Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Web Marketing - Did you start in the right place?

I spend a lot of time in meetings discussing web strategies, Web 2.0, Social Networking, all the latest jargon used to help drive business. The one component that is always missing in these discussions is WHY? The discussion goes around web optimization, Adword, impressions, eyeballs, clicks, and landing pages, but it’s hard to nail someone down to exactly what they want to happen. The short answer is always “I want more business” they haven’t really thought through how their web marketing program was going to actually get them more business. They see it as a “Field of Dreams”, build it and they will come. The reality is that successful web marketing is a symbiotic relationship between marketing, web technology and sales.

Just like no two companies have the same mission and goal, no two companies have the same web strategy. No two companies want the same results from the initial actions taken by potential clients. Even within the same industry and region of the country, each company will have its own unique sales proposition, sales methodology, and sales qualification criteria. The problem is that many companies go to technical resources to build their web marketing strategy without thinking through what exactly they want to happen once they have attracted a person of interest. They’re not even prospects at this point; they may not be good suspects for that matter.

Here is the process I would recommend.

1. Have a thorough understanding of your entire market strategy and exactly how Web Marketing plays in it.

2. Determine the profile of the prospects you want attracted to your site. Remember it is not the number of people who visit your site that counts; it’s the number of people who visit your site and buy something.

3. Determine how much of the sales process do you want to accomplish before you turn it over to your people. At this point I would work out a rough schematic of the process so that I understood how I expected it to work.

4. Now you need to put yourself in the minds of your prospects. Don’t think about what you would use. Thinks about the words they would use. Remember not everyone is good on a keyboard. There are ways to use word combinations.

Let’s say at this point we have found the way to get them to see our little web banner. That’s the summary part they see in the search engine results. Banner Ads are across the top, Adword banners are down the right side and organic search banners are on the left. You have very little real estate to make a point.

5. What do you have to say that will make them click on your URL? This is extremely important. It’s a sales and marketing discussion, not a technology discussion.

6. Once they click on the URL associated with your banner, which may not be your home page, what do you want to happen? They are going to hit your landing page. The right landing page is critical. Testing many versions is extremely helpful.

Everything starts with the right strategy. If you have thought through that process, here are two extremely good companies to talk with about how to implement it. They are a couple of the SEO (Search Engine Optimization) firms that understand that it is what happens after they get to your site that is more important than getting them there.

Prominent Placement

Avenue a Razorfish

Generating a lot of traffic with no new business is a waste of time and money.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Faithful Leadership

I personally know Rob Parker, CEO of Kiwanis and Crawford Loritts, pastor, author, and speaker. Both men are men of exceptional integrity. Crawford provided this transcript of the interview that was published in the February 2008 edition of Kiwanis Magazine ( ). It can downloaded in its entirety from my business website:

Crawford makes an enormous observation when defining leadership. I truly believe that leadership is about passion and vision. Vision with passion is almost unstoppable. Passion is not the cheerleader on the sidelines; it’s the look in the eye of the quarterback in the huddle. The cheerleaders get the spectators motivated (that’s why their backs are to the field of play); the quarterback gets the players to believe that they can win.

Crawford takes it one step further when he talks about assignment. So many businesses fail to achieve their potential because management cannot let go long enough to reach out their hand for help.

Rob Parker (RP): At Kiwanis, we have been talking about how important it is for leaders to be able to communicate a clear and compelling vision. Would you agree with that, and what are your thoughts on the importance of vision?

Crawford Loritts (CL): Vision is everything. There’s no such thing as leadership apart from assignment. Leadership is not a position. Leadership is a verb. If there’s no movement, there’s no leadership. If there’s no task, there’s no leadership. If there’s no assignment, there’s no leadership. By its very nature, leadership is not a corner office with a big desk and nameplate. That is not leadership. Leadership is always about going somewhere. This is where vision comes in. The vision, that’s the target. It is what you see. It’s what gets you up in the morning. It is what makes you pound the table and weep. And if a leader doesn’t feel that, if it’s not worth a sacrifice, then it’s not worth trying to communicate. You have got to be absorbed with the vision. There’s so much that’s nonverbal about leadership. A leader communicates passion with body language and presence, and with their eyes and with all their nonverbal communication … that’s what helps make vision compelling.

RP: Do you believe people are born leaders, or is leadership something that can be learned?

CL: I think we all need to be concerned about developing our ability to lead in relationship to the responsibilities we have. However, I do think there are unique positions that require more than just skill. It requires a sense of innate ability that either you have it or you don’t. Let me give you an illustration. You can teach kids with average hand-eye coordination to be a fairly decent baseball player. But there comes a time where no amount of time in a batting cage is going to help a kid bat any better. There are certain things you cannot coach and cannot teach, like when to swing. And I think that’s true at certain levels of proficiencies and skills. There are some people, no matter how many seminars you send them to, no matter how much training you give them, how many books they read, there is a certain innate sixth sense a leader has to have that makes all that stuff natural; that you can’t teach. Some of it is natural and some of it is learned.

I’m interested in what you think. Read the whole article. It’s well worth the effort. It might make a difference in the way you lead……