Friday, October 30, 2009

informal needn't be scary

It won't work for all organizations, but a bit of humour can help your marketing communications be better received by the target audience. This example is from self-publishers, Lulu - with the halloween offer using the coupon code BOO. Nice.

Update: this is obviously an ongoing strategy, here's one from December '09:

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

why the paid ad?

There is a reasonable argument that suggests paying for ads on search engine results pages [SERP] for certain keywords can help develop your brand even if your site is high in the organic listings. But take a look at the first page of the SERP for a search on "Sunderland University".
Yep - 9 of the 10 listings are for Sunderland University. So why bother with the paid listing also? Having been derogatory about this, the university has got ads on other keyword searches where it doesn't feature in the organic listings. But then again, some of the sites in those organic listings seem to be there almost by accident. Maybe a serious SEO campaign might be a better long-term plan? [I assume its marketers know the stats on organic vs ad clickthrough performance].

Saturday, October 24, 2009

questions you have to answer

OK, so questionnaires exist outside the online environment - but I did respond to this one on the web, so I've included it here. To be fair, getting questionnaires right is very difficult - I rarely see one with out at least one iffy question. The grammar used in this one suggests that I might not want to tick any of the three boxes ['which, if any ...'], yet as the response to my original answer shows, no answer is not an option - and yet I do not want any of the three options.

Note that this was part of questionnaire from a company that conducts research as a business model and so is simply poor practice. If this were on a website and customers had to answer the question as part of a purchase process ... it would be illegal.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Teesside University : keeping up with the times ... or not

It is nice to see that an academic institution is moving with the times and featuring all manner of social networking links on its website [facebook, twitter, flickr etc], but this week I got a snail mail letter from them requesting a reference for one of my old students.

The thing is, it was dated the 30th of September and asked for a reply by the 2nd of October - and it arrived at my uni on the 6th ! But that's not the subject of this posting [though it is something that should be addressed]. So, seeing as the student might miss out on a post graduate programme because of the delay, I thought I would email the sender of the letter and let her know the reference was both positive, and in the post.

So here is my complaint. I spent a good while on and all I could find was an 'enquiries@' email address. Nothing for the admissions dept [from where the email came] and putting the sender's name in the site search produced a 'Your search did not match any documents.' reply.

So Teesside uni - social media might be sooooo 2009, but email is soooooo 1996, get the basics of Internet communication right before moving on to more advanced stuff.

Unless, of course, they don't want potential students [customers] and other stakeholders to contact them by email - now that is sooooooo, well .... 1950.