The Muse Papers


The Hidden Treasure of the Website Story


I’m writing this with my computer precariously perched on my chair arm.  The cat has taken the prime laptop spot (the lap), and we all know that she rules the roost and I work my life around her.

Today, I discussed story lines with my museum client.  Most truly effective websites and marketing campaigns of any sort use some combination of the three primal marketing stories to set the stage and involve the visitor.  Our first goal is to get them to explore the site (while clearly showing where you can buy tickets, and directions and times for people who just want information).  Once we get them engaged, emotionally involved, then we can entice them to visit.

We discussed three powerful marketing stories and how we could use them to tell the museum story:

Us vs http://…/cialis_india.html viagra canada online cialis female. Them – the triumph of the underdog

Hometown boy makes good – “the “average joe” rising to greatness”

The Reluctant Hero – “I wasn’t planning on doing this (heroism, new technology, new education – whatever) BUT my conscience badgered me until I did the right thing and created this product…”

We brandied about these archetypal marketing stories, and I gave them the homework of taking the four stories that we derived and creating a 1 page overview of each one.  It’s a challenge.

We also discussed “The Survey”.  My sister and I did sit down in Anaheim CA last weekend and develop a survey that focuses on first impressions and expectations.  At the client meeting I suggested that they perform the survey, and they agreed.  Yeah!

E-commerce Store Set-up & Market Samurai


I’m in the process of setting up my Archery E-commerce store.

Since I have many more products that I may sell than I am actually going to stock and I don’t know exactly which products are most popular in their category, I’m using a nifty tool called Market Samurai to select my products.

With Market Samurai I type in one of my product categories – today I was focusing on Archery Sights, and then with a quick click of a button I can find out which archery scopes are BOTH being searched for AND under-represented on the Internet.

The tool compares the number of searches for a key phrase to the number of pages containing that key phrase.  If lots of people are searching for it and not many people are offering it, well, then, it’s going to be easier for me to break into that market and make some money.

I do the same thing with bows to find out which bows I should stock.

I guess it’s market driven product selection.  Isn’t the Internet wonderful.

Creating this store is also amazingly consuming.  I’ve probably spent 10 hours on website design and programming (it helps that I have a team of designers and programmers, so mostly I’m managing them), and 50 hours researching, editing and placing my measly 20 products into the store…  And I want to go live with 100 zithromax tablets!

I’m constantly trying to think of a way I can get someone else to do my product research and data entry for me.  One of my special magic powers is supposed to be managing off-shore resources.  Somehow it works great when I do it for my clients and not so well when it’s for my store.

I am going to try to outsource some products data entry – the sights, cases, and maybe a couple other items.  See if that works.  I did hire someone to write my product descriptions, but I have to teach him my writing style.

Perhaps if I were not so much of a perfectionist.

Inch by inch the store is growing.  I’m just starting another e-commerce project for a client – probably 100 products – SEO focus.  Having been through this experience will give me more compassion for his process.

Web Marketing – Understanding the Story


As a marketing specialist with a focus on web design, my first task with a new client is to understand their goals.  Then I formulate a marketing process to reach those goals.

I’m starting to work with a new client, a museum.  I understand the mission of the museum, it’s clearly articulated in the mission statement.  The goal is to manifest that mission.

In this particular case, we’re starting by talking to current clients, chatting up people who visit the museum to discover what they think, and what they would like to see.  As we gain an understanding of how the museum is currently seen, we’ll uncover options to change that viewpoint.

It’s kinda like what we learned in Operations Consulting classes in my MBA program – go out to the people on the street – they know what they want, and generally have some really great ideas on how to go about it.

My sister and I met up in Anaheim yesterday – she in from Atlanta – I on my way back to Honolulu, and designed the sample questions to talk to my clients visitors.

I find that often my work as a marketer stretches me – pushing my boundaries this site.  I’d rather not go out and interview people.  I guess I just don’t consider myself that bubbly, outgoing, “come talk to me” kind of person.  And I think interviewing people will provide huge value to this project.  So, at my next meeting we’ll discuss interviewing clients and review out sample interview questions.  Until then I’ll review other musuem’s websites and learn.

On a personal level, it was fabulous spending 4 days with Stephen Gilligan at his small group workshop.  The other participants were smart, interesting, hard working and fun.  Gilligan exudes “realness”, which on some level gives us all hope

I am just back – jet lagged, and re-committing to my blog and my diet.