A house is being built across the street from me, and it does not cease to amaze me how quickly a structure with so many internal systems can be put together. Trees are cut, big heavy (and expensive) equipment wakes you up in the morning, and within a matter of days a structure is there that just simply did not exist before.
Being the social person I am, I walk across the street after my morning coffee and chat with one of the builders. (Ok, I admit, my real motivation was to tell him not to park on my lawn- but I was at least nice about it!)
What does this all have to do with websites or internet marketing? I promise, there is point to my story.
So as I am chatting with Bob the Builder, he relates his frustration to me that the house has so many mistakes and do-overs (wasted resources) because he was never given a blueprint. (!) He is winging it as he goes, and as a result is spending too much time and money on a project that no one will be happy with and who knows if it will sell? His workers are frustrated and confused, and there is nothing he can do. He simply can not understand why anyone who spend this kind of money and not invest a little bit extra to make hire an architect. In his words, "a blueprint is worth 10 times the amount you would pay in what you will save in time and money." I relay my condolences and sympathy to him, but I can not help wondering...
Does this sound like any website (or PPC campaigns, email broadcasts) projects you know of (or are working on)?
Why indeed, would you spend a single dime on a building project that you did not sit down and calculate a plan for? Who clears an entire forest of trees to only put a house 20 feet from the road? Why would you spend 5, 10, or 15 thousand dollars on a website and not plan scenarios on how your customers will want to interact with your website? Why would you not set goals and then measure against those goals to determine your success? If it is worth doing, isn't it worth doing right?
In the rush to get your website renovated, or the campaign launched, are you cutting corners and missing the mark?
In today's competitive landscape and tight budgets, it not only makes sense to have a marketing plan, it is essential to growth (and survival!). More specifically, a marketing plan not only details what your company's goals are, it should take into account what your customer's goals, objectives, and preferences are. After all, if your customers can reach their goals through you, that adds to your bottom line.
It still comes down to those 3 seemingly basic questions:
- WHO are you trying to persuade?
- WHAT are you trying to persuade them to do?
- HOW will they feel confident in taking that action (with you)?
It is, and will always be, all about the customer.