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Pixl8 Blog

Welcome to our blogs, here you will find the latest musings from the Pixl8 team on industry news, web design and development.

  • CRM integration: Avoiding silos of isolated data CRM integration: Avoiding silos of isolated data

    CRM integration: Avoiding silos of isolated data

    Jonathan McLellan   Posted: 28 January 2014

    Customer Relationship Management systems, commonly referred to as CRMs have been around for a long time.  Although they were once seen as only relevant to large companies with thousands of employees, today their cost and complexity has been reduced making them achievable for smaller organisations. 

    CRMs provide the opportunity to organize and automate marketing, sales and customer service tasks.  Although they offer a great deal of benefits, a number of significant pitfalls exist and should be addressed to ensure you get the most from your CRM.

    When introducing a CRM, it’s easy for it to become ‘just another place to store data’.  Silos of unconnected information are likely to reduce efficiencies, not improve them.  To combat this it’s crucial for a CRM to be implemented in the right way (integrated) and used correctly (by the whole team). 

    Include your whole team

    Firstly, it’s important that the whole team is included and considered when planning a roll out of your new Customer Relationship Management system.  Limiting access and not including all those who genuinely need access to it will lead to the CRM data becoming out of date, and new silos or pockets of data being created elsewhere.  Potential mutiny may then ensue, as different teams claim to have the most up to date information in their respective Excel spreadsheets or Google docs…

    Don’t forget your website

    Secondly, if a lot of your business is done online (for most this is the growing trend) a significant amount of data is likely to be passing through your website from new and existing customers / members.  By integrating your CRM with your website, you can ensure that your website doesn’t become another isolated store of valuable and up to date information.  Connecting your website with your CRM will allow users to update their details online, meaning that when it comes to your marketing campaigns you’ll always have the correct data to hand in your CRM.

    Think outside the box

    Lastly, don’t be tempted to restrict CRM integration to just your website.  Consider all of your other systems that could be integrated with your CRM to provide you with a more joined up approach e.g. event systems, accounting software and customer support portals.  Connecting these together will likely help improve efficiency for employees as well as the overall image of your organisation through consistency and accuracy.

    Choosing the right CRM, setting it up and integrating it can be a daunting prospect.  Fortunately we have loads of experience managing CRM tender processes and even more around successful website CRM integration projects.  Pick our brains here to find out more...
     

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  • Google Analytics Training for Beginners Google Analytics Training for Beginners

    Google Analytics Training for Beginners

    Jonathan McLellan   Posted: 23 December 2013

    Pixl8 is proud to offer Google Analytics training workshops for beginners.

    How do you know if your website is performing well? Are you experiencing increasing or decreasing visitor numbers?  Are visitors spending more or less time on your site?

    By knowing and understanding these important website statistics for your website, you can then make better judgements on your site architecture and content to improve the user experience for visitors and in turn your overall search rankings.

    Our Google Analytics training workshop for beginners provides a useful introduction and overview of this extremely valuable piece of free software. By attending one of our Google Analytics beginner training workshops you'll learn how to:

    - Freely navigate around the Google Analytics application and administer accounts
    - Understand all key terminology related to Google Analytics and Web Master Tools
    - Create custom reports based on predetermined filters to help with website SEO
    - Devise event, goal and campaign strategy
    - Be able to monitor your website performance and action errors

    If this is something you'd like to know more about, please drop Jonathan an email!

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  • Do you own this watch? Do you own this watch?

    Do you own this watch?

    Jonathan McLellan   Posted: 29 October 2013

    Following our fantastic summer client BBQ back in August, we've been enthralled in a mystery...

    Somebody left behind a nice looking Dolce & Gabbana men's genteel chronograph leather strap watch.  We've searched high and low, but just cannot find its rightful owner. If it's you, or you think you know who it is, please get in touch with us here.

    (If you're simply a chancer hoping to score a free D & G watch that isn't yours, think again!  We know who attended the BBQ and will check the guest list before returning the watch!)

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  • 8 tips for building awareness and engagement in your online community 8 tips for building awareness and engagement in your online community

    8 tips for building awareness and engagement in your online community

    Jessica Keeling   Posted: 08 May 2013

    Pixl8 know how important it is for our clients to create real value for their audiences; rewarding members and creating an engaging online community.

    For the likes of Membership organisations and Higher Education services there is palpable need to create appealing and worthwhile online communities to ensure user loyalty, engagement and enthusiasm. We feel that online communities are vital for acquisition, retention and customer service of members and users. However, how do we get people interested and engaged online?

    Pixl8 has devised 8 tips for building awareness and engagement in your online community

    1. Stellar Content

    As the cliché goes ‘Content is King’, providing content which users want to see is vital to the health and growth of your online community.  People are busy and will ignore content that is not valuable to them, valuable and targeted content will add to the user experience; providing knowledge, enjoyment or practical skills.

    Remember, new content will not only boost loyalty among users by demonstrating your website is up-to-date, it will also help SEO. By providing a steady stream of engaging ‘stellar’ content you are able to continually nurture visitors with practical information and cutting-edge advice.

    Click here for more information about generating the right content.

    2. Positioning

    We know the importance of having a great digital presence and keeping up with the changing times.  For many members, online communication is the easiest way for them to keep in touch with you.

    As an alternative to the established method for managing the membership or customer base it is now possible to use a custom CMS to easily govern communication in your online community. By positioning yourself in this way you are effortlessly able to raise awareness. Now all events, announcements, support documentation, training opportunities and promotional materials have a lot more visibility and are easily accessible.

    3. VIP Treatment

    Entice users into your online community by making information elite. Members who join an online private community want to feel they are getting information that is not available to just anyone. Providing special access to valuable information, discussions and events that your customers or members cannot get anywhere else, makes a superb incentive to join and return often to your online community.

    4. Exclusivity

    The element of exclusivity can also be monetised as a way to boost sales; from an e-commerce point of view, you can use member exclusive events and shops as a tool to significantly increase ROI. Think of exclusive content as a carrot and stick approach without the stick.

    5. Gamify Users

    The concept of gamification is being used more and more online. It is a great way to reward your users and keep them coming back! Virtual status and competition will make the community an addictive part of users’ everyday lives. For example, within Membership Organisations the emerging trend could be used in conjunction with CPD points to promote a feeling of goodwill among your members as you bestow rewards on them, which allow them to gain the respect of their peers and showcase their knowledge.

    To see gamification tactics in use visit Quora, Stackoverflow or Yelp.

    6. Personal Contact and Rewards

    Make your users feel special with personal contact. One easy way to do this is if your website is integrated with your membership database/CRM.  It is possible to track engagement from the point of login and reward member’s with points. You can also spot members who have a low score to find those who are less engaged with your organisation and automatically target them with personal  and bespoke contact to encourage use.

    7. Reward

    In addition to personal contact it is important to reward users. By attending events or gaining qualifications your members are able to see their own growth increase within your community. You can make their efforts tied to discounts, admittance into special groups and more. These kind of benefits drive action and improve member retention and loyalty as your community now offers your members something that others do not.

    8. Keep it simple and easy to use

    It is also essential to keep your website clean, simple and easy to use. Here at Pixl8 we know there is nothing more off putting than a cluttered and unintuitive website. If you want your online community to thrive, keep things simple. Don’t overload users with too much content and make sure the user experience is simple and clear.

    If you want any more information on how to make your online community more accessible and rewarding for your users please do drop us a line and we will be happy to help.

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  • AoC Annual Communications Conference 2013 review AoC Annual Communications Conference 2013 review

    AoC Annual Communications Conference 2013 review

    Tim Jenkins   Posted: 28 March 2013

    We really enjoyed attending the AoC Annual Communications Conference last week; it was our 3rd year supporting this excellent event. It was great to have the opportunity to talk with so many college representatives regarding all the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for colleges around their online communications.

    Our stand received heaps of interest as always, attracting many of the college representatives over for a chat around their existing web strategies, and ways in which Pixl8 can help improve student engagement.  Some of the many topics of discussion during the day included:

    - Planning and running a successful web project

    - Ways to improve communication with potential and existing students

    - The possibilities available to colleges by embracing mobile browsing

    - Personalised online prospectuses

    - The challenges and benefits of seamless integration with back office systems such as the course database, student records and intranets.

    If you'd like us to provide further suggestions of ways to improve your online presence, please do get in touch here and we’d be more than happy to share our knowledge and experience.

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  • Pixl8 hackathon Pixl8 hackathon

    Pixl8 hackathon

    Jonathan McLellan   Posted: 29 October 2012

    We hosted our first ever internal “Hackathon” last week, but don’t worry, this didn’t involve anything illegal! Instead the half day event saw three teams of staff competing against one another, to develop new ground-breaking applications and functionality.

    Some of the exciting, innovative entries included new Preside build enhancements, UI improvements and a clever internal search tool.  The team of Dominic, Alex and Luke were declared the winners (although I’ve been told I’m not allowed to disclose what they came up with, just that it really is extremely clever…)

    We definitely plan to hold more of these “Hackathons” in the future, and we’ll keep you posted on their development!

     

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  • BBQs, magic and snail racing BBQs, magic and snail racing

    BBQs, magic and snail racing

    Jonathan McLellan   Posted: 14 September 2012

    It had been too long since we invited all our lovely clients and partner companies round for a catch up, so decided a networking event was definitely on the cards! Despite a rather lacklustre start to the summer weather, we took a gamble in the form of an outdoor BBQ. Fortunately our gamble paid off, as we were greeted with perfect blue skies and a bright summer sun.

    Conveniently enough, Alex's brother is a culinary genius, and put together a real feast. Some of the mouth-watering food included: Beautifully cooked Aberdeen Angus burgers, BBQ ribs and Texas style Beef Brisket. While vegetarians were greeted with Hallumi & Roasted pepper skewers, plus a selection of scrumptious salads. Even those with a sweet tooth couldn't complain as an endless supply of Eton Mess was also on hand!

    We were all kept suitably entertained as Brendan Rodrigues performed a selection of his greatest magic tricks, many of which left us scratching our heads hours later. The evening then came to a rather exciting, if slightly odd conclusion... in the form of snail racing - yup, SNAIL racing! This was in aid of Jonathan's charity Mongol Rally adventure (check out the blog here). Three exciting races were held over the evening, raising over £100.

    Thanks to all who came along, we really do hope you enjoyed yourselves as much as we did!

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  • PARN: Fit for Purpose Professionals event review PARN: Fit for Purpose Professionals event review

    PARN: Fit for Purpose Professionals event review

    Jonathan McLellan   Posted: 26 April 2012

    Nick and Jonathan attended a fascinating PARN (Professional Association Research Network) event yesterday, which was all about exploring new entry routes to the professions. The day provided some insightful talks from numerous sector leaders and experts, as well as valuable networking opportunities.

    The jam packed programme developed especially for membership organisations included:

    • PARN’s own research into vocational learning
    • Case studies surrounding both Ofqual and prior experiential learning accreditation
    • A lively debate about whether or not professionals need a degree

    Pixl8 will be exhibiting at another exciting PARN event later in the year, find out more about it here.

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  • Trade Association Forum - Annual Conference 2012 review Trade Association Forum - Annual Conference 2012 review

    Trade Association Forum - Annual Conference 2012 review

    Jonathan McLellan   Posted: 06 March 2012

    Pixl8 have kicked off this year’s events attendance with a bang, at the Trade Association Forum’s Annual conference.  Our incredible new “Digital Masterpieces” stand was on show for the first time, and certainly grabbed people’s attention!

    The day was a great success, with almost 100 representatives attending from a wide range of trade associations.  Tim and myself were fortunate enough to have lots of thought provoking conversations with a number of the delegates around website design, membership database integration and the benefits of mobile templates.

    In addition to the networking with all the delegates, the talks were really something to write home about.  John Piennar, BBC Radio 5 Live's Chief Political Correspondent was a fantastic and very comical event chair person.  Lord Heseltine’s speech was also a real treat, speaking of his opinions around how trade associations should merge to form larger more influential organisations. This way he believes they would have more lobbying powers when it comes to representing their members on new government policies for example.

    If you’re a trade association and want get involved with the Trade Association Forum, check out their website here for membership details.

     

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  • We've had a busy year attending events, and there's more to come! We've had a busy year attending events, and there's more to come!

    We've had a busy year attending events, and there's more to come!

    Jonathan McLellan   Posted: 09 September 2011

    So far this year Pixl8 has attended and exhibited at almost 10 events, including a PARN membership conference, Association of Colleges annual communications summit and our partner Softwerx’s Technology for Membership seminar.

    If that isn’t already enough, we’ve confirmed our presence at two further membership events in the coming months:

    NFP Technology
    Thu 29th September, Business Design Centre, London

    PARN - Future-proofing your Professional Body
    Thu 10th November, Woburn House, London

    Please try and make it along, and we'll be more than happy to assist in any website or mobile questions, along with demonstrations of our membership focused products and services.

    Also Sue Froggatt, a leading membership sector trainer and consultant will be holding another one of her fantastic seminars around retention and recruitment, please see details below:

    100 Great Member Recruitment and Retention Ideas
    Thu 29th September, Bloomsbury Hotel, London

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