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Lord_Fukutoku
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Back in West Texas... How disappointing
Insane since: Jul 2002

posted posted 09-02-2005 17:09

Disclaimer: Bits and pieces (or all) of this might be completely wrong, and if that be the case, someone please correct me. I've never taken any business courses, and don't profess to know more than squat about business strategies or business development. So without further adieu...


I realize that there are some areas/markets where a company's online presence is a significant part of why they are what they are (AOL, Yahoo, Google, etc), but for more "real-world" oriented businesses, this isn't the case. And then there are some "real-world" businesses that their website is a huge part of what they are, but they aren't what they are because of the website (B&N, etc). But there are some (many) areas where a monster website isn't going to determine the accomplishments of the company. Granted, it might help push it in the right direction, but if the company can't gain nationwide acclaim by doing what it does, a website isn't going to change that.

Right? Or am I out in left field here? I'm sure there are a lot of you that have dealt with a client that wants this super-huge, great website, because they think that will be what makes everyone want to do business with them. And that might have worked a decade ago, but now the web is so saturated, if you want your business to succeed that way, you have to find some new niche and jump all over it.

So, does anyone here know of a good article or editorial or something that discusses the fact that a company does not become a huge, nationwide standard for a particular industry or market because of it's website, no matter how great the website might be? Or does anyone have a spiel worked out for clients with this mindset?

Again, if I'm missing something or just plain wrong (which wouldn't surprise me at all), someone call me on it...

JKMabry
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: raht cheah
Insane since: Aug 2000

posted posted 09-02-2005 17:26
quote:
Or does anyone have a spiel worked out for clients with this mindset?



Ask them how they plan to drive traffic to the site, that usually opens up the dialog that illuminates the reality of marketing strategy. Web is normally a *part* of a well formed marketing strategy, it can rarely, if ever, be *the* marketing strategy.

Frankly, there's no reason for most businesses to NOT have a website, it's the salesman that never sleeps, the library that's always open, an editable message on target, much different than the yellow pages ad that every small business seems to think is critical. Whether or not you should take a client beyond an informational presense shingle type site (ethically speaking and in my opinion) should depend on the presense of marketing strategy. If they have a budget, and realistic expectations about returns on the marketing investments good deal, if not, knock out the little shingle web (drive traffic with phonebook, email, business cards, letterhead, some seo etc) and encourage them to get a plan, or help them plan if that's your bag.

Hope that helped

Lord_Fukutoku
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: San Antonio
Insane since: Jul 2002

posted posted 09-02-2005 17:42
quote:
Ask them how they plan to drive traffic to the site...


And that was actually one of my first questions once I realized what the picture he had in his mind was. Unfortunately, he seemed convinced that that was a technical problem that could be solved by the person making the site. And who knows, that might be the case, but I don't think so.

quote:
Web is normally a *part* of a well formed marketing strategy, it can rarely, if ever, be *the* marketing strategy.


That was more or less the argument I was trying to make; however, marketing, PR, advertising, etc are somewhat foreign territory to me, and I'd really like to find something that is much more elegant and/or concise than what I can come up with.

Thanks JK.

"All persons, living or dead, are merely coincidence." Kurt Vonnegut

WebShaman
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: Happy Hunting Grounds...
Insane since: Mar 2001

posted posted 09-02-2005 17:50
quote:
Frankly, there's no reason for most businesses to NOT have a website, it's the salesman that never sleeps, the library that's always open, an editable message on target, much different than the yellow pages ad that every small business seems to think is critical.



THAT is the best damned explanation I have ever heard! Spot on!

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