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How context helps find valuable answers, not just correct ones

In the world of digital marketing, there is an ever-increasing focus on data, analytics, tracking. Data-driven marketing is compelling because it is based on facts. In many ways, for savvy marketers, it's the most compelling argument when encouraging clients to invest in aspects of their marketing because it doesn't rely on opinion. However, we should beware... data is just that - data - just because it is factually correct, it does not mean it is has value...

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Awesome web design! (Psst.. it's about efficacy, not art)

I've been subjected to many tender processes and pitches for web design projects over the past 15 years. Each one has its own unique questions to answer. The initial process of understanding what the problems are, the market, the product, and so on, is one of the truly fascinating stages of a project. Oddly, much of this deep thinking is freely given away as part of the pitch (and is often expected by the client). This is the commercial reality though so I won't start another whine about the value of my time and refusing free pitches - there are too many of those articles to choose from already. However, there is an element of this initial stage of a project that does bother me ...

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5 Simple Tips to make sure your marketing works

It's easy to see why many small businesses struggle with marketing. It's one of the most complex, dynamic aspects of running a business. When executed badly, it can mean investing hard earned cash into something that may not offer up any return. 

The truth is that any small business not investing in marketing (whether that investment is cash or time or a mix of the two) risks seeing their business shrink or fail all together. So, here are five "back to basics" tips to help you develop an effective message on little or no budget:

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87.9% of statistics are made up

Ok, this is going to be short and sweet. Like you, I read a lot of blog posts, many covering "why this type of marketing is so effective...", and I often find myself being bombarded with statistics about the efficacy of said marketing. Normally, I'll just breeze over them, but one post I read this morning went too far and lead me to post this micro rant. Ok, deep breath, here goes...

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Past bad experiences are stopping businesses from marketing online

It's common knowledge that if we look back 10 years or more, there were a lot of really ugly websites around. The industry was in its infancy; techniques were being developed and learned. We've moved on a long way since those dark days.

Well, we may have moved on, but many thousands of businesses across the UK have not. The horrors of poor coding, inconsistent design (I use that word loosely) and rambling, starchy content are still on show. The screenshot to the left is the homepage of a real website, taken on March 2 2016.

Take a moment to look at this web page. Clearly, there is not a single person on this Earth that will think it looks good and I can tell you that the code is just as ugly. There is little value in this website and it's almost certainly costing the company business.

So why does it stay this way? If the company felt they didn't need a website, why do they have one at all? Let's dig deeper...

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