Category Archives: Uncategorized

Multi-tool

8 REASONS TO USE CONTESTCORE FOR YOUR NEXT ONLINE CONTEST

By | digital marketing, interactive marketing, social media, Uncategorized | One Comment

ContestCore is the ultimate online customer engagement “multi-tool”. Its most attractive features include ease-of-use, flexible customization options and analytics. We’ve put together a list of the top 8 reasons to use ContestCore as the solution to your next online contest and campaign needs:

  1. Let Your Customers Spread The Word; Your customized contest has a built-in viral sweepstakes along with incentives for sharing, so participants do the heavy lifting.
  2. Full Design Control; No limitations or out-of-the-box templates, just the freedom to design your contest as you want it.
  3. Deploy Your Contest Everywhere; From a Facebook tab, a microsite with a custom domain, or embedding it in another website, all the way to desktops, tablets and mobile.
  4. Robust And Intuitive Dashboard; With your dashboard, you can view the status of your contest, see trends occurring over time and track participation in real-time.
  5. Complete Security And Privacy; With Fraud detection, IP blacklisting, HTTPS and cookie requirements you don’t have to worry about anyone gaming the system.
  6. Social, Social, Social; You will have built-in sharing mechanisms across all major social media channels. Instagram, Facebook, Youtube and even a meme generator.
  7. Responsive; The way it should be. Whether your contest is viewed on tablet, desktop or mobile, your customers won’t have to “pinch and zoom” to participate.
  8. Activity Tracking and Judging; You have full capability to track contest activity. You can track hours, participants, activities of customers, judges and votes.

Now that you know the reasons why you should use Contestcore, check out the 3 unique customer engagement packages created to combine the powerful features along with strategy and marketing support from us, at Digital Operative:

Active Lifestyle

  • Track Hours, Participants, and Activities of Customers
  • Share Your Customers Adventures Socially
  • Co-Sponsor Events That Match Your Strategy
  • Spread Viral Infographic of Results

Brand Booster

  • Develop Target Audience and Brand Strategy
  • Create Brand Loyalty Contest and Rewards
  • Collect Brand Positive Photos and Story Sharing
  • Align With Philanthropic Causes That Reinforce Brand

Product Influencer

  • Empower Customers to Endorse Your Product
  • Cultivate Influencers and Grassroots Ambassadors
  • Launch Viral Campaign For New Product
  • Elevate Unique Product Stories With Content Marketing

To find out more on pricing and features, visit Contestcore.com or email todd@contestcore.com.

DO Holiday Extravaganza

By | agency life, digital marketing, Digital Operative, small agency, Uncategorized | No Comments

DO always gets into the holiday spirit and this year was no different. We had a Toys for Tots – Toy drive in the office, Our Annual holiday potluck, Ugly Christmas Sweater contest, DOey Awards, Gift Exchange and DO elf who was keeping tabs on us the entire time… Here is a little glimpse into our office life over the last few weeks:

Toys For Tots

We decided to partner up with Uber and participate in the #UberSleigh Toy Drive. DO prides themselves on giving back to the community and we like that our employees are just as generous. We had so much fun buying toys and seeing the gifts multiply under the tree. We were the last stop for the #UberSleigh and they were  amazed at how many gifts we had collected!

DO Gift Exchange

Every year – we DO a gift exchange…and this year was no different. Pick a number and open a gift – you can steal…but, a gift can only be stolen twice. We all had a blast doing the gift exchange. Unfortunately for BJ, he drew first. Which means every gift he picked was stolen and in the end….He was left with a talking Parrot!

Ugly Sweater Party

Every year, we do an Ugly Christmas sweater contest. This year we had an employee who really out did herself….She walked in and the contest was already over….She wasn’t wearing an Ugly Christmas Sweater, but she was dressed like a Christmas tree. #winning

DOey Awards

A few years ago, BJ and Adam created the DOey awards – These awards are given to every employee and each person is recognized for something different and fun that they are known for throughout the office….For instance – I always wear a snuggie in the office, because I am cold 365 days a year. So, my name was “Queen Snuggie”….We also had, The “Paleo-tologist”, “Diet Coke and Dispositions”, “Hollywood” and “Bourbon for Breakfast” just to name a few.

DO Elf

And just for fun….we have the DO elf that watches over us every year to make sure we are on our best behavior – here are a couple of our favorite shots from this Holiday season with DO:

This year was a blast at DO – we can hardly wait to see what 2014 has in store for us!

Digital Marketing Agency: We’re Hiring!

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

We are an award-winning full-service digital agency, searching to fill some positions in our San Diego and Denver offices. We are looking for Innovators, Motivators, Multi-tasking elite, Foosball and nurf-gun Champs (Not required). See what jobs we have available – Click here

SAN DIEGO

Producer/Project Manager

DO you have an eye for detail, always considers a client’s goals, a capacity to juggle schedules and the passion for setting the right expectations? This role will be split 60% between technology and 40% to marketing.

Click here to apply and for more information

DENVER

Digital Media Buyer

Are you a media planner who can report and optimize on all display media for our clients, and has a PPC paid search background? This job is for you!

Click here to apply and for more information

Magento Developer

Are you passionate and excited about the latest and greatest technologies and able to work collaboratively with system engineers, back-end developers and user experience designers? This job is for you!

Click here to apply and for more information

If you are still wondering if you should apply for one of these jobs – let me give you 5 reasons why you want to be a part of the DO family:

1). WE LOVE FOOD

With a fully stocked kitchen, Bagel Fridays and random treats….you won’t go hungry here!

2). WORK HARD BUT PLAY HARDER

We believe in Fun! Are you having a brain freeze or need a break, head to the Foosball room or shoot off your Nurf gun in frustration. Just make sure you bring your A-game….If you start the nurf war…you better be ready for an office war.

3). MAN’S BEST FRIEND – IS A DO BEST FRIEND

We have a pet friendly environment. We welcome you to come to work with your dog and have him join in on the office fun.

4).  FLEX SCHEDULE

We don’t make the team work from 8-5! You come in when you want. Whether you come in at 8am or 10:30am, Work your 40 hours and no one will scrutinize.

5). VACATION, NO VACATION POLICY

We don’t believe in your standard PTO policy. We believe in Work/life balance. We want you to be treated like an adult – so, come to work and work hard and get rewarded with unlimited vacation!


If these 5 reasons don’t make you want to apply – I don’t know what to tell you….

Black Friday & Cyber Monday were a huge online success….but, some websites Crashed the party

By | customer experience, digital marketing, ecommerce, Uncategorized, user experience | No Comments

Black Friday and Cyber Monday was insane this year – The shopping season started a little bit earlier with stores opening on Thanksgiving. I am a serious Black Friday shopper, all the women in my family start planning our strategy of execution on Thanksgiving. We start shopping the deals once they are available. Meaning, I started my shopping on Wednesday night at 9pm PST. So between myself and many of my family members we contributed to the 17% increase in online sales for Black Friday. And I personally contributed to the Cyber Monday record breaking sales. Although I did have a relatively successful shopping weekend, not all consumers can agree. Some websites did not hold up to the challenge of the increase in traffic and influx in sales that were estimated. Here are a few that were a buzz kill:

Urban Outfitters

By far the biggest tragedy of Cyber Monday. Site was completely down for most of the day – so much that they had to have a Cyber Tuesday to hopefully generate some sales. I will say the Marketing behind it was genius – they owned it and even created a microsite that mocked themselves and admitted the “Broken Internet.”

Amazon

During the last hour of Cyber Monday many people were complaining of their website going down. Those are some last minute sales that Amazon might have lost.

Sephora

Well, it wasn’t down technically…but, they sure did have a waiting room – you had to wait in line to get to shop. You had to wait for up to 15 minutes to shop the Black Friday deals. Some may say this isn’t a big deal – but, who wants to wait in a waiting line to shop on the internet?! Isn’t that one of the perks to doing your shopping online – no lines and no hassles?!

Wal-Mart

Enough Said. I am sure many of us heard about the issues Wal-Mart was having. They had a new deal guaranteed in stock for that hour. You want it, you’ve got it……well kind of. Many people were complaining of not getting the deals promised because the site was so flooded with traffic that they couldn’t check out, or they couldn’t access the site at all the deals being promised you would think the site would have been prepared for all the traffic. But, don’t worry they apologized via twitter

Motorola

Had a big snafu on Cyber Monday. Their site went down and not only had to reschedule one make up shopping day, but TWO! So, they extended their sale through Tuesday and even added Monday, December 9. They acknowledged via Twitter that they had encountered a problem:

The sales were up for mobile ecommerce sales on Black Friday and Cyber Monday – But, I don’t feel the “unexpected amount of traffic” excuse is a valid one. We all know that Black Friday and Cyber Monday are going to be some of the busiest shopping days of the year. Yes, sometimes things happen and there is an unexpected error….but, I’m hoping that these websites learn and don’t become repeat offenders next year! I love shopping and love a seamless shopping experience. With record breaking numbers coming in this year for Cyber Monday, $2.2 billion in revenue – let’s hope these retailers can pull it together for the “unexpected influx in traffic” next year!

Round up:

  • 17% increase in online sales for Black Friday
  • $57.4 billion was spent in total over the weekend
  • Cyber Monday $2.2 billion in revenue
  • $602 billion will be spent before January
  • Fashion websites saw a 25% increase over the weekend
  • Tablet revenue was up by 122% on Cyber Monday
  • Holiday sales will grow by 3.9% in 2013

5 eCommerce tips for having a successful Holiday season

By | customer experience, digital marketing, ecommerce, Uncategorized, user experience | One Comment

When eCommerce websites and holiday shopping come together – you have one of the most successful shopping weekends of the year. Between Black Friday and Cyber Monday your eCommerce website might experience a growth in sales this year like never before. Last week we put together a list of the Mistakes eCommerce managers can make during the holidays. This week we wanted to give 5 tips to help eCommerce managers have a successful holiday season.

1). Customizing your store – It’s Christmas!

With 41% of spending being done online this holiday weekend, make sure your eCommerce website is ready for the holiday season. You can increase you SEO just from a holiday themed homepage. Change up your homepage and add some content for the items that are going to be on sale. If you are having a huge Cyber Monday sale – change your titles to include the phrase “Cyber Monday Sale”. You will have a better chance of optimizing your SEO for the holiday season if your eCommerce website reflects what you are promoting. I am not saying to add Christmas trees or lights – but, changing the theme to Winter and changing some colors can make a world of difference to your holiday shoppers…..Get in the season, don’t be a Scrooge.

2). Utilize PPC – big risks will lead to big rewards

Do you have PPC set up for the Holiday season? I know PPC is a scary thing – you may think you are spending extra money that may be wasted. But, the only way to succeed is by taking risks – Big Risks reap big rewards. Spend the time to place Cyber Monday ads in your PPC campaigns, offer special deals through your PPC. Paid search sales were up 29% last year and it’s only going to continue to rise, since digital is making moves like we’ve never seen. Holiday keywords are very competitive and expensive to bid on – but, manage your budget and just know that one conversion can lead to a customer for a lifetime.

3). Embrace the Christmas/Holiday spirit – communication and context are key

Regardless of how you feel about Christmas, you can’t hide from it. It’s happening on December 25th at any rate – so you might as well embrace it. Change your eCommerce website to reflect the holidays and make sure you are blogging about it. Theme a couple of your posts to reflect the upcoming holiday season and how you are giving back or even giving away something free just because it is the holidays. If you host your own toy drive and volunteer at a food kitchen. Blog about it,  tweet it and even send it to Facebook. 84% of consumers will tell friends and family about eCommerce websites that are big on corporate social responsibility.

4). Be honest or clear with pricing, shipping and payment method

There is nothing worse than spending tons of time shopping for the perfect gift…only to find out the perfect gift really isn’t 20% off and shipping is only free if you spend over $175. Damn the small print at the bottom of the page.
Be clear and concise from the customers first click. It’s all about customer retention and by being misleading about free shipping and the price of the item, is not a way to keep customers coming back. If you are direct and save your customers time by answering all the shipping and pricing questions out front – you might have won them over for life. Plus, they might tell others how seamless their shopping experience was, you might gain customers by word of mouth.

5). Get Mobile Now

2 words – RESPONSIVE WEBSITE! This makes it easy for customers to view your website on their mobile device. Did you know 30% of shoppers are anticipated to shop online and more than half will make their shopping purchases via mobile, that’s $41.68 billion dollars…yes, BILLION in mobile sales. You can’t risk an outdated website that takes forever to navigate through. Well, you can….but, don’t expect to make many lifelong customers. People expect to be able to make moves and purchase an item at the drop of a hat – at dinner, at the park, and at work. Since there are fewer shopping days more people will be using their mobiles phones to shop.

At Digital Operative we know SEO, PPC, Web design, UX, strategy, web development and more. We know that the holiday season is very important to eCommerce managers and hope that our list of the top 5 helpful tips can help build better experiences for eCommerce websites and their customers.

5 costly mistakes eCommerce managers can make during the Holiday Season

By | customer experience, Digital Operative, ecommerce, Uncategorized | 4 Comments

This holiday shopping season is going to be the shortest it’s ever been since 2002. Sales are expected to increase this year 3.9% to be well over $600 billion.

With Holiday retailing accounting for anywhere from 20-40% of annual sales, it is important for eCommerce sites to do everything they can to maintain sales and gain consumers. But, every holiday season there are eCommerce managers that make the same mistakes which costs them sales and more importantly a successful holiday season. Here is a list of 5 mistakes some eCommerce managers make during the busiest time of the year.

1). Not collecting data for after the holiday season

You need to think about planning for after the holidays – So you need to keep communication open with consumers who visit your site during the holiday season. Set up mailing lists for your consumers to register for. Offering special deals and promotions to be mailed to them throughout the year. Use the resources you have during the holidays to set yourself up nicely for the new year.  It is important to remember that over 50% of consumers who sign up for mailing lists will be back to use special promo codes.

2). Not being prepared for the influx of traffic

“Tis the Season” – Which means the shopping insanity is among us. Be prepared for an overload of consumers. This year is the shortest shopping season in years which means the 3.9% increase in sales is going to come at a more rapid rate. BE PREPARED! Make sure your platform has the capability to handle all of the potential traffic you may get. Do Research and set yourself up for the worst possible thing to happen. Use companies like Peer1 to help you with an influx of traffic. And Order Monitor, to make sure you are tracking your sales during the Holidays – it is a busy time of year and things can go unnoticed, so receive daily summary emails and monitor your promotions.

3).  Not having a plan for abandoned shopping carts

Know that 9 out of 10 shopping carts will be abandoned during the holidays which is why you need to plan for re-targeting  If you don’t get their email at any point, you can use re-targeted ads. Be strategic with your messaging, you want to convince the visitor to come back and complete the transaction. Make sure you don’t continue serving the same ads over and over. Serve up a few different ads and make sure your ads are converting and make sure you get rid of the ones that aren’t.

4). Not answering the right questions on product descriptions

During the holidays no one wants to have to search a website for what is included with the product or what it is made from. You want to make your consumers feel like they can have a quick and seamless shopping experience. “Time is money” is a valuable slogan during the holidays. If you don’t offer the consumer the information they are looking for, consider that consumer as good as gone. Also make sure your consumers can leave reviews on each product – On average reviews increase sales by about 18%. Reviews will produce product and site credibility.

5). Not offering different Gift options with all the info

Always, always, always use the power of suggestion. Offer outfit options – when a consumer is looking at a shirt, target them with a scarf or pair of jeans that other people have also viewed. Also, a great way to make your eCommerce store a one-stop-shop, is to offer gift wrapping and packaging. So it can be mailed directly to the recipient. Save the consumer the extra step and gain a happy customer. You can also offer a “gift finder” – let the customer search by a specific target audience and find gift ideas that might be suitable for him/her.

Christmas is in T-minus 33 days! Are you ready?! Contact us at Digital Operative and we can help you get ready for all your holiday needs!

12 Weeks – What it’s really like to Intern for a Digital Agency!

By | agency life, Digital Operative, Uncategorized | One Comment

DO is proud to welcome our Fall class of digital interns. Over the course of the next 12 weeks we will focus on bringing you a fresh perspective from our Strategy, Marketing and Design interns on what it’s really like to intern at a digital agency. To start we will focus on DO’s newest marketing intern Jessie Hale……

I moved to San Diego three years ago from Portland, Oregon after serving in the Marine Corps. I was stationed in Hawaii for five years, which got me hooked on the sunshine and beach life. I knew when I got out of the military I wanted to continue to live where it was sunny, so obviously when looking for places to move San Diego was an easy choice. Besides being outside in the sun I love to take my dog to the beach, watch basketball and college football (GO BEAVERS!!), play video games, surf, or just sit at home and watch The Notebook with a glass of white wine…Just joking I drink red wine.

1. Where do you go to School? What is your Major? When do you plan on graduating?

I currently go to school at The Art Institute, where I am majoring in Advertising and I graduate in March 2014.

2. How did you hear about Digital Operative?

I heard about Digital Operative from researching digital marketing agencies in San Diego. After checking out the website and doing more research into the agency I knew I wanted to work there.  So when I found out I was invited to be the marketing intern I was stoked.

3. What do you hope to learn from your internship?

I am really focused on learning Google adwords, analytics, PPC, SEO, SEM and pretty much everything and anything in the digital marketing space.

4. 1 week down – 11 to go……How do you feel after your first week of interning?

Honestly I feel really good about it. Don’t get me wrong I was nervous and did not know what to expect, but so far everything has been awesome from the work environment to everyone in the office.

5. What do you hope to do after completing your internship and graduating from college?

Although my degree is in advertising, which has been primarily focused on the creative side of conceptualizing and designing ads I am really more focused in digital marketing. After graduating I hope to continue on the path to working in the digital space.

6. Tell us something interesting about yourself?
I met Chuck Norris.

Jessie is our Marketing intern…making every thing better one faux fur coat at a time!

007 Reasons James Bond Won’t Need a License to Kill Your Social Media Plan

By | social media, Uncategorized | One Comment

James Bond doesn’t use social media, but know that if he had a social media presence it would be amazing (@jamesbond: A small, mute man calling himself “Odd Job” just tried to take my head off with his hat #wtf). Mr. Bond’s social media presence would be filled with pictures of exotic travels, disposed henchmen, and reviews of the latest gadgets – his social media presence would be almost as active as his love life.

Read More

Introducing the New LaCantinaDoors.com

By | design, innovation, Uncategorized | No Comments

DO presents our latest website – LaCantina Doors. Based out of San Diego, LaCantina Doors  is a high-end folding door company that produces a variety of bi-fold doors in materials that range from aluminum to wood. The website is built on the ExpressionEngine CMS which is used to build information based pages, and has a section to manage an inventory of products.

Here’s the site LaCantina had before working with DO:

As you can see everything was changed, from the logo to the UX to the design. DO simplified the site by expanding the hero image across the browser and adding a slider to display different uses of the folding doors. The site navigation was also trimmed down to the necessities with emphasis on the more significant pages.  We designated the space below the fold to contain a quick view of projects and galleries with corresponding calls to action.

Additionally, DO utilizes a combination of JavaScript plugins and custom functionality to give the user the best experience possible. Some example of this increased functionality include:

  • The gallery which contains a custom slide show as well as specialized filters allowing the user to find the exact door that they are looking for
  • Video plugins showcase the latest press coverage for LaCantina
  • Interactive rollovers enable the user to find out more information (see image below)

We encourage you to check out our latest work and if you’re interested in website design or development opportunities don’t hesitate to contact us directly.

Like what you see? Contact us for a quote. Get Quote