A Day in the Life

A day in my life. Thoughts on leadership, management, startups, technology, software, concurrent development, etc... Basically the stuff I think about from 10am to 6pm.

5/22/2006

Digipede: Website changes and marketing thoughts...

I haven’t blogged too much technical stuff lately because I’ve been focused on our website. We’ve asked ourselves how we can help visitors to the Digipede site more easily find what they are looking for. A website for an emerging technology has to educate as well as provide a mechanism for the company to generate sales leads. We watch how people move through the site and make guesses as to what they are looking for. In that light we’ve made a good number of changes to the site with more in the works. I’ve summarized below several of our changes:

Landing Pages and Webcasts

We observed that people were clicking on our ads but not staying long or signing up for webcasts. So we tightened up the messaging on each of the landing pages to help people zero in on the ideas we think they are looking for. We also added the idea of ad echoing, which is to basically restate the words used in the ad. I had never heard of the concept before but it’s an interesting idea and we’re trying it out.

We also added a big fat webcast image link to almost every page on the site. We want people to sign-up for webcasts because after our blogs, webcasts are our best tool for having a conversation with prospects. After we made the changes to the landing pages and added the webcast button, we had an increase in the number of folks clicking through to the webcast page. (Cool)

But I want more of those folks to sign-up. So I ask myself, why aren’t more people signing up? One reason is probably the form, but we need the form for two reasons. The first is that our Live Meeting account is currently limited to 15 participants per webcast, so we have to control the number of attendees. The second reason is that we need to generate sales leads. As a small but growing company our website is the most cost effective way to get those leads.

I think a bigger reason that more folks aren’t signing up is the time the webcasts have been run at. So Dan and I put together a new schedule that offers varying times. (I will now be joining the webcast team! And finally beginning to do more of the evangelizing part of my job.) We are hoping by having times that work for the UK, US, Australia, and India we’ll see an increase in signups. We’ll be updating the webcast page so that visitors can select time and topic. Those changes will be up soon. It will be interesting to see whether we guessed right.

White Papers and Videos

We updated the white paper page to make it easier to identify how to link to the papers, added very short descriptions, and added video links. We also removed the form requiring registration for the papers. We have found that these changes have resulted in more white paper downloads (this is good) with the downside being the loss of sales leads (which is bad for us, but is it only bad for the short-term? We’ll have to wait and see.)

Case Studies

We revamped the case studies index page making it cleaner to look at and having it highlight our case study customers. And each of our case study pages is now easier to read through and pulls out quotes. We hired a marketing guy to rewrite all of this material in a way that both readers and scanners can easily find what they are looking for. We’ve also added .pdf files for each case study which is something I really like. I like to download things to read offline later. It will be interesting to see overtime how many other people do too.

Conclusion

Through-out this process we’ve been using the ideas described in Steve Krug’s book "Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability" and trying to help our visitors find what they are looking for.

Marketing is sooo not like development. There isn’t a compiler or profiler to tell me how things are working or if they are working at all. While there are quantifiable data points, much of it seems very subjective. We will continue to revamp the site with an eye towards making it easy for people to get the information they need and to help them take the next step in building a relationship with us. (Moving toward KISS.)

I want to thank the folks who read my comment on Kathy Sierra’s post "Can marketing be honest AND motivating? ". I had a few experienced marketing folks who went through the entire Digipede site and then sent me an email with their thoughts and suggestions. I LOVE THE INTERNET!!! This type of help is reflective of what makes the blogosphere such a great place to be.

If you have thoughts, ideas, questions about our site or products please feel free to contact me. Kim at Digipede dot Net. I would love to hear from you.

We can also send speakers (me) to locations that are within easy driving distance of Oakland, CA or has affordable flights. So if you represent a user group that would like to hear about grid computing and other technology related to grid computing I would be happy to talk to you about providing a presenation.

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1 Comments:

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