A Date with Design

A Date with Design

Typically when you go out on a date with someone for the first time, you want to look your best, right? You want that person to buy into who you are and discover all of the great things you have to offer. Whether that means wearing something trendy or putting on something that accurately presents who you are, in the back of your mind you know that first impressions matter.

The same can be said about visiting a website for the first time. In fact, according to a survey conducted by Consumer Union, 65 percent of U.S. internet users refuse to buy from a poorly designed website! Similar to the dating world, you’ll want to ensure your website or blog is dressed to the nines in order to make a great first impression on the casual visitor.

So in order to help ensure your site is making the best impression it can, take a look at some of the trendy tips outlined below and try incorporating them so you don’t strikeout with your audience.

Hero Images

Ever catch yourself staring at an attractive individual you’ve never seen before? An engaging and high-definition hero image can have the same effect when it comes to websites. While a user may not have come to your site for a particular reason, a strong hero image can stop that person in their tracks to admire whatever imagery you choose to showcase. The Art of Sculpting, a website for trainer Amando Campbell, does a great job of using a striking image that embodies exactly what his service is about.

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Motion Animation

Did that subtle flick of the wrist make you notice the watch your date was wearing? That’s exactly the reaction they wanted. Our eyes are naturally drawn to motion, so consider adding some intrigue to your site by incorporating motion animation to your web space. This can come in a simple form of a GIF or, depending on the complexity of your site, a fully animated site that interacts with the movement of your mouse. Check out National Geographic’s website “Eat: The Story of Food” which won a People’s Voice Webby for “Best Use of Animation or Motion Graphics” in 2015.

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Responsive Design

Hopefully your date looks good in everything he or she wears, not just the outfit they had on for the first date. The same is true for websites; whether they’re seen on a laptop, smartphone or tablet, they should appear well put together and offer a seamless experience no matter what platform. That’s why your site should have responsive design built into its platform. Most blog builder sites, such as WordPress, have been offering responsive templates for years, which is important considering the many different screens your site will be forced to display on.

Change.org does a great job of making sure its site appropriately adjusts to the size and resolution of multiple platforms. This is even more important for an organization that thrives on people craving change at any moment, on any device.


Photo credit: Digital Telepathy

Just like any good relationship, it takes more than a great first impression in order for a bond to thrive and grow. You’ll need to cultivate the relationship you build with your audience through genuine and sincere content as well as listening to what they want from you as a website manager. Although all that is important, just like in the dating scene, it never hurts to have a good-looking appearance.

Making Mobile Marketing Multicultural

Making Mobile Marketing Multicultural

Recently I was having a conversation with a Hispanic friend who informed me that other than at work, he hardly ever uses a laptop and doesn’t even own one for personal use. 10 years ago this would have been out of the norm; however with smartphones becoming relatively inexpensive compared to laptops, rates of Internet usage and smartphone ownership have skyrocketed among minority groups.


While he may not know it, my friend is a part of the 18% of Hispanics that do not own a desktop or laptop computer and strictly rely on their smartphone to access the Internet. To marketers, this represents a seismic shift in how to effectively target minority groups online.

African-Americans and Hispanics are also much more likely to make mobile purchases than their white counterparts, which puts even more pressure on marketers to ensure that their e-commerce sites are mobile-friendly and easily accessible to a variety of cultures. That may mean making sure your messaging is available in multiple languages or ensuring that the creative used in your campaign is sensitive to other cultures.

Pepsi learned this lesson the hard way when they realized that their new slogan, “Come Alive With Pepsi” translated to “Pepsi brings your ancestors back from the grave” in Chinese.

As the popularity of mobile marketing increases, professionals should know that they are speaking to an increasingly diverse audience and that the same messaging that was effective before, may not play out as well a few years down the line.

Virtual Reality Advertising Is Virtually A Reality

Virtual Reality Advertising Is Virtually A Reality

In the minds of marketers all over the world, digital advertising seems confined to two spaces: desktop and mobile. However, these same marketers realize that more and more consumers are becoming numb to seeing banner ads, annoyed by pop ups and disinterested by video. The same can be said about many of the current advertising mediums that exist. Marketers have long been searching for the next frontier of advertising and may have found it in the form of virtual reality (VR) or augmented reality (AR).

Last year, Facebook made waves in the advertising world after purchasing VR startup, Oculus, for a cool $2 billion. After the news was official, the floodgates opened and big-hitters such as Google, Apple and Coca-Cola quickly made exploratory investments into VR advertising. These companies realized that VR presented the next level of engaging content by making their messaging fully immersive.

Coca-Cola provided a great example of how branded content can be taken to the next level by implementing VR technology, when they utilized it during the World Cup, with the Coke World Cup Experience.

VR technology provides several real-world advantages for marketers:

Fully engage the target consumer, without having to worry about competing messages

John McCrea, CMO of Media Spike, saw first-hand the potential that lay in VR advertising after doing a demo campaign for “Despicable Me 2” on the Oculus platform.

“Integration of brands into this new medium will create some of the most compelling and effective digital advertising ever, because it will be immersive and experiential,” McCrea wrote on his website after detailing the campaign’s capabilities.

Below are images from the demo that illustrate how brand content can take form in the virtual world, ranging from flat, banner-like ads on “billboards” to video spots shown on the virtual town’s “movie theater” and even an example of a higher-end ad such as the branded blimp.

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Message reach can be accurately tracked

Instead of wondering whether consumers are paying any attention to that display ad or if your video ads are greeting distracted viewers, VR allows marketers a sense of relief by knowing that in order for a user to avoid ads, they would physically have to remove the headset and disrupt their whole AR experience.

Next-level consumer data analytics

In virtual world, marketers can track exactly what a user is looking at, where a user is looking and for how long the consumer is looking. Being able to have access to detailed eye tracking data will help in the advancement of virtual advertising and potentially bring valuable insight to other digital advertising platforms

Final Thoughts

The fully immersive nature of VR advertising adds a whole new dimension to digital marketing. Not only will the technology help brands stand out but it will also help advertising shed the “nuisance” tag it sometimes receives by allowing content to feel naturally engaging and emotional. As more and more consumers grow disoriented from normal digital advertising tactics, it would be of no surprise to see brands implement VR software to take their content to the next level.