Make no mistake about it. Our world has become almost fully dependent upon technology to conduct business and the personal affairs of a vast majority of the buying public. More specifically, the Internet has become the preferred marketplace of billions of consumers who actively use the World Wide Web in every aspect of their lives. With this dramatic increase in Internet interdependency by the buying public, one absolute essential that your marketing strategy must include is a website.
For the skeptics of old who balk at the idea that they must have a website of their own to be considered a legitimate business professional in the 21st century, ask any business or marketing consultant. They will be quick to tell you that the more that technology plays a role in your overall marketing and customer retention strategy, the greater potential you will have to engage your potential market, as well as keep your existing customers from being taken by competitors.
You may be one of the dwindling minority who is saying right now, “I have a Facebook page and a Twitter account. I don’t need an actual Website,’ or “I am just starting out and don’t have enough customers to need a website.” This sort of mindset is why 95% of business owners never meet their financial goals. In a society where connectivity is a way of life and the average consumer thinks in 8 second sound bytes, keeping your name, your brand, and what you can offer them, is a necessity. A personal and business Website allows this to happen seamlessly when used with an overall technology marketing strategy.
I have said this often – that the question that most prospective customers ask a business owner is no longer, “Do you have a Website,’ but ‘What is the address of your Website?” From a marketing strategy perspective, it has become UN-acceptable to a prospective customer or client to hand them a business card and it not have a Website address on it for your business. It’s just a given that if you are in business and want to compete, even in a local market, that your customers need to be able to find you online.
Think about this for a moment. When was the last time you picked up a phone book to look for anything? It is rare that the average person pucks up a telephone book to find what they are lookin for. They turn to search engines like Google, Bing, or Firefox to search for local businesses over that of picking up a phone book. This said, if you do not have a Website, you are losing not only new customers to your competition, but you will ultimately begin to lose your existing customers to your competition as they are drawn away from you by interesting, content rich Websites that are owned by your competitors.
Here are some very important considerations for you to look at if you are wanting to have a comprehensive marketing strategy that includes the basic technology of having a Website to aid you in your success.
1. A Website is a necessity for bolstering credibility.
2. A Website is an extension of your staff and good will.
3. A Website is an extension of your knowledge as a professional.
4. A Website is a reference source for your prospects and customers.
5. A Website is a place where your customers can come for answers.
When you weigh the benefits of having a Website against the cost of having one built or the time it would take you to build it yourself, there is no comparison to the far reaching affects of having a Website versus not having one. Without including a Website (or even multiple Websites) into your marketing strategy, you will become less and less viable as a reputable business, and be seen in many cases as having something to hide by not having one.
If you are serious about being successful in the things you are doing or in your profession, ask yourself this question: How will I compete in the twenty-first century amid both local and worldwide competition for the products or services that I have to offer unless I have a store front on the information highway where both prospects and customers can find me?