Web-Based Marketing

Web-based marketing tools provide companies powerful, new ROI advantages.

Web-based marketing combines marketing and Web technology to systematically and practically drive business. The tools and methods of Web-based marketing (for example, marketing tools, advertising tools, analytics tools, relationship building tools) equip machine shop owners with unparalleled insights into customers' problems, unfilled aspirations, issues and opportunities.

The no-cost/low-cost nature of Web marketing tools also means investment to obtain these advantages is at a minimum. Because success is less dependent on spending, skill, knowledge and ability make the difference, which means Web-based marketing helps machine shops of all sizes grow revenues, reduce costs and enhance key relationships. Savvy shops understand that Web marketing is a marketing function that is also immersed in technology.

Recent introduction of no-cost/low-cost tools mean all businesses have unfettered access to Web marketing. Yahoo!, Microsoft (Bing) and, of course, Google, all offer low-cost/no-cost tools that can be used by your shop to gain unparalleled insight into customers’ needs, wants, purchasing behavior, likes and dislikes of your shop and its offerings, products and Web sites. While “no cost” doesn’t exactly mean “free,” the ROI advantages of intelligent use of these Web sites is significant. Web-based marketing tools provide companies powerful, new ROI advantages. Here’s a short list of these advantages:
• Easily re-market to customers in ways they control, so the relevance and value of the relationship is increased;
• Lower the cost-of-acquisition of new customers to increase the ROI of your marketing investments;
• Reduce sales cycle time to increase sales per selling day;
• Use better insights into customer behavior to increase targeted and relevant add-on offers (upsells) to increase revenues with negligible corresponding cost;
• Provide customers flexible routes-to-value (sales), which are customized to the customer’s buying interests;
• Reduce delivery/fulfillment expenses (for example, manuals, customer service “how to” requests) by moving important, customer-directed aspects of the relationship online. All of these, and more, mean increased ROI for your Web-based marketing and sales investments.

Your customers are spending more time on the Web, obviously. What may be less obvious is that your customer’s sophistication is increasing over time. At the same time, your customers are spending less time consuming conventional offline resources.

The path you and your shop should take becomes clear when you answer five questions—with respect to your individual situation and context:
1. Factually, where are you with your Web-based marketing capabilities?
2. Based on the natural tempo of your company (for example, quarterly), what valuable business outcomes do you want to achieve in the next 12 to 18 months?
3. What resources and abilities do you currently have within your organization that enable your transition from your current facts to future outcomes?
4. What’s impeding your ability to transition from your current facts to future outcomes?
5. Given your priorities, budgets and political landscape, which enablers can you enhance and which impediments can you remove?

Answering these questions gives you the framework for a plan for Web marketing adoption specific for your shop, set within your context and situation, and built on the business benefits of Web-based marketing.

There is much more in regards to Web marketing, including the issues behind the type of Web site campaign combination(s) that are right for your shop; being searchable on the Web; using analytics; optimizing for keywords; and the concept of search engine marketing.

To read more information about this topic, a free Web Marketing Resource guide is available to download.