About a week ago, I met a group of business people at a conference and the topic deviated towards online marketing.
Everyone one was seemingly feeling compelled to take their business online as the only way to generate business in the days ahead..
Also, most of them were overwhelmed by the enormity of the task at hand.
“Is my current website good enough?”, asked someone curiously.
“Yes, you spent a good money on it 3 years ago … so it should be good.”, someone suggested.
“But, is it showing up on Google Search?” came a deep voice from a savvy biz guy
“My site always shows up in top positions for my business keywords”, came another response.
Somehow, I was roped into that discussion when they found out I belonged to the “digital marketer” community.
Needless to say, all these questions were thrown at me promptly.
Everyone was expectant.
I took a deep breath and popped up a question to everyone.
“I assume everyone of you has a business website?”.
“YES” came in a chorus response.
“How often do you read your own website?”.
The response this time was mixed.
“My outsourced website developer and SEO guy sends me some monthly reports”, was the first response.
“My sales team did it for our company. They have done a good job. I don’t need to check it often but they keep giving me inputs from time to time.”, chipped in another voice.
“I don’t remember looking at my website too often but I always remember my hosting guy calls me up for renewal every year without fail with some offerings. I pay and am good to know that my website is visible on the net.”, another businessman.
The guy who popped the Google search question was thinking about it. I looked at him now.
“Well, my website ranks well on Google search. When I punch some keywords related to my business, it shows up in No 1 or 2 position all the time.” he answered triumphantly.
“That’s wonderful Mr. X” I said, “am really glad all of you closely watch or atleast are aware of your company’s business website.. Good start.”
I now got into a serious stance and took pole position with everyone semi-circled around me.
“How much business has your website generated for you in the last one year?” … came in my question.
“How much? What do you mean? … My website is my portfolio on the web. When my sales team makes a presentation, we ask customers to look up our website for more information” blurted someone.
“Well, my sales team does report to me about enquiries coming over phone and email from our website. But, they are constantly complaining that these enquiries are junk or waste of time. There is no relevancy. I sell industrial printing and plotting machines but get enquiries for desktop printers for home.” Said Mr. X grimly.
“Ditto”, seconded someone ,”Mine is a candid and contemporary photography services business but I keep receiving enquiries for traditional photography requirements from my website. Its painful to even talk to these prospects because I cannot serve their requirement. I am polite in refusing them, but feel frustrated when the phone call ends”. Others didn’t know what to respond to, so they kept sipping at the tea and looking perplexed at my question.
“Do you seriously think, your website can generate business for you?” I threw in the BOMB.
The tea sipping sped up and most of them started looking around, at each other trying to arrive at a YES or NO.
Finally, it came. “YES” Mr. X led the response and others followed too.
“Why do you ask that question? Do you think otherwise? I thought you were a digital marketer?” someone questioned.
I suggested to each one of them to go back to office, talk to their teams and get me as much data about (what you feel) traffic/leads/business as possible.
We are meeting again next week to discuss their readings and inputs.
I ask you same question – “Do you seriously think, your website can generate business for you?” and suggest the same process I asked my friends over the meetup.
Keep reading this series for our on-going discussion on this topic. Please share your readings and inputs and we will try to answer that question for you in our coming articles.
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