Are potential new customers seeing your website online or finding your global or local business with the search engines? Are you getting sales leads and customers from the Internet? Do you want more customers now?
By: Jim Warholic
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In the competitive business world we live in, a business must be proactive with 20/20 business vision when it comes to marketing their company online. Any business that is selling products or services to other businesses in the case of B2B, or selling to consumers in the case of B2C would not dream of going without hiring some good sales people. Many times these businesses will be paying top dollar to get the best sales person they can. But, some businesses will neglect what I would consider the most important salesman for their company, their corporate website.
Presidents And CEOs
The buck stops here, with the president and CEO of a company. I am going straight to the top on this one. These are the people that are the ultimate decision makers. They provide the guiding force and direction for a company. While a president and CEO does not have to be a marketing genius, they do have to understand the marketing basics, at a fundamental level, for the health and well being of an organization. In essence a good president and CEO knows the importance of hiring the right people for the job. They know that good marketing is key for business success.
Many of the presidents and CEOs know hiring good people is key to corporate growth, but have not really grasped the importance of the Internet search engines, Internet marketing, and online advertising. They themselves use the Internet on a regular basis for searching all sorts of things but there is a disconnect between the searches they personally do and other people searching for what their business does. Small business company owners seem to be especially guilty of this Internet shortsightedness. Simply put, they are not seeing 20/20 business vision, and sadly they don’t even recognize their poor business vision and the need for good business glasses. They have the misplaced idea that a website is just something you are forced to have in business, instead of wrapping their arms around it, promoting it, and realizing that the website is, or should be, one of their most important assets a company can have. This business mentality is not strictly limited to small businesses. Corporate America has a certain segment group that is just as guilty as their small business counterparts. They have gotten fat and happy doing business the old way and have not adapted to the changes taking place online.
Embracing Internet Marketing
Grasping the potential the Internet has for your business is absolutely paramount to focusing a fair amount of your marketing and advertising dollars online. A salesman can not be available 24×7 but the website can operate round-the-clock, and be accessible to customers that are looking for those frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the products or services your company provides. In addition, detailed information can be available to your customers at their browsing finger tips. Information such as application notes, drawings, manuals, material properties, and type specifications can be made available to customers.
The website is so powerful that it can do most of the work of all your sales force combined. This allows your sales force more time to concentrate on closing sales and building better customer relations. The fact of the matter is the website can help support the structure of the company and provide excellent tools for the sales department to use. Simply having the information at both the customer’s and your sales department’s fingertips will make everyone’s job much easier and will result in more sales. Email’s written can then be linked back to the specific information being requested. Customers will come to rely on your company’s website as being a good source of information. This helps promote your brand and keeps the customer’s focus on you, instead of the competition.
B2B, Business-to-business customers are becoming much more demanding in what they want from a source provider. They demand the information now. If you don’t provide that information, it is just a matter of time before they go somewhere else. Maybe you have worked hard to build up customer relationships in your business. But in today’s business climate, where the weather changes quickly, and customers are likely to get blown off course quickly by the competition, it is imperative to set aside a marketing and advertising budget and focus this toward providing a solid online presence.
Forget the smoke and mirrors approach with the website design. You must have substance, and that substance involves work, time, effort, and a fair amount of financial investment. To be sure, the website is really only the starting point from an Internet marketing perspective. The website must be promoted in the form of quality link building, continued website development in the form of new content and regular site maintenance updates, along with regular detailed evaluations and analysis. With billions of pages online, not to mention the online directories with sometimes hundreds of competitors lined up and down the pages there has to be marketing focus with ongoing keyword development and targeting of new market segments to really standout online.
The businesses that standout on the Internet, and standout first online with the search engines for their specific industries’ keywords, will be in a position to capture those early sales leads and new customers.
As the owner, president, or CEO of your organization, you can do only so much yourself. Start today, set aside an Internet marketing and online advertising budget to promote your business on the Internet.