Tag Archives: R strategic

Instant E-Commerce Solutions

I remember getting a quote from an established Web developer back in 1998 for a no-frills e-commerce site that could hold my client’s 2,000 or so SKU’s.  They wanted $150,000, not an unreasonable amount at the time.

That was then and this is now.

Among the many cloud-based Web operations that offer great software, low-cost hosting, snap-in applications and interfaces that set the standard for usability is a turn-key e-commerce offering called Shopify.  They follow the general formula set by WordPress and sector leaders of providing low cost or free entry level access and a host of a la carte upgrades.  You can be up and running a fully functional online store with 100 SKU’s, for $29 a month, 2,500 for $59, and an unbelievable “unlimited” for a mere $179 a month. Shopify offers a host of well-designed templates, an easy user experience and payment gateway options that are easy to set up.  They even incorporate SEO prompts for your listings and a clever blog format baked into the format. The quality of the Shopify product has led to meteoric growth for its user base.  I’ve added Shopify to my palette of cloud solutions that provide cost-efficient solutions for my clients.

Even quick executions on Web assets require decent corporate identity.  Kailua Camera specializes in the new high-end compact digital products so SLR's and shutter iris symbols wouldn't work.

Even quick executions on Web assets require appropriate and professional corporate identity work. Kailua Camera specializes in the new high-end compact digital products so old SLR and shutter iris symbols wouldn’t work.

A recent project that R Strategic put together is KailuaCamera.com  They needed a transactional environment for specific Ricoh and Pentax products and needed it quickly.  No, doubt they would have fainted if given the 1998 price.  We built a Shopify solution within a couple of days, registered and  linked their URL and started an SEO program to get them on the map.

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R Strategic is currently developing a conventional advertising campaign for the visitor industry that has attracted attention from the Pentax/Ricoh factory and distributors.  The basics of good advertising don’t change regardless of the whether the delivery is via a printed tourist publication or a pop-up on your iPhone. You still need a strong headline, a viable concept, good product photography and a call to action. Our premise is that the average visitor arrives with outdated photographic equipment, or just realized their smart phone is not up to the task.  Kailua Camera can turn that potential regret into happy memories with the latest compact digital technology.

R Strategic designed a strong message to reach new visitors and even negotiated with a local courier service for same-day product delivery.

R Strategic designed a strong message to reach new visitors and even negotiated with a local courier service for same-day product delivery.

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How to get found on search engines

A good place to start with when evaluating search engine marketing (Yes, it’s SEM) is Google. Why? Because it owns 65% of the Internet audience, and 85% of all Internet users search the web before they buy something.

Sitting at the SEO pole position and nicely placed in PPC, Hilton is getting millions of dollars in business from the Google search engine.

Google offers two basic ways to get your site noticed: organic search results and paid listings. For example when you search Google for “waikiki hotels” you get a listing of sites that Google’s secret algorythm has deemed the most relevant suggestions. You also get, on the right column of the search engine results page (SERP), and also at the top and bottom,  a list of paid advertisers in the order of their willingness to bid highest for your click. The organic process can be influenced by a host of website tweaks collectively called search engine optimization (SEO); while bidding your way up the paid listing side is called pay-per-click (PPC).

The relative values of the organic lising vs the paid listing are pretty much established as about 5 to 1. In other words the ideal spot to find yourself is the number one listing on the organic search. Over 75% of people conducting a search will click on the number one organic listing. Most people trust the Google search process’s validity, and consequently discount the paid listings accordingly. That doesn’t make PPC a bad investment, but it certainly puts an emphasis on working your way up the natural listing. Being number one is ideal, being in the top five (top-of-the-fold) excellent, first page very good, and so it goes.

How the search engine pie was carved up in 2010

Getting a top organic listing requires substantial commitment and professional techniques and won’t happen overnight. Experts like ThinkBigSites.com in New York are worth the money, if you want big league results. Paid listings, while less efficient in terms of cost per click, can happen fast. You spend the money and you get immediate traffic. A combination of the two works well together especially at the beginning of a concerted SEM effort, where the paid listing can work while the SEO effort builds. Both are ongoing commitments that must be maintained, evaluated and adjusted over time…they’re not one-time efforts.

It goes without saying that building web traffic is only worth paying for if your site produces convertions, leads or sales that translate to new business. If your site is broken, or business operations faulty, adding more visitors will simply make the problem worse, waste your money and even damage your brand. R Strategic can help you evaluate your overall Internet marketing program and help identify weak links.

There is no question, however, that getting your site found can make the difference between a successful online business strategy or banishment to Internet limbo.

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What Level of Internet Involvement Is Right?

Sunset Beach Colonys Website featured a successful real-time real estate auction.

The Internet is the most cost-efficient information medium that has ever existed.  Every business enterprise, no matter how humble, has the opportunity to reach an international market of billions.  But, what are realistic expectations, and what level of investment in time and money makes sense for you?

An interactive Website that R Strategic designed several years ago featured an online auction that helped to sell-out a large oceanfront project in 24 hours. Bidders from throughout the world raised the overall selling price of the development by several million dollars over the estimate. That’s an invest that really paid off.

I think there’s four levels of internet deployment, from simple to complex, with progressively more commitment and money required with each progressively larger upgrade.

Informational

This is the most common form of Website.  It is basically an  static, electronic brochure, with information about your product or service and how to contact you.  It is what the yellow pages used to be, with the one caveat that you might be harder to find unless you work at it.

Interactive

This level invites your site visitor to interact and exchange information. By providing your site visitor with a dynamic experience with constantly refreshed information and features you invite repeat visits. If you can get a casual visitor to give you their email address or other contact informatioin they just became a valid sales lead.  The data these interactions generate becomes the “product” of your Web investment.

Transactional

The final step in online customer/client cultivation is providing the secure environment (and comfort level) to perform an actual transaction.  This requires not only creating an atmosphere of trust, but also the actual e-commerce applications to perform the mechanics of credit card (or pay pall) transactions.  This step also means that your backend IT operations should grow to perform order processing, fulfilmentt and customer relationship management functionality.

Systemic

This level is where the Internet itself becomes the primary focus of your business model.  Most or all of your business is marketed,  prospected, transacted and serviced on the Web.  You have a small or non-existent “bricks & mortar” presence.  In addition, your organization is also administrated via company internet communications procedures.  Your sales force and mangement are all administrated via Web networks.  When this model works you are on your way to becoming the next Amazon or Ebay.

None of these different levels of Internet business will succeed, however, if people don’t know they exist. Promoting your Website is the single most critical factor for developing a winning Web presence.

Next: I Built It And They Didn’t Come

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R Capabilities

We can help you acquire new clients and keep regular customers happy. In this time of tight budgets and increased competition, shouldn’t you be investigating more efficient ways of doing things?

R Strategic Communications is focused on cutting-edge, technology-driven communications solutions.  We can help you take advantage of the new efficiencies brought about by social media and sophisticated, Internet-based customer relationship management. There is a wide array of inexpensive, effective and measurable strategies that can run circles around conventional business-as-usual.

Traditional approaches to marketing, advertising and public relations are becoming obsolete…so, are big, over-priced, slow-moving agencies.  Our technology-dominated world is moving at the speed of light, and unless your marketing strategies are in alignment with the new paradigm you could be left in your competitor’s dust.

We can help you avoid that fate with an arsenal of good ideas and crisp execution. Here’s what we do:

WEBOLOGY

• Website Design • SEO (Search Engine Optimization)  • SEM (Search Engine Marketing) • CRM (Customer Relationship Management) •  CMS (Content Management System) Development • Open Source and Cloud Computing Solutions • Organizational & Collaborative Online Environments

BRANDING

• Logo Design • Corporate Identity Integration • Brand Management • Collateral

EARNED MEDIA

• Media Relations • Press Kits & Releases • Feature Stories and Article Placement • Podcasts • Social Media Networks • Viral Strategies

PERSUASION

• Print and Broadcast Advertising Creative & Production • Infographics • Copy writing • Media Planning & Buying • Direct Mail


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