Brand Success, the Internet and 21st Century Business Environment by Kikiowo Ileowo
Daily, businesses spring and close up world over. As new entrants are entering the already crowded market to compete for minimal or almost non-existent customers, so are businesses folding up especially in these days of recurring downward market trend. One thing remains steady though; there are businesses that have refused to close shop because they know what it takes to succeed in the fierce 21st century business environment.
One noticeable trait of successful 21st century businesses is their careful and meticulous planning of their brand and image. According to Kevin Lane Keller and Keith Richey, as markets continue to mature and competition within industries grows fiercer, companies will not succeed purely on the basis of what products or services they offer.
Several factors determine the chances of the success of a business, but for today, we would focus on the importance of your business online presence as a means of growing and making profit to stay afloat in your line of business.
One of the things a company needs to succeed and to continually remain successful is a well packaged and structured online presence that portrays the company in a good light and also captures the heart of their current and potential customers.
The importance of a company’s presence on the web cannot be over emphasied. Even though most companies have made their presence known through a website, most do not have Search engine optimization (SEO) or its Mobile Web variant. Wikipedia defined Search engine optimization (SEO) as the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine’s “natural” or un-paid (“organic”) search results. In general, the earlier (or higher ranked on the search results page), and more frequently a site appears in the search results list, the more visitors it will receive from the search engine’s users. In simple terms, Search engine optimization (SEO) means bringing your site to the front page of any search engine. People hardly click the next page of their search results or query; it would do your business good to bring it to the front page of search engines.
People have idea of what they want, but they don’t know where to get them. 95% of the people who have access to internet would rather prefer to ask a search engine than ask a person. If your company offers the solution to the problem at hand and you even have a website designed for you, the chances that the enquirer will see your business online is as slim as a camel passing through the eye of a needle, if your website has not been Search Engine Optimized. Sorry, there are millions of other websites competing for that front page.
Another noticeable pattern in the online world is the digital convergence. We are having more mobile devices performing functions outside the sole purpose of voice communication. In Kenya alone, 99% of the internet connection is via mobile, slightly different with other developing countries. In the UK and US, the number of people who access internet via mobile devices has doubled between 2011 and 2012. It will do your company good to have a mobile web designed for you so has to avoid compatability issues. Mobile web is simply a version of your website that is compatible with smart phones, tablets and phoneblets, readers and mobile phones.
Having a well executed online presence will make or mar your business in this 21st century. Some fortune 500 companies are doing away with adverts in the traditional media. Most have fully embraced the digital advertising format of banners, flash banners and moving banners, published on popular websites, applications and mobile apps through affliate ad networks or which ever means suit them. Even a dunce in business world knows how much advantage the internet world offers.
Several business claims to offer these services, i.e. web design, Search engine optimization (SEO), banner designs, flash banners, moving banners or mobile web design but more often than not, they promise much but deliver little. I found an internet company recently DIY Web Business Ltd; they helped with my site’s flash banner advert and search engine optimization and traffic has greatly increased. It’s been an awesome experience.
Your company stands more to gain by moving your management to change policy focus. Hoping to drive sells through sponsored email and the traditional means might not help in reaching your target audience and also increase your company’s revenue.
Companies who stay afloat in 21st century business environment have learnt to harness the internet for their benefit hence their profitability. This is an open secret they more often than not don’t reveal, and competitors continue to grop in the dark.
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