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Where is the hub of your online presence?

President's Message July 2015Advances in technology continually alter the way that we interact with and learn about the companies we wish to do business with. As a result of these changes, it is important for every business owner and their business development staff to evaluate the results and marketing ROI of their promotional efforts.

Today, your website should be viewed as the hub of your business, with spokes coming in from all your marketing channels drawing prospects and customers to your site. Every marketing message you create, whether in social media, emails, mass media advertising, or printed pieces, should include content and/or links guiding the reader to your website. Your business is no longer evaluated solely on how welcoming your employees are, or how inviting your place of business might be. Today, a prospect’s perception of your website will make a big difference in their decision to reach out to you or to visit your place of business, thereby giving you a chance to earn their patronage. Remember that in today’s digital environment, people go online to evaluate new products and the companies of interest to them, which means that their decision whether or not to purchase from you is already made, long before you have the opportunity to interact with them in person. Your website may be aesthetically pleasing, but unless you make it a helpful resource for your prospects, they may only visit once. If they never return, that chance to earn their patronage may have been lost before you ever had the opportunity to interact.

Another fairly recent change has to do with your business’s mobile presence. As recently as a year ago we were advising customers on the “importance of having” a mobile-friendly website. Today, due to changes in Google’s algorithm, they have made mobile optimization an important SEO ranking factor, drastically affecting the ease with which customers can find your online presence. Not only is mobile optimization critical to your SEO ranking, a site that is merely “mobile-friendly” now seems, well, a little dated. A responsive, mobile-friendly website is the key today for a couple of reasons: it provides your mobile prospects and customers the same images and content as the PC presence they’ve come to expect, and assures them the same convenience no matter their mode of access. Customers on their various mobile devices want and expect to have information at the tips of their fingers, and your ability to give them that, no matter which device they are using to connect with you, will affect whether or not they return to your website.

Naturally, having a responsive and mobile-friendly site alone is not enough. The design of the site (the layout, branding, graphics/images, and functionality) and written content of the site itself determine whether it delivers a good customer experience or not.

So, the real challenge is how to effectively coordinate all the many parts of your company’s marketing presence in the multiple channels available to you. How do you decide which channels to use to drive traffic to your website? And then, how do you leverage the special features of each channel to generate new business and build your brand presence? Very few organizations are able to get their strategies correctly aligned to be able to effectively use their website as the hub of their many marketing messages. The answers to these questions are not universal, but instead, are unique to each company’s brand and mission.

Our marketing team is constantly monitoring current trends and the effectiveness of evolving technologies. No one person can stay abreast of everything, so we have a team of nine who are tracking these changes and helping our customers develop the correct strategies to increase their sales by driving traffic to their website using the tools that are appropriately suited for their specific audiences. Whether your needs lie in print, social media, web development, SEO, integrated marketing, email and/or micro-site response channels, give us a call today. Our team will gladly go to work for you to develop an approach suited to your specific needs that will help you generate an increased marketing ROI.

Want to learn more? Be sure to visit our web site today at www.rcbrayshaw.com.

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Tom Brayshaw, President & CEO