We’ll be the first to admit it – the landscape in an ever-changing digital arena can be intimidating. Digital is continually evolving, and unless it’s your main job to stay at the forefront, it can be tough to keep up. Some just throw up their hands and decide it’s not even worth competing. You’re a manufacturer, maybe you have a business that’s done well for 30 years. You may think: “My web site is good enough” or “I’m in B2B, why do I need more?”
Most companies began a decade or two ago with a simple static “brochure” website. It was essentially your corporate brochure brought to life online. Often this was just uploaded to the internet, maintained by your IT guy and updated occasionally (if ever) by someone in marketing. Sales teams were rarely involved.
Over the years, the value of these kinds of digital initiatives grew, and so did budgets. The digital arena and the performance of a company’s digital presence within that arena has grown to where websites are a vital—and lucrative—selling tool.
Your digital presence is often the very first experience a potential customer has with your brand. These days, we go to Google for every answer. Whatever query you type in, you expect answers in seconds. If you don’t get them, you may find yourself frustrated, even disbelieving. Oftentimes, possibilities that take longer to chase down are simply abandoned. Whether or not you admit it, your customers are doing the same thing (and so are your customer’s customers). They’re asking Google for a list of options, and then clicking through to review results. When your potential customers do that, you better be sure they’re finding YOU as Google’s near-the-top answer. And that when they do, your site conveys your unique positioning and serves up the information and assurance those customers want. Over time, your website information should be growing and evolving, as your organization grows and evolves.
As a brand strategy, design, and experience firm, it’s our duty to help our clients to create complete digital brand experiences, that not only engage and convey their unique value to prospects and customers, but also deliver meaningful and measurable impact to their own bottom line. We embrace the idea of building digital systems that go beyond the website. In today’s world, the most effective business development ecosystem is comprised of careful integration of the website, Customer Relationship Management (CRM), and a marketing automation system. Those three tools working together in the ecosystem—in conjunction with a powerful content marketing plan and Search Engine Optimization—are the building blocks of a strong digital presence.
And remember that you must have a solid brand foundation before taking next steps in the digital arena. Wait to expand your online presence until you have a proper plan in place. That solid foundation is the basis on which you’ll build what essentially is your sales team’s first call to the world. The importance of this can’t be over emphasized. You’ll need a solid framework to serve as a navigation map. From there, everything else becomes meaningful.