Se7en deadly sins of online – ENVY

We are uncovering w00tonomy’s take on the se7en deadly sins and the virtues of Content Marketing. These are the vices we’ve seen drag businesses into the express elevator to redesign hell. Going down!

ENVY – not understanding how others succeeded

Online, your message is fighting for the attention of the user alone against the rest of the internet. There are no sectors, there are no walls. The internet is one vast open playing field. And your message is up against the BBC, YouTube and blogs about kittens.

You’ve seen the success that other sites have had and you want that. But your downfall is that you do not appreciate why those others have succeeded. You want what they have but you haven’t done the work they have.

The BBC and Amazon are classic sites we all rightly admire and desire to copy in some shape or form. But the one principle many fail to recognise is their commitment to quality and engaging content – content that tells a story that people want to hear .

Every organisation has a story to tell about its brand, its products and services and online their is an audience that is receptitive to that message. Understanding the value proposition of your business and your customer is essential to ensuring your content reaches that audience.

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Se7en deadly sins of online – PRIDE

We are uncovering w00tonomy’s take on the se7en deadly sins . These are the vices we’ve seen drag businesses into the express elevator to redesign hell. Going down!

PRIDE – just expecting your site to work

mission accomplished

Remember the film The Field of Dreams ? In it, Kevin Costner was told that if he turned a field into a baseball pitch dead players would turn up to play on it. He was told: "Build it and they will come."

In the online world, baby, they don’t. They really really don’t. You have to go and get them with the content you have to market, no matter how much good work you’ve done.

The Information architecture may have been well designed; the creatives and navigation structure may have been user tested and the stakeholders may have all signed it off. No doubt, the content management system is industry standard and you bet it’s flexible enough to cater for future developments. It goes without saying the site is 3A, XHTML and W3C compliant to boot. Your analytics package will be in place ready to measure the large number of customers who will come to admire your work. You are all so very very proud as your new site launches. Look upon our works, ye mighty, and despair. You have built it and they will come.

But they don’t and after a short peak of modest initial interest the traffic begins to die off. It dies because you haven’t attracted anyone to your site with interesting stuff .

The reality is you live and die by your content . No matter what your business, when you are online you are in the content publishing business. The content your beielve in and want to market is the only long term determinant of the success of your site.

Sunday Herald Digital Futures Debate: ‘Transsexual bodybuilders living a lie’

Scotland needs to change its business culture to embrace risk, encourage ideas and get the most from its workers, according to the second of the Sunday Herald debates on the future of digital in Scotland.

Gordon Thomson, Operations Director of Cisco Scotland and Ireland, saw a gap between invention and sales. He said that there was a need for collaboration between different companies and bodies to bridge this gap.

Raymond O’Hare, Regional Direcotr of Microsoft Scotland, emphasised that while the climate seemed right for innovation to flourish , it seemed like something was missing. He felt there was a need to intensively push those with ideas.

Then Steven Thurlow, Technical Director of Graham Technology, called for a greater appreciation of the power of risk in innovation, using the example of the 39 products that failed before WD40 became a success.

Taking a different tack, Stewart Kirkpatrick, Content Marketing Director of w00tonomy (yay!), said that in order to reach customers all companies, organisations and public bodies had to understand that anyone trying to attract attention on the web was a content publisher because of the nature of the online landscape. Scotland had failed in this respect, he claimed, adding that Scottish organisations and companies (even ones dealing in content) had yet to produce truly great online properties that made effective use of targeted content and the online innovations that engage the user/customer. (An honourable exception is Rockstar North, which produces the insanely successful Grand Theft Auto games.)

All four speakers all emphasised that Scotland needed a change in culture to embrace innovation – a point that was also raised from the floor, along with observations about the need to involve more young people in the debate.

The event was fronted by hyperenergetc ringmaster Iain S Bruce, who characterised the format as being like Kilroy, hence his frequent references to “transsexual bodybuilders living a lie“. However, his mind may have been wandering to the trip to Amsterdam he was going to embark on immediately after the debate ended.

(In terms on “content people”, the event could have been better attended. But it was good to see Alistair Brown, who – given his record at scotsman.com – is about to do exciting things at STV and Shaun Milne, whose knowledge about journalism and digital media far outweighs his understanding of football.)

Sunday Herald Digital Futures Debate: ‘Transsexual bodybuilders living a lie’

Scotland needs to change its business culture to embrace risk, encourage ideas and get the most from its workers, according to the second of the Sunday Herald debates on the future of digital in Scotland.

Gordon Thomson, Operations Director of Cisco Scotland and Ireland, saw a gap between invention and sales. He said that there was a need for collaboration between different companies and bodies to bridge this gap.

Raymond O’Hare, Regional Direcotr of Microsoft Scotland, emphasised that while the climate seemed right for innovation to flourish , it seemed like something was missing. He felt there was a need to intensively push those with ideas.

Then Steven Thurlow, Technical Director of Graham Technology, called for a greater appreciation of the power of risk in innovation, using the example of the 39 products that failed before WD40 became a success.

Taking a different tack, Stewart Kirkpatrick, Content Marketing Director of w00tonomy (yay!), said that in order to reach customers all companies, organisations and public bodies had to understand that anyone trying to attract attention on the web was a content publisher because of the nature of the online landscape. Scotland had failed in this respect, he claimed, adding that Scottish organisations and companies (even ones dealing in content) had yet to produce truly great online properties that made effective use of targeted content and the online innovations that engage the user/customer. (An honourable exception is Rockstar North, which produces the insanely successful Grand Theft Auto games.)

All four speakers all emphasised that Scotland needed a change in culture to embrace innovation – a point that was also raised from the floor, along with observations about the need to involve more young people in the debate.

The event was fronted by hyperenergetc ringmaster Iain S Bruce, who characterised the format as being like Kilroy, hence his frequent references to “transsexual bodybuilders living a lie“. However, his mind may have been wandering to the trip to Amsterdam he was going to embark on immediately after the debate ended.

(In terms on “content people”, the event could have been better attended. But it was good to see Alistair Brown, who – given his record at scotsman.com – is about to do exciting things at STV and Shaun Milne, whose knowledge about journalism and digital media far outweighs his understanding of football.)

w00tonomy director relentlessly delivers nauseating self promotion

Stewart Kirkpatrick, our Content Marketing Director, has induced a bout of vomiting at w00tonomy with this self-serving communique:

“I have been elected to the New Media Industry Council of the National Union of Journalists (in a jobshare with Euan Williamson of Imagineering). Like nearly every large body, the NUJ has struggled with what the web means for today and tomorrow. I am delighted to have this opportunity to help guide its thinking.”

Stewart will also be speaking at the Sunday Herald’s Shaping Scotland’s Digital Future event – at 9am on 24 April at The Teacher Building, St Enoch Square, Glasgow – where he will be tarred and feathered by the rest of w00tonomy if he comes out with anything similar in tone to the above statement.

Online marketing and the shakedown 2.0

It looks as if the financial services market is about to go through a major recession. But within every recession the seeds of recovery are always sown and the commercial realism for the economic failing is brought to light. The result is always a shakedown and a more realistic realignment of the industry.

For instance, it now seems patently obvious that house prices can’t indefinitely increase at 20-30 per cent a year.

You may remember going through a similar phenomenon in the dotcom crash. At the time we were all excited about the birth of a new economy that didn’t obey traditional financial rules. However, the hard logic of return on investment and profitability exposed the flaws in boo.com and the like. The shakedown came and the internet industry grew up and started to act like a proper business.

On a smaller scale there is a shakedown and realignment taking place in our internet marketing industry now.

For many years we have read about the impending demise of the advertising and marketing agencies, the decline of the newspaper and PR industries because of the new logic inherent in the internet as a communication channel.

The realignment and shakedown is actually coming for the online agencies who hold on to the illusion that the most valuable asset to their clients is website design and build. The real value to your customer lies – as it always has done – in the content and the people who understand how to use it to to influence and engage.

Content marketing: a visualisation exercise

Imagine you’re a marketeer who has gone through all the difficult work of getting your content online.

You will probably have done your audience segmentation and usability testing, designed your information architecture, created your taxonomies, produced creatives in line with corporate guidelines, selected your CMS, posted and reworked all those volumes of content and then gone through the agony of testing and change management.

Phew. Finally, it is accomplished. You have a site designed on sound principles compliant with all online standards. Surely such a well engineered solution must achieve the purpose it was set out to do. And to some extent it has – it has distributed your information in a structured format ready for your segmented audience to view.

Now how do you justify all that expenditure to senior management?

You supply monthly web statistics on page views, search terms and referring links – possibly, if you’re really sophisticated, broken down by audience segment.

And this is the evolutionary point where the best sites are today.

“So,” you may ask, “what is problem Mr Content Marketing?”

The answer is that after all this good work you need to start thinking about customer engagement and delivering value. In handling all those engineering and standard compliance problems, the actual marketing objective of engaging in a dialogue that delivers values got put to one side.

Why? Because it’s outside the expertise of many online agencies. And few agencies really want their performance tied to client business objectives. It’s far easier to deliver a website and job done.

Content marketing is the next step for anyone getting a message to an audience. It’s about putting the future of your site in the hands of marketers who think and act like publishers.

To illustrate this point: many health sector websites are the equivalent of a medical journal or text book. The information is well structured and all the information is there. But it’s static, sometimes hard to uncover and there is very little scope for change after publication. But if you marketed your organisation through online stories in a health, fitness and lifestyle magazine you would have something that was refreshed regularly and caught the attention and interest of your audience.

That’s content marketing.