Web Space

Websites are like a home, there are so many out there each one needs a way to call attention to itself. This us where domains/urls come into play. The domain could be more important than the website itself. You could have the greatest designed site but it makes no difference if it can’t be easily found.

We tend to try and rely heavily on search engines to get traffic to a website. This is truly a bad approach to depend on someone elses application to control your success online. 

Remember a website is truly just another form of marketing. You need to put some true time into building ways for people to be aware of your site. You could host small parties, make sure to talk about your website to anyone who listens. The most important thing is to create a domain that’s easy to remember. That’s one reason I decided to use jhasmal.com as my url. Even though it has a weird spelling its one word and easy to remember.

Web Thinking Stuck In 2000

Websites have evolved to be able to produce a return for their business owners. In the last two years sites have more functionality than we have ever seen.  It’s easy to purchase a site from places like Godaddy.com with built in ecommerce functionality that requires no programming.  If you are a large company there are larger scale implementations that allow you to provide instant online marketing to visitors.  While these capabilities exist companies don’t find success because they don’t have the correct people to run them.

Coming from a background in information technology I have a good understanding of different platforms.  I also have the mind set that I can pretty much train myself in just about anything computer related. I know how to do this because I have the basic knowledge to build on to advance my learning.

Thinking such as mine has changed in company environments.  It’s almost like the world believes that anyone can perform computer related tasks without any type of training.  This is where you can start to see the downward spiral in website efforts.  Even though the technology is getting better the company websites still look like they were made in early 2000.  There’s no one in companies who knows how to make the technology work.

Following The Online Fad

The weakness in most corporate environments is getting caught up in the desire to be like everyone else online.  One company sees another company do something they instantly want the same thing.  No one inside the company thinks whether the thing being done is truly best for the company in which they work.  Everyone is so focused on what they see instead of how it’s going to improve or give a benefit back to the company.

Following others online strategies are a way to quickly be on a path of disappointment.  Thinking that your strategy (if you have one) will show you quick results is also a misconception spreading around the corporate culture.

Is your company following the online fad movement?

Usability Proves Functionality

No matter how hard I work on jhasmal.com I seem to find something else strange going on with it.  Yesterday after getting some events loaded up I realized that the All Events page was showing the same city for every event.  It’s pretty strange considering it wasn’t doing that before and the site has been running for a while.  I haven’t changed any of the code so that makes it even more weird.

With my experience with websites this is pretty common, it’s why I believe you are never truly finished with a website.  It could be an API or anything that I used and the developer updated it which caused something to break.  Other times it a small mistake that I’ll go back and realize I did something stupid.

Exotic Cars in Wichita

When I’m taking a break from website marketing I love to look at sports cars. Being from Wichita, Kansas there aren’t too many exotic cars on the road.  Occasionally I’ll see a Bentley, Aston Martin, or an Audi R8 but it’s really seldom.  There’s one attorney in the city who has a Lime Green Lambo but I haven’t seen it lately.

My wife surprised me with a driving experience to drive a Lamborghini or a Ferrari around a parking lot course on July 17th.  I’m pretty excited; I’ve never thought that I would have chance to drive one of these car.  I’ll try to take some pictures and post them to this blog.

If you are in the Wichita area you can find out more at http://jhasmal.com/event/supercar-autocross/

Sitecore day 2 training

Today was the last day of my Sitecore training and it made me really think about all of the information that I learned on my own.  It was a validation of how I believe the system was designed to work.  The theories that I believed to be true the instructor showed me that I was definitely on the right path.

What I understand about Sitecore is that the system can be truly as advanced as it needs to be for each company.  There are tons of out of the box features but to take it to the next level; such as connecting the information with a CRM it will require some development work.

The hard work now is going back and building the digital strategy based on the the features within the system.  Using profiling and personas to display information to users as the correct time.  This is when I’ll be able to truly show the value of what the corporate sites are capable of and how they fit into the marketing plan.

Sitecore 8 Training

I made it to Dallas, Texas today to attend Sitecore 8 Experience Marketing training.  I’m pretty excited; I feel like I’ve been waiting a long time for this.  Tomorrow is the first day of class so hopefully I’ll sleep good.  Sometimes I can get nerdy and not be able to sleep because I’m thinking about how the training will go.

Hoping that my expectations of what I believe the software is capable of is correct.  I have big dreams for the sites that I maintain at work and I truly believe that I’m really close to making it happen.

I miss my wife but it’s only for 4 days so I hope these couple of days are worth every minute.

Good Digital Sales Pitches

Over the years the sales pitches that I remember most are the ones where the sales contact was really approachable.  You could tell the pitch wasn’t a speech that they gave over and over without feeling.  They truly believed in the product that they were selling and they wanted you to know how it would help you.

The pitches that I don’t like are the ones full of powerpoint slides.  In the slides there never is anything in there really showing how the system functions.  I don’t like seeing a ton of figures and all of the companies that are supposedly using the product.  No companies are exactly the same so the way a system would be setup could be completely different which determines the systems value.

I feel like I’m probably a special case when it comes to some of the other customers a sales contact pitches to.  Even though I’m a marketer I’m also a computer professional with a degree in information systems.  So when the sales contact is talking about the technical functionality my mind instantly starts trying to understand how the system works.  If something doesn’t make sense I don’t always ask a question.  I’m waiting for the sales contact to maybe say something additionally to clear up the vagueness.  This is where a lot of sales contacts fall short.

Too Many Emails

When I think about my day at work it’s amazing how many emails that I get from companies promoting their products to me.  It’s funny because I sit and think, “How did they even get my email address?”  I also get calls transferred to me and I let them go to voicemail.  I would say 99% of these calls and emails never are promoting what I’m trying to solve.  Since they aren’t trying to fix my current hot issue I ignore them. There’s so many I don’t even really read the emails – I just glance at the first sentence.

I think what’s so frustrating is when the person sending the email sends the exact same email to multiple people within the company. It’s really a sign that the message isn’t sincere.

As a marketer it’s clear that the process that is being followed isn’t a good approach.  I can tell you that 100% of sales and marketing professionals take this approach.  I ask myself daily, “How can I be different?”

Sitecore XP 8 Experience Marketing Training

In two weeks I’m headed to Dallas for some Sitecore 8 Experience Marketing training.  I’m excited to get an idea of how different 8 is from 7.2.  I’m glad that I have experience with an older version because it will let me truly gauge how far the software has come along.  I’ve done some small personalizations already so I have some knowledge of how I perceive the system should work.  I’m going to the training to get an idea of how Sitecore believes the system should work; this will let me know if I’m on the right track.

Large scale CMS systems like Sitecore truly are time savers.  Even though it can be still difficult to adjust at times with company demands I don’t regret ever moving to a CMS. Trying to manually update web pages fast without a system would be painful. I truly can’t remember the last time that I coded an entire page from scratch.  Don’t get me wrong, there are times I still have to make some manual html edits to fix something but it’s truly just a tweak.

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