Memorable marketing solutions exclusively for small businesses in Buckinghamshire, Berkshire and Oxfordshire    Aug 2007

 

 

 

The World Wide Whatsit?

We must have a website!  Why?  Because everyone else has. What's it going to do for you business?  Don't know, but we know we need one.

The web is the answer

I meet too many small businesses that think that if they could only improve their website the world would flock to their door with pockets full of cash.  I wish it were that simple.

The truth is that the internet is a global market.  It's colourful and it's loud.  And it's the most colourful and the loudest that do the most business. But then they get leapfrogged by someone even more colourful and louder.  So they invest more to leapfrog back to the top position.  It works out very expensive.  And once you start you can't afford to stop.

That doesn't mean that the internet isn't a useful marketing and sales tool for small businesses.  But it does mean that it isn't a universal panacea ... efficacious in every case.

Realism is a must

The most effective way to drive potential customers to a website is traditional advertising (print, radio, TV).  That might seem a strange situation at first.  You'd think that designing your site for the search engines to find, or advertising on the internet itself would be more effective.  However, people still get most of their information from traditional sources and continue to respond to tried and tested advertising methods.

For your business this means that to get a large volume of traffic to your website, you'll probably need to spend a heap of money on offline advertising.  Can you afford to do that? Can you afford to sustain that spend over time?

This is where realism kicks in.  For most small businesses, a website must be seen as just one of a number of ways of communication with customers and potential customers.  Spend on designing and building the site should be capped to reflect its impact on generating new business. 

You should make sure that the website integrates with the look/feel, as well as content, of your other marketing activity.  You may build a website where customers can buy products directly with a credit or debit card.  In this case, make it clear in all your marketing communications and highlight where there are customer advantages in buying online.

For most of us though, our website is just an endorsement of what we do as a business.  A sort of 'online brochure cupboard'.  But that has advantages too.  The website can bring your products and service to life in a way that printed brochures can't.  It can provide extensive customer lists and references and explain your product/service benefits in greater depth and clarity.

But don't forget that you need to find a way to get people to look at it in the first place.  And that's the hard bit.

Memorable marketing

Thinking and working pragmatically like this will help you to make your marketing work better for you in a more memorable way. This means that your target customers will be able to differentiate your products and services from those of your competitors and clearly see the value in buying from you.

If you would like some advice on memorable marketing techniques for your own business, or you know someone at another business who might need help, then please contact us. The sooner you start, the sooner you will benefit.

 

Marketing on the Internet

Download this handy guide which explains how to get the best from marketing on the internet in order to improve business effectiveness.

Written by the Chartered Institute of Marketing as part of their Directors' Briefing series, this document makes easy reading for business people of all experience levels.

 

Marketing Effectiveness Assessment

A free service to small businesses in the Buckinghamshire, Berkshire and Oxfordshire area, the Marketing Effectiveness Assessment delivers a professional audit of how a business is using the tools of marketing to communicate to existing and potential customers. It also includes a series of simple and cost-effective marketing activities that the business can implement immediately and at low cost.

Download the factsheet now.

 

Useful Links ...

Adduce Marketing

Chartered Institute of Marketing

Marketing UK (information portal)