The Passing Lane: Passing the Competition Online by Marnie Perhson

Issue #13 Monday, December 14,1998

About the Author:

Marnie Perhson
Marnie Pehrson, founder of C.E.S. Business Consultants and the
International Association of Computer Professionals, develops products that help computer professionals market and manage their businesses.

She is author of
How to Run a Successful Computer Training Business,

How to Get & Keep Customers for Your Computer-based Business

Keeping Your Sanity in a Home Business.

Marnie also develops business plans, marketing strategies, financial projections, & proposals for Internet projects. Her plans and strategies have garnered clients an average of $100,000 each in seed capital.

Marnie lives on a Georgia farm with her husband and their six children .

C.E.S. Business Consultants
Ringgold, Georgia
TEL: 706-866-2295


Move Your Corporate Web Site Into the Fast Lane

Back when the Web really started to take off, and everyone jumped on the bandwagon with a web site for their company, it may have been enough just to "be there" with your company or product literature. But that's no longer the case. The competition is just too stiff to have a mediocre site that is a regurgitation of your printed marketing literature.

A typical corporate web site has information about the company, its products and services, locations, contact information, employment opportunities and maybe some press releases.

Think about it: if you were your typical customer would this be enthralling to you? Sure, maybe you'd learn something about a business like contact information and how long they've been around. But would it make you want to come back again? Would you return to this site to look up the same old basic information? Not a chance.

As a corporate web site, you need to get into the minds of your typical customer. Who are they? What types of information do they need? What hobbies or interests do they have? What news stories and articles might interest them? If you mainly sell to businesses in a specific industry, it should be easy for you to identify their typical needs and interests.

Your goal should be to turn your web site into a starting point for your typical market. For example, if you sell equipment to the forestry industry, you should be the "starting point" for the forestry industry. Your goal should be to have your typical customers set your site as their browser's home page or at least as a prominent bookmark in their browser.

There are several services and features that you can add to your Web site to make this possible:

  1. Offer excerpts and links to news stories that relate to your industry. Keep these fresh.
  2. Create a periodic e-zine (electronic magazine/ newsletter) for your industry. This could have articles, tips, and news items for your industry. Produce your newsletter at least monthly and send it via e-mail to people who subscribe to your web site. Be sure to point people back to your site for more information by providing links within the text of your e-mail newsletter.
  3. Add a little humor that your audience will particularly appreciate. This could be in the form of jokes or cartoons.
  4. Conduct periodic contests to gather visitor information. You could give away a free consultation, a free product, service, or even hats, T-shirts or other gifts that would appeal to your typical customer.
  5. Provide mechanisms for searching other industry-related web sites.
  6. Offer sales strategies and marketing techniques to your sales people and distributors.
  7. Offer information on inventive ways to use your products and services.

Use your imagination. Get into your customers' minds and make your site a resource they can't resist returning to again and again.

Text Copyright © 1999, Marnie Pehrson. Part of the original Sideroad.
The new Sideroad is now receiving traffic at