One of the reasons I like reading Craig’s blog is that he regularly raises important issues that prevent far too many SME businesses (and some bigger companies) from achieving their objectives. He’s done that again here.
1) For most businesses their website is not their primary offering to the market, it’s a communication tool that enables the business to speak to current and potential customers. Increasingly it enables two-way conversations. For this tool to be effective the business must know:
- Who they are communicating with
- What they are communicating
- Why their audience should care
Just because Segmentation – Targeting – Positioning have been marketing staples for 40 years, does not mean that these tools are any less important today.
- Not all customers will be equally interested in what your business has to offer.
- Not all customers will be equally valuable to your business.
- You need to focus on the sweet-spot!
2) HWL Consulting has a mantra – based on an idea from Philip Kotler – which we’ve repeated to every business we’ve ever dealt with:
“Marketing is not something done in a department; it’s what the whole organisation does to find, attract and satisfy its customers.”
Satisfied customers are created when every aspect of your organisation and offering meets or exceeds their expectations. There are two parts to driving this:
1) Control their expectations by “under promising” on the delivery of something they really value;
2) Exceed these expectations by “over-delivering” outstanding performance.
Conversely, those organisations that over-promise and under-deliver don’t generate much repeat business!
3) Every business that has grown beyond a self-funding, sole-operator needs a structured business planning process and a documented strategic business plan.
- How else can you ensure that every investment, every strategy, every action is congruent with achieving the vision and objectives of the board?
- How else can you focus the employees on what’s important?
- How else can you measure the extent to which you are successful in running the business?
- How else can you convince investors or financiers that the business is worthy of their support and that risk versus reward will be acceptable?
Successful strategic business planning is hierarchical: Vision, Corporate Objectives, Strategy, Tactics, Actions, Measurement, Adaptation.
So the actions of website communication should form part of the tactics of a marketing campaign that, in turn forms part of the marketing strategy to satisfy corporate objectives for brand, growth, sales, pricing and positioning.
Happy marketing everyone.