Mystic Media Digital Success Blog

By Jim Moore 19 Jan, 2018

Employee P.I.T.O

From a high level, when considering a marketing project for a client we employ 4 broad categories of tasks that are represented by the acronym P.I.T.O - Plan, Implement, Test, Optimize. Each of those categories includes several tasks. In a nutshell, they include:

Plan:

  • Product or Service Education
    • Become fully informed about the product or service to be marketed
  • Determine your audience
    • Demographics will help determine the communication style and marketing channels to be utilized
  • History Review
    • Learn what previous marketing has been successful and what has failed to produce the desired results
  • Secure and allocate resources
  • Plan goals
    • What metrics will indicate a successful campaign?
    • What tools will be used to test and evaluate the metrics?

Implement:

  • Design and produce creatives and content
  • Build and activate campaigns

Test:

  • Gather data
  • Evaluate data

Optimize:

  • Modify campaigns to better align with projections and goals

As you likely have determined, the tasks all have sub-tasks and activities that are necessary for their proper completion.

Also please note that to thoroughly complete each of the categories is the perfect scenario. Many times our client’s time constants or budget restriction require an abbreviate approach.

PITO - in our experience, is an effective blueprint to utilize when scoping, planning, implementing and proving a digital marketing project.

Highest Success and Deepest Peace in all that you do!


By Jim Moore 14 Jan, 2018

The likely answer is yes, Social Media can help you small business. That being said,  there are ways in which Social Media Marketing and social media use in general can have a negative impact on your business. In computer programming there is an acronym GIGO - standing for Garbage In Garbage Out. The same principle - bad social media input, results in poor business outcomes, holds true.

A key to the successful, or helpful, social media impact on your small business is   to practice P.I.T.O - Plan, Implement, Test, Optimize.

  • Plan your business goals and build marketing campaigns designed to meet those goals successfully. Here are some tools that may be helpful with your planning: 7 Tools to Help You Set, Track and Achieve Your Goals
  • Implement the campaigns across your marketing outlets including social media.
  • Test the results and determine if the outcomes are aligned with your goals.
  • Optimize the campaigns to make corrections and modification to enhance their performance.

Perform the process over and over again.  Even when you think you have it perfect - do it again.

If your small business’s social media use is guided by the intention to reach carefully planned business goals and it is an element of a strategic marketing plan the potential for positive outcomes is greatly enhanced.

By Jim Moore 11 Jan, 2018

Does Anyone Think…?

According to spending statistics, many “anyones” think Social Media really works as a marketing tool. According to The Statistics Portal  the annual dollars spent on social media increased from 7.5 Billion in 2014 to 13.51 Billion in 2017 and is projected to reach 15.36 Billion in 2018.

What Does “Really Works” Mean?

Generalizations aside, defining specifically what “really works as a marketing tool” means would be valuable in determining the most accurate answer. Is Social Media the best marketing tool for small business? Likely not, but maybe. Is Social Media an effective marketing tool with low cost to entry for small business? Yes.

P.I.T.O Will Reveal the Answer

The key is to define your marketing goals and build your campaigns to successfully accomplish those goals - P.I.T.O (Plan, Implement, Test, Optimize) over and over again. Correctly done, the process will demonstrate if Social Media really works for your small business.

By Jim Moore 06 Jan, 2018
Introducing our new Customer Service portal at http://mysticmedia.freshdesk.com !  

  • Submit a Service Request Ticket
  • Check the Status of a TIcket
  • Learn from Forums and Our Knowledge Base
We will be developing new content over the next few months, and in the mean time, share with us your questions and suggestions for topics you would like us to address.

We look forward to providing you ever improving service and to communicating with you through our next Customer Service Portal!  http://mysticmedia.freshdesk.com
By Jim Moore 26 Dec, 2017

Ultimately, the measurable outcome of the missions that arise from your marketing plan will indicate how well the three elements of the question are aligned.

  1. Business Goals  - what I wish to accomplish. What I want my business to be and to represent.
  2. Marketing Objectives - an important (but not the exclusive) element of achieving my business goals. The steps that I believe are the path to accomplishing my business goals.
  3. Social Media  - an important (but not the exclusive) tool I will use to take action toward my marketing objectives.

If social media is effectively used, Marketing Objectives will be accomplished. If the Marketing Objectives are well aligned with the Business Goals, the goals will be achieved.

Gaps that Reveal Misalignment, Questions that Identify the Reason

Misalignment of the objectives and goals could result in meeting marketing performance benchmarks but having your business goals left unfulfilled. In that circumstance, re-evaluation and adjustment of the marketing goals would likely be in order. Analysis of the fulfillment gap between the business goals and the outcomes will likely reveal the necessary change of marketing direction. Value may be derived from questions such as:

  • Did the gap result from successfully marketing to the wrong audience?
  • Did the gap result from successfully marketing the wrong product/service?
  • Did the success of the marketing require us to surrender a business ethics goal?
  • Did the success reveal a lack of business resources/capabilities?
  • Did the marketing objectives fail to anticipate the growth of other businesses in our vertical?

A sufficient evaluation of the fulfillment gap and the associated modification of the marketing objectives will result in a re-calibrated use of social media and other marketing channels.

A poor use of Social Media, that is to say, a misalignment of Social Media use and the Marketing Objectives, will likely be evidenced by the Marketing Objectives not being achieved.

A Process of Create/Execute/Evaluate/Modify

The key to the process of create/execute/evaluate/modify  is the consistent analysis of the data that results from the process.

  • Are marketing objectives being accomplished?
    • If no: evaluate the use of the tools (social media and others).
    • if yes : Are the business goals being achieved?
      • If no : evaluate the relationship between the marketing objectives and the business goals.
      • If yes:  Enjoy the success and create new business goals to work toward.

The Business Goals are Primary

Of the three elements of the question the Business Goals should be the driver and the least plastic, however, it is possible that new opportunities may be identified through the evaluation of the marketing objectives and the business goals may be changed.



By Jim Moore 19 Dec, 2017

As is the case for many business decisions, the potential advantages of social media marketing are dependent on the local business’s goals. That being said, some advantages may include:

1. The opportunity to receive relevant customer reviews  - Customer reviews are an important and growing influence on many digital marketing touch points. Digital marketing provides the opportunity to communicate with a local audience and receive reviews and feedback.

2. As has been wisely pointed out in the other answers, social media marketing is often less expensive than is traditional marketing . The ability to control the demographic and geographical reach of paid social media advertising results in not spending the budget on non-relevant audiences.

3. Social Media presences is a necessary element of most local business’s success - more often than ever local business prospects check for a social media presence prior to shopping with a local business. A local business’s credibility may be on the line if they fail to build out their social media profile.

4. Social Media channels can offer an easy to access communication pipe between a business and their customers  - thinking beyond “marketing” and toward customer service, social media provides an opportunity assist customers through messaging platforms.

Social Media marketing can offer several advantages to local business and because of the ability to focus and limit spends, it does so with very little risk. Again, a solid, well considered and formal marketing plan will produce the data that is necessary to make formal decisions about the use of social media and how to optimize its use .

By Jim Moore 18 Dec, 2017
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and above all else THANK YOU to each and every one of you for a fantastic 2017!  

As we gift and carrol our way through the wonderful Holiday season, we find it a good time to reflect on the successes we enjoyed together over the past year and share plans for the new year.  

2017 in Review

1. Google Calls Out Non-Secure Sites  - Google announced that sites that request personal information from visitors must utilize SSL Encryption or risk having a "Not Secure" message displayed when a visitor attempts to input information. Fortunately, the solution to the challenge was a simple one and many of you had us install an SSL Certificate and redirect all of your visitors to the HTTPS version of your site.

2. Mobile Became King, So Arises M/Flex Web Development  - Google doubled down on its heavy preference for mobile optimized websites by announcing that mobile-readiness was a primary factor in determining a website's placement on their Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). In preparation for the growing importance of websites being mobile optimized, we introduced M/Flex Web Development  - a new development platform that delivers fast, effective and mobile-optimized websites without the need for special coding.

3. New York State Passed New Cyber Security Regulations  - The New York State Department of Financial Services enacted 23 NYCRR 500 which impacted financial service businesses and insurance agency in the state. Though the requirements of the law are complicated, working with several of our insurance agency clients, we developed a process for assisting them to be compliant with regulation and for instituting best cybersecurity practices.

4. Mystic Media Dot Com, Inc. Launched Its New Website  - It was over 14 months in the making, but November of 2018 saw the publication of the new MysticMedia.com. We are optimizing the site daily with a mission of making it the best possible digital success resource for our clients and future client.

5. The Introduction of M/Flex Web Development  - As mentioned above, to prepare for the growing necessity for websites to be mobile optimized we introduced M/Flex Web Development in mid-2017. In addition to producing mobile device ready, responsive websites, M/Flex offers a bevy of features and benefits that enhance your business's ability to achieve digital success. Those features include
  • Simple WYSIWYG Editing
  • Dynamic Personalization
  • Simple to Use eCommerce Capability
  • SSL Encryption and more.  
In total, 2017 saw the launch of 13 new M/Flex websites and we will continue to strongly utilize the new technology throughout 2018 and beyond.

Looking Forward

The new year is filled with promise as we continue to expand our ability to help your business enjoy digital success. Our plans for 2018 include:

1. Kim VanDunk will increase her service to our client s - We excitedly welcomed Kim to our Team in late 2017 and during her work with us she contributed greatly to the success of the Google SSL Security initiative and was instrumental in the successful launch of several new client websites. 2018 Kim will be more visible on our Team and likely will assist many of our clients with there digital marketing missions.

2. The Introduction of Website Dynamic Personalization  - Website personalization is an emerging trend in the web world. Our M/Flex web development initiative creates the opportunity for small business websites to easily and affordably deploy its benefits. We plan an announcement regarding the full rollout of the Dynamic Personalization feature during the 2nd quarter of 2018.

Thank you again to each of you for making 2017 the best year ever at MMDC! We deeply appreciate your trust in us and we are fully committed to working every day to enhance our ability to help you achieve your business's digital success!

As Always, wishing you the Highest Success and the Deepest Peace,

Jim
By Jim Moore 13 Dec, 2017

Excellent question and as the owner of a digital marketing firm that offers web development, one that I have been asked more than once. The responses range from simple to subtle and include:

The old business adage “to grow a successful business, do only those things that only you can do”.

In other words, to be successful you have to effectively utilize your time and resources. Among the dozens of operations that your business requires during a day, there are few high value, mission critical tasks that demand your specific knowledge and expertise. When those tasks get pushed aside so that you can work on tasks for which you could instead hire an expert, your business may suffer.

There is a reason that most of us purchase our food at the super marketing rather than growing it ourselves.  Time is a commodity and leveraging the time of a specialist is often a smart business decision.

There is much more to being successful on the web than knowing how to code.

A good web development partner will deliver much more than the technical, task oriented, coding and development that you can learn from videos. Working with a qualified web success partner means more than saving time and can help assure that you actually enjoy a return on your capital investment.

Coding is important, but a successful business web ambassador is powered by the following areas of specialty:

  • Pre-development planning
  • Informed Design
  • Future Proof Development
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Effective Marketing
  • Analytics/Testing
  • Responsive Optimization

All areas of specialty with which a professional web developer can help your project excel.

Regardless of the web development platform used, if your website is intended to be a successful marketing platform, speaking with, and receiving proposals from, 2 or 3 professional developers before starting the project will likely be valuable. Ultimately, the discussions may make clear that the investment in a web success partner will pay dividends beyond saving you time.

By Jim Moore 08 Dec, 2017

Adapt through Adopting

Adopting the strategies of the prevailing market to the degree that they fit your business's mission can be helpful. As an example, if your business is a brick and mortar retailer, you could move into eCommerce by developing a proprietary website, and/or move into selling your products on the Amazon marketplace via the Fulfillment By Amazon (FBA) program.

Adopting main stream strategies and technologies effectively answers the question of “How will my customers buy from me in the face of dramatic changes” by keeping your business aligned with the current business models with which you customers are familiar.

Blaze Unique New Trails Through Differentiation

Differentiation, on the other hand, means developing and effectively marketing the factors that differentiate your business from others, and may result in establishing a niche’ or specialty market that is intentionally less influenced by the current of main stream retail commerce.

Developing, organizing and communicating differentiation could be summarized as creating and marketing your business's Unique Selling (or Value) Proposition   (USP or UVP). There are several online tools and guides to assist with the development of a USP, one of which is here:

Differentiation effectively answers the question of “Why will my customers buy from me in the face of dramatic changes”

Lastly, stay abreast of current trends and take time to think in terms of “What will my vertical be like in 5 years, in 10 years?”. Looking forward and organizing your business planning around well-informed expectations for the future may eliminate the need to play catch-up.

By mysticmediadc 05 Dec, 2017

An excellent question and as a web development company, one that garners some of our company’s attention.

The “build it yourself in under and hour” website builders have had a small impact on our business. Some small clients and prospects have peeled off and moved to the Do-It-Yourself  (DIY) model. Those particular clients and prospects were driven by the potential cost savings and did not place value on the benefits of working with a professional development team. And for some businesses,  the DIY model is the better option.

For those business that see beyond the seemingly easy “I need a website and at the lowest possible cost” offered by the DIY solution, the investment in the counsel and technical capabilities of a knowledgeable and up-to-date web professional is wise. Those same clients are likely to see that there are lost opportunity costs to consider when weighing their web development options.

The following list of questions and their answers may be valuable in determining which path a business should follow when moving toward developing a website:

Is Search Engine Optimization important to your website’s mission?

- If no, do it yourself may work
- If yes, seek a professional

If the website will include eCommerce, is conversion optimization important?

- If no, do it yourself may work
- If yes, seek a professional

Is your web development budget more than $500.00?

- If no, do it yourself may work
- If yes, seek a professional

Do you, or someone on your staff, have the time and ability to keep the website’s content updated and fresh?

- If yes, do it yourself may work
- If no, seek a professional

Would your website benefit from interfacing with third party marketing and other tools?

- If no, do it yourself may work
- If yes, seek a professional

Is understanding and leveraging the latest in cyber security important to your website?

- If no, do it yourself may work
- If yes, seek a professional

Is it important that your website have a clearly defined mission and have its success measured against definable goals?

- If no, do it yourself may work
- If yes, seek a professional

Is having your website completed quickly and cheaply the most important consideration in its development?

- If yes, do it yourself may work
- If no, seek a professional

The list is not exhaustive regarding the number and kind of benefits that a professional web developer can provide to a web development project, however, if any of the questions are answered yes, it indicates that taking to 2 or more professionals and requesting proposals from each will likely be valuable to the web development decision.

Will DIY website solutions be able to replace web developers?

Yes, the “do it yourself” model will replace some web developers. It will not, however, supplant those web marketing professionals dedicated to delivering to their clients value beyond simple "build it and forget it" web development.


Adapted from a Quora answer 

Will websites like Wix be able to replace web developers?


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