Making the Marketing and Design Process as Painless as Possible

8 Signal’s website redesign and relaunch gave us a chance to experience our own customer service.

A close friend and financial advisor often reminds me, “La tortuga siempre gana,” or, “The tortoise always wins.”

turtleIn English, you will recognize that this quote refers to the fable of the tortoise and the hare. We often restate this moral as, “Slow and steady wins the race.”

At 8 Signal, we try to follow this bit of wisdom by helping our customers put in place marketing systems and tasks that are achievable and realistic.

When it came time to redesign our own website, as we discussed in last week’s article, we knew we had been stuck in the same catch-22 as most of our clients. Often the busy-ness of running our day-to-day operations and taking care of our own clients was getting in the way of our own marketing.

Since marketing is the reason we exist, we knew it was time to take 8 Signal through our own marketing design process again, refine our message, and update our designs.

Slow and steady is the goal, but it often requires a jackrabbit start.

We know our clients have a lot of irons in the fire, just like we do in our own business. We have also observed that marketing efforts are usually a feast-or-famine effort in most small businesses.

We have developed a process that helps our clients break through the marketing inertia. It begins with a short “jackrabbit” effort that involves customer research, message development, and planning. We then help our clients develop a calendar of marketing tasks that keeps them on the slow and steady road to winning at the marketing race.

rabbitBottom line: Don’t get stuck in the planning and design phase. Get something done!

When we set out to relaunch 8 Signal’s site, we took about two months to accomplish our jackrabbit start and get our new site launched.

For the relaunch we used the same process we have created for our customers:

  • Message First: Identify the ideal customer. Create a powerful USP.

  • Design Second: Streamline the design to match ideal customer and message.

This process shouldn’t be painful, and it doesn’t have to drag on and on. In fact, we relaunched a website for our client Forrest Tire in only five days! Their website had been hacked, and they needed something new ASAP.

Within five days, we took what they had and got a new site up. Now we will take 30-60 days for the redesign process and to help them refine their message. Here is the site launched in five days. Stay tuned to see the new site with their new message!

Make the message first.

Unless you are in a dire situation like the above customer, the first step in the process is to identify the message your customers need to hear.

8 Signal’s core message has not changed from day one. We have always been “your marketing department.” However, we knew our USP needed an update. A USP or “unique selling proposition” is like a tagline, and it’s what sets your business apart from the competition. It’s the reason that a customer should choose you over someone else.

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Our old tagline was long and bulky: “We offer tailored marketing services for the business owner tired of wearing multiple hats.”

We wanted our new one to be way more memorable—short and to the point:

“We believe that you can outsmart, rather than outspend your competition.”

Not outspending the competition resonates with every business owner. Most of us want to outsmart, not outspend. We really worked hard to refine this message and find something memorable that would resonate with our target customer.

Refining our message helped clarify areas of growth.

When we developed our new USP, we clarified a principle that we really do live by. It’s futile to throw money at something rather than try to figure out how to do it right and better than everyone else.

We knew we had hit a home run with our new message because it is memorable, connects with clients, and it also represents who we are at our core.

PixelMark TeamOur redesign process was not just about a new website, it was also an opportunity to refine the image we were presenting to our customers.

Although our USP was the most important content that we needed to update, we also found that we had outgrown our old message in other ways:

Our marketing team has grown, an important part of our business which was not represented on the old site. Since our original launch we had grown from a team of two to a team of twenty. A lot of times clients were uneasy thinking it was just the two of us. Would we be able to deliver on time? Did the team really exist?

Seeing our team on the site helps our clients connect with who we are. It also increases their confidence that we will be able to deliver what we promise when they see the faces of the people who will be working on their project.

We are practicing more consistent content marketing. We have become a lot more consistent and streamlined with 8 Signal’s blog. Early on, our topics and writing were more scattered. Now we have a more streamlined process in place and a more consistent voice and message, which includes themes every month.

A lot of what we have learned about content marketing and blogging has come from Duct Tape Marketing by John Jantsch. We definitely recommend this book!

PixelMark what we doOur business has grown and changed. In the beginning, we were a lot more about websites and web design instead of a complete marketing package. So our original site didn’t encompass the entire scope of what we are now doing. Our new website represents that we are more than just a web-design company.

Next up: Design!

Taking time for our own redesign enhanced not just our marketing plan but also brought clarity and focus to 8 Signal as a company. It forced us to rethink our message and also how we want to present that message to potential customers.

Next week we will highlight the design changes that we made to enhance all the hard work on our refined message and USP.

Let us help take the pain out of marketing and get you on track to a marketing win. Give us a call at (915) 585-1919 to schedule your first consultation, or fill out our online form. Remember, 8 Signal is your marketing department — without the overhead!

Photos courtesy of Brian Garrett and Susan E Adams.