Marketing can be a confusing discipline: too often, the meaningful work of studying a market and the people in it gets shrouded by buzzwords, fleeting trends, and enthusing wordsmiths.
Real Results Marketing, however, is the real deal. Founded in 2003, RRM focuses on helping distribution companies profit from their marketing programs, by conducting (and publishing) rigorous research, consulting, and speaking at conferences. But RRM’s website did not reflect their expertise — besides lacking a content management system, clear content hierarchy, or brand identity, the site was ill-suited for a world increasingly dominated by mobile devices.
Recently, I had the privilege of helping RRM tackle these problems. Working with the company’s partners, I created a new design system, which included a new website and newsletter, and a registration system that integrates with RRM’s external lead generation platform. I also developed a WordPress back-end for the site tailored to their considerable content management needs, which could generate newsletters directly from the dashboard. The new system gives RRM an easier pathway to sharing their work, more opportunities for acquiring new clients, and a platform well-prepared for the rapidly-changing state of digital publishing.
One of my biggest content management projects, RRM gave me the opportunity to learn about integrating sites with outside marketing tools, designing highly tailored content management systems, and creating brand identities that can work across multiple platforms.
A typical CMS includes support for posts and pages, but most publications require finer control over appearance, availability, and features. For RRM, this was more than an aesthetic decision; some of their content, like blog posts, needed to be free and easily shareable, while their research and more in-depth writing would require registration and a unique appearance. I wrote a series of plugins to achieve these goals, which provide custom controls for content management, mobile-ready templates, and intuitive integration with the rest of WordPress.
Previously, RRM newsletters had to be completely hand-coded, and only after a link was published to the website. Worse, making even simple changes often ran the risk of breaking the template. As part of their WordPress instance, I developed a newsletter creation tool that can easily grab any piece of content in the system (or outside of it). Content inside the system would automatically populate with title, description, and image fields, in a template that would render consistently in all major email apps. (And it was a good learning experience — who knew email templates could be such a challenge?)