In a recent interview with Raymond Lowe, Internet Marketing Analyst at WL Media HK, we learned about his focus on “identifying information segments that are not currently satisfied by existing websites.” A key step in this work involves using information from various sources of public data to build “in-house datasets.” These are cross-referenced to find existing gaps in the way sites satisfy needs.
His service continues with development of web properties, with in-house and outsourced talent, and through fine-tuning website development so profitability is maximized.
Raymond Lowe has worked for more than 13 years as Internet Marketing Analyst with WL Media HK in Hong Kong. Prior to this he was with Merck in various locations as a Project Manager, Helpdesk Manager, and in PC/NT Server support. He also has extensive experience as an IT consultant and as a programmer.
Please start by discussing your connection with the interior design industry.
I get a different mental picture than most people when I hear the words “interior design.” In the early part of my career, I had the pleasure of working for several interior-design companies.
“Professional interior design companies certainly know about cushions, armchairs and Cloisonné objets d’art sitting on reclaimed teak wood tables. However, their expertise is just as much around combining that aesthetic sense with hardcore project management, budgeting and implementation skills.”
But Lowe emphasizes the expertise in interior design may not include a good understanding of how online-marketing impacts their efforts. He also notes the change in the buying cycle, and the importance of social media in place of “word of mouth.”
Tell us a bit more about online marketing in a global economy.
It’s particularly crucial for interior designers to understand and make use of digital marketing as they grow their business and expand their customer base. Of course, all marketing is important, but digital marketing is now a “core component” for businesses operating around the world, including Hong Kong. When someone is looking for a specific service in the 21st century, online searches are the first step in the process.
Any company failing to develop and maintain the online presence, including interior designers, will risk losing opportunities. This marketing method should be a significant part of the business strategy, along with other promotion and marketing efforts.
You focus on key steps in an online-marketing approach. Please list them for us.
- Understand the power of words on your website. Every business should focus their effort towards online marketing, including interior designers. While the emphasis might be on making the site look great visually, it’s crucial to include vital words so the website can be found. An image-focused site should be updated to get in line with search-engine ranking requirements.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO). In a similar vein, it’s essential to have SEO as a key strategy for generating traffic to the website. To repeat, words are vital. A business can take a good step in this direction by understanding the vocabulary of their customers. “It is this customer vocabulary that needs to go onto your website so that Google will show your website to your potential customers.”
- Mobile is important, but so are office PCs. Most consumers today get information from their smartphones, so it’s important to include mobile traffic in digital marketing. In doing this, the effort shouldn’t neglect PCs, which are still an important tool in corporate buying.
- Social Media. A business must engage customers through social media platforms, as a way to connect with them and connect them to your website. As you create your social-media presence, make sure have a balance of written content and visual content. Remember, social media communication is the new “word of mouth.”
- Online directories. Directories are not outdated; they’ve just moved online. It’s important to have company details in directories such as Google My Business, 852.com, and others.
By way of summary, Lowe urges today’s business managers and owners to enlist the support of a professional who understands the industry and knows how to get the marketing results you want and deserve.
Raymond Lowe is an Internet Marketing Analyst at WL Media HK. He started using Microsoft Project when it was version 1.0 and still loves Gantt charts. Connect with him on LinkedIn for the latest on Internet Marketing and how it applies to Interior Designers in Hong Kong.