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Most companies I work with market only to smart people. I mean what do you have against us dunces anyway? I know you'll deny it, but if I look at your Web site, I bet you're as guilty as the rest.
What do I mean? You explain what you sell, but most of you don't explain why I need it.
Let me give you an example. Suppose you are a consulting company. What kind of content is on your Web site?
Oh, I see. It says that you are experts in supply chain management. You have lots of experience, dozens of satisfied customers, one of your consultants even wrote a book about it. Impressive.
I've got just one problem. What the hell is supply chain management? What problem does it solve? Why would I need it? How would I know that I needed it?
You see, I'm stupid. I don't really know what supply chain management does. I mean, I think it has something to do with companies that buy things they make into other things, but that's about it. I don't know what facilities management consultants do, either. Nor do I understand business process consultants. I don't even really know what Six Sigma folks do, or why I shouldn't be looking for the better ones who know Seven Sigma.
You might be saying to yourself, "Self, don't listen to Moran because if he was someone who needed my services, he'd know what supply chain management was." Wrong. You tell yourself this because every customer you've ever gotten has already known.
Guess why. You're forcing them to know what it is or else they'd never be able to find you. Anyone who doesn't know can't become your customer until they learn more. Until they are smart.
But what if, instead, you were an equal-opportunity marketer, who retained all that great information on your Web site for smart people who know what supply chain management is, but you also added lots more information that explained to the stupid (me) what it is and what problems it solves? I think two things would happen.
First, people who have the problem you solve would start to find you. They search just like everyone else, just for different words than the smart people. Right now, they never find you. And when they did find your new helpful information, they'd be more likely to work with you than your smarter customers because they might be quite happy to die ignorant of the nuances of supply chain management so long as you solve their problem. They might be easier to sell and more loyal because you know more about the subject than anyone they've ever met, and that's enough for them.
Second, they are more likely to tell other people. The helpful, informative information that you present about supply chain management is more likely to attract links from other sites, precisely because it's not "sales-y" and readers are likely to talk about it, e-mail it, tweet it, and otherwise pass it along.
All of these things are far less likely to happen on the pages on your Web site that describe your core competencies, your singular experience, and how you are kind to animals. Everyone has heard it all before, and most people don't believe such self-serving drivel.
So, take a look at your Web site. Do you explain what you do in basic language than anyone can understand? Or are you full of explanations full of industry jargon that market only to people that already know they need you?
Mike is an expert in search marketing, search technology, social media, publishing, text analytics, and web metrics, who regularly makes speaking appearances.
Mike's previous appearances include Text Analytics World, Rutgers Business School, SEMRush webinar, ClickZ Live.
Mike also founded and writes for Biznology, is the co-author of Outside-In Marketing (with James Mathewson) and the best-selling Search Engine Marketing, Inc. (now in its 3rd edition, and sole author of Do It Wrong Quickly, named by the Miami Herald as one of the 11 best business books of 2007.
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