Chemory Gunko is the managing director and creative director of Dsignhaus, a B2B marketing services agency with in-depth and specialist knowledge in the field of digital marketing. Contact Chemory on firstname.lastname@example.org.
With another looming economic dip, and a further increase in energy and fuel prices, no doubt many companies are already looking around at what they can cut to further reduce overheads and expenses.
A common casualty whenever dips like these occur is the marketing budget, largely because marketing is seen as an unnecessary expense, and extraneous to the successful running of the business.
I mean all your customers actually come from the sales team – don’t they?
First impressions last…
…and you never get a second chance at a first impression.
Far removed from 5 years ago, when just having a website, or even a web presence, was good enough, today’s technology and Internet users are savvy.
They’ve been around the block. They’ve seen the good, the bad and the ugly of websites and marketing, and if your website takes too long to load, or won’t open properly on their mobile device of choice, you’ve lost them – to the guy who has put time and money into his website and collateral development.
In a world where people are downloading ads and forwarding them to their friends, and brands are creating entire streams of marketing only distributed via the Internet, people have gotten to know their marketing – and from a mile off they can tell the good from the bad and ugly.
They want funny, they want sassy, they want a rip-roaring laugh or a spark that ignites an idea… and they want to tell their friends about it.
They want to see your brand as exciting and inviting and an exclusive community that that they can be a part of – if your presence is something worth being part of.
Companies are no longer buildings – they’re websites
…and Facebook pages, and Twitter profiles and Pinterest boards.
The look and tone you choose is your face to the public. It’s the personality that people identify with and the person they choose to befriend.
It takes time and money to create good-looking collateral – and this gives the impression that you are here to stay, and more importantly that it’s safe to do business with you.
In this age of businesses falling over and disappearing because they are fly-by-night, or poorly managed start ups, people want to do business with established companies that they know will still be around in a few years’ – or even months’ – time.
Physical appearance accounts for 93 percent of the information we take in, so done well, your digital presence and marketing collateral can actually make you look larger and more established than what you actually are, attracting larger clients with bigger budgets.
Another key thing that plays in your favour is that current digital and marketing collateral creation and publication actually costs much less to roll out than what it did a few years back, so very often what you expect marketing to cost is much higher than what it actually does.
People are seriously lazy
In fact, people are even lazier than what you could imagine, and if you don’t have a visible presence, with easily accessible points of contact, most of them are not going to waste time looking for you if they can’t find your company easily.
The rule of thumb is usually 3 to 5 competitor quotes – are you in the top 5 of easy-to-find companies in your industry?
Can people reach you using THEIR favourite medium – Google search, email, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest… have you made it as easy you possibly can for people to find you and interact with your company?
The fact is that it takes serious commitment, dedication and ongoing hard work to make any company work in today’s economy, and by short-selling yourself in the marketing space you’re taking away all the opportunities you have to tell the outside world about who you are and the amazing products and services you have to offer.
People will go with who and what they find first, and they’ll make a snap decision based on your appearance.
Can you really afford to have this final step in the process undo everything else you’ve already poured in to your business, your staff and your success?