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Hi I'm

Chris Drinkut

A digital marketer and web developer living in York, PA.

Allow me to demonstrate.

1. Vision

Whether we're building a complete website, landing page, or an online advertising campaign - it all begins with a vision.

Planning

Projects often begin with the realization that a new state of being is desired.

  • We want more sales.
  • We want to be first in the category.
  • We want just a few more wins.

-- Whatever the need is, we're ultimately best off rooting our web development or digital marketing plans in a clear set of well-communicated and well-understood goals and purposes. It's at this point that web development or digital marketing efforts really begin.

Once we have a firm grasp on the need-state, then we're on course to create a strategy for how the goals can be achieved.

2. Strategy

Keeping a firm, but flexible strategy of approach is key. The world is full of variables, and the digital space is constantly in flux. Being nimble, and creative is advantageous in keeping teams and projects on target. Here are a few web development and digital marketing projects I've had the opportunity to be nimble and creative in directing.

During my time with Auntie Anne's Pretzels, I was able to provide them with direction and delivery of online advertising opportunities.

For 2 years I devised, designed, and delivered Google AdWords advertising for our retail, private label, fundraising, and sales channels. In creating and maintaining programs, I kept a focus on meeting goals and increasing efficiency of spend.

While I was able to deliver search engine marketing, primarily Google AdWords text and display ads, services for our corporate business-lines; I also was able to lead us to partnerships that enabled us to grow our business, increase our results, and see a 9% CTR in an industry that averages 2% CTR.

From targeting customers while teaching colleagues and interns on some of the finer points of Facebook and Google advertising, I was able to increase my own aptitude and sharpen my skills in a number of areas, including the following:

  • Google AdWords
  • Facebook Advertising
  • Twitter Advertising
  • LinkedIn Advertising
  • YouTube Advertising

When we set about creating Auntie Anne's website we began with a few clear goals in mind.

We wanted to surprise and delight users, to maintain brand personality and voice, to push the boundaries of what we were doing to track and learn from user experience data, and to establish a future-focused approach to post-launch analytics, upkeep, and optimizations.

Our initial post-launch report (2-months out) showed great results, which continued to grow and be seen for the next 24 months.

  • We saw an 80% leap in organic search engine traffic
  • New found abilities for tracking and improving conversions for app downloads, location look-ups, and other high-value actions
  • I continued to work on the site, doing advance SEO, tag management, and A/B Testing campaigns; setting goals and building or reconstructing pages for further advantage

The design brought about praise from the diverse set of 400+ franchise business owners, while also delighting users who also praised it as "Pretzel Perfect". The business case I wrote was heralded as a template that all of FOCUS Brands would use in evaluating and making decisions on future site needs.

The CMS we picked was fast, fluid, and was right on target. Tracking and reporting processes were updated and improved to where we were able to begin doing more regular A/B Testing. The tests allowed us to make more data-driven decisions on design, improving conversions for app downloads, location look-ups, and other key-action interests the company had.

In all, our work exceeded targets, and delivered an award-worthy system that delivered on results.

The franchise sales website (www.auntieannesfranchising.com) is focused on the potential franchise business owner. A bit of background, the company owns and operates around 15 locations, the rest of the whopping 1,600+ world-wide locations are owned by private business owners. In total, I ended up planning, directing, and/or building three complete website builds for Auntie Anne's Pretzels between 2012 and 2016.

To plan and build the franchise website, we developed a handful of target-customer personas based on the existing and perceived owner-types our sales team wanted to engage. To help us define not only the content that would appear the franchise sales site, but also the types of experiences we wanted to deliver, the personas served as a filter for all of the content and experiences we devised for the site.

This site is one that I am most proud of, as it (a) was a labor of love that almost didn't happen, and (b) because it became the baseline site for ALL of Focus Brands (Auntie Anne's parent company) sites.

The challenging and hard-fought work that our Senior Designer at the time Missy Stoltzfus and I accomplished payed off, not just for our sales team (Linda, Mike and the rest), but also for other brands, including Cinnabon, Carvel, and others.

The National Pretzel Day landing page I conceptualized and built featured a count-down timer, and dove-tailed perfectly with a real-time blog contest I also conceptualized and delivered. Digital advertising and emails were further leveraged to bring about awareness before National Pretzel Day, the landing page help generate excitement and anticipation. The page boosted direct action and awareness among target audiences, while maintaining brand voice and building affinity with customers.

The real-time contest on the blog helped fuel interest before and during the event. Pretzel swag was given out to customers, who entered the contest by leaving a comment - often stories about meaningful experiences they had had with the company. In total, we generated over 400+ comments and stories of meaningful experiences had at Auntie Anne's through the contest.

From 2012 to 2016 I was able to work on a whole variety of digital marketing and web development projects for Auntie Anne's. These included a series of emails I worked with two others to develop and deploy to engage with customers on retail products the company offered.

Another exciting project that I brought to and worked with our designer on was an A/B Test for our app download page. We tested and redesigned, then tested and redesigned again the mobile loyalty page offer, increasing clicks to download with each new round.

I also built a pair of mobile-first, responsive design landing pages for a test product that was only available in select locations in Pennsylvania and Maryland. To accompany the landing page, I also worked with our marketing team and ad partners to develop strategies and plans for geo-targeted display advertisements. The ads would only show to unique profile-types within a certain geographical radius of the stores that were participating in the test.

Once the vision, strategy, and planning have been discussed - it's time to move into action. That, more times than not, begins with copy.

3. Writing

Nearly every project imaginable has its basis in words. Words give life and are so so often the basis of connection with clients, customers, or communities.

The power to inspire is in words.

It's this love and appreciation for the potential and the power of words that drove me to study English in my undergraduate years, and Communications at the master's level.

In my professional career, I've written for newspapers, non-profits, tech-startups, and consumer product and service businesses. I am ever vigilant and on the lookout for opportunities to hone my skills.

Of late, my writing focus is on the following types of writing:

  • SEO & Webcopy
  • Performance Ad Copy
  • Web Development Languages
  • Email Marketing

4. Drafting & Designing

Websites & Landing Pages

At this point, web design and development projects will commonly get a wireframe treatment, and/or an early page composition exploration.

Wireframes provide developers and designers an opportunity to define and collaborate in making decisions on where things on a webpage (e.g. titles, images, text) will go.

Landing pages, emails, and even videos (storyboards), all use and benefit from similar treatment. --Planning before you build saves money, time, and fuels shared vision. Slowing to answer a few key questions, can help teams maximize time.

Digital Advertising Campaigns

Digital advertising campaigns (e.g. Facebook, Google AdWords, Instagram, Snapchat) should also go through a draft and/or design stage.

For these types of digital promotions, this might bring about an opportunity to refine the overall user experience (UX), ad copy, and/or design plans based on known aspects of the target audience.

5. Developing

Processes for web development (and digital marketing too) are constantly influx. Maintaining an ongoing curiosity, a flexibility of approach, and a desire to deliver sustainable excellence has served me well in the experiences I've had. These attributes further propel me to continue learning and sharing with others.

Areas of Experience & Endeavor

Areas of strong contribution and experience include:

  • Strategy Development
  • HTML5, CSS3, jQuery & JavaScript
  • Responsive Web Design (including bootstrap, foundation)
  • Mobile User Experience (UX) Design
  • Landing Pages, lead-forms, and conversion-focused planning
  • WordPress, SiteFinity, SquareSpace, and other CMSes
  • Web Analytics (Advanced Google Analytics)
  • Email and Social Media Analytics
  • Email Marketing (MailChimp, Exact Target, Constant Contact)
  • Search Engine Marketing (Google AdWords: Text, Display & Retargeting)
  • Search Engine Optimization (Technical SEO, including rich snippets, schematic markup, and AMP pages)
  • Areas of growing interest and experience include:

  • Git (Branching & Version Control)
  • Sass/Less
  • Yeoman, Grunt, Bower
  • Node.js
  • 6. Deploying

    Few other areas of this field are as satisfying or as fun, to me, as this one. For it's within this motion - this activity - that I feel digital marketing shines brightest. The advantages of deploying, analyzing, refining then relaunching a site or ad campaign SO AS TO increase its efficiency and impact is truly exciting.

    Testing & Analyzing

    Here's a list of tools I have experience and familiarity in using to conduct this type of work:

    • Google Analytics
    • Google AdWords
    • Google Webmaster Tools
    • Flurry Analytics
    • SEMRush
    • Moz
    • SpyFu
    • WookRank
    • Varvy Webmaster Tools
    • Pingdom
    • GTMetrix

    The work continues even beyond this step, especially for the modern web developer and digital marketer - who is gifted with the opportunity to measure the effectiveness of their work through analytics.

    Optimizing sites and campaigns that have launched to ensure goals are being met, new standards are being considered, and that all things continue to work properly is a good way to ensure the proverbial saw continues to be sharpened.

    Stay nimble, keep an open mind. Doing so will serve you well.