Finally, an agency website that’s functional. CP+B (part 2)


OK, so they really weren’t lying.

My post went up this morning and in the 5hrs it’s been live over 30 people have been driven from Crispin Porter + Bogusky’s new website through to my blog. Reason being that the post appears on their home page (see details below).

CP+B home page - Dom Hind Collective reference

CP+B home page - Dom Hind Collective reference

CP+B home page - Dom Hind Collective reference (detail)

CP+B home page - Dom Hind Collective reference (detail)

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FINAL THOUGHT:

Imagine if you were pitching against these guys and wrote a couple of articles about your agency vs Crispin. It could definitely be interesting.

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Finally, an agency website that’s functional! CP+B


I am loving the new Crispen Porter + Bogusky (CP+B) website. It is all about functionality and content rather than flash and fluff.

CP+B new website home page

CP+B new website home page

CP+B Microsoft case study page

CP+B Microsoft case study page

CP+B contact us page

CP+B contact us page

CP+B developer page

CP+B developer page

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LEARNINGS

  1. Trust & openness – rather than controlling what appears on the website there is an openness associated with the site. It doesn’t matter whether the information is good or bad, it appears. Nice focus for a company to be honest, particularly in this economic environment.
  2. Simple – no flash or animation trickery. The hero of the website is the content. It’s a great thing for an agency to be pushing. Let the words and opinions speak for themself.
  3. Introduction – because there is a lot to look at on the site, it’s good to have an introduction letting people know what the site is about and what to expect.
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How much is a new car worth? TrueCar


A great site from the US is showing customers what the average price paid for new cars is. TrueCar‘s proposition is ‘find out what others really paid’.

The site allows you to select your car with all the options and then review the prices at different locations/dealers. After you have selected your car, you then receive a report about the car you have selected.

This site is definitely worth a look.

TrueCar homepage

TrueCar - homepage

TrueCar - select a car

TrueCar - select a car

TrueCar - new car report

TrueCar - new car report

TrueCar - new car report details

TrueCar - new car report details

TrueCar - blog

TrueCar - blog

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OBSERVATIONS

  • Price conscious – due to the economic condition, a lot more people are being cost and price conscious. This site is great for anyone who wants to check prices before they buy a new car.
  • Consolidating information – new car information is available to all car companies, but this is definitely the best way that information is consolidated and repackaged up for the consumer to understand.
  • Extend to other services – new cars is the perfect starting point for this site because there are so many additional services that can be added to this site: used cars, insurance, spare parts, or anything auto/car related.
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Canon launches site to help DSLR photographers – World of EOS


Since I first started at Leo Burnett, we have been working on a website for Canon and their EOS or Digital SLR camera audience. In the very early hours of Sunday morning (3rd May, 2009), the World of EOS website went live.

It is a great resouce for all people interested in photography. The content can really be divided into three key areas:

  1. Challenge
  2. Learn
  3. Exhibit
Canon World of EOS

Canon World of EOS

The first Challenge to go live is EOS photochains where people are encouraged to upload a photo based on a link provided in the previous photo. There are three different chains:

  1. Hero – this is where you can actually win some great Canon prizes if you photo is selected
  2. Public – a space for you to create your own chain that everyone can get involved with
  3. Private – a private chain that you can invite people to be part of your chain
Canon World of EOS - photochains

Canon World of EOS - photochains

Canon World of EOS photochains - Explore the World

Canon World of EOS photochains - Explore the World

The second Challenge to go live on the World of EOS is Photo5. Pre-registrations will be live in the next few weeks with the competition going live later in the year. Stay tuned.

Canon World of EOS Photo5

Canon World of EOS Photo5

The learn section will be updated regularly with video tutorials focused on getting started with DSLR, get creative with photography and professional level tutorials coming soon. Chris Bray, an Australian freelance photographer, is the face behind the tutorials and does a great job making the DSLR easy to understand.

Canon World of EOS Learn

Canon World of EOS Learn

Canon World of EOS Learn - Getting started

Canon World of EOS Learn - Getting started

Canon World of EOS Learn - Glossary

Canon World of EOS Learn - Glossary

I’ll keep you updated on the sites progress (visits, members and new updates), but make sure you sign up and get involved on the website.

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ACTIONS:

  1. Go to Canon’s World of EOS
  2. Sign up to become a member World of EOS
  3. Start taking photos to include in EOS photochains
  4. Watch the EOS tutorials
  5. Read the EOS blog
  6. Ask questions
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Vote Earth – Earth Hour’s 2009 campaign starring Shepard Fairey


While watching Earth Hour from afar (or while at another agency), I never thought that turning your lights out for 60 minutes would make much of a difference to global warming. I didn’t realise the campaign was created to encourage:

  • a behavioural change ‘get people thinking about the environment’
  • the big political powerhouses (EU, China, India, US, Russia, etc) to jump on the environment bandwagon and make some strong changes in Copenhagen (the new Kyoto).

The 2009 campaign is themed around ‘Vote Earth‘, where you have the ability to either vote for earth or vote for global warming. The campaign targets and objectives are high: get 1,000,000,000 (billion) people to be involved. Involved is quite loosely defined, but it means to talk about, take part in, think about or be involved with Earth Hour.

This year’s campaign is going to be big.

  • Shepard Fairey has already created the posters (see below).
  • Cold Play provided the music for the TVC.
  • YouTube are launching the TVC exclusively online.
  • Cate Blancett stars in the TVC.
  • WebCentral (Melbourne IT) are helping out with the microsite hosting.
'Vote Earth - Switch' by Shepard Fairey

'Vote Earth - Switch' by Shepard Fairey

'Vote Earth - Ballot' by Shepard Fairey

'Vote Earth - Ballot' by Shepard Fairey

'Vote Earth - Blue' by Shepard Fairey

'Vote Earth - Blue' by Shepard Fairey

How do you get involved?

  1. Go to www.earthhour.org/voteearth and register your interest
  2. Tell everyone you know about Earth Hour (blog about it, Twitter about it, join Facebook groups)
  3. Go to YouTube and have a look at the TVC.
  4. Just get involved
  5. Turn your lights off on 28th March, 2009.
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The Economics of Advertising – Justin Hind’s blog


OK, this is a shameless plug for Justin Hind’s blog – the Economics of Advertising.

Whenever I was sitting on the couch, watching TV, listening to Justin and typing on my blog, Justin could never understand my fascination with writing articles that people may or may not read. After setting up his blog and writing a few posts, he finally realises the addiction of blogging.

The addiction to blogging steams from so many different elements – most of them are around the stats:

  • Visitors: Understanding who is coming to your blog and what days are the most popular
  • Popular posts: What is the most popular post? What is the most popular post topic?
  • Traffic drivers: How people are finding your blog? Is is via search, direct type in, links from comments or others blogs?
  • Reactions: What are people’s reactions to your posts? What posts generate the most comments? Are the comments negative or positive?

Back to the plug: Justin is passionate about all things ROI and driving campaign results – a huge focus of most clients at the moment.  My recommendation is to subscribe to his blog. He gives a different perspective on things because he understands advertising and the pros and cons of all channels – online and offline.

Economics of Advertising - Justin Hind

Economics of Advertising - Justin Hind

WHY AM I PLUGGING HIS BLOG?

This is another of my traffic driving experiments.

  • How much traffic can my blog actually drive through to his blog?
  • How many people sign up to updates via email?
  • How many people search ‘Justin Hind’ and arrive at my blog?
  • How many people search ‘Economics of Advertising’ and arrive at my blog?
  • How many people comment on this post?
  • How many people tell me they have now seen Justin’s blog?

Stay tuned because I will be writing a post on my blog stats in the next week. This test will be part of what I write about. I am absolutely fascinated by the results. It’s so interesting seeing what does and doesn’t drive traffic through to blogs.

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Think about the consumer – hero the search box


Google have trained us to be impatient. We go to a website and expect to find the information we want or something that will lead us to the results quickly. If we don’t get what we expect, we start to get annoyed and bounce off the site looking somewhere else for the information we need. More often than not, we bounce to a competitors website. If they have the information we need, we stay and research more. If not, we continue the search pattern until we find what we need.

As consumers, we know our own site behaviour and research habits, so why isn’t that influencing us in our website designs. Both agencies and clients get so caught up in making sure the site is pushing the best creative or as much copy as we can rather than thinking about the consumer. The consumer is the real reason we build sites and when they arrive at a site, normally, want to get in and get out of a site really quickly (with a better understanding about the product/service).

The majority of sites are developed to sell something or provide information so consumers can make an informed decision about a product/service, however, we (agency and client) try to push the information we think consumers want rather than understanding their mindset or purpose for visiting the site. One of my favourite examples of how this has been flipped on its head is with the VW UK website.

This site really thinks about the consumer and why they have come to the site. It understands the mindset and the reasons they have visited. It provides clear reference links through to deeper content that is relevant to different audiences. Those five statements show that VW understands its audience.

VW UK website as at 17 September 2008

VW UK website as at 17 September 2008

VW website audience statements as at 17 September 2008

VW website audience statements as at 17 September 2008

Another company that gets its online audience is ZAAZ. This has been one of my favourite websites since it launched last year. It is applying the Google principle that audience control (consumer control) is key when visiting a site. As soon as the site loads, you have the option of surfing through the navigation available or asking a question that will immediately take you to the search results you are looking for.

ZAAZ home page

ZAAZ home page

On the home page, I typed in what is data smog. The response to this question is in the screen grab below. It provided a brief overview and links to areas of the site that can provide more information. I love it because it means you can get in and out of a site really quickly without wasting time looking for content that you think would be easy to find.

ZAAZ home page response

ZAAZ home page response

LEARNINGS

How can we apply this to our clients? Quite easily.

  • When you get a brief for a website (even if it is just a refresh), think about why someone is visiting the site. Break it down into five key areas and see if there is a question or a statement that summarises it and would make it easy for the consumer.
  • Make the search box a hero on the site. Consumers are comfortable with search, so take advantage of it. Not only is it a great way for consumers to get the information they need quickly, but it’s also a good research tool for companies: What content is important? How can we highlight that information? Is there a campaign we can create around that content?

Key theme: think about the audience.

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Online community driving offline change – Starbucks


A lot of companies are talking about corporate social responsibility (CSR) and throwing their support behind it. There have been a few questions raised about the real reasons behind this support: is it just to drive sales or is it because the company is actually interested in it.

When I worked on the Westpac account, I realised that they had been committed to the environment for years before it was the done thing. In the late 80s/early 90s they were focused on it. They actually believed in making a difference to the community and encouraged all of their staff to get behind it – whether it was by volunteering for a day a year to a charity of choice or working within their CSR team.

Something I came across a couple of weeks ago was Starbucks starting to put their hand up in the CSR arena. Starbucks have been trialling a lot of things online and I’m not sure if this is another trial or something they are going to be committed to for years.

Starbucks are trying to get people to donate 1million hours of time towards community service. They want everyone to donate 5hrs of time to a community service in their local area. In return for this, the pledger can go into Starbucks let the barister know that ‘I’m in’ and you will receive a free cup of coffee (see screens below). I took this screen grabs a couple of weeks ago and now the hours is well over a million and continuing to grow.

Starbucks i'm in - home page

Starbucks Pledge 5 'I'm in' - Home page

Starbucks i'm in - Subscribe thank you

Starbucks Pledge 5 'I'm in' - Subscribe thank you

One of the best things about the site is that you can have a look at the community services that needs help in your area. Unfortunately, this is only relevant in the US but it is such a great tool. I would love to volunteer, but just don’t know how to. This is one way that removes the barriers and encourages people to help each other.

Starbucks I'm In - Beverly Hills volunteering options

Starbucks Pledge 5 'I'm In' - Beverly Hills volunteering options

Starbucks have extended Pledge 5 to a Facebook page and an application that you can remind yourself of the 5hrs of community service that you have pledged.

Starbucks I'm In - Facebook application

Starbucks Pledge 5 'I'm In' - Facebook application

In addition to Pledge 5, Starbucks have two other CSR projects: Starbucks Shared Planet and Starbucks V2V.

Starbucks Community Involvement

Starbucks Community Involvement

Starbucks V2V is a volunteer to volunteer service (see below for screens). It launched in April 2008 and uses the V2V platform which is a global volunteer exchange. It is focused on helping achieve the million hours of volunteering.

Starbucks V2V - home page

Starbucks V2V - home page

Starbucks V2V - Log in

Starbucks V2V - Log in

Starbucks Shared Planet is a site that talks about all of Starbucks CSR initatives to help the environment and the community. It’s a great site that makes you feel good.

Starbucks Shared Planet - Home page

Starbucks Shared Planet - Home page

Starbucks Shared Planet - Details page

Starbucks Shared Planet - Details page

LEARNINGS

  • Get involved – particularly in these current times, it is important to get involved. I’m not a coffee drinker and didn’t have a connection to Starbucks, but now this has changed my perception about Starbucks. If I’m looking for a cup of herbal tea while I’m out, I’ll now consider going to Starbucks to support their commitment to CSR. I wouldn’t have done this before because I didn’t understand their values.
  • Consistency – make sure that you are consistent. Companies must continue their involvement and commitment unless they want to experience consumer negativity. If Starbucks stopped their Pledge 5 now, I would be extremely disappointed. I’ve already changed my perception about the brand and am happy to go to the store, if they were to stop now, I don’t think I would go there. I feel so positive about them now, but that can change very quickly.
  • Nuture – CSR is not a set and forget campaign, it must be nutured and their must be a focus on making sure it works. There must be continued attention and updates to the consumer so they feel part of the progress. It is a big committment, but one that is worth it.
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How retailers are getting in on the Obama bandwagon? IKEA


For Obama’s inauguration IKEA created a website where you could use their furniture to embrace change in the Oval Office. It’s a very simple site, but extremly topical and a nice way to be relevant.

The journey through the site starts with a blank Oval Office where you have the option to drag and drop furniture, Obama and the dog into the office. From there you can look at the office from an opposite view and send your thoughts about the office layout to The White House (see screens below).

iKEA Obama Inauguration - home page

iKEA Obama Inauguration - home page

IKEA Obama Inauguration - furniture in the oval office

IKEA Obama Inauguration - furniture in the oval office

IKEA Obama Inauguration - Opposite view

IKEA Obama Inauguration - Opposite view

IKEA Obama Inauguration - Send to Whitehouse

IKEA Obama Inauguration - Send to Whitehouse

IKEA Obama Inauguration - Thank you

IKEA Obama Inauguration - Thank you

LEARNINGS

  1. Topical – find a way you can connect with consumers around topical events or activities that are happening. This idea is more around branding and awareness, but because the consumer is able to select furniture and read a little more about the furniture no doubt it will result in increased sales.
  2. Simple – there aren’t many pages to this site and without reading any instructions, I knew exactly what to do. The sites that are simple are the best.
  3. Interactive – by getting the user to interact with the website, it makes it a better experience. They get to see the products, decide what works and look at combinations. Perfect cross-sell/up-sell opportunity.
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Tasmania – The Movie – Bigger than Australia


How do you extend your marketing budget without outlaying extra media dollars? By piggy backing on the release of one of the biggest Australian movies since Crocodile Dundee.

This is exactly what Tourism Tasmania have done. Not sure if you have seen it, but Tasmania – The Movie has been released. Riding on the dramatic, over the top production of Australia The Movie. It is great.

Tasmania The Movie Home Page

Tasmania The Movie - Home Page

Tasmania The Movie - Trailers

Tasmania The Movie - Trailers

Tasmania The Movie - Gallery

Tasmania The Movie - Gallery

OBSERVATIONS

I wasn’t at Leo Burnett’s when this brief came into the agency, but I love it. I think it’s a great campaign. Perfect way to piggy back on something bigger, particularly when Tourism Australia are spending a lot of money promoting and supporting.

  1. Launch and set up – a lot of effort has been put into the initial launch of the campaign. Based on most movie releases, Australia has a talkability life for the next two months so there needs to be an 8 week maintenance/optimisation strategy around Tasmania.
  2. Leveraging communities and assets – the client has done a great job seeding the video. It even received home page status on the Australian YouTube site (see screen grab below). Fingers crossed this is reaching more than just the Australians and will get international momentum over the next few weeks (after Australia The Movie has launched around the world).
YouTube Australia - Tasmania The Movie

YouTube Australia - Tasmania The Movie


CONSIDERATIONS

There are a few additional things that the campaign can be doing to ensure it is capatalising on all online channels. Stay tuned to see how these evolve.

  1. Search – It would have been great for a targeted search marketing campaign on Australia The Movie keywords. See screen grab below for what people were searching in regards to Australia.
  2. YouTube channel – dedicated Tasmania YouTube channel, currently there isn’t anything set up for Tasmania or Tourism Tasmania. The Premier has his own channel, so does Clemenger Tasmania, but no Tourism Tasmania.
  3. Facebook – There are a lot of groups focused on Tasmania on Facebook (over 500), how can these be leveraged? Even if it is just a URL that is fed to the group to see what impact it has on the web traffic.
Google Searches based on Australia/Tasmania The Movie - 26 November 2008

Google Searches based on Australia/Tasmania The Movie - 26 November 2008

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Brands engaging a niche community – Blackmores


After being involved with the Blackmores running festival on the weekend (great event), I was sent an email earlier in the week directing me through to the B Your Best website to get a free health check. Before receiving that email I hadn’t visited the site before, but really wish I had. The great thing about it is that you don’t need to purchase any Blackmores products to be part of the site. The core focus is the Blackmores running festival with a hint of health and wellbeing (obviously).

It is a great site and has been really well thought out and shows a thorough understanding of the running community. There are links to photos from the race day, there is a run split calculator and there are links to Blackmores ambassadors (people who have trained for the different events). Below are a few screens and areas of the site that I think are great.

Blackmores B your Best home page as at 23 September 2008

Blackmores B your Best home page as at 23 September 2008

When you sign up, it asks you a few questions to help profile and find the event that is right for you (4km, 9km, 21km or 42km). Based on that info it updates the training profile and shows the current day challenge to help you achieve the goals.

Blackmores B your Best Challenge Stats

Blackmores B your Best Challenge Stats

After updating my challenge, my training program appears and allows me to either select completed or uncompleted on everyday – helping to track your progress (and also making you return to the website continuously).

Blackmores B your Best Training Program

Blackmores B your Best Training Program

There is a prepopulated area on the site for ‘Ask a Trainer’ questions. Where there are different subjects (limited based on a drop down) and questions relating to the subjects. This would have been the perfect placement for a personal training company to join forces with Blackmores and either offer advice (respond within a 24hr period) or live chat sessions.

Blackmores B your Best Ask a trainer

Blackmores B your Best Ask a trainer

My favourite niche community site is Nike+ because it provides the platform for like minded individuals to join a community, compete against peers or people they don’t know and also track their progress. This site really does compete (particularly when you compare what Nike has in their marketing budget to Blackmores).

OPPORTUNITIES

This website was specifically created with the Blackmores running festival in mind. There is a huge opportunity for Blackmores to own all of the running events in Australia. When I went in and set up my challenge, it would have been great if I could have selected the Canberra marathon or the next running event.

There is a huge opportunity for Blackmores to extend this out to be bigger than just their brand and include personal trainers, fitness professionals and other complimentary fitness brands. Maybe a fitness first or a large personal training company would be the ideal partner.

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Web development: 10 assumptions to think about


Palmer Web Marketing wrote an interesting article about 10 assumptions that must be considered when developing a website.  Below are the 10 assumptions:

  1. People will know how to find your website
  2. People know what you sell
  3. Everything will go as planned
  4. People know where to click
  5. People know how to get home
  6. People know where they are
  7. People know how to buy
  8. People will volunteer loads of personal information
  9. People will contact customer service if they have a question or problem
  10. People will come back

I think assumption 1 and 10 are true within most agencies: people know how to find your site and they will return. Too often we build these great sites for clients, but don’t think about how we are going to drive traffic to the site or what we are going to do to ensure it keeps back. As corny as it is, we need to think of a website being like an island, without bridges it doesn’t get any traffic. It’s our role to define what those bridges are (a combination of paid for and free traffic) and how we can generate a constant stream of traffic to the site/island.

There are so many ways that traffic can be driven to a website (I will post more about this because it is one of my favourite topics):

In regards to driving repeat traffic, this is extremely hard. Question: how many campaign sites do you return to on a weekly basis? I don’t go back to many unless it’s connected to a promotion/competition that I am actually interested in winning or it is one of my client’s competitors sites.

LEARNINGS

If there are two things to take out of this post, they are think about:

  1. How you are going to drive traffic to the site consistently (even after the campaign launch period)
  2. How you will drive traffic back to the site (what’s the incentive? content? promotion? other? Why would they come back?)
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