Industry Spotlight: Equine Web Design

The Blog

Randy Micheletti
VP, Director of Brand Strategy

Industry Spotlight: Equine Web Design

With approximately 9.2 million horses in the U.S. coinciding with approximately 2 million horse owners, the equine care market size has grown to a substantial $900+ million dollar business. That’s nothing to shake a stick at.

The good news is there are many opportunities to communicate with consumers about your equine products; the hurdle though, is that the category is extremely crowded. As a brand, it’s more important than ever to stand out. One way to do that is through your website. It’s vital that equine brands keep up with technology to converse with their consumers…but how can your site stand out from others? Here are a few tips to follow that will ensure your site stands out:

Consistency

I’m sure your brand has created a corporate identity. It’s crucial that you use that guide to ensure your brand and message are communicated consistently online and offline. Continuity within your site is also important – actually, it’s a major factor in conversion. When a consumer moves throughout your site each page must deliver a consistent design and message.

Aesthetically pleasing

Part of being aesthetically pleasing is keeping the overall design as clean and simple as possible. White space is a big part of that. It will allow your visitors to focus on what’s important and help get your key messages across.

Colors and images

This is extremely important, especially with horse owners. The use of warm and inviting colors resonates well with horse owners and it can complement the tone of the copy. The use of imagery is vital in this category. Horse owners love to see photography of horses. Showing a variety of different horses is effective as it broadens your opportunity to reach many horse owners. One thing to keep in mind – as you select an image, be sure it’s relevant and adds value to the message you’re communicating.

Relevant content

Equine sites have to be populated with relevant, keyword-rich content. You might ask, how do I determine if my content is relevant? Well according to Angie Schottmuller of Interactive Artisan, using the “Triangle of Relevance” can help. The triangle strategy incorporates three angles – business interest, user interest and time significance to maximize relevance and content, creating user action.

These are just a few helpers to get you started. One last thing to think about equine web design: always consider who you’re talking to and talk to them in an authentic voice. Horse owners appreciate honesty and a straight forward messaging that helps them understand what is best for their horse(s). Keeping this in mind will keep your brand top of mind with consumers and help solidify the conversion.

Download our Digital Marketing Audit to learn more about successful internet marketing.

[gl-hs-cta cta_id=’c719fe4c-05a6-4de6-8298-b1eb80a48979′]

We have experience with equine; we know the brands, consumers and the products. Let’s talk about what your equine brand is doing to grow through digital marketing and your equine web design. Fill out this form with your information and we will reach out to you!

[gl-hs-form form_id=’d8dfe9c5-7729-4bc1-b7d0-5ccce2aef0e6′]

 

 

Mobile Apps in 2016 – The fad is over, but the market is still there

The Blog

Dan Diveley
VP of Business Development

Mobile Apps in 2016 – The fad is over, but the market is still there

The tipping point for mobile apps probably happened in October 2010 when Apple started the trademarking process for the phrase, “There’s an App for That.” Many thought apps were just a fad.

But now they have become part of the ordinary. According to technology author, Sam Castello, as of June 2015 there were 1.5 million apps available for iPhone, the iPad.

So where does that leave mobile apps?

Well, the age of weird mobile apps for the sake of being weird is probably over. Cuddlr, Cat Paint, and of course, Yo, were part of that phase. It was fun. It was weird. But people got tired of it.

Now we are living in the age of practical apps – those that can support a variety of business and marketing functions.

Something that has been growing in popularity over recent years is the idea of eCommerce – head to somewhere like Cell Phone Deal to learn more about these statistics yourself. You see, those who run physical businesses are now making the transition online, meaning that they need the relevant technology and software to be able to do this.

Are you looking for ways to reach more customers and boost the profitability of your business? If so, a mobile app may be the answer. Developing a mobile app for your business by engaging firms like https://www.expedition.co/services/design/mobile-app could prove to be a lifeline for those who want to integrate more features into the running of their businesses.

So how are companies using apps in a more practical way?

A few examples include:

Customer service

According to a survey by mobile marketing automation vendor FollowAnalytics, 38 percent of the respondents said their primarily purpose in creating an app was improving customer service. Another 12 percent said it was to foster customer loyalty, and slightly more than a quarter wanted to extend their customer experiences beyond the Web. “Customer service is the primary purpose of brands’ mobile presence,” said FollowAnalytics’ CEO Samir Addamine. Especially in eCommerce, empowering the business across multiple platforms including mobile, web, in-store, and social can work well. E-Commerce platform solutions like Demandware B2B (Salesforce Commerce Cloud) can give customers a unique and interactive shopping experience. In Salesforce, there are built-in AI and multi-lingual capabilities across all channels.

Employee engagement

As noted in a recent Forbes magazine article, “With more workers predicted to access business applications via their mobile devices in the future, HR leaders have an opportunity to use mobile technology to simplify administrative tasks, boost engagement and drive organizational effectiveness,” observed Glen Chambers in the Society for Human Resource Management’s HR Magazine.

Technical Data

Technicians in many fields could use better access to data. For example, our client, Parker Hannifin – Sporlan Division, developed a mobile app as part of their new line of Smart Tools. HVAC contractors can now read temperature and pressure levels of the air conditioning units they are servicing without bulky gauges and hoses. The app runs on a phone or tablet and displays these readings.

Is it time to make Mobile Apps your reality?

The possibilities for mobile apps to support business processes seems infinite. But before you jump into developing an app for your business, there are some important points to consider. Tom Swip, president of Swip Systems, an intelligent technology solutions company, has compiled a list of barriers to consider in his article ‘It’s Time to Make That Mobile App a Reality.’

Barrier #1 – People believe that creating a mobile app is more expensive than it really is.

Barrier #2 – People believe that their app won’t get approved in the associated app store.

Barrier #3 – People aren’t sure what platform to commit to.

Barrier #4 – People aren’t sure what type of mobile app they should build.

Swip Systems has developed several apps. If you need a help, you can contact Tom at 877.377.SWIP..

Are you ready to take the step?

As Tom states in his blog, ‘The bottom line is this. Your customers (or vendors, or employees) are waiting for you to create mobile apps that will make their lives easier. Holding back on these apps may make it appear as though you are not a forward thinking organization. We both know this isn’t true, so what are you waiting for?’

If you are considering a mobile app, here is an informative video “Making Mobile Apps a Reality

Need help promoting your app?

And if you are developing a consumer-facing app and need help promoting it, give us a call. We’d love to show you an example of a mobile advertising program we developed to help a consumer products company successfully promote their app. Just give us a call Dan Diveley a call – 314-727-5850 – or fill out the form below.

Make 2016 your tipping point for exploring how mobile apps can move your business forward!

[gl-hs-form form_id=’1863abe3-c1e4-43d0-a298-c7b132f8ce03′]

Get your Marketing Score Report and Assessment

The Blog

Tim Leon
President/Brand Strategist

Get your Marketing Score Report and Assessment

It’s time to assess how your marketing department performed in 2015, and how you are going to achieve your marketing goals for 2016.

I was at the Fuel Lines conference in Nashville last week and heard a fantastic presentation from Paul Roetzer, president of PR 20/20. His agency published the Marketing Score Report which provides some valuable insights on how companies rate their marketing performance.

The report evaluates marketing areas including:

  • Audiences
  • Social media marketing
  • Content marketing
  • Marketing technology utilization
  • Marketing team strength

and so much more.

As you develop your 2016 plans, this could be a useful resource in helping justify investments in technology, creating realistic and defendable budgets, and aligning measurable objectives with strategies that will produce the desired results.

One of the key findings that Geile/Leon has observed with many clients is that the majority of organizations have aggressive growth goals and conservative budgets, creating a potential misalignment of expectations. 

Another key finding is that despite lead generation and lead-to-sale conversions being the two highest priority goals, organizations are failing to tap into the power of social media to achieve those goals. Many companies don’t have a cohesive content marketing plan which supports their lead generation and branding efforts.

How does your organization’s marketing efforts stack up?

PR 20/20 has developed an online assessment tool to help marketers rate their marketing programs and identify weaknesses. Check out this valuable tool by clicking here: What’s Your Marketing ScoreTM?

Marketing Score

This report and assessment tool gives you plenty to think about as you evaluate 2015 and plan for next year, such as:

  • Does your organization have the right marketing talent and technology in place to achieve desired performance goals?
  • Are your expectations for growth aligned with your potential?
  • What can large enterprises do to stay on top when nimble organizations develop more modern marketing teams and quickly adapt to marketing technology advancements?
  • Do you have the right agency partners to fill internal marketing team gaps, and provide the skills/expertise needed for critical growth areas?

Fill out the assessment or just review the report. I have found them extremely beneficial for our agency and clients.

Trending from G/L: Free Lynda education in St. Louis

The Blog

Geile/Leon Marketing Communications

Trending from G/L: Free Lynda education in St. Louis

The world of education is changing rapidly. There used to be a linear pattern of high school, then a four-year degree, then getting a job. But that path isn’t always realistic for those who struggle financially.

The rise of supplemental and ongoing education has been a talking point for those who already have degrees. But providing resources for people to study and learn independently has been a growing trend. And resources that reduce the achievement gap by providing educational materials to lower-income students have been shown to increase economic activity in the long run.

Locally, providing educational materials to students in the St. Louis region is a great way to empower people to better their skillset. And the St. Louis County Library recently announced that cardholders would have access to Lynda, an online education resource for business and creative skills as well as software.

It’s a really awesome move by SLCL. Providing access to nearly 4000 video courses to anyone really doesn’t have a downside. Plus, since LinkedIn recently purchased Lynda, the focus on career development will definitely continue to improve.

Innovation in education will likely come both from the public and private sector. Starbucks introduced their new college achievement plan about a year ago and it seems like some employees are taking advantage. Partnering with Arizona State University online has provided opportunities for those who have sought them:

“The most important thing for studying in this new digital learning environment that we’re creating is to show up for work,” observed Regier, University Dean for Educational Initiatives at ASU. “One thing we’ve found is that online coursework actually requires more maturity and self-discipline than the face-to-face classroom.”

And that might be a challenge for some. For me personally, a mixture of in-person and online courses would probably work best as opposed to simply working online. But if some of these courses and opportunities can be accomplished with a lesser cost, it’s definitely a step in the right direction.

We’ve been involved with education marketing for at a number of levels for quite a while. If you’re trying to navigate the learning landscape, we’re always happy to chat.

[gl-hs-form form_id=’1863abe3-c1e4-43d0-a298-c7b132f8ce03′]

 

2015 Internet Trends Report – What Stands Out

The Blog

Geile/Leon Marketing Communications

2015 Internet Trends Report – What Stands Out

Every year, Mary Meeker from KPCB, a top Silicon Valley firm, releases the Internet Trends Report, which offers a comprehensive look at how the web is changing and evolving.

And at just under 200 slides, it sure is comprehensive. While most of the information makes sense, some of the numbers and trends are simply staggering in terms of pure volume.

Here are some of the trends that stood out in terms of importance as well as sheer entertainment value:

Mobile, mobile, mobile everything

In case you missed it, accessing the Internet from your phone is kind of a big deal these days. In fact, over the past year, mobile grew at three times the speed as Internet usage in general. On top of that, mobile data usage rose by nearly 70 percent in 2015.

So what does this mean? People are consuming media on the go more then ever. The times at which consumers are being presented with information continues to evolve, and as long as they remain glued to their phones, marketers would be wise to find opportunities to meet them there.

It seems like that’s what’s happening, with mobile ad revenue growing by 34 percent while desktop only growing by 11 percent. It’s not surprising on the whole, but the numbers behind really drive the point home.

Facebook Video – An attempt to keep growth going

You’ve probably read 74,393 different articles by now about how Facebook is dying or dead. Which is good for clickbait headlines, but the jury is still out.

On the one hand, Facebook revenue per user growth is slowing down. It grew nearly 60 percent last year and is down to only 30 percent this year. Some people are indeed looking elsewhere for their social networking needs.

On the other head, Facebook video is going through the roof. There are nearly 4 billion video views every day. Unsurprisingly, 75 percent of those views are coming from mobile. Not too shabby.

So while some may think Facebook is on the way down, I tend to believe the platform still has some room to maneuver. While the desktop version is down, there’s still a high ceiling for video, messenger and calling options within the platform that should help the old standard stay relevant.

What a difference a couple of decades make

The tech industry is one of the most disruptive. As such, companies that have been on top in the past might not evolve well enough to stay on top. Early in the presentation, there’s a great example of this.

Here’s an example: can you name the top Internet company in 1995? It was Netscape, who rose to prominence in large part with their product Navigator, which was a precursor to Internet Explorer.

Where are they now? Well, AOL owns them now and uses the brand to market a discount Internet service provider.

In fact, while the dot-com bubble burst knocked out a good chunk of the names on that list, there is one notable company who has able to hang around:

That’d be Apple, who finished second on the list in 1995 and is now #1.

Staying on top of trends is a full-time job, and we treat it that way. It keeps our digital offering relevant and our clients benefit immensely. Contact us and lets talk about what’s trending for your brand.

[gl-hs-form form_id=’1863abe3-c1e4-43d0-a298-c7b132f8ce03′]

 

MOBILEGEDDON: Three Critical Points to Survival

The Blog

Geile/Leon Marketing Communications

MOBILEGEDDON: Three Critical Points to Survival

Google’s SEO astroid hits the Web

Google’s search algorithms are changing to benefit the user. This means mobile-friendly websites are now coming up at the top for mobile searches. This has caused a bit of an uproar, known as Mobilegeddon. Here are three critical points you need to know about Mobilegeddon and your business:

1. THE IMPACT
As of right now, this change will only affect mobile traffic – the searches happening on mobile devices. For now, your tablet and computer rankings are not in danger. However, be aware that 62 percent of total Web traffic comes from mobile – and that number will continue to increase.

2. THE RISK
If your audience uses mobile devices for the internet, which we can assume most audiences do in this day and age (see stat above), then you could be at risk of losing 1/3 of traffic to your website. Obviously, this is going to affect your business.

3. THE RESOLUTION
Stay calm. Connect with your Web developer (or ours) about a mobile-friendly website. As soon as your website converts to mobile-friendly, then your site is back in the rankings.

Take comfort in knowing that you aren’t alone – 67 percent of Fortune 100 companies are not mobile-friendly – but it won’t stay that way for long. We don’t always recommend following the crowd, but this time it’s definitely the right choice for your business and we are here to help.

If you want us to contact you with more information about how to build and optimize a mobile-friendly site, please fill out the form below.

[gl-hs-form form_id=’0358cafe-f200-42d7-8e5d-f372c2060315′]


RESOURCES
Google has provided resources to help guide businesses through this change:

Statistics provided by SumAll.

The Key to Building a Better Brand? Experiences.

The Blog

Geile/Leon Marketing Communications

The Key to Building a Better Brand? Experiences.

Building a Brand: Enhancing your brand equity through strategic marketing and valuable customer experiences.

For many companies, especially those in niche industries that have a loyal following such as equine or manufacturing, there’s an ongoing struggle to raise their brand to the top. Before the Internet, brands relied on repeat customers, advertising through traditional mediums and amplification of their products/services through trial and word-of-mouth.

Now, at every turn marketers are fighting for a piece of the consumer pie (in more places than one). How do you make your brand stand out when consumers are overrun with choices? Through new experiences and meaningful relationships, on and off-line.

In the equine industry, consumers are immersed in their brands. They are constantly looking for a product or service that they can trust and really rely on – whether it’s to make their horse(s) healthier, get a leg up on the competition, make their job easier or their business better.

So, the opportunity for equine brand building (outside of traditional mediums) lies in experiences that are developed through digital problem solving.

Screen Shot 2015-03-12 at 4.08.19 PM Screen Shot 2015-03-12 at 4.11.35 PM Screen Shot 2015-03-12 at 4.07.54 PM Screen Shot 2015-03-12 at 4.07.33 PM

We’ve all turned to Google at some point in our lives for a recommendation. And, for niche industries, this is the sweet spot for brand building. Through Search Engine Optimization (SEO), website content and blogs that truly help your customers and an authentic brand voice that’s consistent on- and off-line, customers have a chance to experience your product before they even buy it. Therefore, creating relationships that will resonate with consumers the next time they are in need of your product or service.

Are you interested in other digital brand building strategies? Download our digital audit to assist you in setting up and executing a successful digital marketing campaign.

Interested in equine marketing? See some of previous our work building equine brands:
Senior Campaign
Integrated Ad Campaign
On the Move Sweepstakes

[gl-hs-cta cta_id=’c719fe4c-05a6-4de6-8298-b1eb80a48979′]

Contact