If you are a modestly funded new business startup or a smaller business with not much marketing experience in-house, you are most vulnerable to falling into the trap of thinking that a shiny new website will get your business branded, noticed, and buzzing. It’s tempting to believe that you can just sit back and let the website do its magic, and then presto, the phone rings! But then it doesn’t.
Consider this: A shiny new website with no other marketing efforts is not much different than a shiny new business card that you never give to anyone. That’s right… you keep that box of 500 cards on the shelf just in case you need them. And when you do need one-you cannot find them! This is where most businesses fail to achieve a successful website or e-commerce strategy. They fail to grasp that a shiny new website is only the first step of many that lead to online success.
Let’s dive below the surface and look at the differences that are not so obvious but most likely will have a significant impact on the success of your website, and yes, your businesses go-to-market strategy.
First of all, I totally get the lure of “free” and the appeal of paying “only” $$/mo for a website that gets your business up and running online. These kinds of SaaS website companies have their place in the world. Yes, there are times when I recommend these services to clients.
I noticed recently that a typical marketing message of most SaaS website builders focus around the entrepreneur, characterized as the “get ‘r done” types that pull up their sleeves and chart the waters of website design with a pure passion for their business. Apparently, all these determined entrepreneurs need are some useful online tools that are seemingly smarter than they are, and the Internet is theirs for the taking. LiquidityBook No doubt, it’s an appealing message to all those Type-A’s, but unfortunately, it’s not that simple or easy to be successful online for most businesses-small or large.
As a marketing director for 16 years in the high-tech industry, where I helped develop new B2B services designed and implemented as software-as-a-service, I have experience on both sides of the fence. That said, this article is not a rant but an explanation of what separates a reputable digital agency from an online service provider. It’s these differences that can make a difference for your business, and once you know what they are, it will give your fledgling business website a fighting chance for success.
Here’s my message-in-the-bottle to those that have been marooned on a deserted website island, unable to make their SaaS (or template) website successful by any measure, much less turn it into a thriving place to generate sales leads as most business owners want.
The first lesson business owners need to learn about the Internet is that just having a “cool” website design (however you want to define that) is not really going to get you where you want to go. Fortunately, a fumbled website strategy will cost you a lot less than this colossal mistake: Imagine building a beautiful store where no one goes because there are not any roads.