Your website is a DIRECT marketing exercise, rather than a BRAND marketing exercise. Remember this when planning your website strategy.
It is probably easiest to compare the web to television, radio or other offline media when explaining the difference between the two strategies.
Your objective with offline advertising is to get people interested enough in your product or service that when they next see it in the supermarket, (or when they are writing up their shopping list), they will purchase your particular product or service brand over all the others available.
Results from marketing from your website are much more immediate than with the desired outcome of offline marketing.
With website however, you have different objectives. You have the attention of people right now, this instant, there on their screen. So, you want to make sure that your website designer does everything possible to make them ACT NOW to contact you rather than putting it off until a more suitable time.
Your website is a direct response tool, and must be structured to get people to act immediately. Vaguely hoping for an outcome in the next few days when people come into your shop is not enough.
Your website is the easiest method of direct response advertising to measure. The phone will ring as a result of people reading your website or it won’t. Either they send an email, or they don’t. You can track responses either way, to determine what is and what isn’t working on your website.
To start thinking correctly about this, I suggest that you set a goal for each page of your website. It may be as simple as getting people to fill in a response form so that they can get more detail from you. Or it may be to pick up the phone and talk to you about getting their problem solved. Alternatively, it may be to subscribe to a free offer such as a newsletter, so that you can establish a relationship with them into the future.
Whatever it is, having a clear goal BEFORE you start with web design so you know where you are headed is of crucial importance.
Rather than simply producing a website because you feel you need on, be more focussed on getting a result from your website. This will help you to think about the process in the correct way.
Some of your prospects, when they hit your website, will be well down the track of their research and will be ready to act straight away and make a purchase. They will see a perfect fit between the solution you are offering and the problem they have and they will respond right away. So when setting the objectives for the website, remember the different stages in the buying cycle that your prospects may be at.
There will be other buyers who aren’t ready just yet to buy. They need to learn more about the service, and the pricing and to do some research to gain more confidence about what’s on offer. Once they have that they will be assured that your particular solution is the one that they want.
These prospects are called your warm prospects and your site must cater for them as well or they will slip away. This may at first, sound at odds to what I said before in that they must respond immediately.Thought they aren’t ready to buy jet yet, there is no reason why they can’t respond right now and take up an offer that will enable you to establish a relationship with them.
Get the best of both worlds that the Internet offers you. You can establish relationships with those buyers who are interested but not quite ready to act, and you can interact with those who are ready to act immediately in a diredct response-style fashion.
The main thing is that you must plan for this. Think like a direct response marketer and make sure your website supports your goal.
Good website design is an imperative subject for any successful business. You must ensure your website designer has a good understanding of marketing conventions. To learn further ways to market your business, be sure to visit Jerry Crockford’s website at Brisbane Marketing Services.