Posted by Tom Humbarger on October 29, 2008
My latest project finally launched today. Chris Fox is a longtime friend of mine and he runs a valet parking company called Minuteman Parking in the Los Angeles area. For the past 2 months, I have been helping Chris update his website and marketing messages.
In the process, I learned a lot about the valet parking business and discovered the fun and challenge of consulting with small businesses. Chris’ business is pretty unique. While he services more than 30 locations in the Southern California and Seattle areas with more than 600 employees, he really only has about 10 people on his ‘headquarters’ staff. So, I became his ‘hired’ marketing expert.
Here is what the original website looked like:
Old Minuteman Parking Website
And here’s the “after” look – the new and improved Minuteman Parking website:
New (and Improved) Minuteman Parking Website
The executionists of Marina Del Rey, California provided the design for the website – and while they have an unusual name, their team lead by Temy Gu did a wonderful job “executing” the concept.
Some of the new features of the website include:
- Updated design and theme – We have to thank our web design team for coming up with a new theme and color scheme. It was important to keep the patriotic idea linked to the company name, but the old site was very early 2000′s in look and feel. The executionists added some flash to the home page and added pictures to the other pages which help to personalize the company.
- Simplified messaging – Chris and I worked to simplify the messaging for his key business lines of providing customized parking solutions for Hotels and Medical Facilities. He also wanted to capitalize on a new business line of Special Events and we incorporated that into the menu structure.
- Company blog and news – I finally convinced Chris about the importance of keeping content current in his website and we had the executionists incorporate a blog into the new site. You can find the blog under About Us->News. Now I have to hold Chris to updating the blog and news section on a weekly basis.
- Clear actions – We put clear actions on the landing pages and key solutions pages. And we gave people many options for contacting Chris’ team via email, web form and toll-free phone number.
- Customer list and testimonials - We added a list of customer logos and several short customer testimonials. Chris has some name-brand properties and we listed the corporate brands without having to identify the specific locations. The customer list and testimonials should provide Chris with a better way to get his foot in the door at new prospects.
Check out the website and let us know what you think. And thank you Chris for listening to me and trusting me with your business.
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: blog, chris fox, consulting gig, marketing, marketing consulting, minuteman parking, new media, valet parking | 3 Comments »
Posted by Tom Humbarger on October 24, 2008
In this TED Talk from 2007, marketing guru Seth Godin talks about Wonder Bread and other marketing delights. His premise is that ideas that spread will win and he refers to the current time as the “Century of Idea Diffusion”.
Here is the TED description of the 15 minute video presentation:
In a world of too many options and too little time, our obvious choice is to ignore the ordinary stuff. Marketing guru Seth Godin spells out why, when it comes getting our attention, bad or bizarre ideas are more successful than boring ones. And early adopters, not the mainstream’s bell curve, are the new sweet spot of the market.
Seth goes on to say the the “TV industrial complex” is not working any more. Consumers don’t care about companies because they have way too many choices and too little time – so they just ignore stuff. Which means that you or or your message must be remarkable to stand out from the crowd.
He also brought up the Japanese concept of otaku – which is used to refer to people with obsessive interests. Ideally, you want to cultivate people with otaku for your product or service because they will help you spread the word.
Some of the brands that Seth brings up in the video include:
He left the audience with three thoughts:
- Design is free when you get to scale
- The riskiest thing you can do now is be safe
- Being very good is boring and average — no one is going to notice…so be remarkable
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: aeron chairs, century of idea diffusion, cooper mini, dutch boy paint, life gems, marketing, otaku, seth godin, silk soy milk, ted talk, wonder bread | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Tom Humbarger on October 7, 2008
From XM Baseball
What is it with Red Sox fans and Web 2.0?
Even though I am a Los Angeles Fan (primarily the Angels and secondarily the Dodgers), I am intrigued by the passion of Boston Red Sox fans. It also seems like Red Sox have done the best job in Major League Baseball of co-opting Web 2.0 for their nearly exclusive use.
On Twitter, there are countless Red Sox fans including some people I follow like @astrout, @jstorerj, @naomimarr, @adamcohen and @blg. I have only been able to find a handful of Angel fans (@geekgiant and @angelstalk) and they do not come close to displaying the fervor or producing the same Twitter volume as Red Sox. In fact, it’s quite fun even for a non-Boston fan to follow #redsox on Twitter Search especially during games as the Twitter traffic is usually pretty stimulating.
I also participated in a friendly Web 2.0 wager with some Red Sox fans via Twitter (mostly Mzinga friends and family) over the recently completed Red Sox vs. Angels American League Division Championship Series. The bet was that the fans of the losing team need to display their fealty to the winning team by changing their social media profile pictures and making one positive Tweet about the winning team per day until the end of the baseball season. Which is why I am now on a Red Sox bobble head and why my profile pictures on Twitter and Facebook display a Red Sox cap.
When you look on Facebook, there are a dozen or more Red Sox and Red Sox nation fan pages and groups with thousands and thousands of members. By comparison, there are just a couple of Angels pages and groups with a total combined membership of about 10,000.
And then there is the blog traffic. During a quick scan of Technorati, I saw that there are 366 blogs about the Boston Red Sox. Meanwhile, there are only 75 blogs about Los Angeles Angels. It also looks like the blog post traffic for the Red Sox is running about 5x the posts for the Angels.
And these Web 2.0 stats just represent the computer-literate Red Sox fans and don’t include the countless Red Sox fans whose lips move when they’re reading or who don’t own computers.
My last hope in 2008 is for the Dodgers (including Manny and my neighbor Nomar who lives down the street) to meet up with the Red Sox in the World Series in 2 weeks and redeem LA’s honor on the field. But I don’t think we’ll ever catch up with the Red Sox in the Web 2.0 world.
Otherwise I may have to change team and Web 2.0 loyalties if the Red Sox dominance over Los Angeles continues.
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: boston, boston red sox, facebook, los angeles angels, los angeles dodgers, red sox, twitter, Web 2.0 | 8 Comments »