This interview with Jesse Wroblewski of Generations Beyond, is part of the Convirza Webinar Series. The following is the Q&A portion of the interview.
McKay Allen: Thank you Jesse, we appreciate that. Yeah, there are a couple of good questions and the first are a couple of compliments, complimenting you on the webinar and doing a great job, so we appreciate that. Why don’t you tell us, real quick Jesse, and this is a common question we get, and maybe you’ve heard this as well. What are the biggest areas of improvement that you see in most, I mean, today you talked a lot about branding. Where do you see the most branding inconsistency? Is there medium or even an industry where you see big inconsistencies in branding?
Jesse Wroblewski: Well not to point any fingers, but I just, the number one thing that came into my head when you said that, it’s constant contact. Constant contact is a great tool and the reason it’s so popular is that they cater to the end user. The end user thinks it’s phenomenal if they can put together an email, that’s not just plain text, they have the ability to add color and fonts and pictures and while, it’s a great tool, you know, we’re all not designers, we all don’t have that keen eye, you know, that picks up on branding inconsistencies.
You know, I kind of joke about it in my sales calls, how constant contact, you can kind of spot them from a mile away. You know the second you get them, you know, this is a constant contact email. So I think that’s, while it’s a very powerful tool, it’s certainly helpful to send out more eye catching marketing collateral, the email, I think the ability to give in to the end user. And it’s not the end users fault, you know, we’re not all artists. Keep an eye on that when you’re creating your constant contact emails, or any or any, constant contact is the biggest, you know there’s mail chimp and all these other companies that use constant contact as the example.
But, you know, try and keep an eye on that. If you do work with a graphic designer or a web designer, they can provide you with set, standard logos in certain sizes that can form to your constant contact marketing. And it’s okay to kind of follow a similar, you know, a similar template, and just repopulate your content with each send out. A lot of people, you know, given the tools, they kind of re-brand their email marketing every time. They want to put different pictures, and they use different template, and they use different fonts, because they can. And it’s not always a helpful thing to be so out there on the design ends.
McKay Allen: That’s good advice. That’s great advise. So the other questions that we have, the first is, how do you determine the value of a branding centric campaign. Because, you know, obviously in this hyper-analytic marketing world that we live in now, everything needs to have a quantifiable value, everything needs to be measured, but there still is some sort of intrinsic, inherent value in branding. Give me some tips, if you will, of how you maybe measure the effectiveness of branding, by and large.
Jesse Wroblewski: Tough question, very tough question. Yeah, it’s definitely difficult to put a, to put a quantifiable return on investment. I actually work with a consultant, who has been very influential in helping me pull by business, and he was the president of Konica Minolta , and at the beginning of the year when they did their ad campaign, they put billboards in every major league baseball stadium. And it just so happens that the year Mark McGuire hit his record breaking home run, and he was American’s darling, everybody tuned in and watched it over and over, he happened to hit that home run right over the Konica Minolta billboard. And one of his regular stories is, he can’t put a single dollar return on investment, you know, into that marketing campaign.
Even though, probably most of America watched that over and over and had that branding in their face, time and time again, a lot of people probably would have killed for that type of exposure. So it’s difficult to come down to, you know, quantifiable return in investments. However, on the other end of the spectrum, you know, if you put up the initial, you know, the initial investment to work with a designer or a brand new company to get that initial branding in place.
It’s really not that cost prohibitive to make sure that branding is consistent, again, getting back to the Facebook and the constant contact, just to make sure you have that branding, you know most branding companies will give you a branding guideline. These are the fonts we use, this is the logo we use when we do black and white, this is the logo we use when we do color, this is how the logo is presented on the web.
So, with a little bit of extra timing and forethought, it really doesn’t take a tremendous amount of effort or investment, aside from the initial investment, to maintain that clear and consistent branding effort, and once you get into it and you get good at it, you start to realize, like my example with the invoices, you start to realize where you can, kind of, just increase that branding, you know that branding existence and kind of get more bang for your buck. It is kind of a mindset. It definitely does have a little bit of a learning curve, but once you get past that curve, which really isn’t that bad, you start to realize all these other opportunities where, usually free opportunities where you can increase your brand and increase your awareness among your clientele.
McKay Allen: We’ve got a couple of social media questions as well. Do you have any guidance for us on social media metrics? What types of things should you be measuring to determine if your social media efforts are successful or not? And I’m sure that depends whether you are in a B to C versus B2B environment, or what industries, but give us some general guidelines if you can.
Jesse Wroblewski: Yeah, that’s a very good question and it’s still kind of emerging. Google analytics is kind of my go to analytics software. I have played around with a bunch of other stuff, you have Facebook insights, and stuff like that. Google still hasn’t really nailed down and made it, kind of, idiot proof, for even guys like me, to kind of correlate social media with ultimate lead generation and traffic generation to a website. So, again, that’s a very good question and I’m going to go out on a limb and say, you know, within the next 6 months, that’s going to be really buttoned up and really clear and cohesive to everybody.
But right now, I don’t have a go to tool in my utility belt, so to speak, that, aside from what Facebook presents you on their sites page, what twitter presents to you, and what little information google currently provides, which are google analytics, but I’m willing to bet within the next few months there’s going to be a very powerful tool emerging, if there isn’t one already that hasn’t gotten onto my radar, that’s going to help quantify social media efforts.
McKay Allen: That’s good, and then the final question, if you have some more, please type them in, we still have a few minutes. So if you’ve got more, ask them. But, for now, the final question, Jesse, it comes from Jim. He says you know there’s a lot of resistance to, basically this question is, everybody thinks they’re a designer. Everybody thinks they can do design. Any comment on that, just generally, as someone who can actually do design. Any comment on everyone thinking they can design a page effectively, or even a logo or an email campaign or whatever? Talk about that a little bit if you can.
Jesse Wroblewski: Absolutely, I mean the, especially nowadays when your potential clientele, at the click of a button can, you know, can be presented with a dozen of your competitors images, it is increasingly important, especially on the web. You know, there’s all the build your own websites tools out there, that’s certainly fine if you’re on a tight budget. But getting back to, you know, simple things, you know, I gave the example of adding call now two4 hours a day, along with your telephone number.
Once the design is in place, you’d be shocked at how analytical and how scientific you can get with tweaking your actual design, so, while it may be a major milestone to get something up that actually looks good for someone who thinks they’re a designer, or isn’t a designer but he’s trying to design something. That certainly is a major milestone, getting something presentable up there. But once it’s up there, you know, getting back to the research and optimization guy and the social media guru, you know, we’re going to be sending all this new traffic to this newly designed web page.
And that newly designed web page very rarely hits it out of the park on the first run, so you may have spent x amount of hours designing this page that you’re sending all this traffic to. And you may be very proud of it, but it’s going to take someone with a little bit of skill to, kind of, you know, not intrusively, bump up the presence of that phone number, through use and things like contrast and colors.
You know, highlighting these certain areas on the page where you want the eye to flow when you first get to the site. So these are things that your competition may be doing. You know, you may throw stuff on a web page, you may throw everything you have to offer. It looks phenomenal, but when a person gets to your website, you know, their eye goes everywhere. Whereas, your competitor who hired a professional designer knows how to, kind of bring the eye, again going back to that sales flow, getting the eye to flow to exactly where you want it to go and ultimately it will end up at that call to action, and ultimately become a paying customer.
So, you know, design is one thing, making things look good, it’s definitely a positive and there’s certainly a ton of tools out there to help you do it, but getting past that, keeping up with your competition, hiring a designer that actually understands color theory and contrast and marketing flow, particularly if your competitors are doing it, it’s just something you’re up against, you may not want to go at it.