Many of the social organisations we work with are going through huge changes, using their “ten year strategy” to answer the question “what would a digitally-enabled organisation look like?” and “how will we thrive in an increasingly digital world?”. These are perfect questions to help shape the future and current offering and the following related questions helped us in working through our recent projects with the Fairtrade Foundation and The British Trust for Ornithology (BTO).
Mapping the user experience and developing wireframe and related colour schemes for the navigation
1.What’s not working well at the moment? Where are audiences dropping off / not going – why is this?
2.What are your analytics telling you? Do you understand the audience needs and do these change by age / other demographics? Why is that? Do you know how people are using your site?
3.Are you ready for Mobilegeddon? Do start the process of ensuring your site works on different devices from interactive white screen to phones. You probably already know that Google’s search ranking will be affected by how mobile friendly your site it. There is an easy mobile friendly test you can do.
The mobile experience for teachers using Fairtrade resources
4.Is your SEO / social strategy good enough? Read Google’s guide to SEO, again Google will look harshly at copy that is too small and links that go nowhere. Defining your strategy beforehand (starting with the web copy), will help you prioritise what your main services are.
5. Do you have a strong concept / design? People like ideas- a strong concept can really lift your site usage.
6.Do you have the right sign-up points? Getting the balance right is essential; too many and people will click off your site. Having the main touch points clearly labelled will increase conversion to sales, and to your newsletter sign up.
Clear and interesting sign up points help the user
7.Why not ask people what they would like to use the site for in the future? Regular users of your site will often have as good ideas as anyone for how the experience could be made even better, we’ve found tapping this interest and using some of their ideas is crucial.
8.Are you using it as a living / agile website? Agile roll-outs are best. Too often the process is to map the user experience to a wireframe and then build the site over 10-16 weeks, which is fine. But it’s better to keep the site alive and agile, adding new features and functionality, so the site has a beginning but no end. There is no web 2.2.
9.Are you linking your CRM to your website? You increase conversion to your site by as much as 50% from users on your social channels, by a few simple campaigns.
10.Are you making lots of new friends? We’ve found links to your site from other respected organisations work wonders for new site visitors and increased search ranking.
If you need help with your web delivery, these are the first questions we would ask, it’s an easy checklist, which starts with your audience and builds things in an agile but logical way.
Giles Robertson, Founder and Managing Director of Green Banana Marketing Ltd, Marketing Soc. and RSA Fellow, Charity Group chairman, Trustee of Marine Conservation Society, member of 2Degrees board of advisers and the Sustainability Growth Group. Follow him on twitter @gogreenbanana or email at Giles@greenbananamarketing.com
With so many amazing campaigns, it’s tough selecting the most innovative charity ads of the year. This is encouraging for the charity sector, even though it’s harder and harder for normal people to navigate through the various causes and lend their support.
Charities (and I guess their marketing agencies), have long understood that creating some kind of fame often increases share of mind and this hopefully leads to more support. Charities are often challenged by gaining the resources to support a new campaign. A strong business case helps, and entering the campaign into charity awards can fast track this. The campaign gets profiled in the brochure, 500 marketing folk hear about the charity and better still, if it wins, then profile pieces will be written. The charity may even become the agency’s charity of the year.
First up: NSPCC: ‘The underwear rule’
The underwear rule is a fantastic insight. It is a campaign devised by the NSPCC that provides a simple way to help parents keep their children safe from abuse. It’s simple for both parents and children to understand. This film perfectly captures the right tone and call to action. Well done to NSPCC.
Second place: CRUK ‘Play to cure’
What a great excuse to play a good game, when at the same time you’re helping Cancer Research UK’s scientists identify the DNA faults that could lead to cancer. Well done CRUK – lateral thinking at its best.
Third: Greenpeace ‘Tell Lego to dump Shell’
It’s good to see Greenpeace in action (and succeeding in stopping the Lego Shell partnership!) Keep up the great campaigning work. Without Greenpeace, life would be much less interesting (and less organisations would be kept in check).
Fourth: Barnardo’s ‘The Nation’s Fridge Door’
Just love Barnardo’s virtual fridge, based on the idea that we all like to share our children’s pictures of robins and pirates, but not all children have parents who care. In every family’s household the fridge door is a symbol of a parent’s pride and support of their children’s achievements. Yet the UK’s most vulnerable children don’t have anyone to give them this support or record their successes.
That’s why Barnardo’s is asking people to turn the support they give their own children into the support for the children who have nobody. The drawings sent in by families were published on their virtual fridge, and a selected few were published in The Guardian and in Barnardo’s stores.
Fifth: Breast Cancer Awareness ‘Fitness Bra Cam’
Breast Cancer Awareness have done so much to change the tone of the issue – brightening it up and making it more accessible. This campaign is a perfect example of this. In partnership with big companies, who helped them deliver a truly funny (and slightly awkward!) entrapment film!
Some new fame is worth having and these are great examples of charities taking risks but keeping their cause at the heart of the delivery. Well done to all and Happy New Year 2015.
As charity experts we care about our surroundings and the environment, even when we go on summer holidays! And we always like to learn. Some of us have children, like Giles our managing director, and others not, like myself.
There are many things we can do on holiday, here‘s a list of the things we can do during our holidays, wherever we go to the beach, up a mountain or stay at home:
1. Giles cycles every morning to work, why not leave your car at home and cycle instead? Save 1.5 pounds of carbon dioxide for each mile and 240 calories saved (or lost!) per hour. This is a good way to work off all the extra ice cream you eat this summer! As our friends at cycle for summer say you ‘Feel Happier: it is scientifically proven’
2. There are plenty of delicious locally produced fruits and vegetables available this summer. Choose to eat local fruits instead of kiwis and mangos from far-flung exotic countries. The Sustainable Food Trust shows you why it is cheaper, better and how it reveals the type of person you are.
3. If you stay at home for your holidays and decide to have a good house tidy, why not give unwanted clothes, toys or furniture to charities you would like to help. We like clothes for charity who do all the hard work for you, selling your items to raise money for your selected causes and charities.
4. Discover and protect Bugs. As our friends at Buglife describe so well, many things can be done to protect bugs. Why not build a bee house? You can follow Buglife’s tutorial here and enjoy building a bee house in your garden, it’s lots of fun, and you can observe the bees all year around.
5. If you are healthy and want to feel even healthier, why not donate your blood to NHSBT? Start this Summer and give blood 3 or 4 times a year. My advice: have a big breakfast, give blood and then enjoy a treat, have some crisps or chocolate and a delicious lunch at a restaurant with a friend, who came along with you of course!
Five little things you could do to help charities and the environment. Why not, try at least one thing this Summer, which would help us and our clients too.
There are many ways to give your time, energy and happiness, strength and of course money. And if you have children, why not start the National Trust’s ‘50 things to do before they’re 11 ¾’, enjoy every moment, as they grow up so fast.
Let us know what you do during your holidays. We would love to see your photos and to improve our knowledge of ways in which we can help charities and the environment.
Ever since Prometheus gave the gift of fire, energy has transformed the way we live. Burning fires gave us the means to cook our food, heat our homes, transport our goods and provided us with light and entertainment.
The Fires are about to go out and our other options are challenging; the dash to gas has suddenly got more expensive as our local supplies diminish (and surely mining shale gas will interfere with the planet’s subterranean structures?) and coal emits far too much climate changing carbon dioxide.
And don’t forget, some European countries are using as much as 80% of Russian gas, making them far too dependent on Russia.
Threatened with blackout by 2015, what are our options?
Have Energy Days
Energy Days are being arranged throughout Europe in the month of June – part of the solution is to reduce our dependence on electricity. Therefore, by choosing to modify an every day activity, we challenge ourselves to think differently about our energy usage, such as:
Measure how much electricity you save, how much money you save and how much better you feel. You should be healthier and wealthier.
Set ambitious UK targets for our tidal power
The US has, surprisingly, some interesting targets, California aims to have no non-renewable energy in use by 2020. Texas, the once mighty oil state, is set to become the world’s 5th largest supplier of wind energy. India is to build the world’s largest solar plant to generate 4,000 mw from sunlight near the Sambhar lake in Rajasthan. Let’s set some ambitious UK targets. Out of the twenty sites identified worldwide suitable for tidal power, eight of these are in the UK and could supply 20% of our energy requirements. Tidal Energy encourages state investment to finance tidal power schemes, until they move into surplus and when are likely to provide a profit for an indefinite period.
Innovation needs encouragement
The new Catapult UK technology centres are a great place for innovative companies and individuals to develop their ideas. We need more of these so that renewable energy can be explored and reach it’s full potential. Waiting in the wings are solutions such as, cleaner coal stations, microgeneration and community energy suppliers of CHP, PV & Solar.
Pedal your own power or Plug on your window – what a great idea.
The socket offers a neat way to harness solar energy and use it as a plug socket. We’ve not seen any as direct as this plug-in.
So the future is an energy mix, a mix of consumer demand and different types of energy.
Wind, Solar, Sea have always been at our disposal, think of windmills and watermills grinding corn, and new innovative versions, which could replace our dependence on fossil fuels (but without emitting destructive CO2).
Live Smarter. Greener. Fairer.
Hats off to the new environmental campaign ‘recyclage de luxe’ from Stella Artois. Retro ads for recycled packaging, glass, and aluminum are now up, mainstreaming its efforts behind recycling. Having firmly established itself as ‘reassuringly expensive’ (albeit 2 cases are available for £16), with rather unfortunate associations with being the ‘wife beater’s beer”, it feels right expressing its environmental credentials in this way. Few businesses have the credibility or balls to do this; it’s too complicated and why bother putting your head above the parapet? Stella have told the interconnected story of waste and material use and made it central to their offering, bringing some much needed style to recycling.
The ads are good too with retro French mono tones, the packaging for each carved out of 60s fashioned materials including the can from a cool Citroen DS, film noir posters with a Twiggy style women and the glass forged from an old school tellie screen. I love the effort Stella have made and hope this approach inspires others. It’s a shame that more don’t talk about their environmental work. Although, of course the packaging only tells half the story; ‘beer miles’ are increasingly a critical environmental factor as well, many imported lagers could have traveled up to 24,000 miles before reaching you (with climate change, transporting liquids long distances is environmental madness). The best beers are those that have been produced locally to you. But of course Stella is only brewed across the Channel in Belgium. It will be interesting to see how Stella develop this campaign and whether InBev, who own Stella, take a holistic green look across all their beers. But any company that makes a difference to the planet gets my vote and should be supported by all beer drinkers.