David Gammel's Web Strategy Report, Volume 2 Issue 2

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Thoughts On Strategy: If you can’t innovate now…

If you are unable to innovate your web presence now you never will.

This may sound harsh, but, honestly, if the dramatic changes all around us are not prompting you to consider your online opportunities, I’m not sure what will!

Improving your organization’s web presence is of greater value today than ever before. The economy is hitting meeting revenue hard in some sectors while programs such as certifications and distance learning are booming for the same organizations. Your online offerings must shift to take advantage of the world of today, not what you planned for last year.

There is good news: anyone can improve her web site.

There are ideas you haven’t tried yet all around you, if you are willing to open your eyes to them.

  • What are your members’ problems and opportunities today?
  • What features of your existing technology are you not using?
  • What are wildly different companies from you doing in similar activities?
  • Can social media be applied to your core strategies?

You get the picture.

There are three keys to successfully creating and implementing new ideas for your site:

  1. Give you and your staff permission to create new ideas. Too many people think they can’t because they aren’t a ‘tech’ person. Untrue! If you can read and write, you can improve your site.
  2. Open your eyes to the ideas that are all around us. They are literally everywhere.
  3. Be optimistic about the value you can provide. Innovators are inherently optimistic people, which will really make you stand out from the crowd these days!

I presented recently on how to generate you own web site ideas at an association industry conference. You can see my slides from the speech here.

If you or your staff could use a boost in the web site innovation department, drop me a line. I offer a range of mentoring, coaching and workshop options to help my clients help themselves online.

Case Study: Subscriptions vs. Sales

Joel Spolsky, in a column this month in Inc. magazine, discussed how he accidentally shot the revenues of his CoPilot service through the roof. CoPilot is a service that allows you to remotely control someone else’s computer, the primary use of which is to help your parents to fix a configuration problem on their PC.

Joel’s company used to require a payment of $10 a day to use the service, with customers having to make a payment transaction each time. If you look at the chart he links to in the column, you’ll see relatively flat revenue.

Then one of his developers added a subscription option, so customers were billed monthly without having to re-enter any credit card information. Same chart with huge growth in revenue for subscriptions compared to the pay as you go method. Convenience and anticipation of new need (you know your Mom won’t need your help just once!) led to a powerful result.

I know of an association that changed a webinar education series from individual registration events to a subscription model and have realized significantly more revenue from the change.

How can you offer continual value in exchange for continual revenue? It’s a good question to explore.

High Geekery: Netbooks

The latest rage in laptop computers has come out of the cheap end of the market: ultra-light, ultra-efficient, low powered laptops called netbooks. These wee little laptops are designed to get you online with a portable device that costs much less than your annual latte habit.

Innovation in laptop computers has traditional come from the high end of the market. New screens, input devices, more powerful chips start out expensive and only available in premium laptop computers and gradually work their way down the market over time as new tech comes to the fore and economies of scale come into play.

That was up-ended by a foundation that wanted to provide an inexpensive laptop computer to every child in Africa. As they developed these computers with the primary purpose of connecting to the Internet for e-mail and Web access in a portable and energy efficient model for next to no money, they kicked off a new trend.

According to this post on Wired, netbooks are the fastest growing computer segment in Europe and are just beginning to break into the U.S. market in a significant way.

This is a new platform to watch. There are many potential applications for these computers designed to just access the cloud of services available online. Cheaply empowered remote workers, on-site support staff at meetings and events, your own children, there are lots of potential uses.

Offerings from David

Webinar on March 12!
They Built It and We Were There
Is your social network anything but? Do your blog entries draw more crickets than comments? Are you tweetless on Twitter?

If so, join me for a webinar with Boston Conferencing on how to best achieve participation and member value with association social media programs. This session will zero in on topics such as:

  • How you can use social media to engage with members anywhere online, not just on your own site
  • How to use social media to create valuable outcomes for members and the organization
  • The power of social media when used as a long term engagement strategy
  • The top three ways to accidentally kill an online community and the one key requirement for success

Listen to my audio introduction to the program here and learn how to register.

Announcing a new Book in Development
Bringing Your Mission to Life Online: A Practical Guide to Web Strategy for Associations, Foundations and Charities
I am in the process of writing a book on practical web strategy for practical results. It will be published by ASAE & the Center for Association Leadership later this year. The book will explore the seven strategic outcomes for non-profit organization web sites, how to determine which best serves your overall goals, and what that will then mean for implementing your web presence.

Send me an email if you would like to receive a brief white paper on the seven strategic outcomes.

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