Home – New Forums Marketing mastery I just can’t believe it…

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  • #1021028
    Tracey Anne
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    Chris Bates, post: 24913 wrote:
    I disagree, I think a tradie has the MOST to benefit from an online presence.

    “Sure your reputation is important, and word-of-mouth is everything. Where do you think they go to rave about the awesome tradie who even cleaned up after himself? Facebook.”

    I think they tell family, their neighbours, workmates, friends etc. I think your argument assumes everyone lives in the suburbs of a capital city, or a very large town where everything has become impersonal.
    A fair chunk of Australians in rural areas STILL don’t even have broadband coverage (sorry, the “everyone lives in a capital city/large urban area” mentality is a touchy subject for a lot of people, including me :) )

    “Newsageny’s are unique, there is really nothing special about them. They’re not unique, they just sell the generic product.
    However, where do you think someone will look up their nearest newsagent when they’re new to the area? Where do you think someone will look up a nearby newsagent when they’re VISITING an area?”

    Again – if I’ve just moved to an area, I’ll go for a walk or a drive and look around. If I’m visiting I’ll ask the people I’m staying with or the staff at my hotel.

    #1021029
    Gordon Stewart
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    When you look around at the number of people with iPhones and other internet-enabled mobile devices (heck, my 9 year old has a DSi that is internet enabled) then it doesn’t take much to realise that the internet is becoming a BIG part of our lives. This is why many governments around the world are spending millions on National Broadband Plans – it drives economies.

    Also consider the time and money Google (and Yahoo!) is putting into their Local Business program. They are not doing this because they like local businesses – they are doing this because they understand that people want to search for services and products in their local area. The search engine that fulfills this need (aka Google) will continue to make millions through selling advertising space.

    Never has the small business owner had so much marketing technology and intellect at their disposal! And what’s more, most of it is free. They just need the support and guidance to take advantage of it.

    I honestly believe that small business owners generally understand the need for a business web site, and the need for that web site to be properly optimised so that it is findable in the search engines. I just think that there is so much noise out there on the internet that they don’t know where to start. Consequently, in a bid to do something (usually for the price of a slab) they call in theirs mates, mate to test the waters by building them a site.

    The clever business owners understand that we are experiencing a revolution in they way we communicate and are calling in the professionals. You and I need to be able to explain what we do, and how we can measure what we do, so that business owners feel confident before they spend their money.

    I try to think of where we are in terms of the industrial revolution. How quickly do you think small businesses adopted the Henry Ford production line principles? Particularly when you consider the initial investment required to automate a production line (even though everyone was telling them that it would save them money – and make them more money – in the long run).

    We are at the start of the information revolution – you have seen it and understand it. Many haven’t, and many never will.

    Anyway, I am getting carried away with myself again!

    Great thread.

    #1021030
    Anonymous
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    Chris Bates, post: 24913 wrote:
    People don’t look a tradie up in the Yellow Pages anymore.
    The oldies who don’t know anything about the net/computers still use Yellow. But one day it will die off.
    #1021031
    Chris Bates
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    Sorry – I do make assumptions.

    Even my Nana uses the Internet daily! But then, I know a lot of oldies who don’t.

    There is never a one size fits all solution, and sure there are businesses out there that can get away without a web presence. As you say Tracey, there’s a whole rural world out there too =)

    I should change my argument then – all METRO businesses should have an online presence. hahaha

    Sure there’ll always be the old fashioned ways of finding businesses. But the undeniable fact is the MAJORITY of consumers will move with technology. That technology will be finding a local business on the Maps app of the iPhone, for example.

    #1021032
    Karen Wardle
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    I read this thread with interest.

    I agreed with Chris, then I also agreed with parts of what was said by Kev, Tracey and also John. So move over Kev cause I guess I might be sharing that fence with you:)

    I will throw this into the argument though. When we achieve success in business it is often not via the way that we originally intended. An example that comes to mind is Wrigleys chewing gum. Wrigley had originally manufactured washing powder and gave away chewing gum with every box, as a goodwill gesture to his customers. The chewing gum became more popular then the washing powder so he ditched the laundry powder and launched his full scale chewing gum operation.

    Business success often comes from the most obscure places. Sometimes we make decisions about what we think might be unnecessary or, on the other side of the coin, essential for our business, then circumstances present themselves and the business takes an entirely different direction.

    The link below shows examples of businesses that at first glance might not benefit from their own website. If you scroll down the page a little you will see a case study menu. It has a break-up of different types of businesses and how those businesses used the internet to explode their earnings and accelerate their success.

    some examples of businesses that have used the net to penetrate their market

    If after reading that you want to know more you can watch this video tour

    I do agree with Dan’s comment that

    The oldies who don’t know anything about the net/computers still use Yellow. But one day it will die off.

    It will die off. Even Yellow Pages themselves accept this which is why they are now themselves online.

    I disagree, I think a tradie has the MOST to benefit from an online presence.

    Chris makes a good point. If you want to see an example of how a tradie turned his business around, go to the example page and scroll down until you get to Judd Burdon.

    I have posted these examples to help people to think outside the box when it comes to their business website. The majority of people fall into two categories when it comes to their business website. The first lot believe that a website will not benefit them enough to justify the cost. The other group think that they can just set up a site and the money will follow. This is not the case. A website CAN boost your income, your credibility and your opportunities. But is has to be done right!

    Ok, I guess it is now time for me to get off that fence!

    #1021033
    VideoTraining
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    Great points Karen!

    I also started a new thread about this article I found the in the SMH today – I should have added it here earlier!

    http://www.smh.com.au/technology/biz-tech/websites-that-woo-customers-20100125-muee.html

    This story is about a couple of very different types of businesses that have had some good success by thinking outside the box.

    Happy Australia Day folks!

    Tony Morris
    http://www.DVDcoach.com
    Online Computer Training Made Easy

    #1021034
    Karen Wardle
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    • Total posts: 363
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    Thanks Tony!

    I have just had a quick peek. Looks interesting, will have a look in the morning.

    Cheers

    #1021035
    JohnSheppard
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    Karen Wardle, post: 24973 wrote:
    Business success often comes from the most obscure places. Sometimes we make decisions about what we think might be unnecessary or, on the other side of the coin, essential for our business, then circumstances present themselves and the business takes an entirely different direction.

    Wrigglies had already developed the gum though. Sports guy doesn’t have anything developed. I agree it’s worth looking at for Sports guy, but it really never is as simple as just tacking on a web presence. (As you elude to below)

    My guess is he doesn’t have the capital and as a small business he would have to carefully decide to go that entirely different direction, and for anyone that’s a difficult decision…

    Karen Wardle, post: 24973 wrote:
    I have posted these examples to help people to think outside the box when it comes to their business website. The majority of people fall into two categories when it comes to their business website. The first lot believe that a website will not benefit them enough to justify the cost. The other group think that they can just set up a site and the money will follow. This is not the case. A website CAN boost your income, your credibility and your opportunities. But is has to be done right!

    I agree with this. Eloquently put.

    To be fair there are a few types of websites. A basic, informational, yellow pages type site that gets found in Google. I agree that as time goes on the web will replace yellow pages (already has for me, and 80% of people I know) and yes, almost every business needs one of those. I think everyone will agree on that, it’s a no brainer. Having one of these is fairly cheap. ~$1000-2000.

    The other type of web site. The done right website. The one sports guy would need if he wanted to really sell stuff. Costs. It costs, and it costs a lot of money. To be done right. It really is more of a ‘web presence’ than a website. It’s much the equivolent of setting up a physical shop front and presence. IMO, It has to be an integral part of the business….this kind of web site is NOT a no brainer and it’s not something that can just be tacked on to your existing business.

    In some cases the costs dictate that a web presence is not the way to go as there may be better investments off-line. That may not be the case for sports guy. Only sports guy can figure that out, and he has to do the yards himself in conjunction with other smart people.

    Say from the service providers perspective (Chris’). Run away man. If the business owner hasn’t figured this kind of thing out yet, the costs for you to educate them are astronomical.

    #1021036
    Chris Bates
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    Hey John,

    That’s basically what I am though, I educate people. Well it’s two step, actually :P

    I sell my services to teach people, and to develop strategies for having an online web presence. If that means they pay me to sit there for an hour teaching them to use Facebook, all good as long as they’re paying me :P

    But once we have developed the strategy, I can then propose an implementation (web, seo, sem, the technical side of it).

    It all starts with an inexpensive consultation though. Working from the ground up. That way the owner, for bugger all money, can have the knowledge and understanding and the strategy for doing it all right.

    #1021037
    JohnSheppard
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    Chris Bates, post: 25068 wrote:
    That’s basically what I am though, I educate people. Well it’s two step, actually :P

    I sell my services to teach people, and to develop strategies for having an online web presence. If that means they pay me to sit there for an hour teaching them to use Facebook, all good as long as they’re paying me :P

    But once we have developed the strategy, I can then propose an implementation (web, seo, sem, the technical side of it).

    It all starts with an inexpensive consultation though. Working from the ground up. That way the owner, for bugger all money, can have the knowledge and understanding and the strategy for doing it all right.

    Ahh ic, yes, good way to do it. Wish I had of thought of that :)

    #1021038
    Karen Wardle
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    Hi John

    Wrigglies had already developed the gum though. Sports guy doesn’t have anything developed.

    Wriggleys substituted an unpopular product with one that was popular. And it was a complimentary product (the gum) that turned out to be something that people where prepared to pay money for. Something that they had initially been receiving for free.

    I agree it’s worth looking at for Sports guy, but it really never is as simple as just tacking on a web presence. (As you elude to below)

    I wasn’t trying to elude to anything, I was trying to make the point that sometimes we need to think outside the box, as the people in the examples have done. You’re right in that it isn’t as simple as tacking on a web presence. But sometimes, though lack of knowledge, we make it more complicated than it needs to be.

    I think (and from discussions that Chris and I have had, I am sure he agrees) that too many people go into buying or building their website unprepared. They need to invest a little time and/or money in educating themselves before jumping in.

    #1021039
    Chris Bates
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    Karen Wardle, post: 25111 wrote:
    I think (and from discussions that Chris and I have had, I am sure he agrees) that too many people go into buying or building their website unprepared. They need to invest a little time and/or money in educating themselves before jumping in.

    Yes, very much agree.

    DO:
    a) Spend 20+ hours reading numerous articles on the internet
    b) Pay someone for an hour to give you that knowledge condensed

    DONT:
    – Just jump in and do what you think is right (because 9.9 times out of 10 you’re wrong)

    #1021040
    JohnSheppard
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    I agree. However, my tendency is to say more than 20+

    If you told someone setting up a retail shop, yeah, do 20+ hours research and pay someone for some advice….they’d look at you like you were a complete nutso because they already just spent 6 months researching it to agonising detail.

    I really don’t think setting up a web presence is very different.

    Just because there is opportunity on the Internet doesn’t mean it’s a good idea for just anyone to take it. As a business owner you need to be in control. If you’re staff/contractors control your business, you don’t own much when they leave as they inevitably do. The situation is far worse on the Internet than with retail locations because it shifts a whole lot quicker.

    #1021041
    bigambition
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    Chris Bates, post: 24785 wrote:
    The number of businesses out there that are struggling, and refuse to accept that the Internet could help them…

    My sister is currently working at a sports shop, for free, trying to help them get on their feet. Every weekend I hear about how much trouble the shop is having, and it’s in a bad location, and customers just aren’t coming in.

    Every weekend I respond the same, hire me and I’ll get you customers. Ho-hum, hum-har, they don’t do anything. I even offered to do them a website CHEAPLY, yet they decided to go with the friend-of-a-friend who 3 months later still hasn’t even given them a concept/design.

    I love talking to the successful businesses, and how they yap on about how much work they get coming in from their website.

    It infuriates me that there’s so many businesses out there that ignore or undervalue a web presence. If you run a business, you MUST keep up with technology and the consumer, if not you WILL eventually fail.

    I’d like to address the statements in bold, firstly the first statement is a pretty ambitious statement.

    Secondly, some business still rely on 1995 technology (Windows 95, 486 DX-66) while major tertiary institutions and government sponsored companies are still using IE 6.0 which came out in 2001!

    Some people like to push technology squarely into someone’s throat and that’s where people back off, that’s why businesses back off because if what they have works for them why spend more money trying to change it?

    That is the mentality most of us will have to work with, that’s why sales is so important. My line of work is to promote technology as the market sees fit, not the other way around. I can try and sell a Cray supercomputer to an ice cream joint that would give them the title of the “once-most-powerful-computer” in the world, but that’s about all it will give them, free advertising. I didn’t actually do anything, I let the product advertise itself, if it has no relevance to the company then that’s their problem. See the point? Of course that’s not how I do business but that is what the majority of people and businesses need advice on.

    I sense a bit of pushiness and desperation in Chris’s post. You know if they won’t listen to good advice then that’s their problem! Go to the store next door or their competitors and work for them instead.

    If you can really score sales for businesses then they will employ you full time, but there needs to be proof that you can actually deliver. Are you going to maintain relationships and continued services on the products that you helped develop with site monitoring and progress reports? Can you advice why the site might get a lot of hits but still no sales? Can you predict how technology might make your solutions obsolete and what if they do, would your customers have to come back to you to “fix it”?

    And there are some very smart business owners out there, they may look at how your very own website performs, are you scoring customers and where are the results in terms of sales and numbers?

    These are the things that people think and care about, the internet business is unknown territory for them and it needs to be proven.

    #1021042
    answermyphone
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    Hi all,

    I have just started my business and every quote/conversation/meeting I have is asking for a website.

    I think people like to understand your identity. Do I connect with this business? and feel empowered before speaking or engaging your services.

    I just can’t make my web developer work fast enough!!

    One of the failings I see with some websites, when I was researching my own was that some are built and just forgotten. I’m sure most business owners would like to do something new or add some functionality to their site.

    I like the idea- esp. if some people are cautious, of building a basic site and building up to a something else. This will be advantageous as you get the feel for the type of enquiry received online and by who and also the site can evolve with the business and keep up with technology.

    Nicci

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