For many marketing managers, keeping on top of current thinking is relatively easy; the difficult bit is explaining what needs to be done to the MD. So this week I thought I’d cover five really basic points which still need making in 2013; not that they’ll be news to you, dear reader, but in the hope that my explanation might help when it comes to making the point to the boss.
1. The company website needs a proper, independent budget.
There is nothing more important in business to business marketing than having a great website. You can initiate contact with a prospective customer at exhibitions, by mailshots, through advertising or whatever …but the first thing they’ll all do before taking the relationship any further is to look at your website. And it’s not just about looking good. In the past, you would dictate the sales and technical information which prospects received. Now they come to you having done their own research.
If you’re in control of your company’s website, it needs a generous budget to keep it current, working efficiently and constantly expanding. If the website is run by a parent company, you need more input to it and you need to be applying constant pressure on the parent to invest in it.
The company website is not a marketing channel, like a brochure or an exhibition stand. They are methods of getting prospects to the website in the first place. The website is your shop window and information resource which every prospect will look at before stepping inside. It’s as fundamental to the company’s business as the head office. It should not be funded from the marketing budget; it needs to be an independent part of the organisation. Successful companies have already made this change, and their customers can see the difference.