The Hudson Group Featured in NELA Spring Newsletter
The Hudson Group’s marketing team submitted an article titled “The Value of a Marketing Website,” for inclusion in the Spring 2012 newsletter of the New England Livery Association (“NELA”). The article was published and has received popular support. Hudson has been a supporting vendor member of NELA for some time and sponsors several NELA hosted meetings and events during the year. We share with you the contents of that article.
The Value of a Marketing Website
Society in general, in my opinion, has an insatiable appetite that exists in a state of constant frenzied feeding when it comes to new and emerging technologies. We consume and adapt to new devices, applications and ways of communicating as fast as these items can be brought to market. As quickly as new things emerge, it seems too that the “old ways” are fading away. I don’t remember the last time I actually opened up the Yellow Pages to look up a business or telephone number. It is quicker and easier to simply ask my smart phone, “find an auto parts store near me.” 5 years ago I would have advised any small company to maintain their Yellow Pages listings (perhaps their highest annual marketing expense). Today, my opinion has changed: take the money you would have put into your Yellow Pages advertising and put it instead into a good company website. My reasons are many; here are a few:
Websites are global: Instead of a phone directory which has limited local or regional exposure, a website has a global presence. Anyone, anywhere in the world, that is looking for a transportation company in your city or region will be looking on the Internet for providers. If your site is online, you could get that business.
Websites are less expensive: When you consider how much you spend (spent) every year on phone directory advertising, you could channel this instead into a great website that will last for a few years and probably spend much less. Hire a professional to design your site and it will increase your exposure and draw.
Websites are dynamic: Whereas your phone directory listing is static and unchanging for at least 12 months at a time, your website can be updated as often as you like. You can add featured promotions, sales, new pages and photos whenever the desire or need arises.
Websites generate income: When you add or integrate a web reservation system to your website, your site can capture reservations, issue confirmations, manage fleet capacity, process credit cards and make money for you 24 hours per day… and they never call in sick or ask for a day off!
Websites speak many languages: Why limit yourself to clientele that speak just one language? Your website can appear online in multiple languages, further expanding your reach and appeal to countries and cultures that travel to your area.
Websites tell people how much it will cost: Do you think that online retailer Amazon.com would be as successful as they are if they did not list prices for their items online? If your fares are reasonable, and can be justified by your level of service, reputation, and the quality of your web presence, then put your fares out there and be proud! People who are buying online, may not bother to call your office to ask for a price if they aren’t listed on your website.
Websites are consistent: When a prospect calls your office, the impression they get and the information they receive depends upon the talents of the person who answers your phone for you. A new staff member or somebody having a bad day can lose business for you even though they may have done nothing wrong. A professionally designed website projects the precise image and exact information you desire, consistently each and every day.
Websites never sleep: If your office is not open 24 hours, then a missed phone call may be a missed sales opportunity. A website has a constant presence at all hours of the day and across all time zones. No matter when a prospect decides to look up information about your company, it is there. The website responds instantly to their needs and answers their questions; it continues to sell and promote your company even when your business is not open.
Websites communicate: A Yellow Pages listing says next to nothing about your business other than how to contact you. A website can have many pages, photos, videos and interactive tools. I have seen some sites where a full body apparition of the company owner appears when you arrive at the site and then proceeds to briefly welcome you to the site and invites you to do business with them.
The list of benefits and advantages continue but I think you get the gist of the message; It may be time to change how you allocate your marketing dollars. It can be hard to accept change and abandon the traditional ways of marketing but growing any business involves taking some calculated risk and getting creative in areas outside your comfort zone.
It is time here for some lunch and I need to speak to my smartphone again: “Find seafood restaurant in Portsmouth NH.” Bon Appetit!
The Hudson Group