Business Improv Competitor Website Analysis
Today, through my multi-media class, I continue exploring how I can help a company called Business Improv (BI) take an integrated approach to their marketing and ensure their brand message reaches their intended audience. If you are just joining me, BI is an amazing company that brings improvisation techniques to the demanding world of business. BI creates customized programs to help professional organizations nurture and build the best human capital possible through their unique approach to corporate creativity and out-of-the-box thinking. Improv training can improve the way a team communicates helping leaders, managers, and executives better negotiate and conduct business.
This week to continue creating a multi-media marketing plan for Business Improv, I analyzed their website along with two similar competitors. Business Improv is the only business of its kind, and a relatively new concept, so it is important that the website and all of their marketing material, focus on educating and enticing new customers. While there are improv comedy companies that provide corporate training services, corporate training is not their main focus. So instead I analyzed two competitor websites that offer corporate leadership, sales, and presentation training for large corporations. Competitor number one, called Advantage “is a professional services firm dedicated to providing a continuous stream of creative learning and consulting solutions that equip individuals, teams, and organizations to be the best at what they do”.
Competitor number two is the training company built by the famous author of “How to Win Friends and Influence People” Dale Carnegie. According to their website “Dale Carnegie Training has evolved from one man’s belief in the power of self-improvement to a performance-based training company with offices worldwide. We focus on giving people in business the opportunity to sharpen their skills and improve their performance in order to build positive, steady, and profitable result”.
The three company’s website effectiveness was rated in the following categories; Communication, Brand Consistency, Easy Navigation, SEO, Conversion Forms and Analytics. An overview of the analysis can be seen below, click here to download and see the full analysis and notes.
Push and Pull Marketing
Through my analysis, I realized that unfortunately none of these companies are using the full benefits of push and pull marketing to promote their brands. None of them used any true digital push marketing techniques like pop-ups or chat boxes. They do all, however, use the push technique of email newsletters, which is technically only accomplished first through a pull technique.
All three companies also have a social media presence on multiple platforms, which is technically only a pull technique on the surface. Offline Business Improv using push marketing by having sales personnel directly contact prospective clients face to face. Dale Carnegie uses push marketing techniques of attractive packaging and design to promote their training services on their print books and products.
All of the companies use some form of digital pull marketing to promote their services. Business Improv uses extensive SEO to promote themselves. When “Business Improv” is put into a search engine their company and articles about their business are the only items that populate.
Advantage uses pull marketing by providing multiple free resources for users to read and download along with an extensive blog.
Both Advantage and Dale Carnegie also use pull marketing through their association and listing on industry websites like The Training Industry. Dale Carnegie also uses pull marketing by offering white papers and other resources to engage users and ensure they return.
Websites And Social Sharing
All three of the companies had extremely user-friendly mobile websites that made it easy for the customer to use an access information. Business Improv and Advantage had the most updated and clean mobile platforms while Dale Carnegie looked a little less professionally put together and dated.
All of the companies all had easy to identify social sharing buttons on both their mobile and website platforms. Business Improv has Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn with accessible icons directly at the top of their website and mobile site. They do not request for users to follow them or share them on social media which could be a large benefit to the company. Their mobile website is very easy to navigate with a clear menu along with appropriate tags and categories.
Advantage had the most visually appealing and professional looking website and mobile website compared to the competition. Their website had interesting, simple but appealing graphics that prompted users to a call to action. The mobile website is also very graphically appealing and easy to navigate. Their social media “share” icons really stand out and stay at the bottom of the mobile page throughout their mobile site and on the side throughout their website. They use Sumome to encourage users to “share” Advantage with their own social media followers. They are active on just about every social media platform and encourage users to make comments, like them, and visit their pages. I think one of their biggest downfalls is that they are branded as just “Advantage” instead of “Advantage Performance” which is the name used for their URL and how they are identified through SEO.
Dale Carnegie’s website and mobile site have entirely way too much content on them and easily overwhelm the user. It is hard to immediately understand if they are selling books, offering personalized classes or corporate training. They would benefit by more clearly categorizing their content or possible making separate websites or areas for the three different divisions of the company. Both the website and mobile platform see outdated and not as sharp or professional as you would expect from such a large corporation.
Initially, the mobile website is actually much more visually appealing and less chaotic than the website but once you open a link or category there is an overflow of information. Dale Carnegie does do a great job on their mobile website of clearly offering free tips, secrets, and white pages for users to download. They also promote sharing their mobile website with a link at the top of the page.
Business Improv IMC Advice
After comparing the Business Improv website, who ranked number two among the competitors, I came away with some interesting insights and advice for a stronger IMC and multimedia marketing strategy. The biggest take-away from the analysis is that Business Improv could benefit from drastically increasing their interaction with customers or potential users who visit their website. Currently, their marketing is very “one-sided” and involves them informing the customer but not creating a lasting relationship with them or a reason to return to their website. They have links to articles they are featured in but could really benefit from showcasing these achievements by making a special “featured in” or “recommended by” section. Also to ensure return customers they need to continually update their blog and start offering resources that potential customers would be interested in and return to their website to see. In addition, since their concept is so new to the industry they should use more push marketing to get involved with the customer. They could activate pop ups for email entering or chat boxes for representatives to immediately help inquiring customers. BI should also encourage users to “share” information about their company by offering a link to share the company concept via email to whoever is in charge of hiring training services or would approve training payments. Encouraging social media shares would also be extremely beneficial because other followers might be very interested in a “new” approach to training that comes from a well-known comedy club and is used by top Ivy League schools.
Well Known Partners that BI should Promote through:
Lastly, I advise Business Improv to post videos showing how dynamic and innovative their training seminars can be right on their website, that require no searching to see. Business Improv is a new concept to the corporate world and could truly benefit from educating and engaging potential customers right on their website.
Business Improve introduction video hidden within website:
Stay tuned for the next part of creating an impactful multi -media marketing strategy for Business Improv…..