I see a lot of companies claiming that internet as a platform is not important for their business. The impact of having web properties is negligible on their business & sales targets.
There is also a set of companies that rely heavily on the internet – not only for sales but for other business objectives as well i.e. Talent Acquisition, Customer Support, Reputation Management, Brand Awareness & Thought Leadership.
I have witnessed same industry case studies where one company beats their sales target in every quarter – while the other is struggling with basic goals on their website & has wasted all their investments i.e. Time, Money & Human Resources.
Why is it that some people struggle with most basic business goals on Internet while the others see magnificent results?
Success on Internet works on the basic principle as given below
- Right Information
- At the right time
- At the right place ( platform )
- In a Consumable media
- In the correct language
- To the right audience.
One simply can not afford if any of these parameters go for a toss.
Let’s start backwards.
If you want to achieve success with your online efforts – you first need to figure out a way to bring visitors to your properties i.e through sources like Google ( SEO & Advertising ), Social Media ( Facebook & Twitter ), Email Marketing & So on…..
One thing that you will have to ensure is that these users should have an intent of taking your desired action on the website ( Submit the lead form, Show interest in Product or Services etc ) & beware only a tiny fraction of people who visit your website will have an intent to take a desired action. See the red sweet spot in this image?
When your TG visits your web property – is your language/messaging motivating enough for them to take an action? A great sales copy is worth a thousand salesmen – how do you pitch your product/service/company?
A lot of people prefer using fancy words as they want to look classy – without realizing its impact on call to action. I have seen some people using French, Italian, Spanish, German & Greek words on their English website being targeted for India – while you want to look classy! Do you really think people will understand your message?
4 . Consumable Media
When your TG goes through your content – are they able to read it?
While most content on Internet is textual in nature – it’s the presentation technology that also matters. If you have a flash based website then it’s not mobile friendly, if you have mobile friendly website but the content is all about heavy images then mobile devices on slower networks will not even be able to load your website. Touch screen devices are another challenge in terms of technology . If you adapt to a mobile first design – chances are high that you would end up compromising usability for desktop users
What’s more important to understand is how people use the Internet – it certainly differs from Industry to Industry. Most IT based companies only have a desktop audience while on the other hand some industries see a greater number of mobile devices on their platforms. I was working on some research for a Nigerian hospital a few weeks back & to my surprise 90% of all queries in Nigeria in medical segment were from mobile devices.
This blog it self has 90% mobile audience.
You will have to think rationally about how the content is consumed & in what format? & if the format & devices are compatible with each other?
3. At the Right Place
The platform where content is posted is equally important. Do you really need a website to get started with your business promotions?
Idon’t think so. A close relative of mine is into manufacturing & selling of handicrafts – a large number of her orders are from Facebook.
A very close uncle of mine, is in to a B2B business & most of the new business opportunities he gets – is from Indiamart.com
2 things you need to consider when deciding on a platform are :
- Is my audience comfortable using this platform / present on this platform?
- Will this platform provide me an option to setup call to actions?
A lot of companies are now addicted with the word “Mobile First” – Myntra is a popular example for this. Whatever logic they may have used for a mobile only store front – it is widely criticised; I simply don’t understand why should I download a mobile app to make a purchase? I am happy with Jabong & Amazon for all my needs. Most friends I know; have already stopped buying from Myntra for the same reason.
2. At the right time
Every customer on internet goes through certain phases of a life cycle.
Research, Consideration, Purchase Decision, Feedback, Repeat Business & Brand Advocacy.
In each phase of your ideal customer- their communication with your brand will have a different purpose.
Suppose if a person is willing to buy a new car on a very tight budget -if he is still in his research phase; as in he still needs to understand what are the options he can look at with a tight budget? All of sudden a Mercedes Benz dealer assuming that this person wants to buy a car – starts pushing him for a closure. Will it work? No.
Even those who can afford a car like Mercedes would want to analyze the options first in their research phase. ( say a comparison between BMW, Ferrari, Aston Martin & others)
If you forcefully push your products for a sale – your customers will run away!
1. Right Information
One of the common problem in the industry is people try and say anything to make a sale. Its that same thing a lot of DSAs do to sell their billing sim cards or Credit-cards.
For God’s sake, if a person says he wants a tax saving fixed deposit – don’t push them for a tax saving insurance plan.
I see a lot of companies doing the same mistake – they bring the visitors to their website through a promotion on Google for one thing & try to sell them the other thing.
When I was planning my Thailand trip, a leading travel aggregator caught my attention & when I opened their website – they were pushing me for Singapore, Malaysia package. I know they all look asian but please respect my interests – I want to visit Thailand. Period!
Offering the right Information is really important – if you play with information, you will endup wasting your money & your prospects’ time.
There are too many technologies available on internet & you clearly don’t need all of them.
If your TG is not on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter you don’t need to have a presence there. If social media offers you the potential to meet your business objectives then it’s okay – you don’t really need to invest in a website, because even if you make one – you still need people to come to this website.
Mobile Apps is the latest fad. So many people out there are obsessed with the word Mobile First. They all have jumped in a race against time to get their mobile apps developed. Those who have already made it are worried about downloads & those who Have the downloads already know that unless the app offers some real value to the users on a regular basis – no body is going to open it. Its a risky investment to make for Sales unless you are an ecommerce company.
If you are ROI conscious then always consult a digital strategist to ensure you don’t endup blowing money when you don’t need to.
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