Profile of Matt Lodge - Digital Marketing Analyst

Matt Lodge: Strategist

WHO AM I?

I am a Strategist at Seafoam Media. It’s my job to convert measurable data into actionable results for our clients.

MY MISSION AT SEAFOAM:

I want to ensure that our clients have every advantage possible in a competitive digital landscape. My mission is to use data-driven approaches to create a seamless marketing plan that grabs customers, no matter how they’re searching or browsing.

WHY I LOVE WHAT I DO:

I’ve always loved solving problems. Diving into data and numbers to find ways to move the needle for our clients creates unique challenges and gives me the opportunity to find new solutions to age-old problems.

MY QUALIFICATIONS AND EXPERIENCE:

Prior to joining Seafoam Media, I worked at a direct marketing agency in New York City for 4 years. I learned classic methods for reaching customers and growing brands.

I also worked for the largest online chess website, Chess.com, for 4 years. I worked extensively on growing our online presence along with managing our analytics for our streaming video content.

IN MY FREE TIME…

I play a lot of chess, despite being deeply mediocre at it. I’m in a bowling league, despite being deeply mediocre at that, as well. I love spending time with my fiance and my dog, which I am fantastic at.

Rachel Sipes

Rachel Sipes: Digital Marketing Analyst

WHO AM I?

I am one our team's Digital Marketing Analysts! I love digging into the numbers and watching my hard work in PPC and SEO pay off for our clients.

MY MISSION AT SEAFOAM:

To learn and test.  I want to learn as much about the digital space as possible so I can become a better strategist, analyst, and business partner.  I want to know more about your business and tell you what I know will help you achieve your goals.

WHY I LOVE WHAT I DO:

The media industry is ever changing.  Something new is being rolled out everyday; something that could help my clients soar.

MY QUALIFICATIONS AND EXPERIENCE:

I started my career 4 years ago in paid media and have been learning about new trends and methods ever since!

WHY I LOVE WORKING AT SEAFOAM:

I'm excited to work for a company who has a relaxed, trusting, hungry, and dedicated atmosphere.

IN MY FREE TIME…

I love to re-watch my favorite tv shows.  Sometimes while I do this, you will find me tapping into my creative side with some acrylic paints or mimicking some drawings on sketchpad.

What is Marketing? | Part Four: Web Design and Development

By Seafoam Media
Industry Insights

What is Marketing? | Part Four: Web Design and Development
What is marketing? It seems like a simple question.
While some may believe that marketing is mostly comprised of ads that help companies sell products or services, the truth is that it’s more complex than what it appears to be on the surface. Marketing utilizes many different tools and builds upon various perspectives of expertise in order to help companies achieve success.
Throughout our What is Marketing? mini series, we’re diving into the four major components of marketing and how they all work together to form one cohesively powerful marketing strategy.
In this fourth section, we’re discussing how web design and development facilitate online engagement and influence conversion rates.

What is web design and development?

Web design and web development are two sides of the same coin; one cannot exist without the other, making them essential components to a brand’s online presence.
Web design encompasses the exterior of a website. This includes various visual elements, such as the user interface (UI), user experience (UX), graphics, copy, etc.
Web development is the interior of a website. This space contains the technical aspects of a website’s functionality, such as the programming language (Java, PHP, Python, etc.) and the code used throughout the site (HTML, CSS, JavaScript, etc.), all of which contribute to the user experience.
Together, these elements dictate the way a website looks, feels and functions.

How does web design and development impact marketing?

Ultimately, a brand’s website is the hub for everything pertaining to the brand’s identity – their goals, mission, about section, products/services, etc. – all of which determine how their online presence will be perceived by consumers. As a result, it is imperative that your brand’s website is tuned for optimal performance.
If the exterior design isn’t clean and appealing, or if the backend functionality isn’t optimized to provide a smooth experience, visitors are less likely to engage with the site’s various elements, which will greatly reduce a brand’s earning potential.
To ensure this doesn’t happen, web designers/developers commonly focus on these two critical elements…

User Interface (UI)

A user interface is the bridge between a user and a piece of software; it is the element of technology that allows normal people to easily engage with an otherwise complex platform.

Historically, the first user interface for a computer wasn’t powered by a point-and-click mouse; PCs largely used text-based interfaces, forcing the user to type a string of code into a connected keyboard just to complete even the most menial of commands. Decades after the first computer was created, the mouse simplified this process by eliminating the vast majority of code that was required to operate them; inevitably, the mouse also made personal computers much more accessible to average people (and empowered developers to create software for these normal people). Even today, with the advent of smartphones and tablets, user interfaces have been adapted again to encompass multi-touch displays that allow for swipe gestures to be used to navigate websites and apps.

In short, UI governs the way any piece of software looks, feels and moves. This includes all icons, buttons, boxes, graphics, animations, tables and more.

User Experience (UX)

A user experience is nearly self-explanatory: it is the experience a user receives as a result of softwares’ visual structure and technical refinement. Essentially, UX combines both elements of website creation (design and development) into one neat, cohesive package.

On a human level, the user experience is a culmination of how a website’s functional elements (including UI) make a user feel. When taking user experience into account throughout the website creation process, a designer/developer must ask him-/herself the following questions:

– Is the interface clean or cluttered?

– Is the software easy to user or is it complex?

– Can users quickly and effortlessly find what they are looking for?

– Does the software elicit emotion: happiness, sadness, anger, etc.?

– Can anything be done to make the user experience better?

A Clean UI + an Optimized UX = Butter

When the web was young, user interfaces were barren by design. In the early 90’s, developers didn’t have the technology required to make a great UI and UX together. Instead, websites focused mostly on what the website could do and not so much on how it looked while doing it.
In the modern days of technology, where developers have access to refined coding languages, substantial bandwidth and endless processing power to push graphics, our web capabilities have changed. We now have the power to build beautiful webscapes that also move with buttery-smooth fluidity. As a result, frontend design and backend optimization can be leveraged to make exceptional user experiences possible.

The Effects of UI/UX on Engagement and Conversions

Speaking to achievements in modern technology, fast network speeds and capable devices have taught consumers to expect nothing less than superior performance from the websites they visit.
In fact, did you know that nearly 50 percent of web surfers will only wait two seconds or less for a webpage to load before exing out and moving on to the next brand’s website? Not only this, but a study conducted by Kissmetrics estimates that as little as a one-second delay in webpage response time can cost a company 7 percent of its annual conversions (i.e. sales). These numbers don’t even take into account how many users “bounce” due to website glitches, crashes and errors!
Speed and visuals are vital for today’s websites to master, because these qualities are innately important to users. A failure for any brand to meet these needs creates an opportunity for its customers to find what they’re looking for elsewhere, ultimately crippling the brand’s revenue stream.

How Your Brand Can Ride UI/UX to Success

Every brand that wants to succeed needs a functioning website, but even this isn’t necessarily enough. Your site must also be optimized for the modern web surfer; quite simply, pages have to load fast and look good while doing it. Once this is achieved, the advantages partake in the rolling snowball effect…
A better user experience leads to more viewers who stay on your brand’s website for longer periods of time. The more customers who click through the various pages on your brand’s site are more likely to learn about your company. A customer who is informed about your brand’s products, services and mission are more likely to invest in what you have to offer. A first-time investment leads to the probability of future investments in your brand. Future customer investments leads to lasting sustainability.
Without an intuitively built website, none of this is possible.

Learn more about marketing!

Over the last four weeks, we have taken you on a journey throughout the four main components of marketing and how they rely on one another to ensure brand success. If you would like to review the topics we discussed in this blog series, please click on the links below.

What is Marketing?

Part One: Content Creation

Part Two: Social Media

Part Three: Search Engine Optimization

 


Seafoam Media is a full-service marketing consulting firm based in St. Louis, MO. We expand on the traditional best practices of marketing while delving into the deep end of St. Louis SEO, St. Louis web design and development, content creation and social media — all of which mesh to form a cohesive marketing strategy that helps our clients get discovered online and build everlasting relationships with their customers.

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Our team is ready and waiting to answer any strange-confusing-complex questions you can throw at them.

What is Marketing? | Part Three: Search Engine OptimizationOwner and Founder, Nikki Bisel, Explains How to Build Beautiful, Functional, Effective Websites