One thing I've found easy to explain over the years, is to treat the website as if it were a top-class sales person/team. But it is a sales team that is omnipresent, in every home, shop and business that wants to hear the pitch, it works 365 days a year, and never takes a holiday.
It always surprises me that there are still
business owners that treat their website more as a brochure or flyer than an automated sales person. Obviously, the ROI of enabling the website to make as effective a sales pitch as your best sales executive is huge. If only the marketing bod who wants to treat it like print can be pushed out of the way.
If businesses doubt that, sometimes it is fun to challenge them to an A/B split test where version A is created by the existing marketing/web dev team, while version B is done by sitting the company's top sales people down and getting them to walk through a typical sales scenario, translating that into the web.
The other thing that always hugely increases the ROI is to stop focusing entirely on getting a sale, and start thinking on how to get a customer. A repeat customer who will next time come direct to your company, or search for it by name, rather than on keywords. Customer Lifetime values are one of the most important considerations, and so often completely overlooked.
Amazon is always a great example of a company built entirely on gaining customers rather than winning a sale. They really understand the huge importance of relationship building, upselling and resupplying over having to 'buy' each transaction through investment in marketing.
There's some considerable further detail on Customer Loyalty and Customer Lifetime Value in the Marketing 101 thread I still have in my sig as The Most Important Thread of the Forum.
Most companies still battle to pay for each sale, each transaction, rather than using their marketing to ensure that next time the customer will come direct, or on a search for their brand names or trademarks that others can't compete for.
Building customer relationships is always
a smart move, and one of the best reasons for using social media, running a company blog, etc. These things give a company the chance to become a 'friend in the business' to many people, making them the preferred company to go to, even where others are slightly cheaper. Its a trust thing.
Edited by Black_Knight, 12 September 2011 - 03:06 AM.