Will You Be Keeping Your Google Analytic Records After Friday?

Google Analytics:

In case you were not already aware, Google Analytics is a free web analytics tool offered by Google to help you analyze your website traffic. Accordingly, the implications of Google Analytics are huge. This is because, for most companies, your website is a hub for any of your digital traffic. Correspondingly, if you are running any marketing activities such as search ads or social media ads, your users are most likely going to visit your website somewhere along their user journey.

Would you like to learn more about how to make the most of Google Analytics? If so, completing a Google analytics individual qualification exam can prove to be advantageous. Ultimately, analytics is the foundation of SEO, social media marketing, search engine marketing, and more. Therefore broadening your understanding of analytics through completing a Google certification can be incredibly beneficial.

Since you are interested in marketing (I am assuming you are, since you are reading this article), you probably are aware of the EU GDPR privacy rules that go into effect on May 25, 2018. If you are not aware then you can check out more about this gdpr double opt in here if you wanted.

If you use Google Analytics, you’ll want to read this article published by Orbit Media:

What data is affected by the data retention controls in Google Analytics?

If you do not update your data control settings before May 25th to “Do not automatically expire”, you will lose all non-aggregate data prior to March of 2016.

https://www.orbitmedia.com/blog/change-data-retention-controls-google-analytics/?utm_source=may24-newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=data-retention-ga

Consumer Data:

Any US consumer marketers who keep data on their clients/customers also need to heed the privacy rules or face a potential fine. I’m sure that there are plenty of brand managers scrambling right now to learn and analyze the information they have on their clients. For more information on how the GDPR privacy rules in Europe applies to US companies, read this article posted by CNBC.

WordPress:

If you run your website using WordPress, you may be wondering about if your website will be GDPR compliant. Here’s info that I found on this topic from WPBeginner.com that provides info on a post called the Ultimate Guide to WordPress and GDPR

The good part is that if you’re using WordPress plugins like WPForms, Gravity Forms, Ninja Forms, Contact Form 7, etc, then you don’t need a Data Processing Agreement because these plugins DO NOT store your form entries on their site. Your form entries are stored in your WordPress database.

Simply adding a required consent checkbox with clear explanation should be good enough for you to make your WordPress forms GDPR compliant.

Evaluating a Logo with Your Graphic Designer

Your logo is going to be the most viewed part of your business. It’s going to be on all your business cards, pamphlets, and products. It’s going to appear regularly on your small business website design and other online resources. And it’s what people are going to think of when they hear your company’s name. This is why it’s so important to have a high-quality logo that is aesthetically pleasing while also being consistent with your branding. So, are you working on your logo with your graphic designer? It doesn’t have to be a frustrating process.logo with your graphic designer

Many thoughts go into a logo treatment. Sometimes developing a logo may seem so simple, but once you start thinking about it, developing a logo drives a lot of other decisions.

10 Considerations for Developing a Logo with Your Graphic Designer

  1. Colors – I’ve written many articles about colors and their meaning. Selecting a logo color palette sets up the colors for the branding.
  2. Typeface – Bold? Italic? Cursive? San Serif? Selecting the type says a lot about a brand.
  3. Icon – the Nike swoosh, the Target circles, the Nationwide rectangle. Sometimes just seeing the icon is enough. What does your company’s icon say about your business?
  4. Reversing (what will it look like against white? Against another color?)
  5. Easy to read – It’s important that people can read it quickly and easily. Your logo represents your company and you want to communicate
  6. In Print – on letterhead, envelopes and business cards
  7. Website – Do the lines of type hold up on the website? The colors often drive the colors of the website as well.
  8. Trucks & Clothing – Will your logo work as a billboard for your business on the side of a van or the shirt of your employee?
  9. Signage – How will your logo look from the road or on the street?
  10. Social Media shapes – in a circle (like Twitter) or a Square like LinkedIn. Does your logo have to be vertical or horizontal?

While you don’t want to get caught up in analysis, these are a few of the things you may want to consider when you’re working on your logo with your graphic designer.

We have helped many of our clients refresh their logos or develop brand new logos for a new product or service they want to offer.

What’s the Difference Between Branding and Marketing?

In talking with a business owner the other day, the question came up: “What’s the difference between branding and marketing?”

In my opinion the two concepts are intertwined and dependent on each other.

Branding and marketing are very connected. If you would like some services and help with marketing then you can use useful companies such as saas marketing. It’s difficult to market a brand that doesn’t fulfill the positioning. And to brand a company with supporting the branding with marketing provides no action.

Positioning can be thought of as the brand promise. It’s the expectation of fulfillment by the target market. Does the company/product meet expectations?

Marketing can be many things, but tactics are usually the most pervasive part of marketing. Communication. Promotion. Advertising. Public Relations.What is the difference between Branding and Marketing

Difference between Branding and Marketing

Here are some ways to look at the differences:

  • Branding gives the positioning. Marketing provides the efforts.
  • Branding is the foundation and should precede any marketing efforts.
  • Brand is how people perceive and feel about your company/product. Marketing is focused on identifying, educating, attracting and persuading.

Brand promise. Marketing tactics.

I think that these two short phrases really oversimplifies it! However if someone is just getting started with their marketing program, keeping it simple can help!

It’s easy to get carried away with explanations, detail and examples… going too deep down the whole Marketing/Branding rabbit hole can make a business owners eyes gloss over. Especially when they are just wondering, so how does this help me improve sales? If you want some more perspective on how to anchor your brand and marketing together with your SEO campaign try a top-ranked Los Angeles SEO company. They are the experts!

Can you quickly down your company’s brand promise and list your top 5 marketing tactics?

Developing a Logo for Your Business

ebay logosThere is a lot to consider when developing a logo for your business. What is the purpose of a logo?

Thinking it through before getting someone to start designing is one of the keys to developing a logo that works for your business.

Most companies use a logo as symbol for a brand. It usually has the company name together with an icon and the company colors. Sometimes it is just type, or just initials. Often the type is a unique typeface, artwork that is solely the companies own.

Sometimes the icon dominates the logo. Depending on the amount of marketing dollars put behind a logo, it may become a strong symbol for the company. If it is not used consistently, the impact is weakened.

How do you ensure your logo is used consistently? Through the use of a branding style guide. Sometimes they are as simple as a few pages, outlining colors, typeface, vertical, horizontal and black & white versions. Sometimes a brand style guide may be almost a book, offering every example of background treatment, what NOT to do and providing the amount of white space between any other elements on the page, website and package.

In my experience, a short style guide is very helpful, but only companies that are licensing their product and having many many graphic designers and others using their logo need to go into a huge amount of detail. And often the people using the style guide are visual communicators, so having visual examples is often more helpful than lots and lots of paragraphs of copy that sometimes is open to interpretation.

It’s also important for businesses to think about where people will see their logo. If it’s always going to be shown as big and bold then adding more details is a must but if customers are only going to see it at a small size on something like a company app then these details will just look blurry and unprofessional.

To get started with developing a logo, it is helpful to provide direction to the designer that helps them to understand how you want to portray your brand. Make a list of words. Gathering samples of logos that you like and don’t like also helps. Especially if you can articulate what you like and don’t like about your samples. In marketing agency terms, this is know as a creative brief. It sets the tone and manner, provides examples of how the logo will be used and offers direction to the creative professionals who will be developing your company’s symbol.

Some find it helpful to talk about feelings – what customers, employees and users of the product/service are likely to feel or how you want them to feel. You’ll definitely want to focus on your target market, but logos also are important for others who are part of your business: employees, your vendors, and investors.

It’s easy to get carried away and find that you’re actually trying to recreate something else that you’ve seen and liked. Don’t end up with a logo that looks like your competitors! While imitation can be viewed as a compliment, being confused with your competitors is not.

I find it is important to provide plenty of input to the designer and talk about colors as well.

If the company will be using the logo predominately on company vans, work shirts and baseball caps, the font and size of lettering with icons needs to be thick enough to read from a driving distance or walking distance.

If most of the interactions with the company logo will be on a mobile phone via a website or if they choose to develop an app with help of experts held at a distance closer than arm’s length, then a different direction may make sense.

While you hope to develop a logo that will work “forever” for your brand, obviously times change, style and technology affects the logos. You’ll want to consider a refresh to your company logo if/when it becomes dated.

If you wait too long to refresh your brand and logo, it may be a total “redo” instead of just a minor update.

Where do you go to get a new logo?

Many people go to inexpensive websites like Fiverr, Logotournament or 99designs. This can be helpful in that they are cheap, but difficult if you’ve never given direction or developed a logo before.

Rather than go immediately to one of the cheap websites and hire a nameless, faceless designer, I’d recommend spend more time developing a creative brief. You can get some help with creating creative briefs with a content collection tool similar to what Content Snare provide. Having several samples of creative briefs here, here and here can also help. Read through these examples and then put together your own brief, before approaching a graphic designer or going to a design website. You can also use a designer to consider other things such as creating invoices for your clients when doing business so they come across more professional, if you’d like to learn more I recommend you visit blog.fluidui.com for more information on using a designer for your start up business as well as access to free invoice templates.

It’s kind of like making an investment in a stock portfolio for your retirement by buying direct from an investment website, without using a investment broker with experience. However, if you are looking for a broker, you may want to check out this JAFX review. You may do just fine and be ready to brag about how much money you saved and earned, but then again, you may find that a little bit of knowledge can be a problem and want to be redoing your logo within a few months.

Sometimes working directly with a designer is the best thing, other times, you will fair better by going through someone who is great at giving creative direction.

If you find yourself saying something like “just…” or “I’ll know it when I see it” – then you are not the right person to give creative direction.

More detail is actually more helpful in getting initial direction. Having the parameters before you start makes it much more likely that a graphic designer will create something you’re looking for, than direction that says, “why don’t you be creative and I’ll pick the one I like the best.” Later when faced with a wide variety of styles, you find yourself combining different elements to mush together a logo.

Again, not the best way to go about designing your company’s symbol.

Having a well defined creative brief makes it much easier for YOU TOO!

Review the brief before you review the initial logos that the creative graphic designer submits. It will help you to evaluate it and will give you a guide to providing good feedback when faced with a variety of choices.

Evaluating the logo is definitely a skill as well as providing feedback to the designer. You’ll be tempted to show the samples to lots of people – your spouse, a friend, employees. Of course everyone has an opinion, but some opinions count more than others.

Good luck with your logo development. Let me know you found this helpful or if you think I forgot something along the way by leaving a comment below.

Portraying Advertising, Marketing as the Bad Guys

A love story 4 minute animation from Chipotle Mexican Grill to launch their new marketing campaign.
A love story 4 minute animation from Chipotle Mexican Grill to launch their new marketing campaign.

I just watched the 4 minute Chipotle animation that launches their new marketing strategy.  It was just posted about 2 months ago and has 7 million views. After a week, it had 4 million views.

It’s about business competitors trying to out do each other and ends as a love affair with sensible food.

Is the point of this video that marketing, advertising and promotion helps you to lose site of your values?  In this video the marketing and advertising influences are portrayed as the villain in the story.

Portraying Advertising as the Cause

Marketing is demonized by plenty of people, not just this video.  Is it really the fault of marketing?!?!

Is marketing the problem with the fast food industry? Marketing made them put food additives into the food?

Maybe I’m missing something, but I never thought the problems at Chipotle were about excessive advertising and marketing.

Their website outlines the outbreaks in 2015 in a very straightforward crisis communications manner. Social media has rumors of an unscrupulous conspiracy designed to give them a bad name.

Maybe I missed something. Was there a secret love affair gone bad that caused the rumors (or fact) of health problems due to food?

Are they trying to redirect and blur their story?

Is this love story actually the story of how Chipolte was founded?

What is the strategy behind this animation?

Obviouly I have more questions than answers about this subject.

I originally wrote this post a few days after the short video was released, but didn’t publish it. I waited because I thought I might figure it out. Instead, I’m throwing this out to my readers to explain it to me. 

What’s the deal with this… I just don’t get it? Please leave your thoughts in the comments below.