Hopefully we have gone through the period of novelty websites that look flashy but actually provide little information – even the kids game sites like Disney or Nick Junior are so functional that my 2 year old can navigate them, while taking plenty of opportunity to reinforce the brand. Especially for industrial sites we must remember that they are a reference resource to support the purchase process and as such may be referred to by established customers on a frequent basis as well as by new enquirers – both will want to find what they need quickly and are likely to have little patience with sites that do not perform.
It is helpful to consider that your website is accessible 24/7 (even on Christmas Day!) performing the collective function of : – your brochure, business card, shop window, technical manual, training manual, applications guide etc all in one – but it is still of little use on it’s own unless you also promote yourselves and invite people to visit the site for answers to their questions.
So which comes first the website or the promotion?
Well both actually developing in parallel with each other – I suggest that you start small and build quickly – of course if you do have big budgets then by all means go for it! After all a website on its own will start the process and people who already know you will find it helpful if it is informative. Similarly promotion alone will also start the process and can channel enquiries to internal/external sales people by phone or e-mail. Together they are synergistic – more than the sum of their parts and the quicker you start then the quicker you can get results.