This post is about which basic marketing questions you need to answer before you can start building your website. And why growing companies need to build a team of specialist when designing or re-designing their website.
Your first company website
Let me share a story that might sound familiar to some people. When smaller companies start their business, they are very much focused on creating good products or services. They often build a website themselves, because money, time and knowledge reasons drive them into that scenario. Or if they lack knowledge to do so, they outsource but with minimum costs.
Then the company grows, and becomes more aware of their brand strengths, more products are being put in the portfolio, and they start taking marketing more seriously. They start creating a marketing plan, build marketing collaterals, some advertising, some PR, and often in B2B tradeshows and conferences are part of the mandatory marketing “menu”.
Your company has grown, but not your website
Although this is a perfectly natural way for smaller companies to grow their marketing, let me list a few things that clarify my point:
In this post I want to share with you some of the reasons why B2B companies must change the way they write their press releases, and move away from overly polished and egocentric writing styles.
The good news
In my experience, press releases are really a powerful way to put out your news. No matter if you are a small or large company, they are an effective tool to put out your news. Putting real effort in PR and media relations by having personal contact to members of the press usually pays off in terms of media coverage or speaking slots at major events in your industry. What also helps is having a media buying relationship if your industry is small enough.
When I talked to some of the journalist I know, it struck me that most companies are not doing PR in the right way.
Somehow on blogs, bloggers need to have their first post, and this happens to be my first post. Some start immediately with providing their thoughts on a topic an post it straight away, which is just fine. Now, I went through a different process.
Blogs where not new to me, and I had used them to find information before, but I never really quite understood why people actually would spend time on doing research, and put their thoughts in text, videos, podcast or photos on-line. And then start tweeting, put status updates in LinkedIn, Facebook or Google+, and have conversations with people who react to their blog posts. And this on top of their already busy lives.
For me the “switch” was last summer when I was on holiday in Italy. I read books when I am on holiday, so I started reading a book on social media which started confirming to me that I was doing marketing totally wrong:
- I knew that I had to focus on the needs of the customer, their pains, but somehow I consistently doubted if my understanding of marketing was effective.
- I knew how to spend spend thousands of euros on great looking advertising, massive trade-show booths and great looking customer cases and other marketing collateral.
- I knew how to run webinars, push out press releases, and do mailings to customers and prospects.
Well, let me rephrase that : I thought I knew.