When the YMCA first approached us with an idea to create a digital annual report, we knew we were in for a challenge. For non-profits, budgets aren't always readily available. And with only a month from conception to completion—including a week of margin for board approval before their AGM—the concept had to be both straightforward and meaningful.
Our idea was to bring a traditional print piece to the web in a way that highlights the YMCA's story. In the midst of facts and figures of the annual report, we wanted to bring a real YMCA story to life. Moving to the web made this once-a-year piece more widely accessible (and eliminated print waste), and using a narrative helped make it meaningful.
One of our challenges was to come up with a single, unifying idea that demonstrates the extensive work of the organization. To do this, we took our clients through a story discovery process.
Story discovery looks for a unifying purpose—or heart—by sifting through the organization's priorities. With only a short window, we sat down face to face and discussed the YMCA's strategic goals. We dug into why they do what they do, what their...
We've talked a TON about the shift from desktop to mobile web browsing in the last year and lately it seems like people finally get it. We don't need to explain why your business needs a responsive site—your analytics speak for themselves. Your customers are browsing the web on their phones, and that trend is only on the rise.
But they are also shopping on their phones. 50% of online shoppers use mobile devices to buy. It's not only time to rethink your website, but also time to rethink your advertising.
Last week Mark Zuckerberg announced that transforming the mobile and advertising experience would be Facebook's top priority this year. Last year the company took $3.7 billion in ad revenue, so it's no surprise they'll continue to make the most of that cash cow.
Making Mobile-Friendly Ads
So what does it mean to online advertisers? Do they need to return to the drawing board? Thankfully, no. Many ads and campaigns can be adapted to meet the needs of both the desktop and the mobile user. Facebook has already made it easier by cutting ad character length (...
People have a picking problem.
Publishing is so easy we don't see a need to prioritize. With temptingly simple web tools, we're now equipped to post any and all content, aiming for any and all people. Instead of choosing to say what matters, we choose to say anything we please.
Meanwhile, our websites balloon into blimp-like monstrosities—filled with hot air and floating aimlessly through the webosphere, blown about by willy-nilly whims. (Full disclosure: I just wanted to write the phrase “willy-nilly whims.” See, I'm doing it too—publishing for the sake of publishing.)
As Richard Rumelt writes in his book Good Strategy/Bad Strategy, “Strategy involves focus, and therefore, choice. And choice means setting aside some goals in favour of others.”
If we aim to be truly effective in what we do—in business, as individuals, and on the web—we need to pick what to do well.
This starts with:
- Knowing what you do best
- Knowing what your users need most
- Giving very special attention to the places where those two areas meet
“If you can't measure it, you can't manage it.” —W. Edwards Deming
With that as your mantra, you can make data-driven decisions—even in the hard-to-measure, largely qualitative social media space.
Here is a handy list of my favourite tools for research (prior to crafting a strategy, naturally), monitoring, and measurement. Is your favourite tool missing? Let me know and I'll add it to the list!