Marketing blog posts, magazine columns, articles and seminar speeches can sometimes make the mistake of assuming that the audience already know the basics of web marketing.
By basics, I mean things like:
- a deep seated empathy for what your customers want
- how to create a compelling case for why people should buy from you
- copywriting and design
- measuring response rates and web traffic effectively
Take a look at this list. How comfortable are you that your website demonstrates a strong performance in each of these areas? If you are comfortable that you have these boxed off, then I would indeed agree that going for the very latest in web technologies should indeed be your next goal – you have obviously got the basics in place, and are refreshing them regularly.
If you require some help with the basics, then of course you can engage web marketing consultants and/or read up on the subject matter yourself. Just bear in mind that unless the basics are right, then the rest will be built on shaky foundations.
A good analogy is that of the sushi chef. When they first start training, they are sometimes simply tasked with making the rice for the head chef – sometimes for months or even years. The idea is that if the rice isn’t right, then it doesn’t matter what you do – your sushi will be hopeless.
One suggestion for making a real improvement in this area is to concentrate on small incremental improvements to your web strategy, rather than wholesale changes that are implemented in unison. The main reason for this is that when you implement a single change you can monitor its effect on your business. If you were to implement a series of changes at once, then you may struggle to measure where any success or failure is coming from. Sounds like common sense, but is rarely done.
Also, try and make your customer’s web experience as difficult to imitate as possible. Many dealers will look at other sites and try to adopt or plagiarise ideas or functionality, but if every site offered exactly the same then there would be no differentiation at all. It would be much better if you enhanced your site by being able to demonstrate what makes you different, and what shows you care. These are the aspects of your web offering that then become very hard for anyone to replicate. Remember, many customers will have had bad experiences of the motor industry, and this is a real opportunity to show you are customer focussed. How about a short website video from the MD, highlighting what you do differently from anyone else? It puts a human face to your business that becomes difficult to copy. Of course, you need to make sure you live up to the promises that are made, but that’s another story.