On November 20, 2013, businesses from across the Okanagan gathered at the 324-seat Mary Irwin Theatre to learn about the different tactics that they can use to market themselves in the Okanagan Valley - and beyond.
Csek Creative, the host of the event, presented four different topics and invited media partners in radio, print, and television to discuss their respective platforms as well. The event was a huge success, and was a great follow-up to last year's Mobile Revolution conference, hosted by Csek Creative.
We have made the slides of the Csek Creative team's presentations available for your review. We will also be releasing recordings of the presentations in the coming month - so stay tuned!
Defining, Communicating, Measuring, and Refining Our Message
Nikki Csek kicked off the morning with a review of marketing principals and introduced the topic at hand for the day - promotion. Nikki emphasized that before we promote ourselves and our businesses, we need to familiarize ourselves with the promotion cycle. This includes defining our message and who we are, a topic which was later covered in more detail by Tony Peyton. After defining the message, we need to communicate it. This is where a lot of businesses have difficulty. Where should they communicate their message, and through what platform? Website, radio, tv, print, online marketing, social media? The options are endless and daunting.
A commonly overlooked aspect of marketing is the measurement of results. Once you've communicated the message, how do you measure your success? Nikki asked, "If we don't know where we are, how do we know where we are supposed to be going?". Lastly, she introduced the concept of refining our strategies based on measurement and adjusting the message and mediums to help grow our circle of influence.
Following Nikki's introduction to the promotion branch of marketing, Tony explained the importance of defining your message, who you are, and - most importantly - your brand. The Csek Creative marketing expert explained that brand is more than just a logo and a typeface – it is an experience that touches every aspect of a business and its customers. The audience was shown some local examples of small Okanagan businesses that have had to compete against larger national and international chains with nothing but their brand. Tony also showcased some great examples of branding in the media today, helping to inspire attendees and get them contemplating their own brand identity. To cap off his presentation, Tony introduced the fictitious "Mens Over And Under", an online retailer that offers accessories and fashions for the discerning man
Following Tony's strong presentation, Ryan Lahay's offering showed the importance of designing your website around your message and your content - "content first design". This concept focuses on designing a website from the ground up, without the use of colours or photography until the final stages of the site design. This helps to define what is really important and what we want to share with our customers. Not only does 'content first design' help us communicate better, it builds upon Ryan's 'mobile first design' presentation from last year's Mobile Revolution presentation. Ryan carefully walked the audience through the process of building a responsive website from scratch based on the Mens Over And Under brand that Tony introduced in his presentation. When finished, the audience was shown a beautiful and effective responsive website concept that worked in a phone, tablet, and desktop environment.
For the second half of the presentation, Ryan outlined the steps that any business should follow after launching a successful responsive website. Items that help businesses measure ROI across all marketing platforms, and more importantly, how to convert site traffic to customers.
Later in the morning, Csek Creative's charismatic lead programmer shared keys to success in online marketing. Before he spoke about the difference between paid online marketing and organic online marketing, he touched on the online sales funnel. He emphasized that businesses need to do everything in their power to make sure that the generated traffic that comes to their site needs to stay there and ultimately convert to a paying customer.
Ryan shared some of the things that we can be looking at and doing to help visitors down that sales funnel - and arms us with important questions that we need to ask about our online presence. He then went on to explain how to use these fundamentals across all paid marketing channels - such as Twitter, Adwords, and Facebook. Lastly, Ryan touched on the importance of Content Marketing, the silver bullet that arms companies with everything they need to market themselves online.