Business Leaders Must Understand Web Marketing
By Thomas Young, CEO Intuitive Websites
If you consider yourself a business leader, then you are also a web marketer. Web marketing is too important to be ignored or to hand off to others that do not understand your business strategy. Business leaders should understand the fundamentals of online marketing.
The first thing business leaders must know about web marketing is that they are at a significant disadvantage if they do not understand the fundamentals of web marketing. Military leaders can’t fight and win battles without knowledge of their weapons, terrain, air space and other factors. This also applies to online marketing.
Business leaders should ultimately be responsible for web marketing success because they drive the strategy for the company and are in the best position to see that their strategy is communicated properly online. They must make sure the website does its job as a branding tool and is on target strategically. Left in the hands of others, this can be a recipe for disaster and a website that misses the mark.
These problems occur when business leaders lack the fundamental knowledge needed to drive web strategy and implementation. Web marketing ignorance is no longer an excuse for not getting involved in online marketing. Doing this can lead to a significant competitive advantage for your company. Many of your competitors will not take the time to learn web marketing fundamentals and will not have the advantage of the Four-Step Process.
This article lays out the basics of the business leader’s responsibility in understanding web marketing and how to develop an Internet marketing strategy that gets results.
The Basics of Web Marketing
It is critical to understand the fundamentals of web marketing. Here are a few questions you need to be able to answer:
- What are visitors looking to see and read about on our website?
- What type of research do we need to conduct to better know our online visitor?
- How does the website brand our company?
- How is Google important to my business?
- Why is Google the most important search engine and how does it work?
- What are Google AdWords and how do they work?
- What are the keywords people use to find our site in search engines? Why?
- How popular and competitive are those keywords?
- How do visitors convert on our website and become customers?
- How can I use website data as a key performance indicator (KPI) for the company?
- What is the best web development platform for our company? Why?
- How can I build a team to get all this work done?
- How do I measure results?
All the answers and more will be found in the coming chapters of this book.
After you learn more about web marketing and develop your web marketing strategies you can ask the following questions:
- What percent of total revenue can be generated from the website and Internet marketing?
- What is the ROI from marketing on the web?
- How does the website brand the business?
- Are we missing opportunities from online marketing?
What is Not Strategy
You must know what online strategy is and what it is not. Don’t listen to team members that are not strategic in their thinking when it comes to your company and business just because they have online marketing experience. Your website strategy should be unique to your company and avoid copying strategies from other websites. Rather, copy best practices that compliment your strategy. This book will help you develop the skills needed to know the difference between poor strategies and strategies to grow sales through online marketing.
The Internet Marketing Plan
Your Internet marketing plan defines the strategy and the key action steps needed to make that strategy a reality. Even a one-page plan is better than nothing! Include a web marketing plan in your overall business and marketing plans. Use the outline in this book to write your Internet marketing plan and set direction for the web marketing team.
Build a Web Marketing Team
Understand the different roles people play in building and marketing a successful website. It is a challenge to build a web marketing team because of the variety of skill levels that must come together to make it work. Also, excellent project management is critical to web marketing. Determine who the leader of this team will be and give them veto power on decision making and final approval. This may be the CEO or business owner.
Web marketing knowledge is key to setting strategic direction. Business leaders must develop that knowledge to effectively lead their team and set a winning strategy. Don’t just settle for what others know and tell you, go and learn about these issues and bring that knowledge back to your web marketing team.
- Just as you read and learn about leading and managing a business, make time to read about web marketing and the Internet.
- Subscribe to at least one web marketing e-mail newsletter from the resources section in this book.
- Hold regular meetings with your team to review web stats and ask questions about those stats and website results.
- Read the book “Winning the Website War” and learn more at WinningTheWebsiteWar.com.