What is a Responsive Design?


Devices such as desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones all view a website differently. A responsive website allows visitors to experience the ease of reading, the ability to navigate,  optimized graphics and content for faster loading no matter which device they are using. In today’s world of mobile-friendly, a responsive website ensures that your visitors will see your website in a clean and organized format without losing access to important information or have to worry about being able to read your website cleanly.


Over 46% of internet traffic is accessed using a mobile device such as a smartphone with social media and videos taking up the lion’s share.  In addition, Apps from the Google Play and Apple App Store see a significant share of use. With the increase of mobile usage, websites must also respond to the demand and make it easier for users to find the information they need in a format that works. Responsive design taking over from mobile apps for smaller businesses to ensure visitors can read the content on their mobile devices.


According to Google Analytics, if your site visitors have difficulty navigating your website, then the chances are over 60% will leave and go elsewhere. However, if the site is easy to navigate, then more than 70% are more likely to stay on your website.

Responsive web design has resulted in websites being able to be accessed everywhere so by ensuring your website is using a responsive design, your visitors will be able to view your site correctly across multiple platforms.

Do You Need a CRM?

Database marketing gives your business a competitive edge. A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) dashboard like Microsoft Dynamics can be used to leverage marketing techniques that drive sales. Too often there is a divide between operations, marketing, and sales teams. But a good CRM can pull these teams together with a singular focus—to target new clients, bring them on board, and retain them. Here’s how this can work.


If your business is still using an Excel spreadsheet to track leads, or Outlook email to contact them, you are absolutely missing out on the efficiencies that come with modern CRM.

While we don’t mean to say these two tools aren’t terrific, we know that there are improved efficiencies in today’s CRM software that you might not be taking advantage of.

One benefit is that you can schedule automated drip campaigns to educate potential clients by sending them helpful content periodically. The goal in these instances is to stay in front of prospects, so they think of you first when they’re ready to buy. Eliminating manual processes is a huge time saver that allows sales to do what they do best (sell) and marketing to focus on the message. 

That’s just one example of how CRM will increase your closed deals over time. You can also use it as a customer service tool to help your operations team stay on top of their client retention efforts.

But wait—there’s more.


You can segment a large database into regions, which is incredibly helpful if your sales teams are responsible for geographic territories. Imagine running a report on how many businesses are in a region, how many of those companies have been contacted in the last six months, and whether or not those contacts converted into sales. If you’re trying to motivate a sales team, a simple report on prospecting effectiveness could go a long way toward that goal.

The functional reporting mechanisms found in Microsoft Dynamics are efficient and easy-to-use. We’ve found these tools not only help drive sales activities but also create a real sense of transparency around client interactions that improves overall company performance.

If you’re running an email campaign, Microsoft Dynamics can show you how many prospects opened your email, along with the click-through rate for any call to action messaging. Marketing teams will be able to track this data and hone their marketing messages around what resonates best in a particular market. Then, if marketing has a message that works, and the sales team is following up on that messaging – BaZinga! – You are going to improve your closed deals. 

Here is the workflow on a typical automated campaign:

  • Select a targeted prospecting list
  • Develop the content to send
  • Design a pleasing template for use in the email blast
  • Schedule the campaign
  • Analyze the click-through rate
  • Leverage the sales team to call leads
  • Measure the effectiveness of the campaign
  • Clean out any unsubscribed or bounced emails
  • Schedule the next campaign

Wash, rinse, and repeat.

Are you starting to see how a CRM in marketing can be a great integrator in your business? When you look at it this way, you’ll quickly understand that CRM is a great investment with a clear ROI. These platforms pay for themselves in closed revenue.


So there’s only one tiny snippet of bad news – these efforts are only going to be as good as the data you’re utilizing. When you begin integrating a CRM in marketing, we typically suggest a list clean up before dropping all those Excel sheets into the platform. This is a foundational necessity for any future marketing and sales prospecting campaigns.

The keyword for using a CRM in marketing is “data,” of course. It’s a good idea to designate one person in your organization to manage database administrative tasks such as list uploads or report generation. That person will help you control the flow of information between marketing, sales, and operations so that the database has some consistency. Consider the CRM your link to a goldmine of potential business, so having someone available to set standards around data capture is not a bad idea. That way, even though your sales teams can update individual records in the CRM, the information they collect will be consistent.


Can you use the CRM to manage existing clients and not just prospects? Of course! If you don’t, you’re missing out on the full potential of the software, especially in the case of Microsoft Dynamics. Every potential or existing client interaction should be carefully tracked in the database. Ticklers can be set up to remind you to reach out to individual clients. You can even segment lists, so existing clients receive a marketing email that suggests a particular product upsell, while potential clients receive an entirely different message.

CRMs are also great project management tools; you can upload all related documents into one project room while tracking the activities by the project team members. You can invite team members to meetings while encouraging them to visit the project room to review specific items prior to the event.

With all the uses for a modern CRM in marketing, you’re probably wondering one thing: How can I get started?

Posted by IES – https://www.iesgp.com/blog/crm-in-marketing-how-crm-can-improve-your-marketing-power

Why a Website?

Having a website is like opening a door and inviting potential customers into Your site communicates with prospects and customers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year. Even when you aren’t at work, your website is. Your customers can get to know you and your products through the website at their convenience. It can be better than passing out your business card to thousands of people.

Expands your reach. People from across the street and across the border have access to your products and services from the comfort of their own space.

Increases the effectiveness of your advertising. Print advertising is static, while the web is dynamic. Once you have a website up and running, we recommend your print advertising include your website address where pictures, text, tables and forms can help you get your message across.

Gathers feedback. Use forms, email and social media like Facebook and Twitter to allow your clients to communicate with you.

Communicates effectively. Whether your website is built for customers or employees, web–based communication and email communication are cost–effective and time–saving devices.

It gets you found. Having a well–built website will increase the visibility of your site to the search engines that people use to find what they are looking for. Your specialist should not only offer creative design solutions but also know how to make your site search engine friendly so that clients can find you.

Sells directly. E–commerce can dramatically reduce expensive overhead while delivering a 24/7 ‘sales force’. Even if you don’t sell your product online, your website gives you the opportunity to distinguish your company or organization to your client.

Reaching today’s consumer. Today’s emerging generation has never known life without a digital world of connection. According to stats (and who doesn’t like statistics!), over 94% of Canada’s population is online.1 Add the growth of social media to that and it becomes evident that without a credible web presence, you don’t exist for an expanding segment of your target market.

Your competitors. The sooner you gain a presence on the web, the better. Your competitors know this too. Increasingly, your clients (and potential clients) are making their decisions based on the standard of your website. A useable and engaging website can help to level the playing field between small and large companies.

Want to grow your business online? Contact us. We can help you succeed.Why 

Best Web Practices

 The ‘perfect’ website (probably) doesn’t exist, but through a thoughtful process of design and the implementation of best-practices for the web, your website can have a powerful impact on your business, whatever the size.  Design Consultation Perhaps the most important step in the process of creating a website, the design consultation is the opportunity to surface ideas. By understanding the purpose you have for your website, it is then possible to build your web presence to reflect both your business and your company culture.

Design recommendations are based on the discoveries made in the design consultation phase. Your needs and creative ideas are carefully taken into account and a costed overall recommendation is provided for your project.

Website Creation the nuts and bolts (code) of your website are then created, using current best-practices with adherence to web standards. Attention given to the technical details will make your website more visible to search engines and more easily updated in the future.

Review/Revise Throughout the project, your website goes through a process of review and revision. Often improvements are identified during the design process and are incorporated into the final design. You will be able to see the progress on your website as each element is ‘designed and refined’!

Launch The final part of creating your website is to ‘launch’ it! VK Media offers web hosting and domain name registration to get you started and will help you keep things up–to–date as you move forward.

How Much Will It Cost?
The true answer to this question is ‘As much as you are willing to spend’. Not very helpful, but true.

When talking price, a website is very similar to buying a car. The cost depends on the make and model and the features you select. Choices for a website can include the platform that it is built on, the functionality that you want/need and the extent of the content that your site will contain.

Read more on this page about some of the different variables that affect cost or skip right to the money part on our Services page.

‘Platform’ refers to the kind of underlying structure or back-end that is used to create the website. Some require a lot of technical knowledge about HTML and CSS while others have a very user-friendly back-end that allows non-technical owners to edit their site to some degree.

In general, it is less costly to build a static HTML website, especially if you use a template for the design portion. However, it can be more costly over the long haul, depending on how often the site needs to be updated since it will likely require the help of a professional.

CMS (content management systems) can require more of an initial investment, but they allow the owner to make changes on their own. The site might still need some professional tweaking now and again, but for the most part, owners are able to quickly learn how to do the most common tasks of updating.

There are different kinds of CMS on the market. Some are proprietary — usually when specialized for a specific industry — and require an ongoing monthly fee. These types of sites can have a low start-up cost, but owners should be aware of the drawbacks, which include the never-ending fee and the inability to move the site to a different server without losing all of the content or search engine juice that has been built up over time.

Open source CMS platforms include Drupal, Joomla, and WordPress. These can be installed on many different hosting providers and have the benefit of being transferable, should the need arise. Open source solutions tend to be very responsive to the market and are able to incorporate new technologies and ‘cool things’ quickly. For example, when social integration became the next big thing, sites using open source platforms had integration widgets more quickly and in more variety than proprietary platforms.

We currently build custom HTML sites, HTML sites from templates, WordPress sites with customized themes and custom WordPress sites.

Functionality refers to the way that things work on a website. Every time something responds to a click or a tap, it is functioning and requires something a little special to make that happen. Some things are very simple to create functionality for — linking text, for example — while others, such as forms and photo galleries, take added expertise.

As you can imagine, it is more time-consuming to create a website with 20 pages than with just one or two, so the amount of content the site will have is a factor in determining the cost. Another variable is the type of content; a site with many images (in a photo gallery, for example) will take longer and be more costly. Clients can save money by doing some of the work themselves, either by properly preparing images for use on the website (size, resolution) or by installing some of the content themselves. We can help you decide what will work best in your situation.

When you first decide to create a website, it is good to draw up a site map. This just means writing down what you think the main pages will be (i.e. Home, About Us, Contact Us, etc) and then briefly describing what content will go on each page. Once you have a sitemap developed, it is easier to know if you have a spot for all the different types of content that you want on your site. Having a site map can help you break the project down into bite-sized pieces that are easier to finish up and get checked off the list.

As you develop your content, keep in mind that search engines really like content. In fact, they like to see lots of relevant, unique content on your site. If showing up in search engine results is important to you, then you need to be prepared to develop content.

Your content could include text, photos, videos, blogs, and social postings (Twitter, Facebook, etc.). Yes, it can be time-consuming to create, but content pays off in the long-run as long as you keep it relevant to your brand and focused on drawing the client closer to your desired end result (buying a product, contact you for services, engaging with your Facebook page, etc.)

We can help you create content that is customer-focused and optimized for search engines (SEO), using best- practices and keyword research to guide the process.

Choices, Choices, Choices — Custom Design or a Template?
When cost is one of the biggest factors in the website project, one of the most important decisions will be whether to have the site custom-designed or to use a template (which can be customized with colors and graphics).

A custom design calls for more of an initial investment but allows you full control at the outset over layout and graphics. A custom website can be streamlined to include only what you want, where you want it. If having a unique look for your site is important, a custom design is a way to go.

Using a professionally pre-made template is a great option to save a bit on the cost and still end up with a great-looking website. Not all templates are created equally and we can help you choose and customize one that will give you a great looking website and be technically elegant as well.

How to Build a Multi-Platform Website

How to Build a Multi-Platform Website


Q: Can I build a single website that works on a computer, a tablet, and a smartphone?

A: For the most part, yes. And with your customers increasingly viewing your website from a number of mobile devices (iOS, Android) and on various browsers (Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox), it’s an important goal to achieve. In geek-speak, this goal is possible through “responsive web design,” meaning web design for multiple devices.

Jonathan Smiley, partner and design lead at Silicon Valley product design firm Zurb, says responsive web design cuts down on development time and can open up your content to a broader array of users. We asked him for the lowdown.

Do business owners really need to care about responsive web design?
It’s here now, it’s not going away, and it’s much easier for you to convert your web presence now, while the number of devices is relatively small than get into it in a few years. Mobile devices are absolutely the future, and everyone needs to be ready for it.

How does responsive design compare, cost-wise, to traditional web design?
If you count your cost in time, responsive design is a little more expensive. If you count your cost in customers, it’s much, much cheaper. Responsive design lets you automatically approach customers from all kinds of places, on all kinds of devices. If you target, say, the desktop user only, you’ll be targeting less than 50 percent of potential customers by the middle of next year. You spend a little more upfront in order to make a lot more later.

How much more effort is involved with responsive design?
It will always take just a little more thought and a little more time to think about how a design will function across multiple formats and devices. However, using responsive web design to build one multipurpose site is much faster than building sites specific to a number of different devices.

What are some design challenges?
It’s difficult to create a single website design that works for every device out there. There’ll be a degree of tweaking and iterations to work through before you create a great experience. For example, the landscape-size photo you use on the website might need to be swapped out with a square image that’s suitable for a smartphone. Or you’ll want to replace the word “download” on a button with “learn more,” because mobile users won’t usually click on a download. Another: putting your website’s main subject categories (Home, Contact, etc.) across the top of your site works when viewed on a computer’s web browser, but not on a smartphone screen, where a vertical list is easier to read. So while responsive design is faster than developing numerous different sites, it’s still not going to be plug-and-play. This is why it takes longer to do than a single website.

Mikal E. Belicove
Magazine Contributor