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On the Web, It's Content That Counts

By: Michael T. Brandt

Michael T. Brandt is President of Marketing Resources Ltd., a business to business marketing consulting firm.

Have you given your advertising, product literature and other customer information a check-up lately? New technologies still require basic communications strategies and implementation to be effective.
Recently needing information about a manufacturer of industrial products, I landed at the company’s World Wide Web site. Perhaps “crash landed” or “beached” might be a more appropriate description. In 40 plus pages, here’s a sampling of what I found:
  • The company makes widgets, gizmos, and gadgets.
  • The company ships on time, has a fast shipment policy, can help with custom applications, conducts seminars.
  • The company’s widgets, gizmos and gadgets come in a variety of sizes.
  • The company has expanded.
More importantly, here’s what I didn’t find:
  • Any reference to specific applications for the company’s widgets, gizmos and gadgets.
  • Any reference to the industries or markets the company serves or specializes in.

Question: If I were a potential customer, would I buy from the company?

Answer: Don’t know. I’ve just spent an hour with their information and I still don’t know whether they make any products for my application.

Question: Would I return to their web site for more information or would I request more information?

Answer: Probably not. Their web site contained a lot of words, but little information. I probably wouldn’t expect much more from their printed literature.

Question: Is there a lesson here?

Answer: Of course there is. Regardless of the technology of delivery, the content of your information is important.

It should answer basic questions about the products or services you provide, the applications for these products and services, the markets you serve.

It should encourage your prospect to move to the next step in the purchase process by providing enough information to indicate that you can meet his requirements and by listing other detailed information sources available.

It should tell your prospect how to get more information and include addresses, phone numbers, fax numbers, E-mail addresses, web site addresses, names of reps and distributors.

Have you given your advertising, product literature and other customer information a check-up lately? If you find your information ailing, start an immediate treatment program. If the diagnosis is positive, a regular review is good preventive medicine will keep it that way. The result will be higher sales and a better bottom line.

© Copyright 1999, Marketing Resources Ltd.

Other Articles by Michael T. Brandt

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