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Brands Learning from Brands

Posted on 12.16.2012

From analytics to Web design, Website Magazine prides itself in providing a holistic approach to Web success. As such, we as editors are inundated with all things Web (as it should be). Each week we receive hundreds of press releases, dozens of contributor pitches and plenty of phone calls. We hope it never goes away, as being at the hub of product releases, feature developments, trends, shake-ups, mergers, funding announcements and more puts us in an elite position to offer our readers a complete look at what really matters to their success.

I speak for a few of us here in the office in that we’ve learned how to be Web authorities. Unlike Lady Gaga, we weren’t born this way. We came to the company with writing and editing experience and learned the rest. We’ve learned from our readers, we’ve learned from each other, we’ve learned from our founding Editor-in-Chief and other industry thought leaders, and we’ve gleaned valuable insights to formulate interesting material that makes you think and take action. Most importantly, when we don’t know about something, we ask.

what doesn’t when it comes to establishing and maintaining a brand on the Internet. As such, Website Magazine is assembling its inaugural Web 100 Guide that celebrates the top-100 brands through six categories. We’re working hard to interview the biggest influencers in the digital realm, and as we move closer to production, you’ll hear a lot about this project that looks at a brand’s ad spend, traffic, social media presence, affiliate programs and more. We’re excited about the possibilities and know you will be, too.

Wells Fargo, Capital One and American Express are three of the companies featured in the financial sector category of Website Magazine’s Web 100, and executives from these companies were at the recent iStrategy Chicago event, as was this editor.

In their panel discussion, the trio reaffirmed what we’re learning with Web 100 — we are all still learning. That’s the intriguing part of iStrategy too. It’s about brands learning from brands and that’s really our premise behind Web 100 — learning from the best positions you to be the best.

Take the case of customer service on social media, for example. Wells Fargo uses pre-approved messages with keywords and limited flexibility to remain compliant with industry regulations, while Capital One strives for a personal connection.

“We want to break out of the drop down — this is the response — kind of thing, but we have to do that in the face of a lot of regulation,” said Capital One’s Social Media & Mobile Marketing Senior Director, Mike Darne.

Does Wells Fargo’s approach work better than Capital One’s? We'll find out. In the meantime, we’ll learn from this brand that is also learning from other brands. Additionally, in 2013, Capital One wants to take what it is hearing on social platforms and somehow turn it into products at the end of the day. That’s really what we are all looking to do — monetize social. Darne went on to discuss the challenge of producing a lot of content, and doing so regularly — something Website Magazine can definitely relate to.

Clearly, these enterprises are all dealing with the same issues we all are. But there’s good news for smaller companies without the same resources these enterprises have to throw at the problem. The good news is that the industry is growing and that we’re a resourceful bunch. We don’t have a problem with sitting on the floor when the chairs are full, we network, we love tradeshow swag, we get going when the going gets tough — and all, in all, we’re in a great place heading into 2013.

We’re all learning the ABCs of the Web, luckily, there are companies — from Americaneagle.com to Zendesk — that are helping us fight the good fight. And, as you’ll see very soon, the big (we mean really big) names in Web 100 are using companies like these too.

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