Articles by Jeff

WordPress 4.0 “Benny”

It has truly been a busy year. This isn’t a blog about WordPress but only when applying updates have I been inclined to say something.

To that point, the new upgrades to 4.0 are lovely. As with any open source software, there is always something left to be wanting. But for most of us all of the additions are welcome changes.

The major changes were to the media experience, but the refresh to the plugin directory is a great bonus. If you aren’t using WordPress on any of your sites or blogs, now is a great time to make the switch. If you are a first time web developer or blogger, then look no further then WordPress.org.

WordPress 3.8 “Parker”

Many of you have already seen the new WordPress 3.8 release. With WordPress accounting for over half of the most trafficked sites in the world (see http://trends.builtwith.com/cms), these updates potentially affect nearly every single web user in the world.

Version 3.8 of WordPress, named “Parker” in honor of Charlie Parker, bebop innovator, is available for download or update in your WordPress dashboard. We hope you’ll think this is the most beautiful update yet.

More importantly, each new change directly affects webmasters and developers in the millions. Here are the main feature updates and some thoughts on them:

Aesthetic

Simplified dashboard – the dashboard has a cleaner and more simple look to it.

This will take some getting used to, but it is a good look and will make for a better cross-device experience.

Typography

Open Sans typeface – gone is the bulky, serify font of yesterday and in is the sleek and classy Open Sans. This new font is also optimized for desktop and mobile viewing, which seems to be one of the major objectives of this release.

Contrast

High Contrast Color Schemes – the new color schemes will eventually grow on me but for now they are all a little disrupting. The exception is the ‘Light’ scheme, which I prefer to the default (shown below next to the prior look of 3.7):

New WordPress Update - Parker

Responsive

Mobile friendly admin interface – Finally! Yes, this is what we’ve been waiting for. I’m actually writing this section on the iPhone app which was updated on Tuesday and is now optimized for iOS7.

This is easily my favorite aspect if the new release. The interface is finally working properly and provides an excellent experience. Tags are still cumbersome but that’ll get sorted out at some point.

Theme Management

This is a convenient feature that allows you to preview each theme in an easy fashion by tapping the arrow keys. Definitely a plus when getting new sites developed.

Twenty Fourteen

A Magazine Theme – this was a little bit of a surprise. I was not expecting a magazine layout theme for this one, but with three very good blogging/site themes a magazine/news style theme fits nicely into the mix.

All in all, this was a fantastic update. It will take some time to adjust to the new look, but all the improvements to mobile make this one of the best releases of the year!

Be sure to thank the WordPress team and Automattic in any way you can.

What do you think of the new changes?

B2B Marketing

As a B2B marketer, one thing I notice is the disconnect between traditional marketing and B2B marketing. Now it is true that we are always marketing to people, but in a B2B setting the people you are working with will make decisions on behalf of their organization differently then they make for themselves. The approach to how you position your product/service and who you target with your messaging is very unique and requires a unique approach that deviates from traditional marketing.

B2B Marketing in a Digital World

The more important nuance of B2B marketing is how to do it from a digital standpoint. We are almost a decade and a half into the 21st century and the rising generation was born with the internet, but many of the C-Level and VP-Level executives/managers who we sell to are not of the rising generation, especially when it comes to the public sector. This prevents marketers from being able to trust all the conventional wisdom out there that applies to the B2C space.

Marketing as a discipline is art and science like a handful of other fields and the art of B2B is elaborate and beautiful. The forthcoming content on jeffpa1mer.com will address a dearth of information about effective B2B marketing.

One goal I would like to accomplish here is to bring together some of the best practices and the wisdom of the best minds and begin to address some very important subjects such as: Social Media, SEO, Conversion Rate Optimization, Site Design, Mobile First, Marketing Personas, UX, and many others. We will also dive into some areas of psychology and behavioral economics as well as ways to enhance creativity and productivity for yourself and your teams.

Onward and Upward

Half the battle is just showing up. The real key to successful B2B marketing is to try, test, and endure. Aside from that there is the creative aspect where we get to do things that have never been done before. We’ll also look at some case studies of brands who do it right. We’ll determine what works and what doesn’t work for different industries. Marketing makes the difference time and time again, whether it is the brand, the product, or the individuals within the organization.

A company can only hire so many sales people, so many developers, so many visionaries; but when the right message gets in front of enough of the right people, then magical things will happen.

What would you say is the main determiner of success for a company or organization?