Friday, November 27, 2009

How To Say It: Marketing With New Media

# The Big Idea
This book offers new media tools that will help your business and your message stand out from the crowd. You're shown how to speak to your always-evolving audience, who are becoming more savvy, edgy, and impatient every day - as well as how NOT to go about doing so.

# Creating Your Marketing Message
A marketing message is a short statement that explains the purpose of your business to your target audience. You should be able to say what you do, who you do it for, and the benefits you
provide in the time it takes to ride the elevator - about thirty seconds.

Here's an easy “what, whom, and how” formula for creating a unique marketing message that will quickly communicate with your target audience:
What do I do?
Whom do I serve?
How specifically do my customers benefit?


The next step is to combine your what, whom, and how:
“Renaissance Bakery creates mouth-watering confectioneries that transform your celebrations from the simple to the sublime.”

# Getting Your Message Across With a Website
Your website is the hub - the gateway to all of your online marketing efforts. It is an integral part of your business identity and your calling card for doing business in the twenty-first century.

A website also is an essential lead-generating tool, capturing visitors' contact information and automatically building your authentic customer list spam free.

How to say it on your website
- Make it easy for customers to find you.
- Refine your home page copy.
- Write conversationally.
- Offer incentives.
- Use language that positions you as an expert.
How NOT to say it on your website
- Don't use corporate speak.
- Don't focus on your own gains.
- Don't lose track of the customer.

# Getting Your Message Across With a Blog
Blogs are the most direct two-way online communication vehicles, making them the heart of organic discourse. They're engaging; they're interactive; and as a result, they create a conversation, not a monologue. Blogs can offer fresh insights into a company, allowing for direct access to decision makers and encouraging communication between customers.

How to say it on your blog
- Name your blog so relates directly to your business.
- Keep your blog on focus with themes.
- Find a provider that offers all the technical elements you need.
- Keep the same look and feel as your other marketing products - both online and offline.
- Keep the tone casual, but maintain professionalism.
How NOT to say it on your blog
- Don't bombard your readers with listings and blatant advertising.
- Don't write in a stilted, awkward manner.
- Don't recite industry information without adding in your own thoughts.
- Don't write an essay.
- Don't be wishy-washy. Take a stand on the topic.

# Putting It All Together
Promote your business with several proven marketing tactics such as:

Search Engines:
Making sure your business is at the top of the search list is critical for if you want prospects to find your business.
Viral Marketing: Post an article or report online, embed the URL to your website or blog, and the world can follow you to wherever you lead it.
Social Media: The possibilities for spreading the word about your business to this global community are limitless.
Other tactics: The Internet allows you to attract attention to your business in numerous ways.

This is a summery for:
How to Say It: Marketing with New Media
Authors: Lena Claxton and Alison Woo
Publisher: Prentice Hall Press
Date of Publication: 2008
ISBN: 978-0-7352-0432-4

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Hints For Designing User Interface

# Know Your User or Client:
To begin, an understanding of the most important system or Web site component, the user or client, must be obtained. Understanding people and what they do is a critical and often difficult and undervalued process. The first step in the design process involves identifying people’s innate and learned characteristics, and understanding how they affect design.

# Understand the Business Function:
A system or Web site must achieve the business objectives for which it is designed. To do so requires an understanding of the goals of the system and the functions and tasks performed. Determining basic business functions, describing user activities through task analysis, understanding the user’s mental model, and developing a conceptual model of the system accomplish this. The system’s conceptual model must fit the user’s view of the tasks to be performed.

# Understand the Principles of Good Screen Design:
A well-designed screen must reflect the needs and capabilities of its users, be developed within the physical constraints imposed by the hardware on which it is displayed, and effectively utilize the capabilities of its controlling software.

# Select the Proper Device-Based Controls:
In addition to the keyboard, a system or Web site might offer the user a mouse, trackball, joystick, graphic tablet, touch screen, light pen, or some other similar device. Designer should identify the characteristics and capabilities of these various control mechanisms and provide the proper ones for users and their tasks.

# Choose the Proper Screen-Based Controls:
The designer is presented an array of screen-based controls to choose from. Selecting the right one for the user and the task is often difficult. But, as with device-based controls, making the right choice is critical to system success. A proper fit between user and control will lead to fast, accurate performance. A poor fit will result in lower productivity, more errors, and often user dissatisfaction.

# Write Clear Text and Messages:
Creating text and messages in a form the user wants and understands is absolutely necessary for system acceptance and success.

# Create Meaningful Graphics, Icons, and Images:
Graphics, including icons and images, are an integral part of design. Design guidelines for various types of graphics are presented. Icons are also described, including a discussion of what kinds of icons exist, what influences their usability, and how they should be designed so they are meaningful and recognizable.

# Organize and Layout Windows and Pages:
After determining all the components of a screen or page, the screen or page must be organized and its elements presented clearly and meaningfully. Proper presentation and organization will encourage the quick and accurate comprehension of information and the fastest possible execution of user tasks.

References:
Wilbert O. Galitz, "The Essential Guide to User Interface Design", Wiley Computer Publishing, Second Edition