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Web Design Tips from the Leaders

20 Apr

We can learn a lot from how the best Web sites get designed.

As Austin Knight writes for HubSpot:

“Style guides have always been a staple of design, with some print versions dating back to over 100 years ago. But as design for the Web continues to become more formalized, style guides have begun to find their rightful place in the digital medium as well. They’re especially useful for Web sites and products that need to produce top-notch user experiences.”

“But, as a UX designer myself, I’ve always been curious … what can you find in the digital style guides of influential companies like Apple, Google, and Starbucks? Believe it or not, a lot of companies actually make this information publicly available — they just don’t make it very easy to find. So, every time that I stumble across one, I bookmark it. Here are some of the best ones that I’ve found so far.”

* Apple

* Google

* Starbucks

* Mozilla

* Yelp
 
Click the image to read more of Knight’s HubSpot article.
 

 

GREAT New Marketing Report from McKinsey & Company

13 Apr

The current issue of the McKinsey Quarterly focuses  on the “dawn of marketing’s next golden age, new ways to create value in the sales channel, the power of people analytics, and more.”

Click the image to access the 112-page report. Lots to learn!
 
McKinsey
 

The State of Wearable Technology

27 Mar

To date, the current popularity of wearable technology seems to be more of a company and media public relations campaign than based on actual sales revenues. In many cases, firms have not met their sales goals for the latest in wearable technology; and consumer interest is far less than expected. This is in some part due to consumers questioning whether they really need wearable technology when they have the most-advanced smartphones which are capable of doing so much.

Although some firms have succeeded with their wearable technology, Google has virtually withdrawn Google Glass from the marketplace. So, it will be interesting to see how Apple fares when it introduces its high-tech watch next month.


 
Take a look at the following infographic on wearable technology to see how far we have come in the last five-plus decades. The infographic is by Mashable.
 

 

2014 Global Patent Filings

21 Mar

According to the WIPO Web site:

“Intellectual property (IP) refers to creations of the mind, such as inventions; literary and artistic works; designs; and symbols, names, and images used in commerce. IP is protected in law by, for example, patents, copyright, and trademarks, which enable people to earn recognition or financial benefit from what they invent or create. By striking the right balance between the interests of innovators and the wider public interest, the IP system aims to foster an environment in which creativity and innovation can flourish.”

“The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is the global forum for intellectual property policy, services, information and cooperation. A specialized agency of the United Nations, WIPO assists its 188 member states in developing a balanced international IP legal framework to meet society’s evolving needs. It provides business services for obtaining IP rights in multiple countries and resolving disputes. It delivers capacity-building programs to help developing countries benefit from using IP. And it provides free access to unique knowledge banks of IP information.”

Here is an infographic about global patent filings in 2014.
 
infographics_pct_2014
 

A New Golden Age for Marketing?

10 Mar

The modern field of marketing has had a nice long run — and steadily evolved along with technology and customer trends. So, has the marketing discipline peaked or are the best times still ahead?

According to McKinsey’s Jonathan Gordon and Jesko Perrey, we are entering “the dawn of marketing’s new golden age. Marketers are boosting their precision, broadening their scope, moving more quickly, and telling better stories.”

To summarize Gordon and Perrey:

“Science has permeated marketing for decades. Fans of the television drama Mad Men saw a fictionalized encounter when an IBM System/360 mainframe computer physically displaced the creative department of a late-1960s advertising agency. In reality, though, the 1960s through the early 1990s witnessed a happy marriage of advertising and technology as marketers mastered both the medium of television and the science of Nielsen ratings. These years gave birth to iconic advertising messages in categories ranging from sparkling beverages (‘I’d like to buy the world a Coke’) to credit cards (‘American Express. Don’t leave home without it’) to air travel (‘British Airways: the world’s favourite airline’).”

“Until recently, marketers could be forgiven for looking back wistfully at this golden age as new forces reshaped their world into something completely different. These new trends include a massive proliferation of television and online channels, the transformation of the home PC into a retail channel, the unrelenting rise of mobile social media and gaming, and—with all these trends—a constant battle for the consumer’s attention.”

“The resulting expansion of platforms has propelled consistent growth in marketing expenditures, which now total as much as $1 trillion globally. The efficacy of this spending is under deep scrutiny. For example, in a survey of CEOs, close to three out of four agreed with the following statement: marketers ‘are always asking for more money, but can rarely explain how much incremental business this money will generate.’ Chief marketing officers (CMOs), it appears, don’t disagree: in another recent survey, just over one-third said they had quantitatively proved the impact of their marketing outlays. Paradoxically, though, CEOs are looking to their CMOs more than ever, because they need top-line growth and view marketing as a critical lever to help them achieve it. Can marketers deliver amid ongoing performance pressures?”

Click the image to read a LOT more.
 

 

Marketing Budgets Report 2015

6 Mar

Marketing budgets in 2015 are expected to grow, in some cases, for the first time in years.

As Nicola Cooper reports for Responsys:

“The Econsultancy Marketing Budgets Report 2015, created in association with Oracle Marketing Cloud, delves into marketers’ expected spend for the coming year and is a great opportunity to see whether you are facing similar challenges to the rest of the industry and inform your priorities for the year.”

“Because a customer’s decision to buy now involves many interactions with a brand, delivering an orchestrated approach is essential for any brand to attract and retain customers. It’s clear that our industry is aware of this; this year’s report indicates that nearly three quarters (74%) of the companies surveyed believe they are working towards delivering unified customer experiences, rather than standalone campaigns or interactions. In addition, 71% of the companies surveyed say that they are focusing on ‘breaking down internal silos to better co-ordinate and integrate [their] marketing efforts’. Marketers are unifying marketing strategy as well as unifying the marketing teams delivering those campaigns.”

“More generally, the findings also indicate that marketers are more likely to be increasing overall budgets for the year ahead than at any time since the launch of our first Marketing Budgets Report in 2010, during the height of the economic crisis. Winning areas include marketing technologies and digital marketing, as a result of stronger boardroom support.”

Click the image to read more.
 

 

A Beginner’s Guide to Keyword Research for Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

3 Mar

An important goal for ANY firm involved with the Internet and social media is to gain the best possible search engine placement (SEO).

For those new to SEO, Rachel Sprung — writing for HubSpot — offers some basic tips:

“While Google keeps us on our toes with all the algorithm updates they keep rollin’ out, one thing has stayed pretty consistent for inbound marketers looking to optimize their Web sites for search: keyword research. Well, the need to do keyword research has stayed the same. How you actually do it hasn’t.”

“So I’m going to lay out a keyword research process you can follow to help you come up with and narrow down a list of terms you should be targeting.That way, you’ll be able to establish and execute a strong keyword strategy that helps you get found for the search terms you actually care about.”

Click the image to read about Sprung’s easy approach.
 

 

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