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
What’s not to like about the London Marathon? It’s welcoming – whether you are one of the 750,000 spectators, watching it on TV or more importantly one of the 38,000 people taking part. It’s pure joy, celebration and carnival– preceded by pain and I guess sometimes despair. What makes the London Marathon brand so special is the following:
We were also all swept up by 2012 London Olympics and the amazing Gamemakers who really made their mark. Now contrast that with the lead up to the general election – the biggest event we were not really invited to be part of – in the weeks leading up to 7th May. We’ve not been involved in a conversation with the general election. The environment, sport and health have been little discussed. The Green party lost out, by playing down discussions about green issues, to demonstrate a broader understanding of other policy areas.
There has been very little discussion about sport, health and well being; tackling obesity and getting people back into sports. I applaud the This Girl Can campaign and what Dove has tried to do by normalising every day body shapes. But all this seems to have been given the two fingers by the most pointless and shallow ad of our time; an ad for a weight loss drink and beach perfect bodies.
Thank goodness for two bloggers Tara Costello and Fiona Longmuir, pictured, who posed next to the ad, rightly saying they are beach ready.
I want an election a bit like the London Marathon, where;
At first glance the Green Deal seems like a great scheme to become involved in. But then why is it that after 9 months and over 70,000 assessments, only 12 homeowners have benefitted from actual changes to their property?
The Green Deal is largely suffering from a miscommunication of ideas and a reluctance to get involved in a scheme which seems to add to personal debt for the sake of none but the environment; that big green thing that so few care to help unless it is mutually beneficial.
The pressing question we must ask now is what can the minds behind the Green Deal do, if anything, to change these misconceptions and remove the growing stigma around their initiative? Many have attempted to answer this question; the All-party parliamentary group for excellence in the built environment determined that the scheme will struggle to succeed “without additional incentives to encourage action”; editor of Business Green James Murray proposed that a partnership with the help to buy scheme could prove beneficial; whereas Money Saving Expert founder Martin Lewis maintains that the scheme would benefit from several minor changes such as shorter loan repayment lengths and a removal of the assessment fee.
All of these amendments would doubtless attract new interest to the scheme, however all constitute relatively large changes, many of which are not possible for the initiative to take.
Could the focus change from the “loan” status of the initiative to the fact that the homeowner’s monthly costs are unlikely to increase in spite of the loan? And furthermore that once loan repayments are fully made monthly energy bills are likely to reduce significantly?
Could it be made clearer that the debt incurred is not personal? Or that the repayments are taken automatically through your energy supplier and so no additional bills will be added to your monthly administration?
The Green Deal has been subjected to a lot of negativity, and many are keen to offer advice about how best to remedy this; with large, policy changing alterations and additions to the benefits already offered. Few seem eager, however, to entertain the idea that the Green Deal has the potential to benefit many as it stands, and may simply need to place a strengthened focus on these benefits, while simultaneously removing some of the focus on factors which property owners may interpret as unattractive.
It seems apparent to me that were the Green Deal Finance Company to implement one or more of the following methods when promoting their scheme, they would receive at least heightened interest, if not participation;
The scheme undoubtedly has positive and negative aspects, as all schemes do, however what seems both positive and negative for the Green Deal is that each plus point will be deemed negative by some, and each negative point will be deemed positive by others. The Green Deal thus finds itself in the awkward position of being relatively complex in addition to providing varied benefits. Though not a lost cause, it seems a lot needs to be done to move the spotlight from pitfalls to positivity.
We’ve had the party of the century- a great atmosphere with The Games, the Diamond Jubilee and 70,000 Gamemakers reminding us what is important. Now is an opportunity to get your house in order – a fresh start with a bit of an autumn spring clean on the back of everyone feeling so positive. There are ten things we think you could do which could add value to your organisation and help the business grow in ways not only relevant to our clients (charities, sustainable caring companies and education based orgs) – but to others too. Why not:-
1. Have your own Gamemakers plan – take on teams of passionate people who care about your cause
2. Do a social audit of all those twitter accounts that have crept up; who are they for and are they of any value? Write a social media policy (who are your main bloggers, are they on message, what’s the back up for them?)
3. Fill in the gaps in your database and ring up lapsed supporters
4. Organise that ‘getting to know us day’ for supporters to hear about your future work and the value they bring
5. Get new blood on the board – draw up a short list of new skills you need from Trustees
6. Be at the right events with a plan of all the best ‘Free events’
7. Write up your case studies – like agencies do – of all your great work and put it online
8. Produce a 30 mins film about your organisation and post online
9. Look at who the organisation has partnered throughout its life; get back in touch with old friends
10. Make sure all staff have a campaigning and promotions element to their job.
In the happy days and weeks after the great summer – make some progress on those often discussed tasks. Or at least let Green Banana Marketing help with the ones that drop off your list.
McCann Erickson have been appointed by 2012 London Games to be the official game’s marketing agency.
Reports say agencies were less than keen to put their hats in the ring for this monumental task of exciting people and of course selling 9.5 million tickets.
Was their reluctance a response to the size of the task alongside the challenge of trying to please everyone all the time (look at the fuss at the new 2012 logo!) with the poor remuneration deal? London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG) is offering Tier Three Sponsorship in return for pro bono agency services, just as the economic down turn hits ad land.
Mad Men I despair there’s such a potentially inspiring vision to share. Firstly, we have the opportunity to demonstrate to the world that we are the best and can pull off an event like no other. And win some medals. Secondly, it could be the first one planet games with zero carbon emissions, making a real pledge for a healthier planet, inspiring others to follow suit. Thirdly, being a healthier nation also fits in the lead up to, during and after the games. The best way to shift those ever increasing teen pounds is to engage and uplift them all with the very real thought of future gold; the chance to actually watch history in the making – to run on the very same track and swim in the very same lanes. Finally, the whole lasting legacy story is the perfect bitter pill to swallow for the UK tax payer and particularly Londoner’s who are baring the brunt of the costs.
So much about our 2012 London games is truly brilliant; what a shame more haven’t seen the chance.