Marvellous March

Here's our end of month review for March...

Wayne

March kicked off with a busy week mostly out on the road, visiting clients to review the start of the year and look ahead to their plans for the coming months. I previously mentioned that we have a number of web projects coming to an end and the majority of the month was been spent finalising content and testing.

Working with the Strategic Business Growth Partnership we’ve been looking at our sales process. It’s got me thinking differently as we now focus on the type of business we want to work with. To date we’ve relied on word-of-mouth recommendations. To continue growing the business at the same pace we have in the past three-and-a-bit years we need to look at other avenues and that’s what I’ll be focusing on this quarter.

I gave a presentation at the 5 Towns Business Support & Networking event at the end of March. This is a free networking event that Twilo hosts for local businesses attend to extend their network and hopefully learn something. The main focus of the event is to be educational. There’s no pressure to bring referrals or anything like that, we have two 20 minute presentations about topics that most visitors can relate to, while avoiding pitching our own business.

The focus of the presentation was on Google Search Console and Google Analytics, and how you can use these free tools to understand how visitors find your website and build audiences to target people effectively. It doesn’t say a great deal without my notes, but you can view it below.

Download Presentation

I mentioned the number of websites we have coming to a conclusion and that also includes bespoke web apps. We’re looking forward to launching a Hotel Events System and a Client Order Portal in April. These are great projects to be involved in because they test our UX design skills and challenging for our Developers when it comes to thorough user testing.

We’ve achieved some fantastic results across our PPC campaigns through the start of the year. One particular campaign returned over £25K from £623 spend in the launch month! We’ve had great feedback from our clients too, which we’re always grateful for. It’s easy to pick up the phone when something goes wrong, so you know it’s genuine when somebody contacts you to say “thank you”!

That’s enough bragging for this month. But in all seriousness we’ve made great strides in recent months.

Adnan Khan has joined the team and has made great progress already, and Matt has returned from his travels and slotted straight back in. We’re back up to full strength now and looking forward to what’s to come in the next quarter!

Matt

This month has been all about WordPress websites. I’ve launched two so far, another designed and ready to build, and one more half designed… Along with stepping up to help with the management of the team, it’s been a busy but rewarding few weeks!

I’m currently working on the designs for a new business that installs amazing metallic and paint effect flooring, I’ve never seen anything like it! The client had no existing logo or design direction, so I have been working with them to develop a brand for their business. Because of the nature of the product, we are going for an artistic look, using some beautiful imagery that reflects the concept and quality of the floorings they install, and I’m really looking forward to seeing the website develop from this.

Along with new website projects we are continuously working on our existing clients websites, whether it be adding new content, or tweaking designs to improve conversions rates and help hit marketing targets. Here’s an example of a simple improvement we made this month, adding visual cues as banners to pages we identified as lacking call to actions.

Joke of the Month

Why don’t koalas count as bears?

They don’t have the right koalafications.

Amy

This month has been busy for me as a lot of my days have been at Estio training for my apprenticeship only 6 of my days have been at Twilo.

Whilst being at Estio I have had training in Digital Marketing Principals, this involved looking at Customer Relationship Management Systems, search habits, understanding the latest marketing developments and much more. I have also been learning HTML and CSS and created my own website, this was exciting as I haven’t looked into this in much detail before going to training and it is important to have an understanding of it.

Whilst being at Twilo I have been creating some more Facebook ads, I have also been coming up with ways to get more people to attend events using social media. With Mother’s Day around the corner I have been promoting offers and events which some of the clients have held.

Simon

This month I have mainly been working with searching algorithms, because of the broad scope of this topic there are many different ways to search through data.

One of the simplest is a simple MySQL LIKE lookup, this will search for a string inside some data and return the data if the string is present in the data. This method can be quite limiting as:
1. LIKE queries are quite slow as it take much more time for a computer to check if a string is inside another string rather than if the strings are equal
2. Only an exact match will be found, spelling mistakes will not be tolerated.

Another way to search through data would be to build an index of the search terms that match this data, this is similar to how google originally returned search results.
To do this you would have a table of data, lets say we have 3 columns, ID, Title and Content; we are trying to search the title and content. Using the first method we would simply use 2 LIKE constraints, one for each column, and search for the input string. This issue with this is that you would not return any results if there had bene a spelling mistake in the input string, this isn’t very user friendly. Using an index however you could store a list of applicable keywords from the site and context, e.g. every other word or even each word in the post. When a user searches the string being searched for could be broken up into its individual words and then, using the index, we could match each word to a word in the index and return a list of posts that match that word. Using this we can also order the posts by relevancy, most matched keywords, as well as popularity, page visits, or date created. This method is also a lot more efficient that using a LIKE query as only the first step of the process requires any string processing and it is using an EQUALS comparison not a LIKE comparison.

Simon likes to make fires, here's what he's burnt this month...
  • Piano
  • Wooden Railway Sleepers

Adnan

It’s been a fantastic start here at Twilo.

Getting to know the client’s needs, target market and I’ve enjoyed everything from reviewing current campaigns, to updating them all to improve client ROAS (Return On Ad Spend). Another great aspect of working at Twilo is, trying new things is accepted. There’s never just one method of marketing to potential customers. Right now we have some targets to achieve and I’m looking forward to the journey and hopefully more challenging targets in the near future. Oh and the Team is great too.

Photo of the Month
Festival of Colours, credit Steven Gerner
And to end, here's something cool we've seen this month...

Burger King is now using Augmented Reality and letting their customers “Burn That Ad”. Customers can receive a free Whopper when they point their smartphone at a competitor’s ad, it will digitally burn revealing a code for the customer to get a free Whopper at the nearest Burger King. We can’t wait for it to come out in England for all the free burgers!

The future of #webdevelopment is a tricky thing to predict, we have gone from static web pages to fully responsive… https://t.co/0yb0YWE8QU