Back when I was young, we would play outside all day.  Leaving in the morning and back late in the evening after days exploring the country side and getting to know my friends. 

We would build forts, ride our bikes, play hide and seek, run and laugh … it was a good childhood in the 70s-80s.  Life without the internet, mobile phones and computers.   Letters were written, service in shops was genuine and large tech companies like Apple, IBM or Microsoft were still in their infancy.

   

In the early 1990’s, I still used a type writer to type my university essays, and when the electric typewriter came about it was fantastic.  It was the norm, use the old rotary phones and later the large push button ones… we thought we were so cool. 

By 2003, when I graduated from a Website Design course.   I first learned to code HTML and then JavaScript – creating basic but functioning websites.   A year later, it was Dreamweaver that helped create websites.   Do you remember the news tickers across the bottom of website pages… or basic text saying “Hello! Today’s Date is…” that would pop up?  That’s JavaScript in its early days. 

In 2010 – coders had perfected the CMS system and WordPress changed the game.   It no longer required coding to create a website and instead “plug Ins” of ready made code was available.  Of course this was all open source, so as programmers collaborated the CMS system just got better and better. 

Today it seems, children spend hours upon hours on their mobile phones, tablets and computers and the gaming industry is continuing to grow.   You no longer see friends chatting in the isles at the grocery store, instead everyone’s heads are down engaged by the online content that is before them.   Connected… perhaps through chat forums, social media, emails and text… and yet unconnected from the traditional sense. 

For the few that read these blogs, I wonder if you have considered whether websites, mobile phones and the like are enabling us to be better connected or if it is the cause of a more lonely society which will result in further isolation? 

Without boring you with statistics (a quick Google will suffice) – companies like Facebook are actually leading to greater dissatisfaction among users.   With the help of apps and modern technology, posts & images are often doctored to look their best, capturing just the right angles and adding just the right light.  Users browse their list of friends posts and feel an envy with a conscious & subconscious decision to post images that are even better.  A natural drive to be the best and to display it online has allowed Instagram to grow exponentially. 

As a website designer & marketer – I seek to make your company look its best.  Taking advantage of the users desire to connect and creating marketing material that represents you at your best.     After over 15 years in the industry I can quickly construct a CMS website that is responsive (mobile friendly) and has all the features you could possible list.   

Send me a wish list of what you would like to see on your website.   Let me know your budget, current website address and any other info and then lets have a chat.   

The Transaction Approach to Marketing

While there are many approaches to website marketing, the  marketing approach based on the Transaction is frequently a focused of  new E-Commerce business.  And while the philosophy of a transactional approach is simple (– its business marketing based on the customer transaction)  – without incoporating features of traditional marketing this marketing style could result in a loss of transactions.

When marketing is focused on the Product, price, placement and promotion – the customer user experience and retention is lost.   Often dependant on analytics and SEO principles, the transactional E-Commerce business is in dangerous territory if the user experience and customer retention is not considered.

Remember the old sales rule?  A customer will tell his/her friends and family if they have had a good customer experience, but hundreds if it was bad.   This applies to technical errors where products are not shipped on time, or the payment system is not working – or perhaps the website itself is not as user friendly as the competition.   If the relationship with your customer is based solely on the transaction… you will loose out to wealthier and larger competitors who invest in expensive marketing, software and analytics.   There is no customer loyalty.

Relationship Marketing

On contrast, Relationship Marketing is another alternative to the Transaction Approach and the focus is on customer service, and building a business based on repeat customers.   Larger orders are often the emphasis where a “red carpet rolled out service” becomes the norm… if your customer will purchase and has money to spend.   You see examples of this in car sales.  The expensive car sales showroom, with TV and coffee in the corner is there to help the customer feel at ease – their website is high end and so is the service.   Leading up to the sale you are treated with the utmost respect – if you don’t purchase they will rapidly move on to someone who will.

In a similiar way however, many small business on the high street have raised their families based on the Relationship based approach where repeat business and customer service was of utmost importance.

Savy Consumers

Consumers are smart.  As they increasingly become knowledgeable with technology and now have mobile phones in their hands – they hold the key to all online business – without needing to speak to anyone.  They can now research and purchase just about anything online and with the help of AI like Amazon Alexa… they can purchase within a few comands as well.    Is the relationship approach a thing of the past?

It would seem that society is in the midst of a transactional change.  Where an evolution of customer service must shift to online UX focused design… where the user journey and ease of use is becoming vital.

Not only should a business combine the skills of Transactional Marketing, but they should also be an approachable business by adding key additions to a website to help the user make a purchase and be in contact should they choose.   Online chat is an example of this.

We are in a transformation, where at present business use a combination of transactional and relational marketing methods and websites should be build to reflect both.

Elon Musk places emphasis on AI and our existing use of Social Media. The growth of technology like the internet is enabling the pairing of AI and humanity. Everyone who is connected, either via Social Media, texting, websites or data input is contributing to the massive database which AI draws from.

Key points for a Marketing professional: The growth of Twitter, Facebook & texting is clearing showing that we are requiring less and less words to communicate. The popularity of Instagram, shows again that a “picture is worth a thousand words”. ie. Image is everything. The fascinating thing about Social Networking is that often, people will edit crop and tweak their photos, to show a fantasy like world that others envy. It is contributing to a global dissatisfaction, where individuals are attune to “likes” or “pings” from strangers to have self esteem. Virtual reality is in its infancy and yet an ever growing field which Musk touches on saying that there is a possibility that mankind will prefer to live in an artificial world, and the danger than technology will become so advanced it will be impossible to differentiate between the two.

Key points for a Website Designer: At the present time, we are currently imputing & creating data that is ultimately feeding the ability for AI to grow. We do this by creating websites and adding information online, as I am now. This information is accessible via the www in which all mobile phones and computers are connected. Thus enabling, the extension of self to be a digital form which we can use and access – as and when needed. The question is: Is there a limit to the size of the www?

“If you look at social networks, mobile phones and computers as leaves on a tree, AI is the tree itself. ” – Elon Musk