Sadly, Most Businesses Absolutely Waste This Vital Asset!
You Think This Is Hard to Believe? –
Swift, Inc. hires an experienced sales rep. Her starting salary is $80,000 +
benefits + leased company car + commission. Total cash cost to the
company for this hire is approximately $150,000+/year.
She is not given any training about Swift’s service offerings. Is not
introduced to the company’s marketing department, a resource that could
give her valuable information. Is not given any sales goals. She is of no
value to Swift.
“Wait a minute” you say. “No company would do that”!
Exactly! So why companies do the following is even more perplexing.
This is Harder to Believe! –
Most US companies are guilty of investing in an asset that under-performs,
generating little or no value.
As hard as it is to believe, that asset is the company’s website. Most
websites are poorly written and generate little to no return on investment.
How Did This Happen? –
There are numerous reasons for this. A few are noted below.
- As websites became mainstream, there was a frenzy not to get left
behind. The result, websites were built by individuals who were better
at design than they were at developing written content.
- There was a rush to throw printed content from brochures and sales
sheets into websites. Those pages masqueraded as written content.
- Top management was often not in tune with the value a website
could generate. Or even the need for a website.
- There was often internal confusion between the functions marketing
and sales were to perform. This further diluted the contribution of the
- Google emerged. And that changed everything. Google set the rules
for how answers to searches would be ranked.
The result of the previous bulleted items means millions of websites in the
US were ineffective from the day they were built. And most still are today.
Customers pre website paid little attention to printed brochures and sales
sheets. They continued to react the same way when that printed content
was loaded to a website. Traditional writing styles fail to connect with the
person reading website content.
Attractive design and graphics are necessary for all websites. However, the
real value of each web page is generated from its written content. People
read words to become informed. They do not read artwork.
In the digital age, professional copywriters are trained to approach writing
content for websites from the reader’s point of view.
Copywriters accomplish this by being formally trained to:
- Write in a conversational voice – meaning write the way we talk.
- Write at a reading level of 8 th grade or lower.
- Write as though talking to one person.
- Have a deep understanding of SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
- Have a deep understanding of UX (User Experience).
- Use stories when appropriate – which is almost always.
- Understand the difference between sales and content writing.
- Understand the need to activate positive emotional responses.
- Understand the value of persuasion vs. telling.
- Understand the reader is looking for a specific solution.
- Understand the reader wants to know ‘what’s in it for me’.
Leadership’s continued lack of interest in, or their inability to understand
and support the true function of a website continues to be detrimental to the
successful utilization of that asset.
Confusion and lack of effectiveness occurs when sales and marketing are
lumped together as one function. This creates obstacles for a website to
function as it should – and that is an asset that creates value.
Marketing creates written content that builds relationships and nurtures
people through their buying journey. Sales wants written content that
enables an increase in revenue. The former enables the latter.
The Cure, a Media Platform –
Following are the steps needed to cure the inadequacies of websites that
are under-performing in most companies.
- Leadership must recognize a website is an asset that requires a
return on investment. Once that occurs, the website will become a
key part of the company’s operating strategy.
- Separate marketing and sales – even if the company has only one
person in marketing and one person in sales. The result of that
separation will be far better for the company than having two people
in sales. In 2020, sales are easier to generate if a digital based
marketing function supports the sales effort.
- Follow Jay Moye’s advice. Jay is the Worldwide Editor-In-Chief of
Coca Cola Journey, the company’s award winning digital magazine.
Jay suggests that companies rename their website a “media
platform”. That seemingly simple name change will begin to generate
the actions that turns the website into a multimedia asset.
- Engage a trained copywriter to develop the written content for all
aspects of the media platform. This individual will have expertise in
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and UX (User Experience).
- The copywriter will retain and manage a designer who provides
design and graphics that supports the copywriter’s written content.
- Come to peace with the fact that Google sets the rules for ranking the response to searches. 92+% of searches come through Google via voice and various forms of text. The good news – Google’s search rules are the same for all websites, so the playing field is level for all!
For More Information –
For a deeper understanding of the above content, or to transform your
company’s website into a powerful media platform, please contact:
CJ Meese 919.714.7289 (office) or 919.522.3961 (mobile).
Mr. Meese’s profile can be found on LinkedIn at C J Meese, Jr.
© Business Development Associates, Inc. April 24, 2020