Small Dog Creative

    Top 3 Things to Consider When Designing a New Website

      Virtually every legitimate business--and many not-so-legitimate businesses--maintains a website of some sort. This is true even of those types of business that typically do not translate well to the Internet marketplace. Yet, as technology advances and the technological prowess of consumers keeps pace, it is no longer enough merely to have a website....

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    Investing in Good Design - Santa Clarita Design Agencies

    What most business owners expect from a design agency is a large bill at the end of the project. But they also expect results, they know that good design is a smart investment. And the results they get from an agency deliver a much higher return on investment than they could with a freelance designer. ...

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    Hiring a Web Designer or a Design Firm

    If you are a business owner you are bound to have met your fair share of web designers. It may seem like there is a web designer on every street corner, which can make it difficult for you to choose a web designer to create your company website....

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    How To Get More Leads From Your Website

    We all know websites are a powerful marketing tool but not all websites are used to their full potential. Few visitors will call or buy from a website on the first visit, so getting their information in some other way is important. Getting their information allows you to reconnect, inform them and bring them back to your site....

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    "Talking Tech" in SCVBJ

    Grab a copy of the August edition of Signal’s Santa Clarita Valley Business Journal and check out the cover story, featuring Small Dog Creative! We were featured in the SCV Business Journal in the cover story, “Talking Tech.” The article discusses technology-focused businesses that provide technological products and services to other businesses, as well as “filling the gap” between the client and the provider with constant and clear communication. You’ll also see photos of some Small Dog team members in action! Online version (without photos) is available here. ...

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    As a designer it is vital to always be learning and expanding your visual vocabulary. Design trends quickly come and go, it is important to stay on top of what is new, and to not get too comfortable with old styles. How do you tell what is on the edge of becoming the next big thing, and what is just plain bad? Well it comes down to a lot of knowledge and a little luck. If you know why your design is working then you are a lot more likely to become a trend setter. When the now famed Herman Miller Aeron chair came out, it was declared a horribly ugly chair. But the designers stood their ground and now there is no shortage of Herman Miller knock-offs. So stick to your your design if you know you are right, and be bold with your decisions. But, don't be afraid to learn or make a mistake....

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    The Death of The Brochure

    The Death of The Brochure...

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    Which Ad Would You Run?

    Test your marketing savvy! Choosing the most effective ad. A: Selling Your Company, Not Your Product Selling your company instead of your products or service is a pretty common mistake. You might want to show off your new logo, or company name but that is not what your customers care about. In this ad the logo is the dominant element and the services are listed smaller and underneath the logo. This format might work well for the door of your business, but not for an ad. You need to get your customer's attention first, then get them to care about the service or product you provide, and then let them know who you are. You may get calls or attention from an ad like this, but we think there are better concepts out there. B: Listing All Of Your Services Ad space isn't cheap, this tends to cause companies to want to list everything they do to try and appeal to as many people as possible. This usually yields few results. Why? Because people aren't going to search through your ad to find the product they are interested in, or the service that applies to them. Remember your ad is being seen right next to other ads, in the same place as hundreds of other ads, if you can't get noticed is 2 seconds, than you won't get noticed.  C. Selling A Single Service You are right!... (Or at least you chose the one we think would get the best response rate.) Highlighting one of your key services or products and targeting a segment of your clientele is the strongest approach. Why? Well lets start at the beginning. We opted for one of our primary services, and chose a headline that addresses about the additional features that come with our web sites. And by narrowing the subject of the ad we were able to send astronger, more specific message. If we talk hypothetical numbers for a moment, with ads A and B we are targeting a large pool of clients with a less powerful message. So we might expect to see a response rate of 1% out of say 1000, which would give us 10 leads. If we ran ad C to a smaller targeted market, and addressed more specific needs, we would expect to see a higher response rate of say 3% out of a smaller pool of 500, which would give us 15 leads. You can see how decreasing our audience and creating a stronger, more specific message to a targeted segment can actually increase our results. So try casting a smaller (tighter) net for your next campaign. A precise message can be just the thing you need to drive home sales. And get the attention of customers who need what you are selling, and who care about your message. DISCLAIMER: There is a saying in marketing "50% of marketing works, but no one know which 50%". If you agree or disagree or have more to ad, please feel free to leave comments....

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    The Good the Bad and the Shrub Promotion

    I went to a big box home improvement store the other day and was greeted in the front of the gardening department by a hand written sign that said "shrub promo $1.99". Seriously, this is the best that this billion dollar home improvement chain's marketing department could come up with. I mean obviously the sign was written by an employee that was told to make a few signs about this week's shrub promotion. But some where along the line the marketing department thought their job was done and from  here the stores staff could finish the signs. Granted Im sure much if the time this system works just fine. Marketing got the customer in the door now it is up to the staff to make the sales. However it's risky, as this example shows. Getting customers in the door isn't enough. Marketing is more than placing ads, producing commercials and printing fancy brochures. It should be followed through to the end... In most cases the sale and in some cases for the life of the product (but that's another post). Good marketing examines every part of the sale, and every way In which a brand conveys its message to it's customers. Don't stop just before the finish line....

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    A Tale of Two Coffees

    So I sat down to my desk for the first time after a few days vacation and started reading my email. I took a big sip of my morning coffee and was horrified at the taste. I had grabbed the cup I left on my desk from before I left. The cups were identical thermal mugs so I had no warning that what I was about to drink was more than a few days old. This got me thinking about reprints. Yep, everything in my world leads back to marketing. There is reprinting a brochure because you underestimated the demand; and then there is reprinting a brochure years later with a few updates because you don't want to pay for a redesign. The former is a good problem to have, but the later is like serving your customers week-old coffee... it is going to leave a bad taste in their mouth. They might not spit it out immediately, but they will recognize that something isn't quite right about it....

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