Web Marketing To Company Goals
For years now most people would agree that the Internet is here to stay. It’s not a fad. It has legitimately redefined the way people communicate and how companies advertise. Yet many small-to-medium businesses remain completely disconnected from knowing how to effectively approach the web as a marketing vehicle.
Even to this day, many businesses view the Internet like a planet in some foreign universe where the laws of physics are completely different from our own. They wrongly impose a distinction between “running their business” and “dealing with the Internet.” And it is precisely this assumed separation that stymies so many companies in figuring out their approach at the most basic levels.
Almost without question all small-medium businesses now accept the Internet as a necessary challenge. Yet many companies continue to miss the forest for the trees. I’ve said it before, and it keeps ringing true the more I help clients develop their Internet strategies: The devil is most assuredly in the details. All too often, businesses inadvertently leapfrog themselves into the thick of branches, leaves, and bramble, without giving any attention to what tree they are standing under, or where on the map this forest even stands.
It’s not that the details aren’t important—we must tend them in order to grow and refine tactics. But a business must always be answering more broad questions when it decides where to forge ahead, when to cut, and what to cultivate. How does the current decision serve the ultimate strategic goal of the company? Tying Internet strategy to the foundational measures of a company itself is often missed completely when approaching the online space.
There is, however, a fundamental aspect of Internet marketing that ties the core goals of a business to its online efforts. Use it, and it can clear confusion and guide decisions:
Hold Your Internet Strategy Accountable.
It’s not enough to re-build a website on the desire to improve your company’s image. You must develop an approach which will foster the measurement of this goal as it relates to the metrics your company uses to track success overall. How will your online efforts be tied back to serving the company’s bottom line?
To figure this out, start with one question: Six to twelve months from now, how are you going to know if your Internet strategy is working? The answer to that question reveals exactly which slivers of data will be meaningful to you, and can guide your content development and user path architecture.
Manage your web strategy like you would an employee in your company. Set goals, brainstorm tactics, and don’t be afraid to change direction when needed. Business on the Internet is deeply intertwined with the business most people think stands so separately from it. It follows and responds to the same guideposts. Imposing accountability is a key step in succeeding online, and it can clear the misconception that the Internet is happening on another planet.