Community Powered Web Marketing Management

Help us get out of our heads! We’ve been coding Marketing for Mavens for over a year now. Each week, new features are added, new bugs are fixed, and the value of the application grows. Marketing for Mavens is raw, it’s rough, and it’s far from finished (is any application ever finished?) but that doesn’t take away from how effective it can be for you now, in its current state.

Marketing for Mavens is an application that I’m very passionate about. I love web marketing which is a good thing since I’ve been doing it for 12 years. This experience has brought about different frustrations along the way which led me to build an application to address them. The problem is that working specifically on my problems doesn’t mean that it addresses the problems that everyone else shares or experiences. That’s why I’m looking for your help. For Marketing for Mavens to become the essential tool for web marketing that I think it can become, I need your help and feedback.

So, if you’re looking for an opportunity to shape the future of an application which will make your web marketing life/job easier, now’s the chance to join our beta, use the application, break it, push it to its limits, and provide feedback, suggestions, rants, smoke signals, and any other communication channels to help us help you. I want Marketing for Mavens to be a product that we are all proud of. The goal, to transform web sites into highly effective web marketing machines. Let’s make it happen.

At this point, you’re either ready to join the beta and our community and get started or you’re asking yourself, what does Marketing for Mavens do for me? The first is self explanatory, the second goes like this:

  • Web Marketing Campaign Management: Track and manage all of your web marketing campaigns in one location. Know who clicked on what campaigns and when. Know which campaigns are most effective and which are under-performing. Create campaign specific calls-to-action that are only displayed to the people responding to that particular campaign.
  • Twitter Campaigns: Post Twitter messages and track responses to see which Tweets get the most click-throughs.
  • Dynamic Promotions: Share web page real estate amongst several promotions (calls-to-action or page content) and match them to individual visitors based on their interaction on your web site. What does all this mean? It means your promotions are matched to the people who are most interested in seeing them, making it more likely people will respond to your offers. Now you can easily create dynamic content regardless of how your site is configured. No extra cost and just a small amount of JavaScript code which we give you.
  • Dashboard: Quickly see how your site is performing on a daily basis and how the day is tracking compared to the previous 7 days.
  • Report: See how your site (page views and conversions) and promotions have performed over the past 6 months.
  • Citizen View: See what brought each individual visitor to your web site, what they looked at, and what they were interested in so you can do a better job of developing content to match their needs and determine where the holes are in your site that may be losing valuable conversions.

We have a lot of new features on the horizon as well. Both the dashboard and report pages will continue to evolve as they become more effective tools for showing what led to traffic spikes, what campaigns performed best and when, which campaigns should be retired, and where money can be better spent to generate conversions and sales leads. Campaigns will have goals associated with them so you can track how well or how badly a campaign is doing, allowing you to make quick changes or divert money to those that are more effective.

If all of this sounds interesting to you, please feel free to join the community and sign up for the beta. We’d love to have you as part of the community. If you have further questions just send me an email and I’ll respond as soon as possible.

Thank you so much for your time!

I’ve been working on new community site called WebMarketingTribe.com. One thing we’ve noticed over the years is a lack of a single resource for anything and everything related to corporate web marketing. so I’ve decided to take some time to develop a site to cater to this community.

The goal is to create a single resource that Web Marketers can go to not only learn about the latest news but also use as a reference to find the top historical information. In addition to news information, we’re also working on a resource section for tracking and rating all the tools related to our focus. We’re also looking at how we can better integrate RSS feeds, Twitter, and upcoming event information.

Please take some time to check out the site and let us know what you think. If you’d like to help out please let me know. The more the merrier.

Recently, I’ve been spending a lot of time working on Marketing for Mavens. This has drastically cut into my time on this blog but I wanted to post a quick note to highlight what I’ve been up to.

Back in June, we launched a beta web application called Marketing for Mavens (MfM). MfM allows companies to match their web content, promotions, and offers to the needs of the web site visitors. This is done by setting up section(s) of your web page(s) where you want MfM to control the content. As people visit your site, MfM tracks the pages they go to and tags them based on those pages. These tags help MfM analyze what visitors are looking for and display the most appropriate content/promotion/offer based on this analysis. There are several benefits to this:

  • Multiple promotions and offers can share the same real estate on a web page. You no longer need to build generic promotions that need to cater to all of your visitors or figure out how to balance or rotate several promotions on a crowded home page.
  • You no longer have to track all your promotions and offers. It is done automatically and the most appropriate content is delivered to your visitors in real-time.
  • Improved web site usability. Your visitors have a better chance of finding what they want since MfM is displaying content, promotions, and offers based on their history with your web site.
  • Better results. People are more likely to respond to your promotions and offers if they are inline with their needs.

Currently, MfM is in beta and will continue to be in beta through the end of the year. During the beta, registration and use of the MfM application is free. You can try out the service for as long as you want, on as many sites and pages as you want.

We also continue to add new features every few weeks which is where a lot of my time is going. In September we added:

  • Better Sales Lead Targeting: You can target content and promotions to select visitors. MfM allows you to customize web promotions that will only be seen by an individual visitor. You select how many times you want this promotion to be shown and it will be displayed the next time this person visits your web site.
  • Referrer Tracking: You can now see where your visitors are coming from and the search terms they used to find you. This gives you even more valuable insight into targeting your visitors, ensuring that you target them with the right promotions at the right time.
  • Link Tracking: You can now track which promotions are the most effective and eliminate under performing ones. A/B Testing of your promotions and offers can now be done as well.

If you’re interested in more information please check out the Marketing for Mavens web site. You can also sign-up for the free beta.

As things calm down on the MfM front, I hope to get back to blogging more frequently here.

Looks like Google is breaking their self imposed word count limit on their home page today to promote Google Chrome. I can’t say I blame them. Google Chrome has the potential to make a significant impact on the web over the next few years. It ties everything they’ve been doing for the past 5 years together into a package that could minimize Microsoft’s role in the web.

Thinking Different

A random thought that came to me while reading…

“All people are the same. It’s the mental models we adhere to that set us apart.”

After spending a day with 2.0.2, it doesn’t appear that too many of the bug fixes were directed at the first generation iPhone. Here’s my experience after a day of using the new update.

The Good

All of my apps worked after installing the update. 2.0.1 required that I uninstall and then download all of my apps again to get them to work. This appears to be a 2.x bug and Apple is working on a fix for September so your experiences may vary.

The contact application is usable for the first time for me. Before, I experienced long load times and plenty of scrolling lag.

The Bad

Safari: Still one of the worst applications on the iPhone. So far, I haven’t experienced any crashes yet with 2.0.2 but stability has been a huge issue in the past for me since the 2.x update. None of the other problems I was having seem to have been resolved. Safari still doesn’t remember which page you left off on and changing pages means that a reload is necessary. Page load times seem to be higher and keyboard and scrolling lag is still an issue especially when the site is loading.

The Ugly

My iPhone has completely frozen when reading email and using Safari. This has never happened since I bought the phone back in October. The touch screen doesn’t respond and the home button doesn’t work. I have to reboot the phone to get it to work again. Not good.

Apple, I really hope 2.1 is what 2.0 should have been. If it isn’t, please hold off until it’s ready. Perhaps it’s time to do a Snow Leopard type update on the iPhone and only concentrate on bug fixes and speed improvements for the next 6 months.

Today and tomorrow (August 14 & 15) WEEI, NESN, and the Red Sox are trying to raise $4 million for the Jimmy Fund. For those of you who are unaware of what the Jimmy Fund is, it is a cause setup to support children and adults with their battle against cancer. The Jimmy Fund and the Dana Farber Cancer Institute do an amazing job of providing hope to the thousands of people diagnosed with this disease each year.

If you are looking for one place to donate money to this year, please consider the Jummy Fund. Over the next 2 days, WEEI is hosting a telethon to raise the $4 million. Listen to their broadcast for 5 minutes and I guarantee you will agree that this is an amazing program. I’m not affiliated with the any of the involved parties and my family has been fortunate enough to not have to deal with cancer for the past few years. However, as a devoted Boston sports fan, I’m always tuned into WEEI’s great sports radio broadcast and the days in August where they interrupt the normal sports radio routine to raise money for this great cause, are best days to listen all year. You can not help but be brought to tears and be inspired by the stories you’ll hear.

Update: It looks like the goal was exceeded…unofficial total is $4.6+ million…awesome!!!

I love this post by Seth Godin. Too many entrepreneurs sprint out of the gate thinking they’ll be the next big thing. They see Robert Scoble doing video interviews and TechCrunch praising the next “product x” killer that have seemingly come out of nowhere. The problem is that these success stories tend to be the top 1% of the thousands of successful companies that are started each year and sprint tends to be exactly what leads to failure. What get lost in all this are the other successful companies that didn’t receive the same publicity, venture capital, and quick success but over time made solid business decisions, spent wisely, and stuck with their strategy and tactics to win in the long run. It’s these companies that most of us should model our own business practices after and then let everything else take care of itself.

Please Note: iPhone posts have moved to theiPhoneSherpa.com

After spending a week using 2.0.1, I’m anxiously awaiting 2.0.2 or 2.1, whichever comes first. At first this update appeared to fix some of the sluggishness but that is no longer the case. I’m not sure if this is due to my apps now working or something else but something needs to be done to make the touch screen as responsive as it was in the 1.x versions.

Here’s a quick list of a couple other nagging issues I’d love to see fixed.

– Contact App: still too slow to be usable
– Safari: I don’t remember having this problem in 1.x but Safari rarely remembers the last “window” you use. Instead, 95% of the time you run Safari you start with the first “window” you have open.
– Safari: when switching “windows”, each window reloads. This can be very frustrating when switching to a site like Google Reader where a refresh takes you away from an article you were saving and back to home screen.
– Volume Bar: the volume bar randomly pops up from time to time when tapping on the screen. I haven’t found a pattern to it so I’m not sure what is causing the problem.
– App Crashes: The “Apple” apps that comes with the iphone still crash too frequently. The iPhone is supposedly running the same OS X as Apple’s other computers but this doesn’t show in it’s level of stability. The worst offender is Safari which contiues to crash a couple of times a say on me we as my MacBook Pro can run for days without any issues.

Apple generally puts quality first, but they definite bit off to much with MobileMe and I tend to think they did the same with the 2.x version of the iphone software. 2.0 probably could have used another 4 to 6 weeks of development time. I really hope the next update concentrates on performance and bug fixed before any new features are added.

iPhone 2.0.1 Apps Problem

Yesterday, I downloaded the new iPhone update. Everything appeared to be working great; no lag, contacts application was finally usable, and the keyboard was much faster. I was very happy with the update until I tried any of the apps I’ve downloaded from the app store. None of them work. Every app returns to the home screen shortly after trying to start up. I’m looking around now to see if I can find out what the problem is but it doesn’t appear to be wide spread which is good but it doesn’t help me much. If you’ve solved this problem please let me know what I can do to correct it. In the mean time, I’m going to try a few things and will post an update if I can get the apps working.

Update: I was able to get my apps working again by deleting them all through iTunes (applications tab -> sync applications -> uncheck all the apps installed on your phone) then I re-downloaded them through app store on my iPhone. Trying to re-sync the apps through iTunes did not work.