Leigh Durst does a makeover of the digital media footprints of two B2B brands, Ritchie Brothers Auctions (3.3 Billion Dollar Global Auctioneer) and Package Machinery Corp (Mid-sized Machine Manufacturer for CPG companies) including notes on how to improve execution within various properties (web, blog) before/after wire frames and tips and tricks for creating a more usable web presence.
Digital Media Makeover of 2 Brands is a tall order 10 minute intro25 minutes per brand15 minutes of QAINTRODUCE RBI Auctions Largest global auctioneer and Package Machinery Company Inc. Manufacturer of high speed packaging machines for CPG Market.
BONDING is the new BRANDING.The stronger the bond, the stronger the relationship the stronger the relationship, the stronger the brand.BONDING will determine whether we tweet or publicly complain about how ticked we are about waiting in line to service our phone at Verizon -- or wait in line for 8 hours to get a new iPad 2 at the Apple store AND then BRAG about the experience over Twitter, as if was your honor to do so. Apple understands how to form the BOND.
Apple understands the bond – and the bond is much more than about our digital experiences, but how our products look, feel and function – how we serve people face-to-face – and impressions and interactions at every touch point. In a day and age where a vast majority of transactions begin on a DEVICE, the experiences we create -- especially our digital and social experiences, are incredibly important in creating bonds with people. This is why marketers need to become more seasoned in designing, developing and helping manage customer experiences – because Bonding is the new branding. If you are a marketer, your world has shifted.ASPIRATIONAL BRANDING is Marketing 101 – what we’ve always done. Assets, calls-to-action, branding…ACTUAL branding, how ever is found in what our market believes about us – and that is driven by the experiences we provide.GOOD EXPERIENCES BRIDGE THE GAP between what we desire to be and who we really are.So the principles of interaction design, an understanding of usability and task flow, and human factors are quickly becoming a competency tomorrow’s marketer should have. That’s what we’re going to discuss here today.
We’re all here for the same reason I believe –We carry the knowledge that the digital footprints we create leave distinct impressions that speak very loudly -- and especially within social media, in a potentially amplified manner, to the credibility of our brands.How many of you manage…How many of you are marketers…How many of you find it over whelming to keep up with the pace and spend time objectively evaluating the experiences you deliver?ME TOO.
Okay. So my mom sent me one of those 10x magnifying mirrors. I don’t know how many of you have ever… but I find the experience a bit humbling.When I look into that mirror I can see all the junk I try to hide with makeup and every imperfection, line and wrinkle with ease. I may have had a hunch it was there – or not. It’s always a wakeup call, and I usually go buy skin products after gazing into it – because it shows me clearly the things I have failed to address – even if some of it may be out of my control.In parallel it’s really important to do that kind of deep looking at the experiences we create for the PEOPLE we serve. I say people because Customers are essential, but so are PROSPECTS and PARTNERS and auxiliary audiences. Too easy to get caught up in doing, growing, maintaining… we forget to question whether we’ve taken proper care of our online presences. And when we don’t there are always problems.When we do look in the mirror, we may find that there are some disconnects.
Between The experiences we believe we offer, and what others ACTUALLY experience with our brands.It’s those kinds of disconnects that are brand killers… but thankfully, they are almost always things that can be remedied with proper attention.
Amazon didn’t become the Leviathan of online commerce by being Glamazon – they were never the beauty queen of the online world. However, there was beauty in their shopping experience … it was highly functional, useful and offered innovative, groundbreaking features. On top of this, they served people well online and offline. They made people better by EMPOWERING them to get what they need quickly, efficiently and often at the lowest possible price. They continue to make businesses the BEST at eCommerce by providing them with a best-of-breed shopping platform for thousands of retailers. It wasn’t pretty work. It was hard work.Put more simply – pretty is great. Pretty is pleasing – but it’s also the icing on your cake. The substance of success is not in how you look, but how prepared you are – and how you perform against the needs, desires and expectations of the audiences you serve.When we serve people well, we form essential bonds with people. And in this age of transparency,
So, let’s get started with our session!
I spent about 8 hours on each company focusing on their collective digital media presence. I paid close attention to three things:Immediate impressions – because they count 2-3 second abandon…We only have a short time to secure the attention of people today and with a large majority of purchasing happens online today, securing that attention should be our first priority online.WWCD – I tried to put on the mindset of your customers and experience the sites as they wouldBest Practices – Applying my expertise and background to the experience executionI focused on as many digital properties as I could and made copious notes that are included as an appendix in this document because we can’t possibly cover it all. I then distilled my feedback down into some recommendations that will help these companies -- make their experiences more compelling, engaging and effective – not just in terms of serving people well but in achieving business outcomes.P.S. I had VERY LIMITED information – Digital Properties, High Level Audience, Some outcomes … based on email with Package and Ritchie Brothers.There isn’t much time in 25 minutes to be delicate about feedback. So I want to lay groundwork
Rapid fire critique can feel personal – as a business owner AND someone who manages clients, I can appreciate the blood, sweat and tears that have gone into the creation of the digital properties you manage.
Not comparing the two brands. Not a beauty contest and there is no perfection.
We’re all here to take our brands to the next level.
20 minutes per company10 minutes of QA & interaction15 minutes of crowd QA
ENHANCEFurther optimize search capabilitiesRefine technical executionIMPROVEDrive immersion and engagement with strengthened story/message/calls to actionCreate clear differentiation for Package MaterialsDemonstrate how you solve customer problemsMake benefits more clear and distinctMake sure all content is up to date (Nov. 2011 event)Make all content shareableMake next steps highly evident and compellingLeverage robust WP-driven widgets such as:Increase posting frequency to drive more traffic and activityConsider 3-4 posts per monthConsider outside contributorsGet creative – featured external articles?Ask for input & contributionsConsider syndicating your postsMake creative use of your blog contentUse “Most Recent” post as a featured article summary on your home pageEnsure posts speak to AUDIENCE needs as a compliment to business imperativesBlog about customers Create case studiesInspire interaction – within the acceptable bounds of a “lurking” audience. Make next-steps clearMake sharing easyEncourage customer-submitted contentRespond with gratitude
Follow StrategyFollow RationaleTwitter as Customer Service
Be a bond builder by making sure your digital experiences meet people where they are at AND make them better and more successful.Make sure what you do is done WELL, and is focused squarely on the people you serve.
Digital Media Makeover Marketing Profs B2B Forum July 2011
Not callinganyone ugly<br />#mpmakeover<br />Image credit: Remington 1951<br />
Notexpectingperfection<br />#mpb2b<br />Image credit: Life Magazine<br />
Takingthings to the next level<br />#mpb2b<br />
… Do not throw items at the speaker<br />… Keep an open mind<br />… Benchmark feedback against your own data<br />… Focus on the big picture<br />…Think like your customers & prospects<br />Image credit: Life Magazine<br />#mpb2b<br />
Facebook (new!)</li></ul>To the Chair!<br />#mpb2b<br />
Website<br />Strengths<br />Clean layout<br />Shallow site structure<br />Recently updated<br />Works on Mobile Devices (Droid/iPad)<br />Solid Content<br />Rotating client testimonials<br />Value add content (video/white papers)<br />Blog Postings<br />Subscribe features (email / RSS)<br />Built on WordPress<br />Use of a CMS<br />Use of CSS / Style Sheets<br />Since 1996 – Redesign in early 2008<br />#mpb2b<br />
Blog<br />Strengths<br />Well positioned in site navigation<br />Most recent posts featured on home page<br />Complimentary template to website<br />Recent posts, archives and categories widgets<br />Posting about 1-2 times per month.<br />Since 2009<br />Main<br />Individual Posting<br />#mpb2b<br />
Site & Blog<br />Restructure & Refresh<br />Increase conversions by restructuring content to address prioritized “user tasks”, e.g.:<br />Find & shop for equipment<br />Separate sales and service<br />Learn about packaging<br />Solve “my” business problem<br />Search (!)<br />Improve content targeting and encourage participation / engagement <br />Calls to action address “how we make you better”<br />Strengthen stories to speak to user needs<br />Motivate & direct users to “next steps”<br />Elevate (and improve) participation options<br />Consider increasing post and update frequency<br />#mpb2b<br />
Site & Blog<br />Experience & Engagement<br />Improve appeal and increase usability by refreshing the site design and layout<br />Reduce user acrobatics (click, scroll, find, remember)<br />Maximize ability for users to navigate<br />Optimize layout and information display<br />Better “frame” content with design/assets<br />Further Polish the look & feel<br />Create a more compelling, community driven experience with enhanced functionality <br />Use robust WP-driven widgets<br />Most popular, recent comments<br />Sharing: Share This, Retweet, “Like”, FB Subscribe<br />Upcoming events & current promotions<br />Comment functionality (general enhancement)<br />All-in-one SEO Pack<br />Simple Scripting<br />Adjust capture tactics<br />Use capture form instead of direct email address<br />#mpb2b<br />
Twitter<br />Strengths<br />Real person!<br />Focused expertise<br />Somewhat active/frequent (2-5 tpw)<br />RT’s of valuable info<br />Listed in 37 lists<br />Opportunities<br />Avoid Brand Confusion<br />Grab “Package Machinery” account<br />Use Hoot Suite or Tweet deck to manage<br />Develop a Follow Strategy<br />Target prospects & customers and follow them<br />Boost following with targeted follows/followers<br />Demonstrate Your Value<br />Continue to provide value<br />Serve, dialog with & celebrate customers online<br />Engage in related chats / discussions<br />Make your Tweets Compelling<br />Speak to audience interest – and don’t do this:<br />#mpb2b<br />
You Tube<br />Strengths <br />Lots of Good Content<br />Demonstrates Machinery<br />Educational<br />Proactive<br />Opportunities<br />Check the Tech!<br />Embed media on-site, rather than driving to You Tube<br />Make sure all your videos work on your channel<br />Use Care with Design & Production<br />Tone back your page design for your channel<br />Tone back music on some videos <br />Try not to shoot people working from the back<br />Subscribe, Favorite & Comment (it’s reciprocal!)<br />Great, related video<br />Customer channels (especially)<br />Industry Channels<br />Like-minded channels or companies<br />Be Creative!<br />Demonstrate the story, value, benefit<br />Keep it short and fun<br />Customer submitted content<br />Interviews, case studies<br />
Linked In<br />Strengths<br />Corporate Page (2008)<br />Blog Integration to Kate’s Profile & PMC<br />Slide Share Presentations/Features <br />Strong number of personal connections<br />Group activity with Marketing Profs showing<br />Opportunities<br />Very active, but it doesn’t show<br />Increase following<br />Let customers know you are on Linked In<br />Promote your Linked In profile/page<br />Promote groups engagement (hidden)<br />Increase Engagement<br />Add other PMC employees<br />Secure more customer recommendations<br />Secure positioning for more products<br />Make sure Slide Share is featured on site/blog<br />#mpb2b<br />
Facebook<br />As you get started…<br />Plan your execution carefully<br />Create custom FBML tab to capture leads<br />Add Subscribe Via Facebook to Blog/Website<br />Make sure status is not redundant to Twitter, Linked In and other social venues<br />Consider Facebook Ads<br /> Be “Official”<br />Put up the content your customers want to see<br />Define the stories you want to tell<br />Design your status updates to tell stories<br />Make sure they are engaging, resonant to audience<br />Read as much as you can (webinars, too)<br />Feed Optimization<br />Facebook Contests & Policies<br />Check out Brand Glue, All Facebook, Marketing Profs etc.<br />Integrate with your blog to boost interaction<br />Likes<br />Comments<br />Feed<br />
Mobile Application (new!)</li></ul>Advanced<br />To the Chair!<br />
A few thoughts … <br />A job well done . . . <br />Digital is central to Ritchie Bros Business<br />They do it well, in every channel<br />Bridge the gap between online and offline<br />Outstanding job of delivering value<br />Terrific job of simplifying the complex<br />Terrific service mindset (technical, customer, offerings, etc.)<br />Excellent content<br />Ongoing Challenges . . .<br />Making things simple and uncluttered<br />Staying on top of a mountain of content<br />Interpreting a mountain of analysis<br />Managing perceptions<br />Keeping things “fair”<br />Addressing security<br />Multitasking <br />Managing business<br />Managing the community<br />Filtering out feedback<br /> “nice to have” vs. “essential”<br />Optimizing experiences<br />Raising the bar to innovate<br />
Web<br />Home Page<br />Key Tasks<br />Search Inventory<br />Upcoming Auctions<br />Challenges<br />Visually busy page<br />Buy/Sell is buried down the page<br />Several ways to search - distracting<br />Page scrolling<br />Recommendations<br />User Testing (Existing page(s) key tasks<br />Flow/Wireframe Testing<br />Streamline interface & key tasks<br />Elevate & incorporate social<br />Prioritize user paths<br />
Web<br />Equipment Search<br /><ul><li>Great video – very helpful
Default setting on the video doesn’t match page!
No easy answers here but recommend investing in user testing to refine this.</li></li></ul><li>Web<br />Sign In Page<br />Wireframes are handy!<br />Eliminate <br />Redundancies<br />Visual Clutter<br />Task Confusion<br />Make tasks super-intuitive<br />Do this with a SERIES (task flow)<br />Test the logic<br />Try A/B Testing!<br />Existing <br />Screen<br />Wireframe<br />Alternative<br />
Ritchie Wiki & Ritchie Specs<br />Wiki<br />35k unique visitors per month<br />75% new visitors<br />Not drawing large-scale creation<br />Rich resource – maintenance mode<br />Specs<br />Killer App for business<br />75k unique visitors per month<br />55% new visitors<br />Helps estimate size of shipments<br />(This is prime for a mobile app)<br />
Facebook<br />Fan Page<br />13,039 Likes<br />2,000+ Comments/Posts<br />Lots of good stuff, consider:<br />See Package Machinery Rec’s<br />Page Lever Beta App for Analytics<br />Like button integration<br />Subscribe via Facebook<br />Other<br />Careers Page<br />463 Likes<br />Other Employee Groups<br />Locations<br />Teams<br />
Where to Focus …<br />Simplify Engagement<br />Optimize task / paths<br />Search<br />Join / Sign In<br />Auction Monitoring<br />View all auctions (sort/display)<br />Select/monitor auctions<br />Monitor my auctions<br />Customized information display<br />Buy / Sell<br />Online only<br />Online / real-world<br />Streamline layout / info presentation<br />Consider profile-based customization<br />Probing Into Experience<br />Old school meets “new school” <br />The new version of the “rain day”<br />The digital version of “the hat”<br />Ability to “win” despite global participation<br />Managing Perceptions<br />New fee structures<br />Perceptions and understanding of security<br />Ongoing adoption<br />Mobile adoption and use<br />New applications for Facebook/Twitter<br />
Other advice …<br />Development<br />Assign task owners<br />Live, breathe, eat, sleep the tasks<br />Understand abandonment rate / stats<br />Help the team understand key issues<br />Embrace Iterative design<br />Don’t do it all at once!<br />Rapid iteration, testing, launch cycles<br />Benchmark tasks against user testing<br />Use analytics for additional insight<br />Use Wireframe models, to save $$<br />Don’t try to “boil the ocean”<br />Celebrate success and fail fast<br />Invest in Mobile<br />Separate, optimized site for mobile<br />Focused apps to meet user & mobile context needs.<br />Customer Incorporation<br />Listen & Prioritize<br />Personas are helpful<br />User Testing<br />User Panels<br />Online & Remote Testing to save $$<br />Interpret listening carefully<br />People don’t always know what they want.<br />If you think it’s too complex, it probably is.<br />Pay attention to your inner promptings<br />
Meet & exceed the needs of a target audience<br />Deliver the fundamentals well<br />Produce success and satisfaction<br />Always place service at the forefront<br />Focus beyond the single property / channel<br />Help people excel at something<br />Make OverYour Digital Media<br />