Being at the helm of Prager Microsystems is a diverse roll. My job is to ensure our digital marketing schedules remain full, both clients and employees are happy, and we operate as a profitable organization despite the seemingly never ending challenges associated with current economic conditions. To fulfill these responsibilities, I make important decisions on a daily basis. These decisions lead to actions, and actions have consequences. The trick is to ensure those consequences are the intended ones and remain positive in nature.
One of the more challenging responsibilities of my position involves business forecasting, yet is without question one of my favorite things to do. Without calling it fortune telling, although that is somewhat of an accurate description, forecasting is (in the simplest of terms) strategic planning for the future without knowing what the future will hold. The marketing industry changes at an astonishing pace, as do the rules and methods by which search engines use to rank websites. Add to this the constant evolution of Internet technology (not only from desktop computers but from tablets and smartphones as well) and you have a constant influx of new marketing opportunities that can be leveraged for our clients that we must learn, master and apply before others.
Forecasting how we should respond to these changes in technology before the changes in technology actually exist has always been somewhat of a love/hate relationship for me. I love how fast-paced and dynamic our industry is, meaning there will never be a shortage of work to do, yet hate the fact that just as fast as we capitalize on one thing, the next big thing comes along making everything before it virtually obsolete. When this happens, we simply learn, adapt, and conquer. From a forecasting perspective, however, it makes my job considerably more…let’s just leave it as “interesting.”
The Decision to Improve
Now that you have some background information, my method of forecasting closely evaluates where we are today as an organization compared to where we need to be by a set date in the future. Where I have witnessed many other business owners fail is in their tight focus of where they want to be while not considering where they need to be. Sometimes these answers overlap, but more often, they don’t. After looking at every conceivable angle, I set in motion a plan that balances the continued growth of my organization while not forgetting where we came from and the key components that have given us ten successful years in business. A key conclusion I arrived at during forecasting for the first quarter of 2013 called for a significantly enhanced web presence for Prager Microsystems.
As many would assume, a digital marketing agency would have an impressive website. Prior to the launch of our recently redesigned site that you see today, that unfortunately was not the case. The reality of why was both a blessing and a curse. Historically, we worked on our website when spare time was available. The blessing was that we were so busy with other client work that years went by without doing much to our own website. The curse was that previous versions of our website did not come close to representing our true capabilities as an organization or showcase any of the outstanding work we’ve produced for clients recently.
Take a look back at a few of our past (embarrassing) Internet marketing agency designs:
After reviewing the above, my resulting conclusion was that in order to take the next step as an organization, we needed to look as good as we actually are.
“Make it engaging, professional, contain video, modern, interactive, responsive, informative but not overwhelming, edgy but not arrogant, confident but not conceited, and without question a true testament to our capabilities as an organization today.”
That was the preliminary direction I gave at the start of our responsive web design project. “Piece of cake” was the reply from my staff. “It will be done next Tuesday.” In reality, after 562 individual tasks and 745.5 internal billable hours stretched over the span of 287 days, the initial version of the site you see before you was launched. Bear in mind, all of this was completed while still running our daily operations and meeting many other client project deadlines. Needless to say, it was a busy 287 days.
Continuing Our Project
We are all extremely proud of our new website. It was a true collaboration between every member of our staff with lots of blood, sweat, and tears poured in. The fun, however, does not stop now that the site is formally launched. We are actively adding new features and material many times per week – our list of additions and feature enhancements currently extends well into spring, so check back frequently to see what’s new at Prager.
As a final note, we’re also only weeks away from launching the website for our brand new business division, called MarketSpark. This division will offer services for small businesses on a very strict budget who need entry-level assistance into the world of Internet marketing and web development who otherwise are not quite ready for the mainstream services provided by Prager Microsystems. Will you or someone you know be the first customer of this new division? Contact us today if you’re interested in learning more prior to the formal launch of the program.
Here’s a sneak preview of the design!