Insights from Nebo

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May 10, 2019

From Sketch to Print: Bringing a Dead Idea Back to Life

As a designer, it’s my job to bring ideas to life. But for every great idea that makes it to production, dozens of other crazy-amazing ideas die.

Every creative has an idea graveyard. There’s a lot that gets left behind in revisions, and a lot that changes from Version_1.psd to Final_V9_for_real_this_time_v5.jpg. Most of the time, we shed a tear, say a few kind words and let these ideas rest in peace. But this time, we did something different. We went full-on Evil Dead and brought a great idea back from the grave.

Last year, we worked on a fundraising campaign for a nonprofit. The plan was to build excitement around donations by offering some swag for donors. We generated tons of ideas, all of which would have made amazing gifts for donors. But in the end, we could only choose one. We ended up producing a series of original photographs, and they were a hit. The campaign was a success, but there was one idea that just wouldn’t die.

May 3, 2019

Why We’re Reinventing How We Design and Build Stuff

Nebo turned 15 this year. We’ve been very lucky. We’ve grown every year. We’ve never laid a single employee off. We’ve won a ton of awards. We’ve worked with some amazing clients, we’ve been a part of some exciting campaigns, and we’ve worked side by side with some of the most talented people in the industry who we call teammates.

However, success can have its downsides. Success can cause us to focus on what has worked and what is working, at the expense of what will work in the future. When you simply say “Don’t fix what isn’t broken,” innovation stops. Blind spots form and lead to sacred cows.

That’s why we believe in attacking our own work. We’re constantly critiquing, deconstructing and rethinking our own products, services, processes and methods to make them better. Over the years we’ve dramatically changed processes, restructured departments and even reinvented entire service lines (like PR, CRO and Social Media Marketing).  

But reinventing the interactive collection of services is a different beast. It’s more than attacking a single department — it’s slaying a den of dragons. UX, Design, Content and Engineering are all intricately connected. You can’t change one without affecting the rest. That’s why in the past, we’ve taken relatively smaller steps, evaluating projects in post-mortems or revising process issues as they arise.

But this year, we’re taking a big leap. We’re completely reinventing our interactive services from the ground up.

April 24, 2019

We’re Obsessed with Google Ads Scripts, and You Should Be Too

Everyone who knows me knows I’m OBSESSED with Google Ads scripts. Heck, it’s even in my Twitter handle! (@PPCScriptQueen, if you were wondering.) They are one of the most amazing PPC tools available — for free — and not enough marketers are taking advantage of them.

In the past, marketers have been wary of using scripts to automate or enhance campaigns, since they couldn’t be rolled out across multiple platforms. But now that Bing Ads has launched scripts, it is more important than ever to implement holistic optimization strategies across your Paid Media campaigns. This is why I spoke at PPC HeroConf and shared the automation tools that saved my sanity while working on complex accounts.

In my session, I discussed how to pinpoint areas of PPC accounts that can be enhanced with scripts, and how to launch new Bing Ads scripts. Additionally, I gave out three new updates to the best PPC scripts available.

These scripts will take your campaigns to new heights on both Google Ads and Bing Ads, and I’m giving them to you for free!

April 17, 2019

International SEO: Building Global Visibility

In today's search landscape, a global approach is paramount. Building an SEO strategy can be complicated, and it’s tempting to take shortcuts and ignore international search and the challenges that come with it. This shortcut can be incredibly costly, however, and can cause your business to lose valuable traffic.

It’s not uncommon for multiple versions of websites to be created to accommodate users of various languages and, unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for this to be done without appropriate planning. It may be easy to rely on a cookie-cutter approach, but it’s not sustainable. And moreover, it can have potentially damaging impacts on your brand.

There may not be a one-size-fits-all approach to international SEO. In fact, we know there isn't. International SEO is complicated. It is its own complex beast. And there are a number of big considerations to think about when setting your strategy. Your reasons for creating an international strategy may be entirely different from someone else’s, and as such, the things you include and the way you execute on them will likely be different too.

Let’s walk through some of the most important considerations so you’re well equipped to develop a tailored approach to your international SEO plan.

April 11, 2019

Optimize for Customer Experience, Not Conversions

One of the reasons I love marketing and advertising is that it’s filled with incredibly smart and talented people. That makes sense given the biggest brands in the world spend billions each year in an effort to better connect with their customers.

However, like any other industry, there are deeply embedded norms and practices that don’t make sense. I could go on a long rant about all of the things that are broken in our industry, but I’ve done that a few times already in previous posts (here, here and here).

What I want to focus on here is how, despite all of the effort and brainpower marketers put into our craft, we fail over and over again to put our time and efforts where they matter most.

Customer experience is the game. It’s not a channel. It’s not a campaign. It’s not our clever tactics. Those things matter. However, what we often fail to see and understand is the 360-degree online/offline customer experience.

And if we optimize that, we win. We win because when our customers win, we win. It’s a virtuous cycle.