As a former owner of a web development I probably have more experience than just about anybody with web-based industrial marketing. I have been in the industry since 1997 & founded a web development company in 2006 with my partner. When we started we realized there was a need in the industrial market for a quality web site that was search engine optimized. At the time most of our customers had not even heard the term “SEO”.
Looking back, I feel that many industrial marketers and owners were almost forced into developing a web site because everyone said they had to or their competitors had a shiny new web site. “OMG…I can’t have Joe have a nicer web site than mine!”
Almost without exception when we started a new web project I had the impression the owner felt he was in the dentist chair ready to get drilled without drugs.
Putting a new roof on my house also comes to mind. Expensive, necessary…but no real value.
The development process entailed skill sets most industrial owners and marketers were not comfortable with. The process involved creating quality content for their web site. For example, it took us two years to develop several web sites that should have taken 6-8 weeks. The reason for the massive delays? You guess it…content. We did our very best to help them create content. We went out of our way to create a timely and logical process, but these owners simply were not comfortable getting their teeth drilled.
Because we developed highly optimized web sites our customers did generate leads from their web sites and for the most part these web sites did pay for themselves. Many times we found that that our customer had received millions of dollars of business from their highly-optimized web site but were afraid to tell us fearing we would raise our prices.
One of our manufacturers in Kalamazoo generated so much new business from his web site that we had to take it down and he now occupies three times the space in a new building.
But…those early web sites and their effectiveness were difficult to measure. When you can’t measure an exact ROI for a business owner, it is always painful. I can’t blame them.
Particularly manufacturers…they are used to measuring everything. When they purchase a new half-million dollar CNC machine they know exactly when that machine will be paid off and exactly what ROI will be achieved. Industrial suppliers, as well, have metrics they measure their sales staff with and will weed out the ones that don’t produce a reasonable ROI.
Not so with their marketing…and especially a web site. I can’t tell you how many times I heard my customers retort the old adage from John Wanamaker (some say Henry Ford said this) from business owners “I know that half of my advertising budget is wasted…I just don’t know which half.”
Keep in mind that adage came from the late 19th century or the early 20th century. That clever ‘ol adage is now obsolete. Now measurement and your industrial consumer have taken center stage.
Now your digital marketing campaigns can be always-on with a transparent ROI…and generate sales rather than a pain in the tooth.
Going to the dentist can be fearful. The flipside of fear is opportunity.
No need to hate your web site any more Mr. Industrial Marketer.
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