Per the Oxford Dictionary, misconception is defined as “a view or opinion that is incorrect because it is based on faulty thinking or understanding.”
Over the years, I have been on either the correcting or corrected end of many misconceptions. Most notably – and correct — are these few:
- Mrs. O’ Leary’s cow did not start the Great Chicago Fire by kicking over a lantern. This was a myth made up by a newspaper reporter.
- Bill Buckner’s legendary between-the-legs blunder did not cost the Boston Red Sox the World Series. It cost them the sixth game which resulted in a seventh showdown with the New York Mets.
- America, not Neil Young, topped the charts with the 70’s hit “A Horse with No Name.”
When it comes to an online presence, one of the biggest misconceptions I hear from business owners and CEOs is “we do not sell products online and our operations aren’t geared towards attracting clients to our site, so there’s no reason for us to heavily concentrate online.”
Recently, we were charged with providing a contractor with an evaluation of his current online operations. In all communications before our sit-down, the CEO of the company was skeptical, to say the least, that our services could benefit his company.
“Business has been good,” he said. One of their biggest contracts is with the federal government, and they were able to thrive despite the economic downturn the last half dozen or so years ago. Additionally, the nature of their operations involves no online sales to clients whatsoever. It simply provides an overview of his company’s history, key staff and major clients and accomplishments.
When most companies search out potential contractors and vendors, they will take to the web to get as much information as possible before and after initial meetings to vet the prospects. It’s common sense these days when companies are about to get into business together. Given the nature of the prospect’s operations, mainstays such as the Better Business Bureau’s site may offer little, if any, additional information.
Any well-constructed business website allows companies to prove they are who they say they are before the conference call or the multi-media proposition. This step is critical in making the decision of whether or not to go into business with someone. After all, if you were hiring a new employee you were about to invest resources in, what would you think if you couldn’t find a trace of them online or verify their credentials? The candidate would most likely be considered suspicious. Bottom line: You don’t want your company to appear sketchy, cheap or suspicious as a result of your online presence (or lack thereof).
To address these concerns, Leverage tailors a custom program for its B2B clients. Along with a site design tailored to their unique needs and for optimum search engine reach, we implement B2B advertising in their marketing plans. This process lets prospects know that the company is exactly who they say they are. We are applauding a recent innovation by Google that allows for ads to be received on Gmail based upon e-mails the user has been receiving over the course of his or her operations. By incorporating Google’s new product into our B2B marketing strategy, we take B2B advertising directly to the e-mail of the user seeking out operations similar to those of our clients’.
Also, Google’s program allows us to target Gmail users seeking out competitors’ businesses. By utilizing the competition’s domain name, prospects can be directed to land on a page showcasing our clients’ operations and, through our specialized program, put our client in the running for their business when the user probably wouldn’t have heard of them otherwise.
Our contractor prospect walked away from our meeting not only impressed by the opportunities available to his outfit but educated as well. And we were more than happy to show him that a well-constructed site and course of action can be as valuable as a site whose primary concern is if its viewers take Visa or Mastercard.
In other words: another misconception debunked.