Jeff Ballweg Web Design Now CloudWorks Media

CloudWorks Media New Zealand

For the last few years I’ve been working hard for local businesses in Christchurch, around New Zealand and further afield in Australia and the US. We’ve made it through earthquakes, spent serval weeks without full facilities, and had a lot of hardships to deal with, but we’re proud to have done some really excellent work and helped our clients earn a lot of money.

Other than some weird, post-quake economics, business has been great. Demand is high and the quickly evolving nature of the internet yields new and exciting opportunities nearly every day. Small and medium businesses are embracing the web and seeing the huge amount of potential it provides for expansion and market research. In fact, these days we spend as much of our day doing statistical analysis and optimisation as we are strict coding, which illustrates the huge demand for this type of service.

As such, we’ve found the business has become quite a different entity than when we started. At a web business – like the internet itself – change happens quickly. Today we can analyse and measure so much more than small businesses ever could. We can collect vast amounts of data, and with analytics and statistics tools we can make the kind of results-driven strategy decisions that was previously only the domain of corporates with teams of consultants. It really is an exciting time to be in the business. Never before could a small business on a shoestring budget manage to test, analyse and refine a marketing ideas on such a short timeline and for so little money.

Gone are the days of planning a Yellow Pages advert one year and mulling a design change a year later. Today we can easily manage hundreds of variants of an advert on Google Search or the Display Network. We can determine which words, designs, specials and features draws the most customers in a matter of days or often hours.

Today we don’t simply focus on building a website; we focus on bringing the best possible results for business from the entire web marketing strategy. With our holistic approach; we get websites on the front page of Google Search, we analyse how the website works with social media like Twitter and Facebook, we study how clicks from online search and display advertising flow into website pages, and how we can improve the user’s experience both on and off the site to get the desired results for our clients. We evaluate return on investment on a per-click basis and can precisely calibrate ad spend to the channels where it is giving the best results.

We’ve done great things for the businesses we’ve been working with, and there is a tremendous demand for our results-driven approach, so the business is formally evolving to it’s second generation. We’ve rebranded and renamed. Jeff Ballweg Web Design is now known as CloudWorks Media.

We offer an expanded range of services, including performance analysis, search engine optimisation (SEO), online advertising and marketing through Google AdWords including DoubleClick and AdMob as well as other advertising systems like Facebook.

Most importantly, we tailor our services to meet the needs of each client. Whether you’re a charity interested in finding volunteers, an e-commerce business seeking more sales or a company trying to increase brand exposure, we can deliver analysis, reporting and strategy that delivers real, measurable results.

If you’ve got a website that isn’t giving you the results you’d hoped, or you’re looking to build a new site that actually gets results from the start, have a look at our new site at CloudWorks.co.nz.

Onward, upward.

Contact us in New Zealand on 0800 00 2024, from the USA on +1 (608) 554-0060.

Dear Mr. Whippy, Please Use Twitter

Recently, Julie and I serendipitously crossed paths with the Mr. Whippy man at the end of a fun run. It seems that the only way we’re currently meeting is by happy accident, so while he was dipping my cone in chocolate, I suggested that he use Twitter to update his location so that I can plan my next summer Saturday around ice-cream stops. His response was more along the lines of “ussa-twitta-who?” Granted, I was at the front of a queue of children waving money in the air, so there wasn’t a lot of time to give my pitch, but suffice it to say, in the few seconds I had, he wasn’t really won over by the concept.

Me eating a Mr Whippy Choc Nut cone.

First, let’s just take as a given that there are people who are willing to plan their day around ice cream. Second, I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that there might be a small cultural divide between those of us who spend our days fanatically trying out all the new stuff on the internet, and those that spend their days making delicious treats for children – so allow me to introduce the two of you:

Twitter: Mr. Whippy is a purveyor of soft serve ice cream, who roams the streets of New Zealand in search of children (ok, adults) that like ice cream.

Mr. Whippy: Twitter is a website where you post short messages to anyone who is interested in following you. You put where you’re at, or what you’re doing, and anyone who is interested can be updated in real-time. Think of it as a sort of public text message that anyone can receive. You can post a message (called a “tweet”) by sending a text to the service, where it will be broadcast for everyone. So ideally, Mr. Whippy will post something like “I’ll be in North Hagley, near the rugby fields for the next few hours.” Moments later, I’ll look at my phone, see your “tweet” and ride several miles out of the way I was intending.

Ok, now that we’re sorted on the introductions, let’s get you set up:

First, go to Twitter.com and get signed up. Pick a cool name like “ChchWhippy” or something like that – something people can remember. Add a little photo of a cone or the truck to flash it up a bit.

Next, grab your mobile and text “Start” to 8987, a special number just for Twitter that works on Telecom and Vodafone. Twitter will reply with a series of prompts. Tell it the cool name you came up with in the fist step and your password and you’re done. Try it out by texting “Who loves Mr. Whippy!?” to 8987. Save that number to your phone so you can post to Twitter every time you move the truck.

That’s it. Tell your friends to follow you, put a sign with your Twitter name on the truck or just let word spread. Soon, all the Mr. Whippy fans who use Twitter will be following you, and when they need a Whippy fix, they’ll know where to go.

Advanced Option:
If you really want to get nerdy, you can get a fancy internet-enabled phone like an iPhone or Blackberry. With one of those you can download a third-party apps like “Tweetie 2,” “TweetDeck” or “UberTwitter” that will let you attach a photo or GPS coordinates to your tweet, so people don’t even need to know their way around town to find the truck.

If you do me this one little favor, I promise to start bringing cash on bike rides.

Now There’s Some Tasty Spam

I get a lot of email, but I rarely get spam due to GMail’s amazing spam filter. Of course, just because I don’t get a bunch of emails pushing Fake Rolexes and Generic Viagra doesn’t mean I don’t have a heap of advertisements in my inbox every morning. Most of those are things that I’ve opted into in one way or another: a race that I ran a year ago is expanding, a store that I used to frequent is having a sale. These messages don’t actually meet the qualifications for being characterised as ‘Spam’ or ‘Unsolicted Commercial Email (UCE),” because somewhere along the way I’ve asked to be sent this information, and that means that I found value, or thought I would find value in what that store or race director had to say.

Just the same, I have a lot of stuff in my inbox, stuff I delete without opening. Most of it is stuff I thought I would like to hear about, and sometime since the day I signed up I’ve decided that I didn’t. Many of these changes can be attributed to changes in my life; I moved to New Zealand, and am probably not going to be doing any snowy 5k’s in November, and I’m also not as interested in the specials at my favourite bike shop as I once was. But from a marketers perspective, you’d have to argue that many of these are simply missed opportunities. There are a few retailers that I regularly receive emails from whose ads never seem to spark my interest. For example, you would think that a co-operative outdoor equipment store, where I have been a member for years, would detect that I am far more likely to buy a new set of studded bike tires than a baby-jogger, but you wouldn’t know it from their emails. In fact, their emails don’t seem to be targeted at all. I counter imprecise marketing with the imprecise unsubscribe link at the bottom of each message.

Countdown Specials Email

Countdown Specials Email

I’ve often thought this blunt-force direct email to be a squandered marketing opportunity, because all that customer history is probably sitting in the same database that is feeding addresses to the email server. But today, my partner Julie amazed me when she showed me an email she received from our local supermarket, Church Corner Countdown (of recent Apple v. Woolies logo dispute fame.) They use the same kind of rewards/loyalty card scheme that has made all our wallets thick with plastic. The idea is pretty simple; I save a few cents for being a “member” and the store gathers information about the sort of thing people like to buy. I used to be a developer at a company that made marketing analytics and reporting software, so there’s certainly tonnes of value in that data. But for some reason that data isn’t ever used to directly market back to the customer. Today Julie’s email proved it can be done, as Countdown provided some genuinely useful commercial email marketing. The email pictures of a number of items that we often buy, with photos and prices, and it notes that we could save $9.29 total if we bought the lot. They also provide a link to get more specials on other things we buy, again, based on our spending habits. The whole system is pretty straightforward and intuitive, and a little box tells me how much I’ve saved so far this year by buying items on special.

Granted, I can’t hide my obsession with Bagel Crisps from Julie any more, but it’s good to know when I can buy them.