Sep 13

Carlton – Round 2 Finals

I have to say, I am pretty happy that I get to see Carlton play finals footy for another week, despite the less than auspicious manner in which we qualified. Being a realist I recognise it is unlikely that we will win the Grand Final 2013, it would be funny though. I wonder if the AFL would make any changes if this was the case, or even a statement. Or would they just accept it for what it is, that a team outplayed the others it came up against as it hit the finals series.

Looking at the situation though, I think it has some correlation to what many businesses are experiencing now. This downturn has been such a slog, such a grind. Week in week out we’ve really been doing the hard yards. Some weeks we have good wins, others we don’t.

Sometimes the trick during these times though is simply to out-survive, out-last. If you survive the super tough times and out-survive your competitors, unexpected opportunities arise all of a sudden. And if you have the audacity to embrace the opportunities, you find yourself in situations that are completely unexpected and rewarding.

Back to the footy though, how good is it to finish the season above Collingwood, Essendon and Richmond! #believe

Jul 13

Carlton or the Cricket

What to do? Its been a pretty long time between finals drinks for Carlton, 1995 since our last Grand Final victory. Since then we’ve been (over) punished for salary cap breaches, won our first wooden spoon, won subsequent wooden spoons, got rid of Fev and then Ratts, espoused all the potential in the world and… languished.

Languished is, I think the best way to describe our experience over the last 10 years.

Having been thumped by Collingwood last week, seemingly putting finals out of reach again, I am considering taking the unprecedented step (in my mind at least) of calling an end to the 2013 AFL season. Given The Ashes start tonight anyway, it seems logical to move straight into the 2013/2014 summer cricket season.

So that’s the dilemma I am facing today. Do I put an end to the 2013 AFL Season, or do I let it run its course?

I am open to suggestions – as long as they don’t come from Essendon or Collingwood supporters, or fans of the English Cricket team.

May 13

The Importance Of Conversion

I enjoyed a night at the footy last night. AFL (Aussie Rules) is my code of choice, my team Carlton. We were playing Brisbane at the Gabba and had a scrappy, hard fought win. The score in the end was Carlton 13 goals 20 behinds, a total of 98 defeating the lions, 12 goals 13, 85. The game seemed for most part, dominated by Carlton. We had 33 scoring shots next to 25, about 30% more. Yet it never felt like we were getting away from Brissie, they’d put on a run and be right back in the game. In the end we won by 13 points, which is by about 15%. So we outscored Brisbane by 15% yet had double that in more chances to score. We should have dominated.

It all comes down to conversion.

Seeing our coach Mick Malthouse talk about the potential issues lack of conversion will cause in coming games against stronger opposition, it came to me how fitting this issue is as a reflection on website marketing, business and even life in general. We can do all the work in the world, get all the opportunities in the world, but if we can’t make that final goal conversion, does all the hard work count for anything?

I know some of you mystics out there will now say the destination is not the goal, rather the journey is. Would there be a journey though without an intended destination? Of course not, and if the destination is worth the journey, then it is important too – and so goal conversion becomes crucial.

Sales is an obvious example which confirms this point. If a sales person does not convert sales there is no point. The lead generation, appointments and pitches mean nothing unless there is a conversion which turns into value – the sale.

This is something many businesses never really think about when planning their websites. All the money you spend on design, content and development count for nothing, if you don’t also consider conversion. SEO in its own right does nothing either, it brings visitors to your website, but if the website does not convert, is SEO worth it? Unless you have a conversion optimisation program planned, I’d say probably not.

So this is the thing with digital marketing, you need to think about the whole end to end purpose of what you are doing at the start of your project and all the way through. And the end game considered at the start should answer the question “how is this website going to achieve these conversion goals?”.

The biggest challenge I see coming into new clients businesses is the lack of consistency in this area through their whole digital strategy. They had a website designed that way as it looked good. They did SEO because they had to beat their competitors. The are doing social media as everyone else is doing it. But the thing that lacks is the mortar that links all this initiatives together consistently. That mortar should be contribution to the conversion process. IE. We need to design the website this way, to make it easy for prospects to send us their quote requests. We need to do SEO focused on these keywords, as they are the keywords most used by people who are ready to buy our products today. We need to get our clients onto social media, as that is the first place where we advertise all our new products and upgrades.

If every step in the process supports conversion, achieving goals becomes so much easier. If achieving goals become easier, there is absolutely no reason why Carlton can’t be a serious contender for the flag this year.