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Five-Phase Marketing Cycle

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Some Web site developers do not consider that each site, either their own or their clients, is a tangible product before it is a Web site. In the past, successful companies realized that there is much more to marketing their product than just creating a brochure or media advertisement from which, in my opinion, Web sites have evolved. To take advantage of these techniques, I suggest including five marketing phases to a Web site development will make it more effective in generating sales and returning the desired ROI. Keeping these phases in sequence is important to deliver a saleable product. Not everything here applies to all situations.

1. Market Research

  • Intended audience — retailer, doctor, lawyer, etc
  • Audience composition-age, ethnicity, location
  • Buying habit: frequency, price
  • Available niche/positioning
  • Competition
  • Current user interview
  • Read applicable literature

2. Product Plan

  • Graphics
  • Architecture
  • Text-graphics do not sell, content does
  • SEO
  • Services-maintenance, hosting, webmaster
  • Pricing-to cost or what the market will bear

3. Sales Communication

  • Organic search
  • Pay per click
  • Social Media
  • Print
  • Business cards
  • Flyer
  • Banner
  • Door to door
  • Referrals/word of mouth
  • Experiment-if first you don’t succeed, try something else

4. Sales Implementation

  • Written Sales presentation-being glib will not work
  • Initial Benefit Statement
  • Feature /Benefit
  • Overcoming Anticipated Objections
  • Ask to buy

5. After Sales Review

  • Cause of sale
  • Cause of no sale — revisions as necessary
  • Go back to 1 and start over

If this process is implemented, you will know who to sell, what to sell, where to sell, how to sell and the analysis of a successful or failed sale from your Web site. Perseverance and capital (which will always be more than you anticipate) can likely overcome necessary revision costs and time lag to revenue. Eventually, the marketplace will tell you if your product answers a need for prospective buyers and if you should remain in business. Or not.

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