Dear Aunty B,
We distribute consumer goods. We have a basic website but have been advised that we should be working on an online strategy that will quickly get us to be number one on Google.
But I don’t even know where to start. (I am 54.) I went to see one firm but they only specialised in web design, not Google.
Are we going to spend a lot of money for no real results? Do I need an online strategy?
Dear Confused in Richmond,
Yes, you need an online strategy, and yes you are going to spend money, and yes you will see results. The kind of results that cover your costs? Probably not… yet.
But the investment will be well worth it. If you distribute brands then you need to be engaging with potential customers and customers’ customers, with hot web 2.0 campaigns that are interactive, sticky and convert – positive. That’s just for starters.
I understand your confusion; online marketing is still a nascent industry. Many smaller online marketers specialise in one or two types of function such as SEO or web design. This can be problematic, especially if you don’t build a website with the latest SEO, or you want to add forums at a later date and it costs a bomb to integrate them even when the software is open source and cheap.
And that is why you need an all-inclusive strategy as it can save you money in the long run.
You need advice. Ask around. Who has been happy with their online marketing campaigns? Who has just been in the US and looked at the latest trends there?
Then meet with several of these companies and at least get a feel for what needs to be done and a ball park figure on the costs.
Lastly look at hiring someone in your company to oversee online marketing. I know this is a big cost, but unfortunately it is emerging as another “essential”. And I think given your lack of knowledge you need someone inside, on your side.
Your Aunty B