Caffeinated Marketing

Gettting through all the noise, one cup at a time

Best Marketing Practices That Doubles as Art February 4, 2009

Filed under: Tip of the Day — jenharris @ 1:15 am
Tags: , ,

For anyone that says they are in or around marketing you already know about HubSpot.

If you are just diving into this “new media stuff”, I highly recommend you spend the day -yes, the day- reading their blogs & watching their weekly wrap up. You will be self-subscribed expert by the end. 

First, check out this blog that asks the question and gives you a beautiful visual:

What are the best and worst marketing programs businesses have performed in the past year to drive sales leads?

The art is courtesy of Wordle & quite fun to play with and create your own word art for the day.

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7 Responses to “Best Marketing Practices That Doubles as Art”

  1. Dave Says:

    I’ll be an Expert you say!? Oh goody! 😛

  2. jenharris Says:

    As you might guess, my “expert” remark was…very tongue in cheek. I ran across a Twitter profile not long ago that read (I swear this is true): “I am a SM expert. I just got on Twitter 6 weeks ago & I can help you make the most of it too”. Argh!
    I am going on 2 years on that silly little tool (ok, and the best thing ever), I do SM for a living and I would NEVER call myself an Expert.
    Thanks Expert Dave! 😉

  3. I’m always skeptical of sites like that – how can they know the internet if they can’t even make a website without errors?
    http://validator.w3.org/check?uri=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.hubspot.com%2F&charset=%28detect+automatically%29&doctype=Inline&group=0

    Some of those are real coding problems that affect SEO ranking, it makes me wonder if it’s more snake oil than reality.

  4. Yoav Shapira Says:

    Brady, as a fellow engineer (who works at HubSpot now) I share your skepticism. I also used to think validation as an important goal in and of itself. But I no longer think that. The vast majority of real-world HTML does not validate, and search engines deal with it just fine. We focus much more on the user-visible stuff.

    What errors did you think were bad for SEO or that the search engines can’t deal with?

    I’m not a sales person, so I’m not going to talk all about our product. But you can ask our customers online if they think it’s snake oil, or check out http://www.hubspot.com/customer-case-studies/ and similar resources.

  5. Redone with HTML special characters so you can read the code examples:
    That’s an argument used by developers too lazy to code properly – and if you’ve let more inexperienced coders tell you otherwise, go back to your original thinking. You have no excuse as to why you can’t code a layout in atleast a halfway valid format (and I agree that pure validation is mostly evangelical, but your site has got large validation errors outside of the purist debate) – I expect the minor occasional ampersand or a misformed tag, but not a full list of entry level code problems. If the issue is your CMS, fix it.

    You have no semantic value to barely ANY of your front end code content – much less the code to content ratio is large. Aside from unordered listed and paragraph tags, you’ve got nothing but divs upon divs upon divs… and there’s a reason we joke it’s no different than a table based layout when you choose divitis.

    Let’s start by telling Google that the most important element of the page is your company name, which you chose to code as (let’s see if html is enabled on the comments):
    <span class=”logo”>
    <a id=”TitleHeaderAnchor” href=”/”><img id=”SiteTitleArea” src=”/Portals/53/images/website_logo.gif” border=’0′ alt=”HubSpot” /></a>
    </span>

    Not only is this more difficult to style with redundant tag, and a class is used where an id should be (that’s just lazy right there, you’re not repeating the logo element on the same page), but you’ve not laid out to engines that what ranks is who you are. Not to mention the useless border element for a css managed page. Could have just easily been:
    <h1><a href=”/”><img src=”/Portals/53/images/website_logo.gif” alt=”HubSpot” /></a></h1>

    even better I would have:
    <h1><a href=”/” title=”Welcome to Hubspot: return home”>Hubspot</a></h1>

    using CSS to replace the content with images on the fly, and giving the page a better weight ratio.

    …and the list goes on, this page could be half the code. Even the sidebar is using a table for a list of content, with nested divs:
    <div class=”ItemInfo”>
    <span id=”dnn__ctl6__ctl0_ItemsList__ctl4_ItemDate” class=”Normal”>Thursday, Jan 29, 2009</span>
    </div>

    What value does that serve to handicap users, or any search engine? Again, these are all quick, entry level code issues that don’t need lots of money to ‘do’ they just need to be done right the first time.

    …and lastly, this is not a complicated design by far – and it’s not a design that’s grounded in advertising training. So using the fact that you focused on the user experience more than the code is ignoring the fact that 1) code is important to the user experience and 2) this isn’t a high level design you’ve created.

    Honestly, I know this is a pompous post, but in 2009 we shouldn’t even be having this debate! And this is coming from an Art Director that runs a large department filled with developers, designers, PR reps, writers, assistants, and the like – and in companies well known in San Francisco that pumps money in the magic of the marketing world – so take it from your target market please, it matters a great deal to who I buy service from. If you can’t do the foundations; the simple basics that you need to move onto the complicated portions of the web world, how can I trust your company to do good work?

  6. Yoav Shapira Says:

    Thanks for the feedback, Brady. Have a good weekend 😉


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