Determining the Best Web Site for Your Business

By: Merrily Orsini


The First Step towards making your web site work as an important marketing tool.

Establish your web site's purpose and function

The Internet is an ever changing, global marketplace and library. People research and purchase products or services, read to gain more knowledge and sometimes browse for pure entertainment. In figuring out the best way to showcase your business on the Internet, you must first answer the following questions:

What do you want your web site to provide?

  • Provide information only? A web site can make inquiries about your services easier, or attract inquiries from prospective employees.
  • Sell a product or service? Do you want to sell something that is unique or something that is cheaper than competitors?
  • Provide an "after hours" store front for your loyal customers?

    How do you want your visitors to function while at your site?

  • Do you want to survey potential customers to see what features and/or benefits most interest them and at what price?
  • Do you want to offer a private log-in area for your distributors or customers to purchase items, obtain product information or access technical support?
  • Do you want them to download a demo or coupon, subscribe to your newsletter, look up the nearest store location, or actually order a product?

    What you want your web site to provide as well as how you want the visitor to function while browsing your site are key questions to answer when designing a site as well as the key to making the web site fit into your overall marketing/sales strategy.

    Understand your customers' online user behavior

    Forrester Research studies predict that U.S. e-commerce will grow at a 19% compound annual growth rate over the next five years. Most significantly, online retail will reach nearly $230 billion and account for 10% of total U.S. retail sales by 2008. These figures represent a lot of revenue being gained from successful online exposure. In the realm of web site marketing, a company has to keep up with their customers' online know-how to compete. And, these numbers do not reflect the growing tendency for Internet users to use the web for product or service research prior to purchase.

    In today's high tech world of e-commerce, nearly every business plan includes some form of web site marketing tactics. But most companies do not have the in-house expertise, time or resources to build web sites that make the most of their online presence with a design professional who understands their unique product or service and how it can best be showcased on the web. At the same time, the companies' online users are wasting less time on web sites that fail to meet their online expectations. How does your business stack up? Do you have a web site? Was it designed by a technician or a marketing/design professional who understands sales, your product and/or service and marketing strategy specifically related to your business?

    Integrate your sales and marketing techniques

    A web site can be a functioning, revenue-producing tactic of your business plan or it can serve as an extension of your brand as a useful brochure. Here are some web site types that corecubed has designed, integrating the companies' sales and marketing tactics into the site design:

    http://www.smithmanus.com and its subsidiary http://www.suretyplace.com are good examples of revenue producing ancillary activities for a service business.

    Brook Smith is the President of Smith-Manus, a company that specialized in bonds for the waste industry. He wanted to simplify the intake process for customers, so as part of his marketing strategy agreed to an updated look and feel for his company that was incorporated into a web site that allows potential customers to download all necessary forms from the site. This saves the potential customer time by not having to wait for office hours and faxed or mailed forms, and saves Smith-Manus time by reducing the time from inquiry to sale for those customers who qualify.

    http://www.merithealth.com is a hospital management company specializing in purchasing urban hospitals and using management techniques to run a more efficient and more patient and community centered facility. corecubed created a new logo and a new corporate look and feel for Merit Health which is translated into their web site. This on-line brochure is a branded extension of the company's commitment to quality and serious management.

    http://www.cardkitchens.com is the official web site of Cardinal Kitchens and was created to extend their custom countertop business to the home do-it-yourself market that they were missing by only using contractors to sell their products. This web site is creating a new division within Cardinal Kitchens that works directly with the public if there is no contractor involved, or that works with the contractor to assist the customer with the many available design choices for countertops.

    http://www.dwsilks.com now showcases their high quality silk foliage lines on-line instead of only on paper. Sold through an exclusive distributorship, this on-line catalog now allows their buyers to preview items immediately available rather than wait on the production and printing processes that the company used to rely on solely. Look for more advances in direct sales efforts of specialty products currently not available anywhere. D & W Silks is learning from their web traffic that they have some niche markets they can tap and not disturb their current customer base and distributorship.

    corecubed provides high-impact marketing campaigns, corporate identity and collateral design services with confidence and style. Our clients include home care and home health providers, contemporary glass artisans and venture capital/financial advisors. A marketing design and public relations powerhouse based in Louisville, KY, corecubed puts together the best possible team for you, the client. Lead by Merrily Orsini, a renowned expert in branding and strategic marketing specifically for the home care industry, and staffed with dedicated, highly skilled designers and writers, corecubed has the skill and expertise to manage your marketing and PR campaign from start to finish. Contact us today at 1-800-370-6580 or visit our web site at http://www.corecubed.com for more information.