 20 Feb 2009].Puiu, T., 7 April 2009. Twitter: Why It’s So Great and How to Effectively Use It. Lost Art of Blogging.http://www.lostartofblogging.com/twitter-guide [Accessed 23 Feb 2009].Scoble, R., and Israel, S., 2006. Naked Conversations: How Blogs Are Changing the Way BusinessesTalk With Customers. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons.The 7S McKinsey Model. Building Brands.http://www.buildingbrands.com/didyouknow/14_7s_mckinsey_model.php [Accessed 20 Feb2009].Wertime, K. and Fenwick, I., 2008. DigiMarketing: The Essential Guide to New Media & DigitalMarketing. Singapore: John Wiley & Sons. Leveraging Technology | Red Hare Consulting 78
    • Appendices IBM Appendix C - Competitor Website Layouts F IGURE 2 - S OURCE : HTTP :// WWW . IBM . COM CDWLeveraging Technology | Red Hare Consulting F IGURE 3 - S OURCE : HTTP :// WWW . CDW . COM 79
    • Appendices SIRIUS Computer Solutions F IGURE 4 - S OURCE : HTTP :// WWW . SCSINET . COM Prolifics Leveraging Technology | Red Hare ConsultingF IGURE 5 - S OURCE : HTTP :// WWW . PROLIFICS . COM 80
    • Appendices Appendix D - Competitor Registration Process Sirius Computer Solutions Figure 6 - Source: http://www.mysiriuszone.com/Leveraging Technology | Red Hare Consulting 81
    • AppendicesAppendix E - Successful Company Twitter AccountsBarack Obama – official Twitter for the Barack Obama presidential campaign.http://twitter.com/Barack Obama • Updated frequently • Responds directly to followers • Follows a majority of its own followers • Frequently links to Obama official website and other marketing F IGURE 7: SOURCE - HTTP :// WWW . TWITTER . COM /B ARACK O BAMA Leveraging Technology | Red Hare Consulting 82
    • Appendices Infinity Ward – Creator of Call of Duty 4, the best-selling video game of 2007. http://www.twitter.com/infinity ward Strengths • Follows a majority of it’s own followers • Posts latest news regarding the company • Utilizes “hashtags” (See Further Readings appendix for more information) • Links to Twitter accounts of employees • Posts job openings F IGURE 8: SOURCE - HTTP :// WWW . TWITTER . COM / INFINITYWARDLeveraging Technology | Red Hare Consulting 83
    • AppendicesAppendix F - Successful Newsletters Apple iTunes New Video Spotlight http://www.apple.com Leveraging Technology | Red Hare ConsultingStrengths Showcases latest news and releases Aesthetically pleasing • Links to official website • Showcases latest prices from official store • • 84
    • Appendices Manchester United redview http://www.manutd.comLeveraging Technology | Red Hare Consulting Strengths Offers latest news regarding British soccer team Manchester United Aesthetically pleasing • Profiles team members and staff • Posts discussion topics • Links to official website and other social networking sites • Stimulates customer interaction via polls • • 85
    • AppendicesAppendix G – LinkedIn Examples LinkedIn can be used to locate and connect with potential future employees and promotejob openings. This could help in the future as Leveraging Technology expands its operations. Leveraging Technology | Red Hare Consulting 86
    • Appendices A group can be created on LinkedIn for specific entities or organizations (like the E. Philip Saunders College of Business at RIT). Leveraging Technology can create such groups for business partners, associate consultants, and departments. As you can see, discussions, updates, news, and more can be displayed within these groups on LinkedIn.Leveraging Technology | Red Hare Consulting 87
    • Appendices When searching for “Technology Consulting” companies, IBM (Leveraging Technology’s mainsoftware supplier) appears third in the listing. This means if Leveraging Technology links to IBM on theirnetwork, connections with thousands of potential clients can be created (and maybe exploited). Leveraging Technology | Red Hare Consulting 88
    • Appendices IBM’s LinkedIn profile is a premium example of a well-structured and developed approach within this infomediary. Leveraging Technology can learn a good deal from and customize their web presence according to the LinkedIn profiles of IBM and the multitude of other consulting firms on LinkedIn.Leveraging Technology | Red Hare Consulting 89
    • AppendicesAppendix H – Successful Blogs Gizmodo.com – The Gadget Guide http://www.gizmodo.comStrengths • Simplistic layout • Aesthetically pleasing • Quick links to popular posts Leveraging Technology | Red Hare Consulting • Organized advertising space 90
    • Appendices Joystiq http://www.joystiq.com Strengths • Spatial website layout • Quick links to popular posts and feature stories • High percentage of visual contentLeveraging Technology | Red Hare Consulting 91
    • AppendicesAppendix I – Documentation from Client MeetingsPreliminary questions for client:Must know: • What is your existing business model? • What are your existing marketing initiatives? • How large is your company? • What is your primary source of revenue? • How much revenue is put toward marketing?Should know: • What is your mission statement? • What existing clients do you currently have? • What are your annual goals? • Quarterly goals?Would like to know: • How large is your total staff? • How large is your marketing staff? • What success have you had? What did you learn? • What failures have you had? What did you learn?Tell us if you’ve time: • What are your core business philosophies? • Why did you get into this business? • How did the business get started? Leveraging Technology | Red Hare Consulting 92
    • Appendices Appendix J – Glossary 7S - McKinsey 7S (Structure, Systems, Style, Strategy, Skills, Shared values, and Staff) Framework is a tool that analysis’s organizations and their effectiveness. Blog - A website maintained by a singe individual who routinely updates the pages with content of self-interest to share with views. Blogger – Author of a blog CTR – Click-through ratio. The number of clicks n a website that result to a sale. Facebook – A free social networking website that connects users across the world to each other through networks, pictures, videos, comments, IM messages, e-mails, and more. Feed- stream of frequently updated information LinkedIn – A free business orientated social network intended to connect individuals to their professional network. ROI – Return on Investment. A percentage calculated by total gain from investment minus total invested divided by total invested. SEO - Search engine optimization. Process of increasing the amount of web traffic from search engines through search tools.Leveraging Technology | Red Hare Consulting SWOT – A basic model that directs the development of a marketing plan. SWOT is an acronym for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Tweet – a single post on a Twitter profile. Twitter – A free micro-blogging system used to connect to users in real time. Wordpress? – An open source project that serves as a platform for setting up weblogs. 93