Our Approach to Internet Marketing
Process is important.
You have a goal, right? You want to sell more. Or get more members. Or more subscribers. Or something else. How you get from point ‘A’ (you’re there, right now) to point ‘Z’ (great sales, a pat on the back from your boss, an election victory, or ???) is half art, half science. Here’s how we bring it all together:
To succeed, you have to know what ‘success’ is (your goals), and who can deliver that success (your audience). Strategy is the foundation: It includes a clear picture of your goals and audience. It also sets out the technical and creative overview for your project: Will we rebuild your web site? Conduct an email campaign? Use Podcasting? Will you need e-commerce? Content mangement? Special analytical applications? This first step answers all of these questions.
How we do it. We can use a variety of methods to build a strategy. The simplest is to interview you and your staff – that way, we learn your expectations and existing business processes that may impact the finished product. Ideally, we build on this initial information with consumer interviews and audience research. We also ask you to complete our project profile questionnaire.
What you get. We provide you with a simple strategic brief, and review it with you. The strategic brief defines your audience and sets out specific conversion goals, such as a sale, a lead, or a visitor who spends more than a certain amount of time on the site. Once we all agree upon the strategies outlined, we move on to the next phase.
Strategy helps us develop the broad picture for how the finished product should work. In the tactics phase, we develop the details.
How we do it. We complete the information architecture for your campaign, including a site map and wireframes. We may also write a functional specification or requirements document, as necessary. On many projects, this process is fairly straightforward. However, if things get complicated, we may want to work with you and/or consumers on card-sorting exercises and similar activities.
What you get. At the end of the tactics phase, we deliver a complete site map and wireframes. We may also provide card-sorting results and a requirements document, as needed.
The information architecture and strategic brief form the foundation of the design phase. We use these as a guide to create a site that is consistent with your overall brand but still functional and useful for your audience.
How we do it First, we create three graphic mockups of possible home and internal pages as JPG graphics, or ‘comps’, and post them on the project site. We revise the comps (or create a new one) until we have something we’re all happy with. Then we build a complete, functioning mockup. The mockup is a step-by-step walkthrough of your site or web application. This gives you an opportunity to make sure that the workflow we mapped out in Tactics really will work.
What you get A clear picture of how your web site or web application will work, in the completed mockup.
We build the actual website or application, based on the mockup and functional specification. At a minimum, this means HTML development. This phase may also require database design, programming, animation or streaming media production.
How we do it The production team consists, at a minimum, of the project lead and an HTML programmer. We may also assign one or more programmers or specialized designers, depending on project requirements.
What you get The first version of your new site, or ‘alpha’.
The testing phase is actually three steps. First, we test the site internally and insure basic functionality throughout. Then, Portent and your firm review the site together, looking for bugs, usability issues or other more subtle problems – we walk through the site, step-by-step, using the workflows developed during the Tactics phase. Then, we test the site again for broken links, missing images, page load time or any other issues that need to be resolved before launch.
More than just flipping a switch, we take your site ‘live’, then monitor site traffic for any unexpected patterns that could mean a problem.
7. Promote, Observe, and Adjust
A good, useful site is never done. We conduct search engine optimization, opt-in email marketing and other PR and marketing campaigns. And we help you determine the next step(s) by monitoring site traffic, conversion rates (sales, signups or other goals) and any other activity relevant to your site. We use this data to revise your strategy, suggest new tactics, and make any changes or additions.
A Method to Our Madness
At every step, our Internet marketing campaigns are guided by Conversation Marketing – Portent’s unique approach to Internet marketing and PR. Conversation Marketing has guided Portent clients to success since 1995. Click here to learn more.