Less means more
It’s possible to do too much and it happens with SEO where sites get penalized by search engines for stuffing keywords. It happens with web design where the graphics compete too much by complicating the navigation and minimizing the marketing content. It happens in web marketing when the sales hype or the boastful language gets too repetitive and turns customers away.
The thing to remember about bragging is that when you really are that good other people do the bragging for you.
Is naked web marketing a frightening thought?
Marketing without pretense should be a welcome idea. You cannot get close to your market when you are not yourself. When you look and sound like something you are not how can your web market relate? And why is it so important to relate to your web market?
If you can’t relate to the person you are talking to then how can you create a customer relationship? But even before we build relationships we have to understand how different the web is from all other marketing mediums.
The web is not like anything we have known before, so we can toss out the idea that we can market like newspapers. We can toss out the idea that our web site can market like television with a bit of video. Nor is our web confined to marketing like print advertising. All of the above are too limiting.
There is no time or space on the web
The reality is that the web swallowed all those marketing mediums and then altered how they would be used on the web. It was not the web that adapted to earlier media, but rather the other way around.
In a medium that has eliminated time and distance the rules for marketing are going to change. The only limitations about time or distance for the web is that of hardware issues and the speed of light. For all intent when a web site gets published it is available to all people everywhere in the world – at once.
And then consider the volume of space that any web site can make use of. For small business web sites we can say the space is limitless because the hosted space is megabytes more than we need.
Our small business web site can pack enormous amounts of info and be accessible everywhere at once. We can work toward turning the accessibility into more visibility as we shuck off those pretentious robes and get real.
We can’t run out of time
Suppose your web site just went live today. In a year it will still be there. In 4 years it will still be there. Just keep paying your hosting fee and the site will always be there.
Newspapers come and go, TV channels come and go, Best sellers come and go, but your web is isn’t going anywhere. This is important to know.
Your web site is not going anywhere because it is actually a destination – not a vehicle. We are conditioned to think that our business web site is going somewhere, like up the ranks with search engines or maybe Oprah will feature our site and it will really get going.
The truth is that our web site is stationary and the only thing that moves is our market if, and when, we attract them.
The web has a huge marketing potential
So why is our business web site not reaching anywhere near its potential? The main reason, in my mind, is because we are not letting our web sites live up to the web’s potential. Our marketing is too limiting as it is based on old offline marketing concepts. The world has changed and we are still using 20th century marketing concepts.
The 20th century marketing methods were always based on our business, our products, our location and our services. This focus is no longer appropriate for web marketing.
Small business web sites will need to look away from their own self interests and use their web site to cater to the needs of their market. No business web sites are doing this, other than just paying lip service. Do you see your market as the boss and do you take the time to know them and to give them what they want?
Imagine your market as millions of tiny kings and queens which require your attention, and your web site as the servant giving them that attention. How would you like to serve a million kings and queens and take their gold?
What does the web do better than any other marketing medium?
I keep asking this question because the answer is going to put wind beneath your wings. The answer is simple and in hindsight it stands out as a no-brainer, and yet it seemed like a revelation at the time.
Do you want to try and answer that question on your own?
Naked web marketing (part 2) will start off answering this question and tie it into other naked marketing methods. The goal is to see how a shift in awareness can be an experience where you have both a change of mind – and a change of heart.
Edward Cannell is a web consultant for small business owners. Burnaby Web Consulting [http://burnabywebconsulting.ca/] is a resource site about web design and marketing info for small business owners. The intention is to protect business owners from cruel but simple mistakes still being promoted within the web design industry. We shouldn’t let the web professionals get away with promoting their own misunderstanding of how the web works. Read more articles [http://burnabywebconsulting.ca/articles/articles.html] to be safe from sales people and the misinformation that arises from the sales hype.