- Marketing & Branding
- Strategy & Consulting
- Web Design
- Graphic Design
- Lead Generation
- Email & Direct Marketing
- Ecommerce Design
Can you help me create my Scope of Work document? incitrio
Yes. Even if you don’t end up hiring Incitrio, we will work with you on a consulting basis to create and define your Scope of Work. This process creates an RFP with functionality detail and bullet points that clearly define and match your complete needs. It also enables you to get an “apples to apples” set of proposals, as each vendor will then be required to match (point by point) each level of detail within your RFP written in “developer” speak so there is no misunderstanding or miscommunication of expectations and requirements.
What if I need a member portal or wholesaler pricing behind a login? incitrio
Incitrio Branding & Marketing Agency can program a member portal with different levels of permissions or access so that your public sees one set of pricing and your wholesalers see a different set of pricing for the same set of products. We can also program a portal for your wholesalers or channel partners so that they have access to videos, marketing collateral, and other important assets for continuity of brand management. This approach allows you to control how your brand is used and pushed out by your resellers, franchisees, etc. And, it gives them one place that acts as a protected content repository.
How do I pick the right inventory management software? incitrio
It depends on how you intend to use it. For example: You might pick one software that “lives” at your warehouse and integrates with the shopping cart if the majority of your sales are done at your brick and mortar or through your sales team. But, if you do not have a brick and mortar and only have an online precense, you might have your shopping cart handle all of the inventory management.
What is two-way API integration? incitrio
Two-way API integration means that there is an API (connector programming code) that allows information to be sent back and forth between two pieces of software. For example: if your shopping cart had a two-way API integration with QuickBooks, both pieces of software could tell each other when a sale has been made and inventory amounts for a particular item have changed. This is particularly useful to the inventory manager so they don’t have to manually update the database at the end of every day. Two-way API integration could also be used between your shopping cart and SalesForce so that when a new customer registers for your member portal, their contact information ports into SalesForce with a tag for what kind of customer they are automatically. This makes it easier for your VP of Sales to track sales conversions and where they came from, rather than having a sales engineer manually update and load that information on a daily basis.
What is a shopping cart? incitrio
A shopping cart is a separate piece of software that you can integrate with your website to process online transactions and use as your ecommerce system. Your shopping cart is typically already developed or programmed by a third party. It comes pre-programmed with certain pieces of functionality and all shopping carts are not equal. Some carts can process international transactions, offer multiple shipping options, have an integrated affiliate marketing component, and/or can integrate with SalesForce, QuickBooks, or your inventory management software. Other shopping carts have more robust SEO options, “you might also like” functionality, and the ability to access a remote database. Understanding and being clear about your needs up front will help you and your developer team to choose the right shopping cart for you, before you begin the ecommerce design and programming process.
What other cool ways can I leverage email marketing? incitrio
This particular sector is constantly changing and evolving, so much so that it is hard to keep up! Some of the latest options for amping up your email performance include: embedding video that plays within your email on your computer, embedding animated GIFs, “real-time”optimization of content and CTAs (Calls to Action), Spamhaus scrubbing of emails prior to sending, and mobile email optimization. Increasingly email marketing is becoming a favorite among “brick and mortar” and online retailers. They are constantly looking for ways to push the envelope and integrate their email campaigns with their POS and inventory data. This space will definitely be one to watch in the years to come.
What’s the difference between a “soft” bounce and “hard” bounce? incitrio
A soft bounce could mean that the ISP had a firewall or spam filter that your email hit. It is not as serious as a hard bounce. A hard bounce means that email address likely no longer exists. In the case of a soft bounce, you will want to remove those emails from your database permanently and have your sales team reach out to those email recipients to confirm if they would still like to receive your messages and would they please white list your sending address with their email service provider. In the case of a hard bounce, you will also want to remove those emails permanently. Then, you will want to have your sales team reach out to those email recipients via phone or mail or in-person to see if you can get an updated email address. This is a case where a VDP direct mail campaign tied to a PURL for a larger database of hard bounces could enable you to append that list with the most recent email addresses so that your intended messaging makes it through to the greatest number of potential customers.
What is a Personalized URL (PURL)? incitrio
A Personalized URL or PURL is a tactic that can be used as part of a list augmentation campaign. For example: If you knew that you had someone’s birthday and email address, but you did not have their direct mail address, you could invite them to visit their PURL to augment their profile within your database. In exchange, you could give them a special offer. A PURL is typically a one-off microsite with a URL specific to just that person. It is most often used within a VDP direct mail campaign as the PURL can be a variable that is used for personalization. A sample PURL could be: your-name.microsite.com or microsite.com/your-name. The microsite URL is usually completely different and separate from your brand’s parent URL so that it can be modified and tracked for the campaign only. Most PURLs consist of 4 pages: 1. entry/welcome message, 2. 3-4 question page, 3. profile augmentation form, and 4. special offer. Smart brands that are typically consumer facing (B2C) have learned to leverage PURLs as a way to entice their customer to convert or take advantage of a specific promotion. For example: If I was a member of the Zoo, and invited to answer questions about whether I liked pandas or tigers better, then shown a special offer of a behind-the-scenes tour of the tiger enclosure because I indicated that I liked tigers better than pandas, I would be much more likely to convert than if I was shown a generic special offer for giraffes because their data indicated that “everybody” likes giraffes.
What is Variable Data Personalization (VDP)? incitrio
Variable Data Personalization or VDP is a way of enhancing the performance of a direct mail piece by modifying key elements. For example: If you owned a resort and were sending a special offer to a past guest on their birthday, you might personalize by their name and birth date. You could take it one step further by identifying that this past guest was a woman and giving her a special offer of a massage since that’s what she did last time she was there. Or, if the past guest was a man, you could give him a special offer of a round of golf since that’s what he did last time he was visiting. You could take it one step further and personalize by the age range of the guest like a 30-40 yr-old woman or 50-60 yr-old man. The more detailed the personalization, the better the direct mail piece will perform. Personalization can also be done within an email platform, but it is not called VDP. VDP requires an Excel file in CSV format with additional columns for all the data points, IND or AI file with call outs for personalization elements, and software at the printer’s office tied into their digital printer in order to work. Personalization via email also requires an Excel file in CSV format with additional columns for all the data points and personalization call outs within the HTML file tied into the software of the ESP in order to work.
How do I calculate my cost of customer acquisition? incitrio
It’s not easy, but it is well worth the time and trouble. Here is a link to a past blog article that will help.
What is A-B multivariate testing? incitrio
Imagine two identical landing pages. Then, change one variable, like the number of questions you require within the form. Drive equal traffic to both pages and see which one converts better. That is A-B testing whereby you test two variables. When you do multivariate testing, you might end up with 4, 8, 16, or more landing pages that are all testing various elements. Each set should have one variable change. For example: If you were testing branding (design and imagery) vs messaging vs call to action vs length of form, you might have 4 or 8 variations in that campaign. Truly successful lead generation campaigns are based on an understanding that what we “think” we know about our online audience is usually not accurate. It is only by testing and retesting ad nauseam the various elements on a landing page that we can generate data to prove we “know” what resonates with our online audience to actually generate conversions.
What is a microsite? incitrio
A microsite is basically a “baby” website. It has all the components of a larger, more robust website but on a smaller scale. It lives on its own URL but could be hosted within the same server environment. Typically, it has content that is dedicated to or focused on a specific topic/theme. Some organizations use a microsite to launch a new product or service. Others might use a microsite to segment different populations that might need to access content on their site, like a patient or physician-focused microsite. Microsites can also be used for hyper-specific content, such as an online annual report. Whether or not you “need” a microsite is a decision that should be made with your agency depending on your objectives for engagement with that content.
What is your client management philosophy? incitrio
For us, the most important aspect of the work that we do is clearly communicating and managing expectations. We’d much rather under-promise and over-deliver than tell our clients what they want to hear. That may mean that we are honest in a kind and tactful way. Some clients appreciate that honesty and value it. If that’s you, then you’re our perfect client! If you’d rather hire an agency that is an “order taker” and just does what they’re told, that’s not us. This is why the initial meetings prior to doing the work are so important. We understand that getting on the “same page” and finding a common language for communication is vital. We speak “marketing” and we speak “design” so that we translate what you really need and want into a language our creative team understands. This ultimately results in the best possible creative work for our clients with a final graphic design product that meets and exceeds expectations in terms of appeal and performance.
What if I need more than “just” design services from Incitrio? incitrio
Most clients prefer to hire us on a retainer basis as they can tap into both our design services and our online marketing services with one fee rather than having to hire and bring in-house multiple employees to address those varied tactical needs. This saves them time and money, and ensures they get the most qualified candidate in each department helping them on an “outsourced marketing team” basis. We manage the team and the final product. You focus on the strategy and vision. It’s a great combination because it really frees up the VPs of Marketing & Sales to focus on the higher level vision for their company and create campaigns around different strategic objectives for the year. In turn, we handle the rest and execute by managing all of those smaller details, timelines, and creative pieces. Win-win.
What is the difference between your flat rate vs. your retainer fee pricing options? incitrio
For smaller, one-off groups of projects, Incitrio Branding & Marketing Agency typically charges a flat rate fee. This amount is based on an average of past client projects and an assessment of how much strategy, creative direction, art direction, design, production, and project management is required to complete a given set of projects. Then, we factor in the typical two rounds of revisions to offer our client a “flat rate” that they can use for budgeting purposes. This works really well in a scenario where the marketing person is in complete control of gathering revisions from multiple decision influencers and controlling the revision process. In a situation where the decision making team may be indecisive or unsure of what they are looking for, or perhaps disorganized, we would recommend an hourly rate for a “pay as you go” situation so that the marketer can clearly manage their team’s expectations regarding final cost due to “paralysis by over analysis.” In situations where the marketing team has multiple needs on an on-going basis, the 6-month or 12-month retainer options are the best use of their budget. Retainer fees are significantly less than the hourly or flat rate fees in exchange for a contract guaranteeing a set number of hours per month for a set number of months.
What is your project management, revision, and approval process? incitrio
Incitrio Branding & Marketing Agency has a full-time project management team that leverages project management software to keep your project on track and on budget. For larger projects, we typically create a timeline that is agreed upon by both the client and the Incitrio Branding & Marketing Agency team so that we are all on the same page before we move forward. If preferred, we can give updates on a weekly basis via email, a call, or leveraging our project management software (accessible via the green icon in the top right of this web page). For flat rate projects, we typically include 2 rounds of revisions. Any revisions over that amount will incur an additional fee and must be signed off as well as approved in writing before we will begin that work. For retainer work, clients may have unlimited revisions and we will also give them updates regarding additional hours required before we begin that work. Once a design project is complete, we send over a “design approval” form for sign off. It can be signed and scanned/emailed back or faxed back. This document ensures that both parties are in complete agreement that we have carefully reviewed and proofed the creative prior to sending it to print or to the client.
Will I get the copyright ownership and files when the job is complete? incitrio
Yes. You will fully own the artwork we create for you and are welcome to receive a copy of any and all files, once your final bill is paid. Until that time, per our legal agreement, Incitrio Branding & Marketing Agency will own the rights to the artwork we design for you. That is why we ask for 50% up front, a 25% progress payment, and 25% prior to the release of said files to the printer or client (for flat rate projects). For retainer work, we ask for 100% payment of the retainer fee up front so that we can hand over the files to you or your printer the moment the artwork is approved.
You say print is not dead. Why not? incitrio
With every new technology or marketing tactic that comes to market, it is quite common to hear that the “older” technology or tactic is now “dead.” But, that isn’t really the case. Rather, it’s a case of “shiny object” syndrome. Imagine if all of your competitors were handing out brochures and, all of a sudden, they went to downloadable or emailable PDF versions. Now, if you’re a premium brand and walk-in with a nicely printed brochure, that print design piece has become your differentiator. It has translated into that subconscious evaluation of your brand being higher or better than your competition simply due to the investment of that well-designed piece. This in turn enables you to justify your higher price point, positions you as a quality-driven not commodity-based offering, and allows you to create more space between your brand and your competition in your customer’s mind.
When I purchase a logo design from Incitrio, what does that include? incitrio
The final result will be a PMS (Pantone) logo for offset printing, a CMYK version for digital printing, an RGB logo for web and Microsoft applications, a greyscale version for black&white usage, a black version for screen printing or promotional items, and a white version for black&white usage. We also supply logo versions in vector-based EPS, JPG, and PNG so that each version can be used appropriately for ideal resolution.
What do your monthly maintenance packages include? incitrio
We customize each package based on the client’s needs. Some clients only need plugin and software updates, while others prefer that we monitor their server and “hits” to their site to protect them from spam-bots. Regardless of your needs, we can configure a package that addresses all of your concerns. And, this package spreads the maintenance expense across multiple months to make the expense more manageable.
What if I need to edit an existing site or want to use a different CMS than WordPress? incitrio
We can’t be good at everything and don’t pretend to be. We’d rather stick to our core strengths, and be the best at that, than try to stretch into areas that aren’t comfortable for us. If it’s not a fit, we’ll be happy to refer you to a vetted strategic partner to care for your needs. Yep, it’s that easy.
How do I know if I need a responsive website or viewport tagging? incitrio
Look at the software results from our analysis of the UX interaction your current clients have with your current site. We’ll be able to tell you what percentage of your visitors are coming from a mobile device AND if there are more iOS or Android visitors or if there are more smart phone than tablet visitors. Remember, for each version of the responsive design, you’ll have to pay a lot more for that configuration of design layout as there is extensive programming involved to modify the design for different interfaces. The most affordable way to create a mobile-optimized experience on a minimal budget is through viewport tagging. Ultimately, the data from your software results will help you make that decision.
How can I tell if a site is responsive or not? incitrio
The easiest way to tell if a site is responsive or not is by dragging the bottom right corner of the browser window on a computer screen and making it smaller. If the navigation and stacking of photos/icons changes and moves around, then it is responsive. If they do not, but simply become smaller, then the site employs something called “viewport tagging.” If the site does not resize, then it is not optimized for mobile viewing.
What’s the difference between a mobile site and responsive site? incitrio
There are many ways to make your website work within a mobile space such as iPhone, Android or Windows smart phone, iPod, iPad, or other smart tablet. Three easy ways to make your website mobile-friendly:
- Create a mobile landing page that has a sniffer so it only shows up if someone visits the site from a mobile device. This mobile landing page will have larger icons and options for going deeper into your site and simplifies the ways someone can interact with your site.
- Create a mobile site that has a sniffer that only shows this mobile “version” of your site with limited offerings and completely different navigation to allow visitors to call you or get directions. The purpose of the mobile site is to identify the top 5 reasons someone might need to visit your site using the mobile device and give them those options.
- Create an entirely responsive site so that the user has a different experience with your website on a computer vs. a tablet vs. a smart phone.
What if I need serious 20-40 hr/week hand-holding? incitrio
No problem. Many of our clients have hired Incitrio Branding & Marketing Agency on a retainer basis to “clean up” their marketing and branding foundation, then we’ll work with you to find, hire, and place the best candidate for maintaining your marketing efforts on an on-going basis. That person can be your “go to” in-house resource for the 20-40 hours per week when you need someone to sit down in your office, on your schedule, and tell you exactly what is going on so that you can make informed decisions.
What types of agency relationships can you manage for me? incitrio
Great question. The answer is a little bit complicated, too. It depends. If it’s an ad agency, PR firm, media buyer, online marketing firm, SEO house, web developer, design firm, copywriter, etc., that’s a great fit for us. If you don’t see something listed, please ask. We’ll let you know quickly if we’re the best fit for managing that relationship. If not, we’ll likely have one or two consultants in our “back pocket” that we can recommend and introduce to you so that you’re not left in the lurch. We’ve got your back.
What if I’m not sure if the help I need is part of your service offerings? incitrio
As your strategic, trusted advisor, we partner with you to solve your “go to market” problems, even if they’re not branding or marketing related! No challenge too large or too small. If we can’t help you directly, we’ve already vetted a great strategic partner who can. Just ask.
What if I don’t really know what makes my brand different/better? incitrio
No problem. You’re great at what you do and we’re great at what we do! We’ll interview your existing customers, prospective customers, strategic partners, vendors, and/or channel partners until we help you figure out your core differentiators. Whether you need an online survey, phone interviews, or in-person focus groups, we’ll modify our intake process to get you the highest quality data to make informed decisions. Oftentimes, our branding interviews have resulted in the core differentiators that become the key marketing messages within your website and/or marketing collateral. Many of our clients have been surprised to learn that their customers hire them for completely different reasons than they originally thought. It’s our job to help you uncover that information and use it to your best advantage.
Does Incitrio Branding & Marketing Agency offer Naming within their Branding services? incitrio
Yes, we have helped many brands with their Naming needs. It can oftentimes be a laborious process, as finding that perfect name that is unique to your industry, easy to spell and remember, and trademarkable, PLUS is available as a URL in “.com” form that is not already registered is almost impossible. When we find the perfect overlap of all of those variables, we achieve the Nirvana of Naming. Hard to find, but well worth the work in terms of being able to successfully differentiate and defend your brand.
What is Blue Ocean? incitrio
Blue Ocean is a methodology that was originally developed within the book: Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make Competition Irrelevant by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne. The concept within the book is that any company within any industry space can move their brand away from the red and “bloody” waters of heavy competition to the calm and “blue” ocean waters of minimal competition, if they modify enough variables. For example: The way in which Cirque du Soleil effectively differentiated themselves from the circus, performing arts, and musical theatre is a great example of how a brand can become both Blue Ocean and ultimately more successful and profitable than their competitors through effective differentiation.
What kind of information will I find in my final branding report? incitrio
Your final report will consist of the final personality, promise, and positioning recommendations. It will also have tagline recommendations, if appropriate. It will include sample messaging for different customer archetypes. There will be a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats). It will also include your Blue Ocean Competitive Canvas Map and recommendations for how to reduce, raise, create, or eliminate variables to adjust your brand for maximum differentiation. Some of these suggestions may affect your operations, HR, finance, marketing, and sales. Incitrio Branding & Marketing Agency will help implement the marketing recommendations and make introductions to our strategic partners for areas that we don’t directly serve.