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Center for Digital Innovation Q3 Report

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Quarterly Report of B2B Optimization, B2B Digital Engagement, B2B Lead Generation and B2B Mobile Marketing Projects Underway.

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Center for Digital Innovation Q3 Report

  1. 1. 2 TABLE OF CONTENTS Executive Summary.......................................................................................................3 Slance ...........................................................................................................................4 Development Update ........................................................................................................ 4 Screenshots .................................................................................................................... 5 Landing Page................................................................................................................. 13 Next Steps .................................................................................................................... 13 Wholesale Contractor Supply ......................................................................................14 ZoHo CRM Deployment ................................................................................................... 14 Contractor‟s Blog ........................................................................................................... 28 Next Steps .................................................................................................................... 32 Sentry Sports Lighting ................................................................................................33 New Brand .................................................................................................................... 33 Organic SEO Campaign ................................................................................................... 34 Content Marketing.......................................................................................................... 38 Next Steps .................................................................................................................... 42 Howard Lighting..........................................................................................................42 Howard Technology Solutions .....................................................................................44 Howard Medical ............................................................................................................. 44 Howard Education .......................................................................................................... 56
  2. 2. 3 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Greetings, Santa Monica is L.A.‟s tech hub. It‟s teaming with specialized software developers with experience deploying technology solutions for a variety of different industries, giving Howard Industries easy access to a highly-skilled, flexible workforce on a freelance basis. At the Center for Digital Innovation, we‟re nearing the completion of our new student freelancer online marketplace. We‟re excited to show it to you. But remember, we‟re also here to support you. In June 2016, Billy Howard, Sr. asked us to leverage our resources on behalf of existing Howard Industries businesses, and in the last 3 months we‟ve accomplished a lot. Here are the highlights:  CDI is close to launching a private beta of Slance  CDI got Wholesale Contractor Supply (WCS) up and running on a cloud-based CRM  Through SEO and content marketing, CDI helped grow WCS revenue by 295%  CDI doubled web traffic for WCS and secured top search rank at Sentry Sports Lighting  CDI partnered with internal IT on a new, responsive website design for Howard Medical  CDI sourced and negotiated favorable pricing and terms on a 3D product configurator  CDI gathered platform agnostic CRM business requirements from key stakeholders at Howard Education, Howard Medical and Howard Lighting  And much, much more. NOTE: This report shows the value CDI provided to Howard Industries in Q3 2016. We have an effective, efficient, reliable team in place. Please let us know what we can do to support your division at Howard Industries. Yours Truly,
  3. 3. 4 SLANCE DEVELOPMENT UPDATE CDI is almost ready to begin quality assurance testing of the Slance student freelancer marketplace, a new online platform to help students earn while they learn and acquire valuable work experience relevant to their field of study. Employers cut through the riff raff and get access to US-based students and recent grads for project work on a W-9 freelance basis. Following QA testing, Slance will launch in private beta with Mississippi State University and the University of Southern Mississippi and begin engaging with students and employers. We are currently collecting registrations from potential student freelancers and employers via the Slance website at www.Slance.com, which is pictured. We‟re excited to introduce you to Slance and look forward to helping your source student freelancers with a fresh, youth perspective via the Internet to help your team complete their projects and get more done. Here‟s a preview of our platform, which is almost done!
  4. 4. 5 SCREENSHOTS Create Job Post
  5. 5. 6 Freelancer Dashboard
  6. 6. 7 Freelancer Profile
  7. 7. 8 Client Dashboard
  8. 8. 9 Client Profile
  9. 9. 10 Account Settings
  10. 10. 11
  11. 11. 12 Milestone Payments
  12. 12. 13 LANDING PAGE NEXT STEPS  Finalized development of desktop minimum viable product  Complete test scripting, bug tracking and fixes for quality assurance  Launch private beta to confirm stability of platform in production environment  Public launch of Slance, the world’s first student freelancer marketplace  Commence development of native mobile apps for iOS and Android  Assess viability of development of version 1.0 with team organizing features
  13. 13. 14 WHOLESALE CONTRACTOR SUPPLY ZOHO CRM DEPLOYMENT In Q3 2016, CDI circumvented what could have been a very expensive, disruptive migration away from the Volusion ecommerce platform by implementing a turnkey, cloud-based CRM platform integrated with ecommerce, content management, VoIP telephony, email and social media.
  14. 14. 15 Volusion Ecommerce Integration
  15. 15. 16
  16. 16. 17 Custom Lead Views with Sales Prospecting Data
  17. 17. 18 Proposal Builder Integration – Sales Rep View
  18. 18. 19 Proposal Builder Integration – Customer View
  19. 19. 20 PayPal Integration
  20. 20. 21 Voice Over IP Telephony Integration
  21. 21. 22 Automated Workflows – 20 Custom Procedures
  22. 22. 23 Global Keyword Search
  23. 23. 24 Reporting
  24. 24. 25 Web Chat Tool Integration
  25. 25. 26 Social Media Integration
  26. 26. 27 Customer Survey Integration
  27. 27. 28 Email Campaigns Integration CONTRACTOR’S BLOG The new blog site provides WCS with a way to add sales oriented landing pages, useful „how to‟ articles to inform purchasing decisions and increase search rank. CDI integrated the new WordPress blog into the WCS ecommerce site and has already added six, search engine optimized articles to improve keyword relevancy, transit users to related products pages and lift search rankings. Search Optimized Articles 1. CFL Light Bulbs - Users Guide for Retrofits 2. Vapor Proof Fluorescent Light Fixtures: When, Where and Why 3. Fluorescent vs. LED High Bay Lighting Retrofits 4. Workplace Safety Equipment Trends: Today’s Workers Want More than just Protection 5. LED Lighting Retrofits Significant to Conservation Efforts 6. LED Warehouse Lighting Retrofits: Path to Energy Efficiency and Cost Savings
  28. 28. 29
  29. 29. 30 Topics were chosen based on search volume, written by a former daily newspaper journalist and search engine optimized by CDI prior to being published on Wednesdays or Thursdays, the highest traffic days on the site. Articles include anchor text links to specific product pages at WCS that have been search optimized against the same keywords, but with different text. Articles include images and are written to be easily scanned by readers. Keyword research was conducted based on US search volume and conversion probability. Please review the preceding graphics to get a sense of what the articles look like online. We source an original photo to accompany each story and share on the WCS social media marketing channels.
  30. 30. 31 SEO Increases Sales 295% CDI first started SEOing WCS in April 2016. Since then, sessions are up 70%, users rose 80% and pages views doubled. Those gains resulted in a 295% lift in sales, a 36% increase in ecommerce conversions and 68% increase in the value of an average order. The increase in traffic to category pages for competitively priced, top-sellers like Fluorescent and LED High Bays went from 0 to 2,856 visits.
  31. 31. 32 Twitter Optimization CDI has been trying to help WCS improve its use of Twitter by providing feedback. Here‟s feedback we provided to WCS in Q3 2016. NEXT STEPS  Launch a native mobile app to support mobile sales and marketing  Monitor CRM reports and continue to refine sales process automation workflows  Create new leads views and workflows based on findings  Continue to support to WCS for quality assurance  Implement rules-based email marketing cadence  Continue to SEO products and categories  Propose staffing content marketing at CDI for WCS
  32. 32. 33 SENTRY SPORTS LIGHTING NEW BRAND On June 1, 2016, CDI completed the rebranding of what was formerly Sport Sentry Systems as Sentry Sports Lighting and launched a new website for the company. By adding the phrase “sports lighting” to their name and URL and search engine optimizing their website, traffic rose 73%, visits increased 61% and page views rose 60%.
  33. 33. 34 ORGANIC SEO CAMPAIGN Using the following keywords as a guide, CDI rewrote all web copy for the new site from interviews with the staff, created a content marketing strategy and wrote and commissioned original blog articles around these themes and ideas: Campaign Keyword Avg. Monthly Searches Competition AtoZ arena lights 320 AtoZ stadium lighting 260 0.95 AtoZ sports lighting 260 0.84 AtoZ LED stadium lighting 260 AtoZ tennis court lighting 210 1 Google Site Links Indexed The new website has been indexed by Google against relevant search terms with site links:
  34. 34. 35 Page One Search Result
  35. 35. 36 Most Visited Pages Keyword Visibility The new site is getting found and beginning to get visits from Google searches for unbranded terms like “sports lighting”‟ and “LED sports lighting fixtures.”
  36. 36. 37 Link Building & Local Search CDI could earn SSL a higher search ranking if we could help them get their distributors to update their websites to the new company name, which has “sports lighting” in the title. We provided SSL with the following instructions, but they have had difficulty getting distributors to list them as follows:  Sentry Sports Lighting - Stadium Lighting, Arena Lights and Athletic Field Lighting  ALT tag SSL logo with the text: Sentry Sports Lighting.  Use any of the logos at: http://sentrysportslighting.com/branding-style-guide/ If we can convince even half of their distributors to make this update to how they list SSL on their websites, we may be able to increase SSL‟s page one ranking for the searches of the generic term “Sports Lighting.” We should also get them listed on Google Local Search at all of their distributor‟s locations as well.
  37. 37. 38 CONTENT MARKETING
  38. 38. 39 CDI added the Sports Lighting Blog to the new Sentry Sports Lighting website and published the following search engine optimized articles on the following dates: 1. Stadiums and arenas use efficient, high wattage lamps (3/15/16) 2. LED Technology Revolutionizing Outdoor Sports Lighting (4/3/16) 3. LED Lighting Retrofits: Benefits of Financing (4/22/16) 4. Sports Lighting Design Resources (5/2/16) 5. Sports Lighting Design Guides Now Online (5/18/16) 6. SportSentry Systems is now Sentry Sports Lighting (6/6/16) 7. LED Sports Lighting: Active Cooling Doubles Lifespan (7/5/16) 8. Stadium Lighting a Game-Changer in World of Sports (8/23/16) 9. Sports Lighting Retrofit Transforms Army’s Murphy Field 9/5/16) Sports Lighting Design Guide CDI added a Sports Lighting Design Guide, which is getting found by prospects searching sports field lighting lay out recommendations.
  39. 39. 40 Lead Generation Form Prior to the new website, Sentry Sports Systems received no leads at all via the web. CDI implemented this lead generation form on the new website.
  40. 40. 41 Sample Leads Here are 2 high quality and high purchase intent leads recently generated by the new website.
  41. 41. 42 NEXT STEPS  Continue commissioning, SEOing and publishing content to the SSL blog  Help them update their listings on their distributorship‟s websites  Help them execute a local search optimization strategy HOWARD LIGHTING Website The Howard Lighting website could be much more effective at generating sales leads and management wants ecommerce functionality for existing customers. The site currently has no HTML product pages, no search engine optimized product descriptions and no content or email marketing programs in place.
  42. 42. 43 CDI is considering strategies for providing this division with a new site, SEO and much needed content marketing support. Search Visibility Howard Lighting has earned some degree search visibility, mostly for its PDF fixture cut sheets. But this could dramatically improve. CDI is actively researching options for re-architecting the entire site, which currently host more 25k products, to better promote natural search engine optimization of their catalog. New Business Development The California Inland Empire is home to one the largest, densest warehouse vicinities in the U.S., which means lots of opportunity to conserve energy in existing facilities through ESCO retrofits. CDI is considering launching an ESCO-focused eco lighting website to sell to customers to and through the ESCOs and electrical contractors. This digital marketing effort would be supported by our Southern California warehouse and sales calls to key accounts. Indoor horticulture is also a growing business in the Western U.S., which means an imminent rise in the sale of lighting for this purpose. CDI is also researching the prospect of launching www.spectracali.com, an online brand catering to this nascent market with private labeled, grow lamps sourced from China and horticulture line of LED fixtures. One of the top selling grow light manufacturers, Gravita out of Holland, is selling a version of the Phillips GPELHPS1000w for $425 MSRP each. The pricing structure in the horticulture segment allows for 35-45% margins. Next Steps  Develop cost-effective, realistic strategy for improving the Howard Lighting website  Search engine optimize the Howard Lighting site through email and content marketing  Propose a solution for improving customer relationship management (CRM)  Continue scoping the possibility of launching ESCO and indoor horticulture-focused online lighting brands
  43. 43. 44 HOWARD TECHNOLOGY SOLUTIONS This section has been provided as background only, so that Cyndi McCoy and her team have visibility over the scope of work that CDI has conducted for HTS up to now. In June 2016, Billy Howard, Sr. directed CDI to launch Zoho CRM for WCS and partner with HTS internal IT to: 1. Research the prospect of improving customer relationship management (CRM) at HTS 2. Design and develop a new website for Howard Medical in collaboration with internal IT 3. Scope design and development for a new website for Howard Education 4. Improve the user experience at Howard Computers Moving forward, please ensure that all projects are approved by Cyndi prior to submittal to CDI. CDI is at your service, willing and able to execute any of these projects, as long as they have been approved by HTS executive management. HOWARD MEDICAL Business Case By investing in an updated website with a high-quality sales video and 3D product configurator, Manuel Shows estimates revenues at Howard Medical could increase as much as 30% or $14M annually. CDI can deliver all 3 for less 1% of that projected revenue. CDI partnered with internal IT on the redesign of a responsive website and researched costs for producing a professional sales video and securing technology to power a 3D product configurator for the new site.
  44. 44. 45 Website Current Website The current Howard Medical Website is primed for a revamp. It served fewer than 300 sessions per month or 897 total in Q3 2016, and 70% of visitors viewed just a single page. Eighty-two percent (82%) of all visitors stayed on the website for less than 10 seconds. The current website also has two different navigation menus and another page that refers to dead links at Howard Computers.
  45. 45. 46 Most Visited Page Currently, the most visited page on the Howard Medical website is linking to unfinished test pages, outdated content, and 404 pages. This is just one example of what is a website in disarray, undermining the credible of the Howard Medical brand.
  46. 46. 47 Proposed Sitemap Prior to designing the new Howard Medical website, CDI created a list of all URLs at www.Howard-Medical.com, categorizing them as either current, out of date or PDF and developed this sitemap.
  47. 47. 48 Proposed Wire Frames CDI developed wireframes to determine page layout.
  48. 48. 49 Responsive Website Design After presenting three different design options to Howard Medical, they decided to go with the following designs, which were provided to internal IT as HTML/CSS and implemented in the ASP.NET framework. Here is the new website designs, which have been deployed beautifully in an online staging area by Roger May‟s team at http://staging.howard-medical.com/
  49. 49. 50 A total of eight different responsive webpage template designs have been deployed to accommodate the new site. At this point, Howard Medical is working directly with Roger May‟s group to migrate the content over to the new design. CDI is prepared to search optimize the site copy once it has been migrated.
  50. 50. 51 Sales Video Howard Medical‟s competitors are using video to promote their products online. The sales team wants their new website to have a high-quality sales video that positions them as a healthcare technology leader. Based on a script written by Howard Medical featuring doctors, nurses and administrative staff using 25 different Howard Medical products with patients in 8 different hospital departments, CDI broke down and bid producing the video with production companies in Laurel, Baton Rouge, South Florida and Los Angeles. If the current script is to be produced without much modification, the best value we found was to shoot in Baton Rouge at the Old Woman‟s Hospital using a local NOLA crew. Estimated cost of production is $19,500 plus the location fee, or 0.14% of the projected $14M in additional revenue. The Old Woman's Hospital is no longer in service and is rented to film productions by the Baton Rouge Police Department, which is still recovering from the flooding and has been slow to respond to our rate request. If someone at Howard Industries has a relationship with a Baton Rouge municipal government contact, that may help us secure a quicker response and possibly at a reduced location fee.
  51. 51. 52 3D Cart Configurator The Medical Cart Configurator (MCC) is a digital visualization tool envisioned by Howard Medical that would give visitors the ability to build, zoom in on, tumble, save, print and share a 3D model and spec sheet for any configuration of medical cart that the company sells. CDI created an MCC Functional Specification and investigated several options for implementing this website feature which were (1) hiring an independent WebGL/Canvas developer and 3D StudioMax artist, (2) contracting with a niche agency specializing in 3D web development and (3) licensing the Axonon, a Configure/Price/Quote (CPQ) SaaS platform to power the MCC. After reviewing all three options and the risks associated with developing and supporting a homegrown solution, Tony Thornton, Roger May and Michael Baker agreed that in the long run, the Axonon PowerTrak solution is the most viable option. The Minnesota-based company PowerTrak 3D product configuration platform used by Visi, Dell, Intel, Flextronics, Middle Atlantic and many others, could be supported internally and ultimately be used for Howard Education and WCS as well. Axonon submitted a presentation with images of their product in use, which can be downloaded at the previous link. After months of research and negotiation as well as a day trip to Las Vegas to meet with their executive leadership, CDI secured fully amortized payment terms of $6,833 in advance and $2,300 per month for 3 years, with the term and initial monthly payment beginning after the launch of the configurator on Howard Medical’s website. In addition, Howard Medical would incur a one-time expense to model their medical carts in 3D Studio Max, which would take an animator 100 to 200 hours at $50 per hour. This platform would make it possible for prospects to build their own medical cart with a drag and drop interface and send their specifications to a sales rep to be quoted. It is essentially a self-serve sales tool.
  52. 52. 53
  53. 53. 54 SEO Keyword Plan CDI conducted extensive research on organic search history and created the following keyword plan to guide search engine optimization of the new site. Keyword Avg. Monthly Searches (exact match only) Competition medical cart 1K – 10K 1 medication cart 1K – 10K 1 medical computer cart 100 – 1K 1 workstation on wheels 100 – 1K 1 medical laptop cart 100 – 1K 1 rolling medical cart 10 – 100 1 medical crash cart 100 – 1K 1 medical rolling cart 10 – 100 1 stainless steel medical cart 10 – 100 1 medical utility cart 10 – 100 1 medical laptop cart on wheels 10 – 100 1 medical cart battery 10 – 100 0.41 medical trolley 10 – 100 0.93 computer workstation on wheels 10 – 100 1 mobile medical cart 10 – 100 1 medical chart cart 10 – 100 1 medical cart manufacturers 10 – 100 1 workstation on wheels medical 10 – 100 1 cart medical 10 – 100 1 medical trolley cart 10 – 100 1 workstation on wheels healthcare 10 – 100 1 emergency trolley 10 – 100 0.3 medical rolling cart with drawers 10 – 100 1 computer on wheels cart medical 10 – 100 1 medical treatment cart 10 – 100 1 crash cart medical 10 – 100 0.92 rubbermaid medical computer cart 10 – 100 1 workstation on wheels hospital 10 – 100 1 medical trolley with drawers 10 – 100 0.82 CDI had been planning to launch a blog as part of the new website and add search engine optimized articles over time to increase site relevancy, as we did for WCS and Sentry Sports Lighting. We are available to perform these services, if HTS elects to do so.
  54. 54. 55 Unapproved Logo Concepts In the event HTS wishes to consider a logo update with the launch of the new website, Howard Medical asked CDI to submit new logo concepts. These logos are NOT for use. Adoption of a new logo requires the approval of HTS executive management. These logo concepts are for consideration only and cannot be used without HTS executive management‟s prior approval. To achieve a cohesive look, please consider that if Howard Medical does adopt a new brand, the PDFs on the website should be updated to match the look and feel of the new website. There are currently 60 PDFs or 315 pages that would need to be redesigned. CRM Requirements Gathering CDI worked directly with the Howard Medical team to gather and document the business requirements they have for a CRM system. All their requirements are available for download in a document at http://bit.ly/Howard-Medical-CRM-Requirements to support CRM customization. Possible Next Steps  Provide design support to internal IT to complete responsive website  Project management for sales video production  Project management of 3D product configurator implementation  Search engine optimize new site, create and manage blog content  Email marketing and establish automated email cadence to nurture leads
  55. 55. 56 HOWARD EDUCATION Website Although Howard Education provides turnkey technology solutions to schools through direct sales, those solutions are not effectively presented on the division‟s website, which is positioned more as a PC superstore than a B2B educational technology solutions provider. Since no dynamic, search optimized solutions oriented content exists, Howard Education cannot be discovered by academics looking for educational technology solutions providers online and this should be remedied as soon as possible with the addition of a solutions-oriented microsite, keyword optimized against high conversion probability search terms and fortified with lead generation pages. This would allow the division to generate high quality sales leads online. To improve rankings, the site needs useful, how-to oriented content written for educator‟s procuring technology solutions and this can be achieved with the addition of a blog to the new microsite, to which useful, timely, search optimized articles can be added on a regular basis. Frequent publication of SEOed content increases site quality scores by pinging Google‟s spiders to reindex the new page and reconsider the rank and authority of the domain.
  56. 56. 57 This can be achieved by integrating a blog into the website, as we did for WCS and Sentry Sports Lighting. The WordPress content management system can also be used to launch landing and conversion pages to convert online content into qualified leads. Search Visibility But even with a solutions selling microsite and a blog with useful, search optimized how-to content, the division‟s name and URL presents huge search engine optimization challenges for two reasons. First, most searches containing “Howard Education” return -- almost exclusively -- results from Ivy League college Howard University. And second, because the domain www.howardedu.com could be seen as abuse by Google, since the top level domain .edu is reserved for higher education. Google is likely considering this a bastardization of Howard University‟s URL and an attempt the artificially boast site ranking. For these reasons, it would be wise to rebrand the division with a new URL that effectively differentiates itself from Howard.edu. CDI could recommend options based on keyword research, as it did with www.SentrySportsLighting.com. By rebranding Sports Sentry Systems as Sentry Sports Lighting, CDI has already lifted that division‟s search ranking to page one on Google for queries of the generic, search phrase “sports lighting.” A similar approach at Howard Education is advised. Solution Configurator Since proposals from this division often include layout plans, a digital configurator that clients could use to draw a room or site, layout various scenarios and source solutions on a self-serve basis could work to generate high-quality leads online. Currently, the Howard Education website generates no leads at all. UI/UX Support CDI has access to user experience designers who are available to create responsive webpage templates that can be delivered as HTML/CCS to internal IT -- as Howard Medical‟s new website was -- to improve user experience. CRM Requirements Gathering CDI met with Howard Education to gather business requirements for CRM and researched options for improving their online sales and marketing presence.
  57. 57. 58 Possible Next Steps  Design, write and provide HTML/CSS for a solutions selling microsite.  Secure images of past installations, develop cases studies and cost out the production of a sales video.  Lead a rebranding effort, backed by qualitative and quantitative research to improve site authority, relevancy and ranking.  Create an editorial calendar, using the division’s trade show schedule as a guide, and commission and publish useful ‘how to’ content to help prospective customer make informed educational technology purchasing decisions.  Propose technology for enabling a solutions configurator to the new website. # # #

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