Welcome to the third issue of "Marketing Matters," a free monthly e-newsletter with tips and ideas for marketing your business. Our last issue was dedicated to printing and print brokering. This month we address websites, web design and website marketing. This is part one of a three part series. Next month we'll tackle search engine optimization and its importance to your business website presence.
Why is a Website Important
to Your Business?
don't believe in the web, have not jumped into the game, or are just overwhelmed
with the hype and want it to go away...then consider the following:
Neilsen studies estimate that over 50-million people in North America
access the Internet, and nearly 6-million of these people have already
purchased a product using the Internet.
Online spending on business-to-business marketing
will grow by 8% during the coming year, according to a new report from
market-based strategy consultancy, AMR International.
Despite the overall decline in advertising, online advertising spending grew by
11.5% in quarter four of 2009, the report revealed.
The majority of marketing professionals
polled in the survey plan to increase their spending on content marketing
initiatives in 2010 and are planning to allocate an all time high of 33% of
their overall budget to Internet marketing efforts.
So, what does all this mean to your business?
stated, if you have an online presence, you are in a growing community of
businesses that is riding high on an ever-increasing marketing platform. If you
do not have an online presence, you are missing a terrific sales and
promotional opportunity, and your competitors would like you
to keep it that way.
Mechanics of a website
Domain name (www.name.com)
Intuitive design with text, photos and other imagery
Programming to make the site visible on the Internet
Interactive a form to gather client data
online storefront to generate immediate sales
marketing strategy to direct customers to your website
Provides you with the space to host your website
Provides you with email addresses
Provides you with a means of measuring response
and site effectiveness
So how do you develop a website?There
are numerous resources for website development. You can build a website
yourself with such programs as Adobe Dreamweaver, Adobe Creative Suite,
The HTML Editor and Visual Site Designer, to name a few. Or you can use an
online web template service and load your graphics into a pre-formatted website
shell for very little cost.
you're interested in a custom website, and you do not have the ability or time
to devote to it yourself, then the best alternative is to hire a professional
web design firm.
advantage of working with a design firm is that you will have a business
partner to help you with every aspect of your site. A design firm will
establish your brand (or keep it intact), assist you with writing, design,
programming, email set-up, storefront creation, and optimization to get your
design firm can make changes to your site as needed, or they can develop a
backend content management system that allows you to make changes yourself.
They can also provide monthly website statistics to help you understand how
well your site is performing.
Content Management Systems
web-based content management system provides you with the ability to add
content, text, photos, news items, calendar events, newsletters, and product
specials to your website. You will be able to manage the site yourself through
a password protected administration area, without any special software or
programming knowledge. The cost to build a content management system into your
website is initially more expensive, but saves you money in the long run.
Should you take the leap?
The real question
is how can your business continue to exist without taking the leap? With
search engines such as Google, Yahoo and MSN, to name a few,
customers are turning to the web to get information and to buy products and
services. Spending for advertising with the Yellow
Pages, newspapers, direct mail, TV and Radio is down nationwide. Web and Internet
marketing is on the rise, so it's prudent to invest your marketing dollars in
this growing arena.
Some key website benefits
- Positioning on major search engines
Collect client data
business has not developed a website, or your website is outdated,
not working properly or not being seen by the search engines, then it's time
for a change. In today's marketplace, a website is a golden opportunity to make
your presence known and to make sales. When it comes to websites, marketing
matters, so don't miss out!
Case Study 1
Client: Coastal International Security, Inc. (CIS)
Project: Website Redesign
provides security services to many of the major government installations in the
US and abroad,
including NASA, The Reagan Building, The White House Executive Offices, DEA,
etc. The site had to portray CIS as the best in the business. It needed to
speak to federal, state and local government as well as large corporations. It needed to outline
services, offer an employee training program option, an employee log-in area,
and encourage sales. The site required complete content management, so
administration could update it themselves.
"Brand Design used their expertise to
hit all our goals. We now have a beautifully designed website and it is fully
content managed and functional for our employees and clients. They incorporated
our strategic philosophy and brand. It has specially designed areas for
training, employees, news events and links to our partners. It's a very dynamic
website. A great job!"
Walls - CIS Administration
Case Study 2
Client: Hottle and Associates
Project: New Website
and Associates is an independent insurance agency offering insurance,
consulting and risk management services. Located in Warrenton, Hottle and
Associates serves businesses, organizations, families and individuals with
insurance products that range from homeowner's, auto, life, health
and umbrella protection to property, workers compensation, general liability,
group health and various casualty and specialty types of protection.
started my business two years ago and I literally started from scratch. I
needed a complete brand for my company. My business required marketing
materials, a logo, a slogan and I knew that a website was a must. Fortunately a
friend recommended Brand Design. Brand Design met with me to discuss my needs
and they created my new look. I wanted a clean, easy to read and intuitive
website, and that's what they provided. I am very
proud of our website. It has been great for my business. I have continued to
recommend businesses to Brand Design, because they do a superb job."
Hottle - President
About Brand Design
Brand Design is a local advertising agency
specializing in a variety of creative services including printing and mailing,
web design, branding, logo and corporate identity, trade shows, promotions,
advertising, direct mail, radio, TV and PR.