Perspective, tips, and insight

Articles to help you improve your digital marketing

Traditional Marketing vs. Online Marketing Tactics

It is important to understand the difference between traditional marketing methods and new marketing tactics – and understand how they reach today’s customer. So many businesses are stuck in a routine of printed collateral and should be reallocated marketing dollars to online efforts for more success and return on investment.

Don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with traditional marketing tactics (brochures, radio, newspaper or magazine ads, etc.) -- they have their place and can be effective.

But the truth of the matter is that they are not as powerful as online marketing because audiences are different than they used to be. People are online, they are Facebook, and they read less newspapers and magazines. Traditional marketing efforts are simply not reaching the magnitude of people that online methods can. We want to read about companies, services and products in our pajamas, at night, and at our convenience...Or even get some of that info right in our phones via a Twitter or blog feed.
There are 1,630,625,048 Internet users around the world.
The majority will use the web to research businesses, products, or services that interest them.
Flaws of traditional marketing tactics.
  • Difficult to measure results and ROI.
  • Limited distribution.
  • Limited control and timely/costly to make changes.
Advantages of online marketing
  • No printing or postage costs.
  • Measurable results (Google Analytics).
  • Opportunity to reach unlimited clients, customers, partners anytime, anywhere.
  • Chance to present your business bigger and compete with the industry big companies.
  • Easy to make changes and oftentimes directly in your control. (Content Management System)
  • Growing and changing technology means opportunity to beat your competitors who cannot keep up with the times.
  • Quick and easy online payments via credit card. No sale people, no customer service, just click, click, sale, profit!!

Umbraco CMS: Features and Flaws

Umbraco is a free ASP.NET CMS that also allows you to create your own design and allows editing with an integrated WYSIWYG editor that is a lot like Microsoft Word.  It has over 85,000 active users/installations.

I would say the number one thing that I don’t like about Umbraco by just looking at their site is that they have a security hole in their installation. They mention it on their home page, but that would still deter myself from using their system, especially for any clients or businesses. I haven't had a chance to build a site with Umbraco, but I'll try my best to give a good summary review.

Best Features
  • JQuery Multi-level Navigation
  • Supports internal and external flash videos
  • Allows the client to post Tweets based on node publishing
Additional Features
  • multi-level galleries
  • e-commerce with PayPal
  • Current weather (which I thought was interesting)
  • widgets 
Flaws
From what I've been reading, Umbraco's biggest flaws seem to be "bugs". It looks like they have bugs with publishing and upgrading to the new V4. Umbraco does, however, have a bug fixing warranty on their products page. 

CostUmbraco is ultimately free, but you can pay for extra bundles that they offer which could cost up to $700 depending on what you want. 

Sample Sites that use Umbraco
Technical Details
Built on the .NET framework 2.0 with ASP.NET 2.0 and C#, Umbraco supports .NET Custom Control and .NET User Controls with very little change. Umbraco fully supports ASP.NET Ajax, ASP.NET Master Pages, and XSLT for generating dynamic lists.
 


Summary
Umbraco seems to offer a decent CMS, they just need to get their bugs under control. And they are working on it, but until then they have the bug warranty to make sure that the client is covered. It's simple and easy to use. If you would like to see how it works yourself, you can watch their 3 minute tour video on their home page. Umbraco will surely have a learning curve, which seems to be a trend so far with CMS, but here is a blog that contains a new user guide by BlogFodder! They also offer 80+ online training videos and a friendly community for support. And they will have a book out coming soon -- the book is scheduled for an early-2011 release to coincide with the v5 release of Umbraco. 


Great Features of ExpressionEngine CMS

Great Features of ExpressionEngine CMS
ExpressionEngine is built with PHP and it has many great features. I have the most personal experience with ExpressionEngine, so thought I would start here in my evaluation of Content Management Systems.

ExpressionEngine allows you to create your own design, so you can create the website that you want. I really like the support system that it has including an extensive forum, video instructions, user guide, and professionals standing by to help you with any questions that you have.

The power and pitfalls of Content Management Systems (a series)

Which CMS should you choose?
Learn about the pros/cons and see some samples.
Content Management Systems (CMS) have been around for a little over a decade. Over the past couple of years, they have become a “must have” for a website. A CMS is a software tool built with scripting language and a database that allows a company to control content, navigation, documents and more on their public website via a secure “backend” portal. With a CMS, companies can edit their public website without knowledge or training in HTML or CSS.

There are many Content Management Systems available -- ranging from freeware, costly software solutions requiring installation, and even custom software solutions developed by web design companies. All CMS's are developed a little differently, have various features included, as well as pros, cons and limitations. All in all, a good CMS can be quite beneficial to companies making routine edits to content on their website.

Our new web design Intern, Shannon, is going to examine various Content Management Systems to find the 'best' features and identify problems of popular CMS options. TBH Creative plans to use this information to better our own custom developed CMS and consider new features / options to add.

We plan to post an evaluation of a new CMS system each week for the next 6 weeks. So, if you need the 'skinny' on which CMS to choose, these posts will help give you answers. All in all, you want a CMS that has very few limitations and to find a web company that understands the system recommended and can customize it around your specific needs.

Good luck 'CMS'ing and stay tuned!

TBH Creative is a web design company in Indianapolis, Indiana offering a custom Content Management System solution for its clients.

Meet Shannon, Web Design Intern at TBH Creative

Shannon is the newest Web Intern at TBH Creative. She is fun, loves website design and code, and wants to learn as much as she can about Indianapolis website design. We hope to help her with that! Shannon wrote a little bit about herself below and will be contributing to our design blog over the next weeks with things she learns related to web design and web development.

Who is a Shannon you ask; well I’ll let you in on some secrets.

In addition to TBH Creative, I work at Starbucks on 15th and Capitol, containing one of the busiest drive-thrus in the nation, and I’m a web designer/developer at heart. Prior to TBH Creative, I’ve had enough time to complete two websites that I built with CMS through Expression Engine. The first website I designed was for my friend, Robin Wolf. She’s a photographer and she wanted something simple to show her work. The second website I built was for my father’s church, North West United Methodist Church. I graduated from Indiana University in 2009 with a Bachelors Degree in Informatics focusing in Fine Arts.

Hospital Record of Giving in 2009 -- $380,967,283

TBH Creative is proud to have designed and developed a website for the Sisters of St. Francis Health Services (SSFHS) community benefits report. The website serves as a 2009 record of their community giving, efforts, and dollars contributed. In 2009, the hospitals combined gave almost $381 million in health services to their respective communities across Indiana. Visit the site.

The website is a duplication of their site from 2008 with a few enhancements and upgrades.

Visit the 2009 SSFHS Community Benefits website
What an impressive and charitable organization!

About SSFHS
Sisters of St. Francis Health Services provides medical and other supplies, health care and other services, screenings, support groups, educational opportunities and presentations, monetary donations, and other sponsorships. Members from all of their organization contribute their time and skills and, in meaningful ways, touch many lives in their communities.

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