Insider secrets: Developing a compelling online presence
Over the next few weeks and months I will be describing some of the
secrets, models and processes behind online strategies and web property
If you are a hands-on marketer you can use this inside information
to improve your own online communications and marketing. If you are in
the industry you can adopt them to improve project outcomes and reduce
The approach that I will be discussing we call ThirdwayWeb (I’ll talk about it in more detail in upcoming posts, but if you can’t wait, you can read all about it over at www.thirdwayweb.com).
I am a big fan of models and processes; over at LCubed we use them all the time. Models allow us to explain how and why we do what we do, so we can:
- Clearly illustrate how we create value and help clients avoid or correct mistakes
- Ensure efficient delivery and maximise our chance of success
- Open clients eyes to a bigger picture – reducing the ‘I don’t know what I don’t know’ problem
So wherever possible I will try to illustrate the concepts using models and diagrams. Here is one to get us started:
Notice how ‘the tip of the Iceberg’ has a name – but we don’t even
have a name for the important bit that enables it to be there; ‘The
submerged bit of the iceberg’?
The old iceberg problem rears its ugly tip often in website
production and online marketing: planning and producing successful
websites is much more difficult than it looks, to those who have not
tried it themselves.
This happens because we, as website visitors, use the end result
(the website) and if it is any good, it is intuitive and looks great.
If sites are really good we don’t even need to think about the
experience. Conversely, of course when a site is poor, we hate it and
usually leave pretty quickly.
So, because good sites are easy to use, we assume that they must
also be easy to produce, and we continue to think this right up to the
point that we actually try to build one.
Another analogy that I sometimes use is about cars.
I drive, I have experience, I know a car I like, I think I know a
good car (a key difference). Could I fix one? And risk screwing it up
myself… Worse still, could I build a car? You obviously never saw my
go karts and the bloodshed they caused.
In the next few posts we’ll be looking at the bit of the iceberg
that the punters are not aware of ‘The submerged bit of the iceberg’.
I’ll give some practical advice on what underpins and supports
successful sites and how you can drastically improve the end result as
well as reduce the time and money it takes to reach your online
Along the way I’ll also provide some real life examples, mostly
LCubed productions as these are what I have direct experience of.
Please get involved and add your perspective; I am by no means only person with experience in this field.
Here is a simple example that builds on the iceberg concept. It
includes a very simple breakdown of key elements or facets to the
process of website production:
In future posts, I will delve beneath the surface of website
production by exploring more advanced models and some providing
practical tips that you can leverage in your projects.
I’ll continue to provide you with models that you can use during
your projects. These will help you improve your understanding of the
web marketing landscape, plan projects and build strategies.
In the next column or two I will be looking at another model from the ThirdwayWeb
stable, the web pillars – this is a model that we use to help us and
our clients focus on each key element of a web project. Here is a
taster – tune in for the next installment:
Following this we will be talking about:
visitor journeys; an approach which helps us consider and improve
each important website visitor experience, and the key steps with it,
I will be talking search engine planning, an area which is often
seen as primarily technical when in fact is a marketing and sales
I’d like this to be a discussion, so if at any stage you’d like to
contribute your models and perspective, ask some questions or just give
your feedback please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will endeavour to include them. Don’t be shy…
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