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Metalworking Education for Marketers

Thu, Jun 14, 2018 @ 11:27 AM / by Chuck Lohre posted in Metalworking Equipment Marketing, Business to Business Marketing, B2B Marketing, B2B Advertising, Business to Business Advertising, Equipment Marketing and Advertising, marketing agency, Cincinnati Marketing Agencies

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Metalforming Processes and Materials For Non-Technical Executives, Directors and Managers

June 19, 2018—Cleveland, OH - This seminar provides attendees with a fundamental understanding of metalforming processes and their capabilities, the common materials specified for these processes, and various types of surface coatings and treatments that metalformed parts may require. Attendees involved in such areas as purchasing, quality, sales and management will gain a clearer understanding of material specifications, properties, and process parameters and capabilities to better serve internal and external customers; to more accurately specify and purchase material, and improve troubleshooting, problem reporting and root-cause analysis.

Metalworking Marketing Education

Topics covered:
• Important industry terminology and meaning
• Dfferences between flatteners, straighteners, and levelers
• Difference between “sheet” and “strip” metals (it’s not what you may think)
• Differences between flywheel drive and servo drive presses
• Why surface hardness specifications are not the best indicators that the metal you order will work in production
• How to properly order sheet material to assure you get what you need
• How to deal with international material specifications
• How new higher strength automotive materials affect your business and plant operations
• Difference between reactive, preventive, predictive and proactive maintenance programs
• True cost of die maintenance
• Acceptable stamping burr (it’s much less than you think)
• How does welding, molding, plating affect the stamping process
• Different types of quality measurement tools and equipment
Presenter

Peter Ulintz, Director of Technical Training and Workforce Development, Precision Metalforming Association

Agenda
8:00 a.m. Breakfast
8:30 a.m. Presentation
12:00 p.m. Lunch
12:45 p.m. Presentation
4:30 p.m. Adjourn

Seminar Location
Precision Metalforming Association HQ
6363 Oak Tree Blvd.
Independence, OH 44131

Hotel Accommodations
Holiday Inn Cleveland South Independence
6001 Rockside Rd.
Independence, OH 44131
216-524-8050

Reserve your room online or call the hotel directly to make room reservations. Reference Precision Metalforming Association to receive a special rate of $99 plus tax.

Hotel includes a complimentary shuttle to and from Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (call the hotel upon arrival to arrange pickup). Hotel offers free self-parking and a shuttle will be provided to and from PMA’s headquarters.

Registration Information

Through June 8
$399 PMA members
$599 Nonmembers

After June 8
$499 PMA members
$699 Nonmembers

Breakfast and lunch is included with your registration.

For more information, please contact Marianne Sichi at 216-901-8800 ext. 150.

Upcoming Seminars
June 26-27
Sheetmetal Technology
Cleveland, OH
August 15-16
Transfer Automation
Toronto, ON
September 12-13
Stamping Higher-Strength Steels
Nashville, TN
October 2-3
Designing & Building Metal Stamping Dies
Cleveland, OH
December 5-6
Deep Draw Technology
Cleveland, OH
View all upcoming PMA events

Copyright 2018 Precision Metalforming Association, All Rights Reserved.
Precision Metalforming Association, 6363 Oak Tree Blvd, Independence, OH 44131

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Free Stock Photography for Industrial Advertising Marketing

Sun, Dec 18, 2016 @ 09:11 PM / by Chuck Lohre posted in Industrial Marketing Handbook, Marketing, marketing agency, Cincinnati Marketing Agencies, Industrial Marketing Agency, Marketing Automation, Industrial Marketing, american dream composite index, growth driven design, Industrial Advertising Tracking

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As much as we would always like to have the perfect photograph to accompany your industrial advertising, many times the budget, time and models aren't available.

Here's a list of several services that you can obtain rights free images for your industrial marketing advertising.

Let's pretend we are looking for a photo of a crane cab or construction executives on a job site.

Death to the Stock Photo

"We're Death to the Stock Photo. A photo & inspiration haven for creatives crushing their path. From their license, "Under the license, you may display a DTTSP photo as you please, reproduce it, add it to a collection, and make adaptations of it. However, you may not distribute the photo—so don’t include it in any photo packs or give it out for others to use. That’s how we are able to run our business :). Displaying and reproducing the photo on physical or digital products that you distribute is fine." We signed up for the weekly pack and will see how it goes. We didn't find any construction shots. This was a nice image.

CyclinginMoab5inch.jpg


Unsplash

"All photos published on Unsplash are licensed under Creative Commons Zero which means you can copy, modify, distribute and use the photos for free, including commercial purposes, without asking permission from or providing attribution to the photographer or Unsplash." Here are a few interesting shots. Click on the image to go to the download page.

io7dx_1efcg-ant-rozetsky-5inch.jpg

uuw4psob388-david-siglin-5inch.jpg

Free Stock Photos

"To the extent possible under law, HubSpot has waived all copyright and related or neighboring rights to Free Stock Photos. This work is published from: United States." Go to the bottom of the page and click on tags. It will bring up the page with all the categories. This was the only image that came up when I searched on "construction."

sailboat-in-charles-river-with-buildings-5inch.jpg

Pexels

"Legal Simplicity - All photos on Pexels are free for any personal and commercial purpose." Here's a crane shot we found. And another construction photo.

crane-load-crane-skyward-in-the-height-48122-5inch.jpg

silhouettes-people-worker-dusk-40723-5inch.jpg

iStock

As you can see none of these free images were exactly what we were looking for. In that case we recommend iStock, "iStock by Getty Images is one of the world's leading stock content marketplaces, offering millions of hand-picked premium images at ridiculously low prices that you can only get from us." We purchased the following image for only $11. If you're writing an online blog, you can get by with the smallest size image. They cost more the larger you get. The second image would be $33, we didn't purchase that one. You can tell by the watermark.

Industrial-advertising-stock photo-5.jpg

Industrial-advertising-stock photo-4.jpg

Good luck with your searches and always be sure you follow the rules of use.


 (If you liked this post you might like these tips to take your own photography "Photography Design.")


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Put Eight Industrial Advertising Tracking Tips to Work in Print

Fri, Dec 09, 2016 @ 12:14 PM / by Chuck Lohre posted in Industrial Marketing Handbook, Marketing, marketing agency, Cincinnati Marketing Agencies, Industrial Marketing Agency, Marketing Automation, Industrial Marketing, american dream composite index, growth driven design, Industrial Advertising Tracking

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(This weeks post is comes via Jim Beckwith, Sales Representative with Metalcasting Design &amp; Purchasing. Jim is a seasoned professional that knows how industrial marketing works and what works. Thanks Jim for passsing on Ryan Dohrn's thoughts.)

Industrial-Advertising-Tracking.jpg"Common knowledge" these days is that print advertising can't be tracked, which in theory makes print inferior to digital advertising options. However, noted marketing and communications expert Ryan Dohrn recently shared several ways you can quantify the results of your print advertising.

1. The person that answers the phone at your office is NOT the best person to track your print ad response. "64% of incoming calls, tracked over a four month print ad campaign, resulted in no question being asked about the advertising source. - BSM, research study, 2014


2. Use a unique website address (called a "vanity URL") in each different print ad. For example, if JohnDoe.com is your main web site, go to GoDaddy.com and register another dot com name like JohnDoeCastings.com to run in print ad #1, and GoJohnDoe.com to run in print ad #2. After you register your vanity URL, you will need to follow some very specific instructions posted in the full version of this blog at http://www.afsinc.org//MCDP/VanityURLSetup

3. DO NOT use an extension on a dot com name such as JohnDoe.com/BlueMag. This will fail almost every time!


4. Use a unique tracking phone number in each ad. Sure, phone volume is down these days, but tracking your calls from print ads is easy. Companies like CallRail.com can offer you this service for as low as $30 per month. Or, a cheaper route is to buy a TracPhone from Walmart or a similar "burner" type phone. If you truly want to know who is calling from your print ad, put your cell number in the ad.


5. Track your Google analytics. Everything a user does is tracked, but most business owners just do not fully understand how to read their Google analytics. Other than Google, traditional media like print is the second best way to drive traffic to your web site. Be sure to track when your print campaign started and ended in Google Analytics. You will almost always see a lift in website traffic during a print campaign. Be sure to filter out all the other things you are doing online to see the best result.


6. Run unique content in each ad. Ad agencies are notorious for running the exact same ad in multiple magazines. Do not do this. Feature different content in each print ad to better gauge results. It can be as simple as changing the color of the product you feature or the image in the ad.


7. Spend time checking your marketing results. It is imperative. Ask your media sales rep for help. It's your money... track it.


8. Try QR codes. While they're not the miracle some expected them to be, they can work if used properly. Feature a unique offer to readers willing to scan the QR code that is pointed to a unique landing page or offer on your website. Free QR code: http://www.qr-code-generator.com

Which of these industrial advertising tracking tips would work best for you? Give them a try and find out! Above all, share your results with your media reps - it tells us how well we're doing our jobs and lets us know if something needs to be changed.

(If you liked this post you might like "Great Industrial Marketing Ads."


Strategic Content Creation Handbook by Cincinnati Advertising Agency, Lohre & Associates
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Cincinnati Hubspotter's Meetup - Growth driven design

Fri, Dec 02, 2016 @ 03:42 PM / by Chuck Lohre posted in Industrial Marketing Handbook, Marketing, marketing agency, Cincinnati Marketing Agencies, Industrial Marketing Agency, Marketing Automation, Industrial Marketing, american dream composite index, growth driven design

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Growth driven design is a "build it fast and fix it fast" goal focused web site building method.

Growth-Driven-design.jpg

Hubspot is the perfect platform to create Growth Driven Sites.

We attended the Cincinnati Hubspotter's Meetup today for soup and a presentation by Cleriti on Growth Driven Design. We've attended many lectures and webinars on the subject so here are the highlights.

Pick the minimum number of goals, create calls to action, landing pages, content and launch. Get feedback, adjust and measure again. Repeat.

Continuous improvement:
Audience
Value
Usability
Conversion rate optimization
Stickiness
Personalization
Assets
Promoters

Analytic tools:
"Hotjar" is a heat map of your site that will tell you were your vistitors are getting hung up.
"UserTesting" is a service that asks your demographics to give you feedback

Methodology narrative example:
For this "persona" visiting the "homepage", we believe changing the "graphic" into an "interactive & linked graphic" will increase "conversions" because of "these analytics"

 

(If you liked this post you might like "Do you care more for your audience than SEO?"


Strategic Content Creation Handbook by Cincinnati Advertising Agency, Lohre & Associates
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October 2016 American Dream Composite Index Report

Fri, Nov 25, 2016 @ 11:08 AM / by Chuck Lohre posted in Industrial Marketing Handbook, Marketing, marketing agency, Cincinnati Marketing Agencies, Industrial Marketing Agency, Marketing Automation, Industrial Marketing, american dream composite index

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(Lohre & Associates and O'Keeffe Public Relations helped launch the American Dream Composite Index and are happy to repost their reports here every chance we get. This index is exactly what it says it is, a measure of the degree that Americans think they have achieved the American Dream. Enjoy.)

What is the ADCI?

The American Dream Composite Index™ (ADCI) is a unique and robust measure of American sentiment that values the American Dream on a monthly basis. 

The notion of the American Dream encompasses our behaviors, attitudes and satisfaction with economic conditions, personal well-being, societal and political institutions, cultural diversity, and the physical environment. 

The ADCI reveals what people living in the United States do, strive for, work for, wish for, and ultimately, hope for as they assume multiple roles, including but not limited to, consumers, parents, children, students, employees, employers, parishioners, voters, etc.

American-Dream-Composite-Index-Oct-2016.png

Composite Index
Is 65.54, up .23% from September. This is a small change driven by small changes to the sub-indices. The economic, well-being and environmental sub-indices are all up in October, the societal index is down, and the diversity index is flat.

Economic Index
Increased slightly to 64.49 in October, a .38% change compared to September. This increase is a result of increases to the dimensions of Job Environment, Job Benefits, Freedom of Choice and Destinations in Life. Home ownership had a significant decline in October and other constructs for the ADEI are mostly unchanged.

Well Being Index
Increased slightly to 70.77, a .49% change from September. This small increase is primarily the result of increases to the dimensions of Happiness, Leisure Activities, and the Support of Someone Special.

Societal Index
Decreased to 54.36, a change of .30% from September. This change is the result of decreases across the board in the ADSI, but primarily Trust in Business and Trust in Government. Safety in the Community is the only dimension to have a significant increase in October after the significant lows we observed for this dimension in September.

Diversity Index
Is mostly unchanged in October, changing only slightly up .13% from September to 73.86. Even though the ADDI is unchanged in October, the dimension of Melting Pot—Diversity is down slightly and Political Freedom is up slightly.

Environmental Index
Is up very slightly by .4% in October to 69.46.

Extra Insites from the October Index
This month, we asked a few extra questions with the ADCI survey related to the current political election season. A few insights are:

  • 25% of millennial respondents say they get their political news primarily from social media compared to 16% for all other generations.
  • Over half of all survey takers say the person they would like to vote for is not running in the current election. This sentiment is most shared by those reporting to be of a conservative or moderate political identity. Only 40% of liberals said the same.
  • In spite of so many people saying they are unsatisfied by the current presidential offerings, 75% of all respondents say this is the most important presidential election of their lifetime.
  • ADCI scores for those of moderate or conservative ideology are 2 points higher on average compared to those of liberals.

(If you liked this post you might likeRobots, Cobots & the American Dream - Metalworking Equipment Marketing Ripe for Inbound)

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Strategic Content Creation Handbook by Cincinnati Advertising Agency, Lohre & Associates
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17 Years Ago My Father Died. He Taught Me Industrial Marketing.

Wed, Nov 23, 2016 @ 01:00 AM / by Chuck Lohre posted in Industrial Marketing Handbook, Marketing, marketing agency, Cincinnati Marketing Agencies, Industrial Marketing Agency, Marketing Automation, Industrial Marketing

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wo 

Thomas-G-Lohre-Sr.jpgThe 1980 version,
"Lohre & Associates is a full-service ad agency, a member of the Four-A's, a long-established business, in continuous operation in Cincinnati for more than 40 years. We serve a variety of clients in the tri-state, some for as long as 25 years. We have a seasoned professional crew that knows the ropes in creating all kinds of selling communications, for highly technical industries, heavy capital equipment, or consumer goods marketing. Don't miss the boat! If you're looking for smoother sailing in your important selling as you chart your company's course for the 1980's, call Lohre & Associates now."

LEED Platinum Plaque.jpg

The 2016 version,
"Lohre & Associates is a full-service ad agency, a member of the U.S. Green Building Council, a long-established business, in continuous operation in Cincinnati for more than 80 years. We serve a variety of clients worldwide, some for as long as 55 years. We have a seasoned professional crew that knows the brick and mortar in creating all kinds of selling communications, for highly technical industries, heavy capital equipment, or sustainable building materials. Don't miss your grand entrance! If you're looking for an easy build in your important selling as you plan your company's growth for the 2010's, call Lohre & Associates now."

My LinkedIn Profile,
"I started work as a graphic artist at my father's (Thomas G. Lohre, Sr.) industrial marketing ad agency, Lohre & Associates, in 1977. We specialize in machine tools, mining and processing equipment. The agency grew in the 90s and survived the 2000s. Our latest initiative has been in the sustainable building materials and services industries. Janet's and my purchase of a Frank Lloyd Wright designed home in 2003 rekindled my interest in architecture. I have followed the U.S. Green Building Council's education path to learn how to serve this industry. We founded Green Cincinnati Education Advocacy in 2009 and self documented our office LEED Platinum in 2011. As a Green Building consultancy, we certified GreenSource Cincinnati's office LEED Platinum in 2013. In 2012, Lohre & Assoc. became a Hubspot Partner to offer best practices in internet marketing."


Strategic Content Creation Handbook by Cincinnati Advertising Agency, Lohre & Associates
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In the Future, Marketing Will Be Automated - #Inbound16

Sat, Nov 12, 2016 @ 02:11 PM / by Chuck Lohre posted in Industrial Marketing Handbook, Marketing, marketing agency, Cincinnati Marketing Agencies, Industrial Marketing Agency, Marketing Automation

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This is the future I learned of at Inbound 2016, the Hubspot internet marketing conference in Boston last week. Hubspot is a marketing automation software system we have used for the last three years. 

 
I listened to stories of hardened industrial sales guys wanting to abandon email marketing because it was a waste. It brought a sly smile to the marketing guy that then told him how their recent 12 million dollar account started from a LinkedIn post. He had the proof. And the young lady telling the story of how what used to be a year long courtship for a $200,000 software purchase was reduced to two months because the new client had already read all about the capabilities of the company and didn't need to have a honeymoon.
 Marketing-Automation-Inbound-2016.jpg

All of my clients want to come up on the first page of Google. That is the question I wanted answered. What I learned is that now Siri understands language better than humans do. 20% of all searches are by voice , now. And Google knows who you are, where you are and predicts what you want. If you want to be on the first page fo Google you're going to have to predict what your customers want. And how they ask for it.

(To be continued)

Learn more with our Marketing Handbook which needs to be updated with this info.


Strategic Content Creation Handbook by Cincinnati Advertising Agency, Lohre & Associates
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Industrial Marketing Ideas from Inbound 2016

Wed, Nov 09, 2016 @ 04:24 PM / by Chuck Lohre posted in Industrial Marketing Handbook, Marketing, marketing agency, Cincinnati Marketing Agencies, Industrial Marketing Agency

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Today's post is an industrial marketing ideas report from Inbound 2016 in Boston this week. These are my notes from founders Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah's presentation.
 IMG_0614.jpg

Brian

  1. Now ad words are 100% above the fold
  2. Facebook now has "Pay per lead" it's a big change
  3. Now we have 14 vendors versus 5 ten years ago
  4. Paid content and content marketing go well together
  5. Ten years ago the web site augmented the sales person. Today the sales person augments the web site.
  6. Questions are the new keyword phrase
  7. 50 percent of content needs to be video
  8. Users want a self service environment with your brand
  9. More people don't have a phone on their desk. Please don't leave a voice mail.
  10. Start with the sale and work backwards.  The cold call is dead. Sales start with a personal email fron a sales rep, that sends 10 well thought out emails per day versus 100.
  11. Today, customers expect value before the sale. Use a Casper mattress for 100 days before paying.
  12. Always be closing, Is now always be helping
  13. Emails. Less is more.  
  14. Cold calls. None is more.
  15. Trials. A taste is more.
  16. Sales reps still have the power and knowledge. But later in the sales process.
  17. 58% of sales starts with customers talking with each other
  18. 47% from media articles
  19. Base commission, pricing and recurring revenue plan on customer success
  20. Take dollars from marketing and spend it on adding value to your customer delight
  21. Terrible time to be the incumbent. 50% churn at the top 500 world brands

 

Darmesh

  1. 1994 internet founded
  2. The reason google succeeded because they tracked the link graph. 3.5 billion searches per day.
  3. Facebook has the private social person link graph. 2 billion searches per day.
  4. Amazon has the product search link graph
  5. The way to win at SEO is to focus on the HEO human engagement optimization
  6. Soon text to audio will be human like
  7. On mobile they use apps 80% of the time, not browsers
  8. Messaging apps have more users than other apps.  Now Slack. Teams and Facebook Work
  9. Messaging trust is stronger than email
  10. Chatbots will be huge because the interface is human like. Hubspot building growthbots.
  11. Ask Growthbot who are the law firms that use google apps in boston. Then add it to leads.
  12. Growthbot.org and message. "inbound is awesome" and you will have access to the beta
  13. His prediction is that AI will become more human like
  14. We will have automous self driving marketing automation. The only problem will be having all the data in one place.  
  15. We can now wish for what we want and sometimes our wish is granted.

Learn more with our Marketing Handbook which needs to be updated with this info.


Strategic Content Creation Handbook by Cincinnati Advertising Agency, Lohre & Associates
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Process Equipment Marketing Product Launches

Fri, Oct 21, 2016 @ 02:29 PM / by Chuck Lohre posted in Industrial Marketing Handbook, Marketing, marketing agency, Cincinnati Marketing Agencies, Industrial Marketing Agency

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(Thanks to Christian Naberhaus with Roto-Disc for giving us the opportunity to work on his new expanded processing equipment marketing catalog which includes two new product lines. And his testimonial letter.)
 
 
Roto-Disc-process-equipment-marketing.jpg
 
15 September, 2016
 
Chuck Lohre
Lohre & Assoc.
126A West 14th Street, 2nd Floor
Cincinnati, OH 45202-7535
 
Chuck.
 
I’d like to thank Lohre & Associates for your help in producing our latest 36-page catalog and website. We introduced several new products and your 3D illustration capabilities helped communicate the new diverter and process transition offering quite effectively.
 
For the past 15 years you’ve helped first my father and now me with Roto-Disc’s marketing. It’s a pleasure to work with you and your team. To have access to talent that knows chemical and food processing equipment, the trade journals and current best practices in industrial marketing makes all the difference. We look forward to many successful product introductions with your help.
 
Our company tagline is "When all else fails," which I can update for other industrial marketers -- "When all else fails, call Chuck Lohre"!
 
Best regards,
 
P. Christian Naberhaus, President, Roto-Disc, Inc.
 
 

Process-Equipment-Marketing.png

Download the brochure by clicking on the cover or here.

Learn more with our Marketing Handbook.


Strategic Content Creation Handbook by Cincinnati Advertising Agency, Lohre & Associates
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11 Essential Steps for Creating Your New Website Design

Tue, Sep 13, 2016 @ 10:00 AM / by Myke Amend posted in Web Design, Website Design, web development, Web Design Company, Cincinnati Web Design Agency, Website Design Company, Cincinnati Website Design, Industrial Website Design, Internet Development, Cincinnati Advertising Agency, Cincinnati Marketing Agencies, Featured

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Website Design Directions SignThough our Cincinnati web design agency tends to advocate repairing and improving cheap, DIY, outdated, or otherwise bad websites wherever and whenever possible, sometimes a new website build or complete website redesign is necessary.

If your company is new to the web, or if your business has a new website to build, it is important to have a solid web design plan in place before moving forward.

If you are hiring a web designer or web design company to do the work, pre-planning can still save an incredible amount of time and frustration, and guide the process toward having the best results from what will likely be your company's most important sales and lead generation tool for years to come.

In this post we'll outline the best process to build a great website with the best marketing potential.

Top most important steps toward designing your new web site:

Buyer Personas for Website DesignBad: "Elmo Haletosis Dinglefaartz the IIIrd: drinks lots of gin, and wears an eyepatch. Hates hayrides and squirrels."

Good:
"Inigo Montoya: Parking lot mogul and CEO with properties in Cincinnati, Covington, and Newport. Has purchased 15 demolition sites in the downtown area and is looking for concrete to pave them with. He does not want to interact or commit at this time, just wants basic questions answered." 

Step 1: Buyer Personas - Know your website's ideal visitor

It is easy to go down the path of designing a website for the company itself. Many designers go into web design projects with the company's image or even their own portfolio in mind first, and already in great danger of turning the website into a very expensive vanity project for the designer and company alike.

In this case, let's imagine a Concrete company whose website boasts that they are the greatest, oldest, and biggest in the area. They have lots of pages on CEOS, CFOs, pictures of big trucks and big projects, and are wondering why the site fails to generate new leads and customers.

While it is important to impress and even dazzle visitors, it is more important to consider the ideal visitors' primary needs. Knowing what will bring your ideal visitors to your website, knowing what information they'll be seeking, knowing how to inform and how to boost confidence, having a plan to help them them become satisfied customers should be the primary focus.

Imagine these ideal customers, give them names, ages, likely job titles, unique needs that brought them to you - and write these down. You are done. These are your buyer personas, and you are ready for the next step:

Guide to Creating Buyer Personas for Business by Lohre Marketing & Advertising, Cincinnati

Step 2: Consider the buyer's journey, and draw them a map

not a good web site map
Not a very good map for your website

Put yourself in your buyer persona's shoes. Consider what problems they came seeking solutions for, what questions helped them find you, how you might help them. Realistically define the process. Is your solution one that might require days, even months of decision-making, or a fast and easy choice? Having buyer personas in mind, allows you to map your website accord to their needs.

You might ask yourself these things:
  • How will I attract my buyer persona?
  • What information will I need to qualify them as leads?
  • What solutions will I need to provide them in return for this information?
  • What further interactions will encourage them to change from leads into customers?
  • How do I make those customers into return customers?
  • How do I encourage them to give great reviews and word of mouth promotion?

If you have answered all of these questions in detail, congratulations - you've outlined your marketing path, and sales funnel.

a very bad website design marketing funnel
This is not a very good sales funnel for your website. Chances are you will not be allowed to put people into actual funnels, or to feed them to bees.
a basic, bland, and vague and useless web site marketing funnel
That's a little bit better... in a very generic and vague way. Show that you really have a plan for this specific site, for this specific business.
web design online marketing funnel
Try to design your funnel specifically for your website, not just *any* site. The funnel could demonstrate a strategy for an entire site or a business - but most often, it will center around only one primary offer.

 

Step 3: Outline and Flow Chart

web-design-outline.pngOutline: Be thorough. Think how many pages and subpages deep this website will need to go. Also be sure to consider landing pages, which might not fall into the base hierarchy of the site.

An outline ensures that content flows in a way that is convenient and helpful to the average visitor. It also helps you to think of the process, and what content the process will require. You may find that you need more pages than you thought, but you might also find pages that can be ommited, or can be combined into one.

I recommend working on this outline in a word processing application, or anyplace where you can easily edit bulleted lists within bulleted lists.

When done, you have all you need to create a basic flowchart. Flow charts are simply graphical outlines for people who prefer flow charts over outlines (most people). Since this is mostly to illustrate how one could go from one page to the next, you don't need to get very fancy with it - blocks and lines will do (like the very simple web site flow chart to the right).

If however everyone involved is familiar with process flow chart symbols, you might want to go a step further and make an actual process flow chart ( https://support.office.com/en-us/article/Create-a-basic-flowchart-f8e57ca2-0c24-4760-bc2e-8812d7310c6a )

Step 4: Block it out.

web-design-board-f.pngOutline: Be thorough. Think how many pages and subpages deep this web site will need to go. Also be sure to consider landing pages, which might not fall into the base hierarchy of the site.

Before doing any graphic design, you need to know how the web site and its elements are going to work together - how they are going to present information, which elements need to grab attention, how, and why.

I like to use a styrofoam board, pins, string, construction paper, and multi-colored Post-its on an open wall or large corkboard. A large table will however do, but is not as fun, and you will probably need that table for other things before the project is completed. Don't worry now about how the website will look. Think instead about how layers will interact or be animated, where slideshows or movies might go, whether sidebars will exist and where, the function of the footer, which pages might have forms, and how they are to be presented.

Use your content outline as a guide. If you have already selected a CMS and templates, you should also consult those from time to time. Content in this stage, might be as simple as sticky notes that read "colorful image to illustrate B2B", "bulleted list with types of advertising", "CTA: View our helpful video!", or as advanced as photos and printed paragraphs.

Chances are you might eventually need something more portable than the crime wall or office table. If so, refine your flow chart based on the work from this stage, print it, and print numbered pages to correspond with each block. These pages and their content should reflect the pages on your wall.

Step 5: Software selection

By now you should a good idea what sort of CMS you will need for your web design project, as well as what you will need plugins and add-ons for. If you are not designing from a theme you have previously made, and don't plan to build one from scratch, this would be a good time to choose a theme to build from. This is also a good time to search the web for compatibility issues between software, themes, and plugins.

If the company has graphic standards established, they'll likely require a specific font stack for their website design. Make sure the needed fonts are available as web fonts, and know how much they will cost.

If the company does not have graphic standards established, this is a something you should discuss. Make sure that creating a corporate identity package is in the budget, or that graphic standards will be available by the time design work begins.

You now have a good idea of how the web site will function, know what software you will be using, and that there no known conflicts between. You also know that everything you are proposing to do can be done, how to do it, and have factored in outside costs.

Step 6: Mid-project meeting

this website meeting actually should not be an emailNo Skeletor, This meeting is not one of those. This is actually a great place to be and a very exciting time... halfway to launch!
Source:
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If you are designing this web site for others, or need to consult with your colleagues, this is a great place for a mid-project meeting.

You've got a lot of information to share and things to discuss before moving ahead, perhaps too much. You can't cover everything here, but what is covered here will be shaped by the priorities, concerns, and schedules of those involved.

You have firmly established purpose, goals, needed software, server requirements, page count, content needs, new challenges, and additional costs. You also have a flow chart that serves as a map to build and design the site by.

This flow chart serves well as an itemized list of textual and graphical content needed for the site. You, the client, or your marketing team should begin creating and collecting the content needed for the completed website - Encourage them to tell their brand story, and to gather and create strong images to illustrate that story with.

Step 7: Installation, Setup, and Testing

website-hosting.jpgSome web designers would jump to the design stage before this, and if you are designing for others you may at least have been asked to make graphical mockups in order to get this far.

If you have that option, get everything installed, behaving properly, and at least semi-configured before wasting everyone's time on preemptive design. Hypothetical appearances tend to die horribly from compatibility issues, and actual needs.

If you build in a folder on the site's intended server, and test it, you will know that the site, and plugins work in that environment. This also gives you the ability to design in place, directly working with the actual product of Javascript, HTML, and CSS that the server-to-be will assemble from the CMS, plugins, and themes you chose.

Step 8: Framework

By the end of this stage, using your outline, you should have a good working website with all navigation working, and all proposed pages created. These pages are likely populated with lorem ipsum and placeholder images at this point, and that is okay.

Step 9: Basic Graphic Standards

This is a mini-stage before adding content. At this stage, we are still not out to create any more design elements than we absolutely have to, but we want a good idea of what our content will look like in order to improve upon it, and to design for it.

Whether you are working from an existing theme, or you started off with a structure that was devoid of any styling at all, this is a small stage where you should change colors and fonts to meet with the company's graphic standards, and remove styles and graphical elements that would compete with this branding.

Finish this stage by adding the company logo, preferably in .SVG format (Scalable Vector Graphics) so that it looks its very best at any size or resolution.

Step 10: Populate!

What? Still no design? Are you crazy?

Realistically, yes, but also consider that you already have a lot of finished design at this point:

If you have branding, you have fonts, a defined color palette, and a logo. You also have your crime lab-style layout from step 4, meaning that you have the user interface mostly planned out. You also know how navigation and pages will work together as a story to guide your visitors through the website.

If you were able to make it to this stage without submitting graphical mockups for revision, revision, and revision of purely-hypothetical concepts, you have an opportunity to think ahead about graphical styles and touches here, and are a very lucky designer for it. If your job is design only, hopefully you've been given content by this point, if it isn't you should focus on your content creation before proceeding.

Add in all of your text with only general styles (h1, h2, h3, p, br, blockquote, etc.), use placeholders in place of images, use bootstrap rules for your general layout so that all elements of fractional widths behave uniformly and responsively. I'd recommend skipping on internal links at this point, else you'll have to remember which content you were and were not yet able to assign internal links to.

Be sure to consider SEO in your choosing of permalinks as you go. This is easier to do now than to correct later. Don't obsess on this if it slows you down though, you can always correct with 301s if you have to, and/or a good find & replace job if your website's structure is data-driven.

Step 11: FINALLY! Design

This is not the stage where design typically happens, but it is the stage where design *should* happen.

Previous ideas and mockups here would have served more as constraint than inspiration. Making the functionality of the web site mesh with designs made information was gathered and framework, would be much like hammering a non-euclidian peg into a two-dimensional hole.

If you are like me, and have reached the point where working with CSS and HTML in place is much like, even easier than laying out a design in Illustrator or Photoshop, then you will likely be doing the bulk of your web site design with your text editor of choice and an FTP client, while keeping Photoshop, Illustrator, and/or GIMP open for making textures, creating graphics, and editing photos.

However you do your design work, having not spent too much time on graphics up to this point, allows for much better use of time every step of the way, and for a web site that is the product of inspired design, not remedial design.

Step 12: Web Site Design Never Ends

You should be constantly testing, refining, improving, and expanding your site. Beyond testing initial functionality of your website, testing such as A/B testing for different landing pages geared toward different buyer personas is a good place to start.

Blog often, and every time you return to your site, try to think of one small thing to improve on a page or the site itself. If you mark what you changed and when you changed it, you might be able to track these changes against web traffic or visitor behavior.

Always remember: Websites that aren't growing, are simply dying.

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