So You Want To Update Your Website Yourself?

Recently it seems as though many more clients are asking for websites they can update themselves.  These sites are frequently referred to as content management systems (CMS).  As in any trend, many people ask for things that have become buzz words or due to horror stories they have heard from their contemporaries.  The fact is a content management system is something that needs careful consideration before automatically having one built.

Many people want a CMS because they don’t want to rely on their web design company to make updates for them.  The truth of the matter is that an average minor website update costs about $100.  Not too bad when you consider the fact that building a quality content manage system runs about twice the cost of an average static website.  If you factor this in with the time it takes a business owner or employee to update the site on their own, it may be a better deal to just let the website development company do the work.

If a company wants to make frequent changes to content, and perhaps also wants a blog, then a CMS might be the best solution.  Savant Creative Group normally builds blogs on the WordPress platform.  The majority of blogs you see today are published using WordPress — including this one.  It is excellent for search engine optimization and even for some content management systems.  For clients needing a more extensive CMS solution, Drupal is an excellent choice.  Now that version 7 is out, it has a whole new look and feel.  Drupal can be used for many different business website development solutions including online  journalism, ecommerce, blogging communities and entertainment sites.

The best way for a business to decide on which website solution is best for them is to consult an ethical marketing firm who will help them sort out the various options and find the most successful and sustainable solution.  There isn’t one answer that fits all companies.  Spend the time now so as not to spend extra money later.

Fourth International Environmental Protection Exhibition

The fourth International Environmental Protection Exhibition will be held in Macau starting on March 31, 2011.  The keynote speaker will be former under secretary general of the United Nations, Klaus Toepfer.  This year’s theme is “Green Opportunities – Low Carbon Urban Development”, advocating “Green Cities, Smart Technology, Sustainable Growth”.

Activities are planned including forums, assorted business exhibitions and something called, “Green Public Day”.  The main goal of the event is to communicate the sharing of knowledge between Macau and other countries with respect to environmental solutions.

More than 250 foreign companies have already signed on as participants in this year’s expo.  Last year’s event saw nearly 6,000 visitors with over 350 companies exhibiting.

Macau is located close to Hong Kong and the two cities are treated similarly by The People’s Republic of China.  Macau reportedly also has the longest life expectancy in the world but that’s an entirely different form of sustainability.

The Impact of Corporate Culture on Being Green

Many companies are trying to become outwardly greener in order to help the planet as well as to garner positive public opinion.  It is essential that these businesses bring the green inside as well.

One of the most ignored aspects of branding is that of internal branding or, more eloquently stated, corporate culture.  Corporate culture is the embodiment of a brand. It is the way workers behave, think and interact inside the office.  Businesses should help educate and support their employees’ respect for the environment.  The greener the corporate culture, the greener the brand and its touch points.

Businesses can hold seminars that teach workers how to conserve energy, reuse materials, and even how to bring there lunch to work in a greener way.  At the same time, they can make sure they are recycling office and employee waste diligently and sustainably.  This way, businesses are not only talking the talk — they are walking the walk.  What the public experiences on the outside is the same as what the workers experience on the inside.

The more companies utilize holistic and consistent green branding, the more united they will become and the more true to the cause they will be aligned.  The business wins, the workers win, and the PLANET wins.

Posted in: Corporate Cuture

QR Code Advertising

Many advertising campaigns and marketing programs in the United States are now implementing QR codes as a means to direct the public to online media including promotional videos, public service information, the ability to purchase tickets to various events, and coupons — just to name a few.

QR codes are a type of 2d bar code that was invented in Japan in 1994.  It is open source and its use is widespread throughout Japan and much of Europe.  Now its usage here is starting to reach critical mass.  The December 18th cover of The New York Times Magazine Section features a full page photo of a QR code that was made by artists out of balloons, bringing credence to the fact that these codes have become a part of pop culture.

Using these codes in marketing pieces allows viewers to interact with them using their smart-phones, reaching a marketer’s destination without having to remember or input a lengthy url into their browser.  This makes it easier and error free for the user as well as highly trackable for the marketers.

Savant Creative Group (SavantCreativeGroup.com), a QR code advertising agency is adept at implementing QR code advertising programs (http://savantcreativegroup.com/green-advertising.html).  In the coming year many advertisers will start embracing this new media.  The early embracers  are most likely to get the biggest pop by standing out.

Posted in: QR codes

New York City Business SMART

New York City Business SMART (Sustainably Minded Alternative Round Table) is a group that meets monthly in Manhattan.  SMART has been in existence for about a year and a half and has been growing at a healthy rate.  It started as a Linkedin group and can be found at http://tinyurl.com/BizSMART.

The group is free to join and is open to principles of companies doing business in the areas of sustainability, ethical responsibility, social responsibility alternate energy sources and environmentalism.  It brings together a group of like-minded professions to discuss various issues, learn about each other’s businesses, and to offer support for the issues they face.
Members take turns giving presentations about their company’s capabilities and values. The group exchanges advice and referrals in order to help participants grow their businesses.

The group was started and is led by Savant Creative Group, an ethical marketing agency that embraces sustainable business development methodologies.  The group is currently building its own web portal as well as planning various public events designed to help educate the public about sustainability issues.  SMART is currently looking for people interested in presenting on point inspiration talks as well.  If you are interested, Please contact Savant Creative Group or apply for membership through Linkedin.

SEO Consulting for a Successful Website

The best way to begin work on a new website is with thorough planning.  Just as a house needs a blueprint, a website needs a solid map.  If you want to build a site that searchers will find easily, an ethical SEO consulting service, http://savantcreativegroup.com/seo-consulting.html, is the place to start.  It is essential to work with an ethical SEO company to insure that only white hat approved strategies are used so that the site owner never risks being penalized or banned by the search engines. Starting here, you can determine the kind of site you need, the keywords that will attract the visitors you want to get as well as the underpinnings for the site architecture.  Once this is in place a wire frame can be created indicating  all  the pages you will need as well as where to place the keywords and phrases.

After this stage has been completed, the visual comps can be created for the approval of the look and feel of the site (the front end).  Next comes the copy-writing and image searches to give the site its content and punch.  A good site copywriter skillfully works the important keywords and phrases into the site content using the guide that the SEO consulting company has prepared.  if these steps are followed with care and much thought, the new site can hit the search engines running.

Contact Savant Creative Group, the ethical marketing agency, today for a free website analysis in order to best determine your needs.  Savant can create your website completely in house because we are a full service web design company.

Ghana CSR Company

Based in South Africa, MTN is the largest telecommunications company, in Africa. They are committed to supporting corporate socially responsible initiatives in Ghana. The MTN Ghana Foundation primarily focuses on creating health and education programs.

MTN is a triple bottom line company aligning themselves with the ideals of sustainable business development in which corporate decisions are based on social, environmental and governance factors rather than just financial or economic ones.

The foundation’s projects have included building several schools as well as an ICU at a children’s hospital. MTN also operates a scholarship program that has helped over 1000 recipients.

According to Robert Kuzoe of the MTN Ghana Foundation, “the positive results on the communities has made the foundation more determined and committed to pursuing more CSR projects in the coming year to support social and economic development of the communities in which MTN operates. Though the Foundation is only three years old, it has chalked tremendous successes in promoting health and education in Ghana and we remain committed to give back to our communities in the coming years of MTN’s operations in Ghana.”

The Importance of Good Web Design

I just read a very interesting article about web design that I would like to pass along. It was written by Sue Mitchell. She makes a great point about the importance of having a well designed website and its ability to attract visitors and keep them there for some time. A poorly designed site will accomplish the exact opposite.

Many people want to spend as little as possible on a site thinking that they are all the same. In the end, the additional time it takes to figure out what kind of a site a client needs can mean the different between success and failure. Does a site need to be visible to search engine users? If so, what keywords are important to generating the right audience? What copy should be used in order to define a company without becoming too long winded? What graphics should be used in order to create the visual interest to keep viewers on the site long enough to decided if they wish to contact the business?

Templates are cheap and we have all seen a million of them but a good custom design will stand out and do much for brand building as well. Savant Creative Group is adept at web design.  Not only do we design custom sites, we help clients develop the proper marketing strategies to make their site successful. We also provide SEO consulting service, http://savantcreativegroup.com/seo-consulting.html to insure that searchers find your site.

Posted in: Web Design

Stonyfield Farm, a Sustainable Company

Stonyfield Farm (makers of the organic yogurt) has been selected as one of the 25 most socially responsible companies by Will Marre, CEO of Releadership Alliance.  Marre’s list can be viewed at http://www.willmarre.com/blog. It is entitled, “Giving is Winning”.

Marre has set out to demonstrate how successful companies are achieving amazing success by considering the triple bottom line instead of only the bottom one.  Stonyfield embraces the use of sustainable farming techniques by being organic, considering the health of the cattle as well as its human employees and by donating 10% of its profits to various environmental causes.  Stonyfield has also built the largest solar photovoltaic array in the state of New Hampshire to date which has also saved them almost $2 million in energy costs thus far.

Gary Hirshberg, CEO of Stonyfield says, “”Running a green business is not just an ethically and environmentally responsible activity, it is the basis for economic growth in the 21st century.”  The truth is that sustainable business development is not only better for the planet and its citizens.  It is also better for company profits and growth.

Savant Creative Group helps companies grow through sustainable business development methods.  Running a sustainable company merges the prospects of prosperity and ethical responsibility.