What is Your Most Important Inbound Marketing Tool?Over the last 15 years I’ve seen how companies market themselves online change dramatically. Websites have evolved from a few pages with an occasional online store, to dynamic sites that are the center of their company’s social and media presence. These sites are even pushing and pulling data from various integration points.

Yet you still have people in high places that are stuck in the marketing dark ages.

They still focus most of their energy and budget on television, print, and snail mail; while either ignoring or short changing their website. Let me ask you this. When you see a commercial on TV and the product or service interests you; where is the first place you typically go?

To their website!

This is true of all outbound marketing media: television, radio, print, snail mail; hell – even word of mouth. If the person is interested, most of them will jump on the web and pay your website a visit (probably your social pages too, but that’s another post). So… As a business, if a customer or prospect sees an ad for your company, what is the most important marketing tool you have today?

It’s your website, DUMMY!

Your prospects will wind up on your website, and if you think that your website should have the smallest portion of your marketing budget, then you’re setting yourself up for failure – big time. Those prospects are going to be poorly disappointed and very well might just bounce off of your site and use Google to find your competitor.

I can’t tell you the amount of business executives that I talk to who spend 6+ figures on ads and other outbound marketing. Then when you talk to them about a budget for their website they think under 10k. Let me rephrase. You get a golden ticket to an event, you’re dressed in your finest cloths and adornments, you rent a limo and show up at the event to see that it is a shack in the middle of a field. Yes you have just delivered all your prospects that you paid all that ad money for to a crappy old shack! Yeah outbound marketing!

I’ll give you one real world example:

I had a prospect that came in wanting to revamp their website. They’re in a sector that makes lots of money and the company was doing well. They wanted to stand out and put themselves ahead of their competition. Their services were priced higher because they viewed themselves as the experts in that industry (makes sense). When it came to their website (a tool that could attract multiple clients and secure them as an industry leader in their sector) they didn’t want to spend more the 1% of a single sale.

If you take nothing else away from this, please realize that in today’s market, most of your prospects (and every current customer) are going to land on your website. It is your new 30 second elevator pitch. Scratch that, your new 10 second pitch. Skimping on your site is not going to get you there!

Photo Credit: Quin Quilitz via Compfight cc