Web Design

ThomasNet.com’s Brad Mehl on Online Testing Strategy
June 27, 2007

Nearly three years have passed since Thomas Publishing Co. migrated its Thomas Register directory from a more static print product into ThomasNet.com, an online, interactive resource for engineers, purchasing managers and other industrial professionals. In that time, the ThomasNet.com team has developed a host of online marketing and educational communication vehicles to engage its target audience, including a blog, e-mail newsletters and an Internet newsroom. And since no direct marketer makes big, or even little, changes without testing, the online publisher also has been fine-tuning its process of site optimization. This week, Target Marketing Tipline talks to Brad Mehl, vice president, marketing, about ThomasNet.com’s online

Verizon’s Mark Adams on Viral Marketing
June 6, 2007

To launch its Fios TV product, which provides customers with fiber optic-powered picture and sound, in the New Jersey market, Verizon developed a viral marketing campaign centered on the theme, “Ultimate Eye Candy.” Consumers were encouraged to create videos to illustrate what they consider their personal ultimate eye candy and then enter them on the site to win a high-definition television. The campaign was non-branded, explains Mark Adams, Verizon’s director of New Jersey marketing, since the communications firm wanted to keep the answer to the question a secret until the contest ended to escalate consumer buzz and campaign interaction. Verizon worked with Winning Strategies Public

Stave Puzzles’ Steve Richardson on Marketing Blogs
May 9, 2007

With a job title like chief tormentor, it’s not surprising that Stave Puzzles Founder Steve Richardson started a company blog to communicate with visitors to his firm’s Web site. Richardson gets a kick out of being in the puzzle business—Norwich, Vt.-based Stave develops custom, intricate wooden puzzles—and he likes to share that enthusiasm with customers and employees. Since last fall, he’s been experimenting with blogging, mixing personal vignettes with product highlights and customers’ stories and photos. This week, Richardson chats with Target Marketing about the lessons he’s learning from this relatively new online tool, including the delightful way it’s helping him reconnect with numerous

Spanish-language E-mails Better Connect with Hispanics
May 2, 2007

A new report from Forrester Research, Hispanic Consumer Technographics, states that 51 percent of online Hispanics in the United States prefer Web sites that provide information in Spanish. Further, 23 percent of this online audience requires information in Spanish to conduct information-gathering and transactional activities. Considering that most e-mail marketing is geared to drive traffic to a Web site, it’s not a big leap to assume that Spanish-language e-mails also would be preferred by online Hispanics. “Since the Hispanic market still is under-served in terms of either Spanish-language communications or at least culturally relevant messaging, these consumers are not as used to e-mail marketing campaigns

Reaching Hispanics Online
May 1, 2007

With 14 percent of the U.S. adult population being Latino and about half of this group going online, your company very well could have a Hispanic following without actively seeking it out. According to a study, “Conexion Cultural/Connected Culture,” released in March by Yahoo! Telemundo and Experian Simmons Research, Spanish-dominant survey participants reported they consume two-thirds of their online content in English due to a lack of Spanish-language alternatives. In a March report, “Latinos Online,” researchers from the Pew Hispanic Center and Pew Internet Project noted that just one in three Latinos who speaks only Spanish goes online; that rate is three times higher

The Language of Service and Sales
May 1, 2007

In 1995, consumer electronics marketer Crutchfield was one of the first companies to staff its in-house call center with Spanish-speaking service representatives, which it calls sales advisors. A decade later, it became one of the first wave of e-tailers to develop a Spanish-language Web site, upholding its brand promise to deliver exceptional service to its entire customer base. As would be expected, the impetus for the launch of a Spanish-language version of the Crutchfield site was the firm’s Hispanic customer base. Sale advisors noted a growing number of Spanish-speaking callers who wanted to research and purchase products online, but faced a language barrier with Crutchfield’s

Baby Steps to a Hispanic-friendly Site
April 18, 2007

Joint research from Yahoo! Telemundo and Experian Simmons Research indicates that the Spanish-speaking Hispanic population in the United States is highly underserved when it comes to online information and shopping opportunities. Because most sites are presented only in English, this group consumes about two-thirds of online content in its non-native language—and notes that it would visit more and buy more products from online marketers who offered Spanish-language sites. Obviously, a big opportunity exists for marketers who develop Spanish-language Web sites. But if you’re not ready to commit to a Spanish-language site just yet, you’re not entirely out of the running. One easy step marketers can

Petco’s John Lazarchic On Web Site Improvement
March 20, 2007

In the Darwinian world of the Web site, you either adapt, or die. Strike that. Perhaps you don’t die, and hopefully your company doesn’t either, but you can certainly lose ground to your competitors within a few dozen mouse clicks. John Lazarchic, vice president of e-commerce for Petco, a multichannel marketer of pet food, supplies and services, was determined to avoid such a fate for Petco.com, which was originally launched in July 1999 under the name Petopia.com. With Endeca’s site search tool and Bazaarvoice’s customer review program, Lazarchic found the applications that have helped turn Petco.com into an industry leader by sorting products by

10 Ways to Better Serve Your Online Customers This Holiday
November 29, 2006

Last year, online holiday shopping exceeded $44 billion. But, companies still are making critical mistakes in the language they use on their Web sites that has users going elsewhere. Unsuccessful sites are organization-centric. Practically all Web sites—whether intranets or public sites—start off with an organization-centric worldview. Gerry McGovern provides 10 tips to make your site more customer-centric. 1. You are not your customer. Never fall into the fatal trap of thinking that all you have to do to understand your customers is look into your heart. Constantly research and test. 2. Your language is not your customers’ language. Four thousand people a month search for “low

Stickin’ Around Web Sites
November 1, 2006

“Stickiness” was one of the original criteria by which Web sites were judged. Marketers wanted visitors to come to their site and stay a while—look around, sign up, make a purchase, tell their friends and, of course, come back. Over the 10-year history of the consumer-oriented Internet, much has changed about the nature of our Web experiences—they’re faster and safer, more educational, more focused and more productive—but stickiness persists as a goal. What has changed is how marketers achieve it and how we’ve grown more sophisticated in our assessment of it. Some Mistakes of the Past In the last five years, stickiness has meant flashiness—literally and figuratively.