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Thread: Jamaica Yellow Pages Global Digital Marketing Conference

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    Default Jamaica Yellow Pages Global Digital Marketing Conference

    I attended the conference on Wednesday. It was quite good. http://jamaicaypdigitalconference.instapage.com/

    There was a lot of good content for people involved in marketing and web design. It also provided a good overview for managers and business owners who have to work with these people.

    Gabriel Parra, Strategic Partner Manager from Google gave a comprehensive explanation on how to Google ranks websites when people do searches. He provided tips on how websites can improve their rankings. Generally he helped us understand how Google works. He had lots of statistics about the kinds of web searches done from Jamaica. Apparently Youtube is the most popular destination here.

    Rasheed Girvan, Digital Sales Manager, Gobal Directories provided an understanding of how mobile devices are replacing desktops for accessing internet content. Both of these presentations made it clear how important it is for websites to be mobile friendly. It a site is not mobile friendly, more and more people will not visit it.

    Dave Dacosta, Regional Marketing Director, Gobal Directories gave us a lot to think about. He explained how people shop online and the things that companies need to do in order to take advantages of the changes.

    Casandra Cortes, Matchcraft explained how to calculate the return on investments for web marketing. We often spend so much time and money on web marketing. Are we getting good results? How can we tell what works and what doesn't work?

    A very good conference overall. During lunch I was able to chat with some of the sales representatives from Yellow Pages/Global Directories. I learnt a lot about the techniques needed for mobile friendly websites. That organization is now so much more than the paper directory that they print. The are now Google Adworks partners and they have a great deal of knowledge about web design and web marketing. I was pleasantly surprised by the depth of their knowledge.

    The conference was oversubscribed. There might be another one coming up for those who could not make the first one. It is well worth the time to attend.

    No I did not take pictures because I did not plan to do a report.
    Last edited by jamrock; Mar 18, 2016 at 09:43 AM.

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    Such conferences should be mandatory for business owners in Jamaica who want or already have an internet presence. I am really amazed to see websites for businesses in Jamaica, I am still seeing 1024x768 flash websites, websites where a Bob Marley song plays in the background, websites that are fixed width and table based.

    What is worst is that it is a waste of time trying to get those website owners to step in modern times. They don't want to spend money to update/upgrade their websites because its not making any money for them, yet they're renewing hosting and domain-name for $300+ a year.

    This country has such a far way to go as doing business on the internet is concerned.
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    Such conferences should be mandatory for business owners in Jamaica who want or already have an internet presence. I am really amazed to see websites for businesses in Jamaica, I am still seeing 1024x768 flash websites, websites where a Bob Marley song plays in the background, websites that are fixed width and table based.
    I do not think that this is limited to Jamaica. I see websites for companies in the US that are the same.


    What is worst is that it is a waste of time trying to get those website owners to step in modern times. They don't want to spend money to update/upgrade their websites because its not making any money for them, yet they're renewing hosting and domain-name for $300+ a year.

    It is really a question of return on investment. A business person is not going to invest money to update a website unless he/she can see the benefit of doing so. It is a business decision. What returns can you promise people on this investment? How can you justify the additional expenditure?

    Global Directories did not put on the conference as a public service. They were using it to advertise their web development and web marketing services. They were quick to point out that they have won awards from Google over the last 2 years for the quality of their work. They often mentioned that they were in the business of helping companies to grow their customer base and revenue. They are always ready to discuss return on investment.
    Last edited by jamrock; Mar 18, 2016 at 11:05 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jamrock View Post
    I do not think that this is limited to Jamaica. I see websites for companies in the US that are the same.
    As a Jamaican living Jamaica, I think its best if I speak about Jamaicans and leave it to an American to speak about their own country-men. Besides all that... I rather not take the whole "if they are doing it, it is OK if we do it too" route.

    Quote Originally Posted by jamrock View Post
    It is really a question of return on investment. A business person is not going to invest money to update a website unless he/she can see the benefit of doing so. It is a business decision. What returns can you promise people on this investment? How can you justify the additional expenditure?

    Global Directories did not put on the conference as a public service. They were using it to advertise their web development and web marketing services. They were quick to point out that they have won awards from Google over the last 2 years for the quality of their work. They often mentioned that they were in the business of helping companies to grow their customer base and revenue. They are always ready to discuss return on investment.
    From my experiences, I find it kinda hard to talk about ROIs when the client doesn't have a credit card or have never heard of PayPal.
    1.8 Ghz Pentium 4 (OC'd.) / Intel P4 (478) Motherboard / 800MHz DDR / 256 Mb DDR RAM / 40GB Seagate / RIVA TNT2 Pro 32MB / 24X12X24 Sony CDRW+ / 18" View Sonic CRT / Windows ME Yes it will play Doom... i plan on trying Crysis 3 one of these days.

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    I don't think it you can sell technology products or services to business people by talking about credit cards, Paypal, CMS, SQL or things like that. They have little knowledge of or interest in those things.

    To sell to these business decision makers you need to talk about

    • increasing revenue
    • increasing market share
    • selling to young people who do everything online
    • making it easier for customers to learn about the company's products
    • creating a brand


    These are all business issues. For business people, technology is a means of improving the business. If it cannot improve sales, customer satisfaction, brand awareness, etc. it is not worth the expenditure.

    You need to watch how Global Directories does this. They have become quite good at it. I suspect that much of this expertise is the result of the training and exposure they have gotten from Google. The representative from Google spoke about the level of support and training that Google gives to its partners.
    Last edited by jamrock; Mar 19, 2016 at 08:31 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jamrock View Post
    I don't think it you can sell technology products or services to business people by talking about credit cards, Paypal, CMS, SQL or things like that. They have little knowledge of or interest in those things.

    To sell to these business decision makers you need to talk about

    • increasing revenue
    • increasing market share
    • selling to young people who do everything online
    • making it easier for customers to learn about the company's products
    • creating a brand


    These are all business issues. For business people, technology is a means of improving the business. If it cannot improve sales, customer satisfaction, brand awareness, etc. it is not worth the expenditure.

    You need to watch how Global Directories does this. They have become quite good at it. I suspect that much of this expertise is the result of the training and exposure they have gotten from Google. The representative from Google spoke about the level of support and training that Google gives to its partners.
    Most of my local clients are in the Tourism Sector, most are tour operators or provide transportation services and such. Their line of business targets visitors to the island, usually their first opening line to me as to why they need a website is "they want to collect credit cards from tourists online". Then I have to ask several questions to gauge their understanding of what that involves. PayPal comes up because going through a local bank for access to their CC portal is straight f'ery.

    Have you ever tried explaining SEO and its necessity to a local business person, the aged ones?
    1.8 Ghz Pentium 4 (OC'd.) / Intel P4 (478) Motherboard / 800MHz DDR / 256 Mb DDR RAM / 40GB Seagate / RIVA TNT2 Pro 32MB / 24X12X24 Sony CDRW+ / 18" View Sonic CRT / Windows ME Yes it will play Doom... i plan on trying Crysis 3 one of these days.

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    Is it really necessary to explain the inner workings of SEO or SEM to a business person?

    If the business person can explain:

    • What his company does
    • The goods and services the company offers
    • What industry he is in
    • Which customers he is trying to reach
    • Where these customers are located
    • How he wants his company to appear (branding)
    • The terms people use to search for his products


    you should be able to design a good SEO campaign and present it to him for review. At that time, you may need to answer some high level questions but you shouldn't have to get into the nitty gritty details.

    I was taught to focus on the advantages my product or service brings to the prospect's business. It is very easy to lose people when we start talking above their heads. I only discuss the details of the technology with people who have the sufficient technical background.

    Selling to managers is different from selling to technical, operational people. It requires a different approach.

    BTW, I got this link from one of the presenters at the conference.
    https://www.google.com/webmasters/#?modal_active=none

    Google has some good content for people who want to improve the web marketing and web design skills.
    Last edited by jamrock; Mar 19, 2016 at 08:37 PM.

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    The situations where it become necessary to explain SEO, is when after 3 month after having delivered a finished site (with SM accounts, email, GAnalytics, etc) the client calls me and asks why they are not getting any visitors on their site. What is funny is that I don't experience this with my foreign clients, they get the whole "social media" thing, they understand that there are millions of other websites out there and what is necessary for people to discover theirs.

    These days before I take up any local clients, I interview them to see if they understand what "The Internet" means, and how it works. I then clear up any misconception and task them with getting 100 likes on a FB business page. If they can do that, it validates their business need for a websites.

    I am already familiar with Google Webmaster Tools (now Search Console), I normally use it to quicken the pace at which Google indexes or re-indexes a published page, also to watch errors on structured data schema. I kinda focus on the 3 shades of SEO so I am familiar with all of Google's tools, in-fact I spend more time on BBFH than other online forums.
    1.8 Ghz Pentium 4 (OC'd.) / Intel P4 (478) Motherboard / 800MHz DDR / 256 Mb DDR RAM / 40GB Seagate / RIVA TNT2 Pro 32MB / 24X12X24 Sony CDRW+ / 18" View Sonic CRT / Windows ME Yes it will play Doom... i plan on trying Crysis 3 one of these days.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gW33Zy View Post
    The situations where it become necessary to explain SEO, is when after 3 month after having delivered a finished site (with SM accounts, email, GAnalytics, etc) the client calls me and asks why they are not getting any visitors on their site. What is funny is that I don't experience this with my foreign clients, they get the whole "social media" thing, they understand that there are millions of other websites out there and what is necessary for people to discover theirs.
    I don't think that Jamaican business people are less intelligent than those overseas. That has not been my experience working with them. I think that this whole approach to digital marketing is new here. It is only in the last year or so that I have been hearing a consistent message about this approach.

    Prior to the cellular wars (LIME, Digicel and Claro) only the big companies (Grace Kennedy, JNBS, NCB) had a structured approach to marketing. I believe it was really the liquor companies (Smirnoff, Skyy Vodka, Heineken, Red Stripe) who started integrating social media, a web presence and marketing. They did this through their sponsorship of the various annual parties.

    It will take some time before the family owned companies to implement these things. By their very nature, they are more conservative. As you have suggested, they tend to be run by older members of the family who will be less open to this radically different world in which we now live.

    Quote Originally Posted by gW33Zy View Post
    These days before I take up any local clients, I interview them to see if they understand what "The Internet" means, and how it works. I then clear up any misconception and task them with getting 100 likes on a FB business page. If they can do that, it validates their business need for a websites.
    This is a good approach. Why sell technology to companies that do not need it? I hope you don't sound so condescending when you talk to your customers, though.
    Last edited by jamrock; Mar 20, 2016 at 11:01 AM.

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    Just following up on this.

    I made the changes to make our website mobile friendly. I tested it at Google's mobile friendly test site. https://www.google.com/webmasters/to...bile-friendly/. The result was
    Awesome! This page is mobile-friendly.
    Since then we have moved up from page 4 to page 1 or 2 when we google our product name and Jamaica. It is clear that Google puts a high ranking on the mobile friendly feature.

    The day spent with Global Directories was well worth it.
    Last edited by jamrock; May 16, 2016 at 10:26 AM.

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