June 18th 2010
Stefan Drew Associates client, Warwickshire College, have won a RHS Silver medal at the BBC Gardeners World event at the annual event held at the National Exhibition Centre.
Warwickshire College have been a SDA client several times and we have advised them on their marketing, trained members of their marketing team and mentored their senior staff. Our most pleasuarable work however has been to work alongside their horticultural department, both at their Moreton Morrel and Pershore centres, where one of our roles has been to manage marketing and PR at major horticultural and gardening events.
We supported them when they won a Silver at Gardeners World as far back as 2000 when they prizewinning garden was featured on the BBC Gardeners World TV programme. We were also there when they first went to Chelsea … our role included marketing, PR , lorry driving and tea making. The result was prime time TV exposure for five days as well as a RHS Gold Medal.
Last week we visited the Gardeners World Live event at the NEC and were delighted to see they had wonm yet another RHS Medal.
Garden Design Lecturer, Mike Roberts, desribes the garden as “a cross between a fitness garden and a relaxation garden, it has a section of climbing wall, gym equipment and soft flooring; a shady green relaxation area with a table and water feature and some healthy-eating salad crops.”
The students involved in building the garden are Barbara Astbury, Joanne Leigh, Shirley Myatt and Jenny Hanscomb who are all on a foundation degree garden design course at Warwickshire College.
There are Eight Cardinal Sins many website owners make and the sixth of these is
Not Having An Emarketing Strategy
Having a well-optimised site with lots of visitors should make it quite easy for a website to "sell" an offer, services or products. This is not the case.
Many sites have poor navigation and make the "purchase" process far to cumbersome to sell anything. By purchase I mean anything from signing up to a newsletter to actually buying a product online. In all cases the process and rules are the same.
If you "hide" the link to the action or sales page it will be hard to find and will not sell much. One site I looked at recently had a menu bar that used orange text on a red background. It was hard to see by those with good eyesight and impossible if the visitor were colour blind.
The message here is to ensure your site is easy to read and navigate with clear links and buttons.
Other strategies include ensuring that "calls to actions" like an email function, newsletter subscription or shopping carts are easy to use. There is an inevitable loss of "sales" every time another page is displayed during the sales process. Therefore keep the number of pages to a minimum and make the process as easy as possible.
You can check to see where you have "leakage" in the process by using Google Analytics, or similar, to check bounce rates and more importantly where the visitor goes next. It is then possible to devise a tactic to "plug" the gap.
Having got your website working you also need to ask how visitors will find your site. Being on Page One of Google will help. If you can't do this via the natural or organic listings consider using Google Adwords, advertising on other sites or ensuring you have links from other sites as a first step.
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