In my pre-Dinkum life, I started out helping artists, small businesses, nonprofits, and online merchants build websites. Since that time (about 10 years ago) I have struggled with the same challenge in about 90% of my client relationships: how to help them “get” the true value of a a comprehensive approach to internet marketing.
You see, even when I was “just” building and maintaining websites, I always viewed my product as nothing more or less than a marketing piece. No different than a radio ad, a postcard, or a followup phone call to a hot lead, right?
Now, granted, the websites I was producing happened to be marketing pieces that also:
- had a huge range of content (from product info to company backgrounds; news releases to employment listings; etc)
- were communicating to a variety of audiences at the same time
- oh, yeah, and visitors could go wherever they wanted and ignore content or messaging in which they didn’t want to engage
- and, of course, everybody in the company had a say in their own part of this little marketing piece
- and, if you had some content that might be useful to somebody somehow somewhere, it should go “on the website” as well.
So, while it’s clear that a website is not your “average” marketing collateral, the complexity of the online situation always led me to believe very strongly that if you were serious about marketing, you had to be serious about focusing your marketing on your online strategy like a laser beam. Too bad most of my clients, at the time, saw it as more of an albatross around their necks than a wellspring of marketing results. How times have changed!
I’ve tried a number of analogies to help explain how Dinkum defines “fully integrated” internet marketing and the value of our approach to your organization. Here’s the latest attempt, inspired by my weekend working outside in the yard. I hope you’ll give me some comments and feedback, or other analogies to consider:
Internet marketing that is fully integrated in your business and marketing activities is like a beautiful tree:
- Unless you spend a huge amount of money transplanting a tree from across town, you start with something that is pretty small.
- Each season, it grows a few feet – from something modest to something pretty awesome.
- At the beginning, a tree is busy growing its root system, adding some height, making sure the foundation is strong.
- As it matures, a healthy tree adds more and more branches and leaves. Its trunk gets stronger, blossoms attract more attention each spring, the canopy provides shade during parched summer days, and people gather around it for special events and parties.
A beautiful, strong tree that has been well tended and taken care of is something majestic to behold. In my analogy, here’s how it translates:
- The trunk is your website, strong and growing over time. Focused on its core job.
- The roots are the foundation of your outreach: SEO, quality incoming links, relevance and trust on the internet that nurture your website.
- The branches are your outeach, moving in new directions as opportunities arise, such as Twitter, Facebook, email marketing, and PR.
- The leaves are your audience, your followers. Hear them rustling in the wind when you shake a branch?