22 March 2010

Good morning thank you for calling the secure Natwest customer call centre in Chesterfield.

‘My name is Joe, how may I help you Sir?’ said a very Indian accent on the other end of the line. My call was for acknowledging safe receipt of two credit cards by mail. I start to first laugh as the guy takes me through my security questions, Chesterfield my foot, why go through the hypocrisy. The absolute funny part was when he started to try selling me card fraud insurance in that heavy Indian accent of his. As any Asian normally would he then got annoyed with me for not buying into his selling spiel.

With the plagiarism case on ‘Groundviews’ for reproducing other author’s content in an article about media companies embracing digital marketing or rather the lack of it, the above conversation with Natwest raised a key question in my mind. Not about plagiarism or pretence of having a call centre in Chesterfield.

The burning question of companies all over the world – How can we make money on the Internet?

In relation to Sri Lanka:
Please get professional help when developing your website. Any one can write html if he or she trains for it and then create a website. ‘Create’ being the operative word, for a web developer is neither a digital marketing specialist nor a web designer/art director.

First discuss amongst your corporate and marketing team what you want your website to do.                       
                        Strengthen presence and corporate image.
                        Customer engagement for e-commerce.

We can use all the blah, blah of marketing jargon, but principally the above two are what a website can do. Then the digital specialist will advice you on what your site needs to include, in partnership with an art director.

Surprise, in my part of the world, you can hire a web designer who is aware of both. The creative aspects of layout to a site as well as content management.

The easiest website to design is called WYSIWIG – What You See Is What You Get. Excluding the costs of server hosting, a very good freelance web designer in London will charge you £1500 for it. Which is approximately about LKR225,000. After the skin is developed, you have full content administration rights.

Here is a link to an example of a website built with my direct supervision - http://www.uwsu.com/. Originally developed in 2007/8, the slight layout difference now is before, all the content at the bottom of the page were laid out in neat boxes and the homepage being more horizontal vs. vertical.

So in human terms what does content management give you?
The ability to have prospects register with your site. Either for financial reward or relevant information they seek at their fingertips. Always with a button called opt out, a legal requirement; where then you have to erase all the information you have collected of them if they choose to opt out. But in a nutshell you will have the ability to call, sms on mobile, email or post direct mailer to them with marketing offers or corporate information.
Create a web store to sell any goods and services.

So that’s the ABC of a content management website. Understanding the customer engagement part of it is:
What do we want people to do when they visit your site?’
What is the main key message that will keep them engaged?’
These are the two questions to always ask.

Before anything else it’s important to have a working knowledge of how WYSIWIG works. Please go to:

Create your own personal site, play with it, and then understand how it can work for your organisation in a larger scale. How simple it is.

If you are a Mac user, go to the iWeb icon on your desktop, it’s almost kindergarten to create your own site on this.

Marketers in Sri Lanka must have their own webpage, from the Marketing Director to the Management Trainee. This is the start to learning how to make money on the web.

More reading on how digital can work for you? Go to:

My favourite website:

As for the Sri Lankan Pundit who says ‘we knew this already’, no you don’t.

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