WebbMason Wins Three Web Marketing Association Awards for Excellence in Web Design and Development

October 28, 2013

2013 WMA WebAward

By Enam Noor, Chief Strategy Officer, Managing Director West, WM Interactive Solutions Division

Contrary to the familiar, superstitious saying, good things – not just bad – can happen in threes. Today is one of those days. WebbMason won three WebAwards in the Web Marketing Association’s 17th annual WebAward Competition for web design and development. Our own corporate website won “Best in Show” and “Best Marketing Website” for its bold graphics, vivid color palette, intuitive navigation and seamless integration of front- and back-end systems. That is reason enough to celebrate. But even better, websites developed by WebbMason Interactive for clients Apartment Services, Inc. and Kissito Healthcare International each earned an award. Entries were judged on design, copy writing, innovation, content, interactivity, navigation and use of technology.

WebbMason client Apartment Services, Inc. (ASI), a residential multifamily housing property management business that owns and manages 40 apartment and townhome communities in Maryland and southern Pennsylvania, won for “Outstanding Achievement in Web Development” in the Real Estate category. The company has built a reputation over the past 40 years for building quality homes, delivering outstanding customer service, and offering exceptional value. Dennis Dietz, senior vice president with ASI, said that “The design and interactivity of the website WebbMason developed for us faithfully extended our brand identity online. Another important element is that the user experience is localized and personalized. We are very pleased with the end result.”

Kissito Healthcare International, a non-profit organization whose stated mission is “the betterment and care of human life,” was recognized for achieving “Non-Profit Standard of Excellence.” The objectives of the Kissito website redesign were to produce a website with clean design, easy navigation and, importantly, integration with social media channels Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and flickr, which Kissito uses to build awareness and solicit financial support. We are thrilled that the WebAward’s international panel felt we succeeded in meeting those objectives.

Adding to the feeling of gratification we on the WebbMason Interactive team got from this news is realizing that the odds of winning one, never mind three, are long: More than 1,500 entries from 40 countries were judged in 96 industry categories during this year’s competition.

Thanks and congratulations to ASI and Kissito who trusted us with what is their most public persona – their websites – and to the amazing WebbMason interactive team.


Franchises Using Integrated Marketing Achieve Higher ROI

February 13, 2013

by Doug Traxler

Integrated marketing is complex—but so is running a franchise. Combining the two? Sounds like a potential nightmare. However, iWebbMason Integrated Marketingntegrated marketing can play an essential role in every business, as companies that implement and execute integrated marketing have been shown to achieve a 50% higher ROI. (Source: Gartner)

Last year, a popular franchise reached out to WebbMason for marketing assistance. After some research, WebbMason suggested an integrated marketing approach that blended both print and non-print marketing methods, including  (in simplest terms) personalized QR codes on all direct mail pieces, personalized landing pages, automated reminders and follow-up notices, customized registration and opt-in for newsletters, social media pages, an analytics dashboard and email marketing. This approach enabled the franchise to organize and quickly respond to leads, while also increasing attendance in the organization’s long-term programs.

The results were a dream come true for both the franchise and WebbMason, as the campaign generated a 39.2% conversion rate, 65% higher than the year before, along with a 28% spike in the franchise’s Facebook fans. The good news does not stop there. This November, WebbMason won an award for this campaign during the EventTech conference in New York City.

From New York to Las Vegas, WebbMason’s interactive services are appearing all over the US. On February 18-19, they will be showcased at the IFA Conference at the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. On display at booth #271, WebbMason will present popular tools for many franchise owners, including the new user interface capabilities for its MarketingBench™ distributed marketing management platform.

According to Jeff Elgin’s article, “5 Franchise Marketing Essentials,” on entrepreneur.com, a franchise marketing plan must: drive consumers, involve the franchisees, get the splits right (marketing funding dollars), be well-documented and validate well. To summarize, marketing must bring people through the door—whether it is from a direct mail piece, a landing page, a personalized coupon or a promotional product. Since they work closely with customers, the opinions from the franchisees must always be taken into account. Elgin, CEO of FranChoice, notes that a marketing plan “is no small matter, since your livelihood will rely on the success of the marketing program in driving customers to your business.”

Sure, integrated marketing is complex—but it doesn’t have to be frightening. By integrating print, web, digital, social and other applications, your franchise can create powerful campaigns while reaching, engaging and growing customer relationships and achieving a ROI. From website strategies to email marketing, you can deliver timely, relevant, and compelling integrated marketing programs that resonate with customers across any channel they touch. All of your campaigns and programs will point in the same direction and will work in harmony to reach your goals. An effective interactive plan designed specifically for your franchise can not only meet your needs… it could be a great way to build support for your franchisees as well.


WebbMason blows away Chicago

November 16, 2012

Chicago, Illinois is not only famous for being Obama and Oprah’s hometown, but also for being the third largest city in the world (and also the windiest!) However, due to a recent connection from WebbMason and ChamberPlus+, Chicago has more to be famous for—in our office at least.

That’s because ChamberPlus+ and WebbMason have recently joined forces to give local Chicago businesses big business discounts. Both ChamberPlus+ and WebbMason ensure high levels of service for a very low cost. As Jerry Roper, president and CEO of Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce, noted, “Products and services offered by our members, like WebbMason, help control bottom-line expenses while we all work on driving an increase in top-line revenue.”

Thanks to Frank Ignatius, account executive, WebbMason has been selected as a business service provider in the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce ChamberPlus+ program, and will service more than 1.3 million local employees in the association’s market area. Ignatius will oversee the ChamberPlus+ program from the WebbMason’s Naperville, Illinois, office. WebbMason joins other national companies in the ChamberPlus+ program, including Office Depot, Virgin America, and UPS.

As part of the program, WebbMason is offering other Chamber members a 15 percent discount (in addition to their lowest negotiated rates) on business cards, brochures, letterhead, signage, banners, direct mail, and all other printed items.

The Chamber has also invited WebbMason to advertise its member-exclusive print pricing as well as its other services to the ChamberPlus+ community via its website.  (That’s the WebbMason banner ad at the top of this post.)

If your business is in the Chicago area, try not to get blown away—and also don’t forget to join ChamberPlus+ so you can take advantage of the great programs the Chamber sponsors, including those being offered by  WebbMason.


United States Postal Service Gives Stamp of Approval to Integrated Marketing

November 12, 2012

Since Benjamin Franklin appointed the first Postmaster General in 1775, the United States Postal Service has grown to better serve a growing population through new technologies. In 1918, scheduled airmail service began to provide faster mailing across the entire country. In 1994, the Postal Service launched its public Internet site to create an online presence during the rise of Internet use. In 2013, the United States Postal Service will take its first steps towards integrated marketing. Image

Fiscal Year 2012 was challenging for the USPS and Fiscal Year 2013 will be just as difficult. The use of email and online services has provided more efficient communication. Today’s market needs require on-demand service, which is a setback to what has become known as “snail-mail”. But with every challenge there is a solution. Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahue emphasizes that, “Our industry is fundamentally strong and has a bright future. Mail remains an incredibly effective and important part of marketing America’s products and service.” The USPS’ focus remains on delivering mail. But in order to sustain a strong market presence, the industry must adapt with innovation.

On October 29, 2012 the USPS released its full calendar of promotions for 2013. The promotions offer discounts by integrating mail with mobile and innovative technologies.

The new offers indicate a clear drive to make print an integral component of a direct marketing mix by making it interactive. The Postal Service’s integration is a validation of the ongoing transition and value of integrated marketing. The marketing world is constantly evolving, forcing companies to adapt accordingly. The interactive approach is an adaptation to an increasingly sophisticated population. Allowing people to store coupons via mobile is a direct response to the rise of the mobile platform. Integrated marketing channels offer more positive results that not even a centuries-old direct mail provider could avoid.

The integrated marketing examples below from the Postal Service’s 2013 Promotional Calendar validate everything we do at WebbMason. Our customers are experiencing this integrated approach because we understand that the addition of new marketing channels serves up the right communication for the right audience. Today, the American audience thrives on mobile and interactive communication. The United States Postal Service was strictly involved with direct mail but people’s needs have changed. In order to regain their status, they had to realize print is not enough. Today is a digital age, but a print and technologic mix will provide the greatest results. WebbMason’s success has been dependent on our ability to recognize this need for integration. The Postal Service’s direction is validation of a solution near and dear to the heart of WebbMason. We have taken the right steps in moving toward an interactive and integrated marketing approach for our customers and ourselves.

Sample Offers from the Postal Service’s 2013 Promotional Calendar:

Mobile Coupon and Click-to-Call | Dates: March 1 – April 30

Discount: 2% of eligible postage

Mobile Coupon: The physical mailpiece must be a coupon using print-to-mobile technologies (such as QR codes) that allow the recipient to store the coupon on a mobile device. The discount must be offered only to mailpiece recipients, and the coupon must be redeemable as either a physical document or from a mobile device.

Click-to-Call:The physical mailpiece must use print-to-mobile technologies (such as QR codes) that links directly to a mobile optimized website with a “click-to-call” link or brings up a phone number automatically in the users’ phone.

Emerging Technology | Dates: August 1 – September 30

Discount: 2% of eligible postage

Augmented Reality: The mailpiece must support an augmented reality experience that is facilitated by a mobile device or computer. The augmented reality experience must combine real and virtual, be interactive in real time, and register in 3-D.

Authentication: The mailpiece must integrate the attributes of physical mail, including delivery to a physical address, with mobile technology that allows a user to complete authentication for customers, prospects, or mail recipients. Prior approval from the USPS program office is required for this option.


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