Single Throw's Internet Marketing Post

Single Throw is an Internet Marketing firm that helps businesses with sales lead generation by making sure your message is in the right place at the right time - when a customer is searching and has need - when they are most likely to make a buying decision. We call this "From Search to Success." In this blog, Single Throw's experts will share their insights on the state of business and marketing, both online and offline, as well explore new areas of Internet Marketing.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Why the Internet reminds me of our 4-month old puppy

Murphy 4-month old Labrador puppy We have a new lab puppy, Murphy. He's great: cute, cuddly, and extremely smart. Most of the time. The "other times" he is wild, crazy, and out of control. Seems like he barely hears a word we say. It's frustrating. Puppies are lucky that they're cute.

So what's this have to do with the Internet? While most people wouldn't call it "cute," they may call it "smart." And I have certainly heard the word "frustrating."

How many websites have you visited lately that have frustrated you? Websites from large companies - companies that have been around for a while - as well as startups. Many are attractive, maybe even cute. But they don't seem to be speaking your language. Are they simply like a poorly trained puppy, not understanding what you need and simply letting you roam crazily through the site? Problem is, most people will not work that hard with a website anymore; they will simply move on to another that might treat them more respectfully and address their needs.

The Internet is no longer a fad, yet many companies still treat it as such. I still hear business people say, "Oh, we don't really use our website." They're right: they don't. Their customers do! As a matter of fact, many still treat websites and their Internet marketing programs as the stepchildren of the tech department. They have them, the tech department set them up, yet there's little to no connection to their marketing, message or the customer's needs. It's a cool tool with things that click, and forms that post to, well, somewhere, eventually making their way to sales or marketing or customer service.

Your Internet presence is available to your customers and prospects - imminent buyers of your goods and services - 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They can search in Google or Yahoo based on their "needs" and come across your site. "Need," the perfect time to be in front of a customer. Why on earth would this not be one of the most well-trained aspects of your marketing?

Train your website to be one of the best marketing tools you will ever have and you will be rewarded with long-term customers. Be sure that messages are clear and concise; processes help customers rather than hinder them; and everything - from words to images - exists to help drive the customer directly to what they need.

The Internet - like a puppy - is frustrating, especially if you really don't know what you're doing. It all looks simple at first, but then you find out that it's not. This is the same reason why so many puppies end up in shelters, and websites simply get abandoned: People think they know what they're getting in to, try on their own to get through the frustrating part, then give up. The good thing is for both people with puppies and companies that are embarking on Internet marketing, there's lots of help available.

The moral of this story: seek help. If nothing else, start reading and searching in Google for advice. If you are still floundering, get professional help.

BTW: Murphy starts puppy kindergarten next week.

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