A contractor I talked to the other day said something interesting. Not
that contractors can’t be interesting or even have revelations, but the
topic we were discussing was online marketing. And his point was that even
in a business where word-of-mouth marketing used to be the standard, the
first ‘touch’ for his company is now the Internet.

Think about it. Over the course of a day, a week, a month, we’re all
bombarded by messages that have been created to soften us up to make a
purchase. Celebrities pitch fashion lines, billboards reinforce brand
names, movies use product placements, and all around us the sights and
sounds of advertising and marketing.

What that all adds up to is a multi-touch environment where you might not
buy after one, two, three, four or five mentions. But the cumulative
effect of these messages is to make you purchase a product or service at
some point in the future.

Why do you think so many car companies have celebrity endorsers and sign
recording artists to create catchy jingles? You’re only buying a car once
every three to seven years…so they want to be the brand you think of
when your existing car is ready to be traded in.

Now, let’s flip that situation. You own a business. You want it to
succeed. What are you doing to make that first touch? Can people find you
online or are you only available if they walk through your door?

In an age where it’s easier to Google someone than it is to dial ten
telephone digits, you’d better hope your site, your social media presences
and your products show up at the top of search results. And you’d better
have put some thought into branding your company and its services.

This isn’t meant as a soapbox session where you’re being taken to task for
not leveraging the Internet and your Website to make sales. But if you
don’t want to be taken to school by your competition, make some smart
moves and think like that contractor I talked to.

He might spend little time online, but as long as his presence there
directs people in how to reach him, the Web is doing its job and he can
spend more time making customers happy.

Get some happy customers, give them an easy way to reach you and find out
about your company, brand and products.