In an industry stocked with great minds and creative talent, it is amazing that consulting practices fail to distinguish themselves in terms of internet consulting. Either these businesses fail to take the internet seriously or do not understand today’s buyer. Either possibility raises concerns about the seriousness of the consulting practice.
No consultant’s marketing plan or marketing road map can afford not to include a compelling internet presence. Granted there are always budget concerns, but consultants who understand the internet and today’s buyers are represented by an easy-to-access, easy-to-navigate, content rich web presence. The more proactive the site, the more effective it is.
To fully understand the power of internet marketing, consultants need to consider some pretty revealing statistics. Cyber Monday is the Monday following Thanksgiving and immediately after the retailers critical Black Friday shopping day. According to a study conducted by BIGresearch, 72 million shoppers purchased goods on the internet on Cyber Monday in 2007. This represented an increase of 11.3 million shoppers over the same day in 2006.
Even in the turbulent 2008 marketplace, shoppers spent more than $846 million on Cyber Monday. This represented a 15% increase over sales recorded in 2007. Online spending for the holiday season decreased by 2% in 2008, but still exceeded $12.03 billion. Any consultant should be impressed with those numbers.
Get In the Internet Consulting Game
Today’s buyers go to the internet to learn about consulting firms, to perform due diligence and to prepare for meetings. Consultants who underestimate the power of a distinctive web presence, do not understand how dependent businesses have become on the internet.
Research from the Information Technology Services Marketing Association indicates that 77% of corporate decision makers locate consultants and other providers through then internet. If you ever question your internet budget, remember that figure.
Consultants must spend the time and resources to build a unique presence. After creating this presence, you either need to become a pro-active web manager or outsource the responsibilities. With new technology emerging everyday, consultants can not afford to be behind the trends. A weak internet presence diminishes your value in the buyer’s eye. A strong web presence captures and retains interest.
Commit to the net and stay on top of your site. If you build it, they will come… and keep coming back. Be consistent with your marketing plan but do not allow competitors or prospective clients to see your consultancy as technologically challenged. Today’s buyers listen to technological authorities. Your site must demonstrate your marketing awareness. Be the best and enjoy the increase in e-mails and phone contacts.