Website development is just one of the many channels that businesses use to penetrate the market, brand their products and services and reach out to the consumer. The word “market” has been living in oblivion for some time now. The text book definitions and the technical descriptions of market once given in the classrooms of B schools, today stand obsolete and ambiguous.
At the heart of this destruction of the definition of the “market” is the presence of the World Wide Web. While it may be too philosophical to say that markets have gained a metaphysical dimension, it would not be wrong to suggest that markets have lost boundaries. The biggest transition in business and the way we do it today has been brought about by the reach and frequency parameters of the web presence of a business.
The internet has changed the way businesses reach out to the consumers and present themselves. It is needless to say then that the online presence of a business rests at the heart of the globalization and localization of business. The fundamental change brought by the different phases in the evolution of the internet and thus the web presence of a business is best assessed in terms of “surveillance capitalism”.
Surveillance Capitalism under Internet and Marketing: What Has and Has Not Changed?
Did you know the name of the tailor who lived three miles away from you and had a shop at the second cross of the third street on the left of your house? Did the confectionery maker who owned a shop near your college know that you love to have a sweet tooth every weekend? On top of that did he further know that every time you bought sweets you make sure that your family members share the joys as well?
Geographic distance has no doubt been a barrier to business over the ages. But, the biggest triumph of business in the era of internet has been the usage of information to explore opportunities when you thought none existed.
At the heart of the modern digital economy lies the ability of producers, suppliers, consumers, competitors and intermediaries to dig information on alternatives and choose what best suits them. A web presence then makes a business known to its stakeholders and also to those who earlier were not stakeholders simply owing to the lack of information. Web presence is akin to announcing the arrival of your business on a platform that cuts across local, regional, national and global levels. Web presence never goes unnoticed. It is just that businesses have to learn to play the game of hide and seek and decide when to be in spotlight and when not.
Your face on the web is the face that shall get your business noticed. And while you might be watching other faces come and go on the internet, yours is being watched too. It sounds complex but it’s truly very simple. You are watching another back. Who is watching yours? Web development thus has assumed a new meaning in the era of surveillance.
The 5s of Custom Web Development Services and New Age Marketing
While the rules of creating business both on the web and off it are still the same, a new paradigm of marketing has evolved. This new paradigm of marketing on the web is an outcome of the interplay of technology, information, human engineering and analytics. The traditional form of marketing in the era of industrial capitalism relied on the power of influence exercised by sales personnel. For custom web development services to enable a sure fire marketing program the 5s mentioned below need to be followed:
A comprehensive web development service will take into account these five factors mentioned above.
The biggest brand differentiators of the website of a business is based on science. Every component like customized web development, portal development, content management system development, payment gateway integration and database development is based on a science of understanding the target audience, the personalized devices used by them to surf internet and the emerging trends that disrupt the web and mobile landscape every now and then. It requires a blending of technical expertise and customer centric thinking to get to the point of a customer centric website. There is a definitive way to understanding the application of technologies in the context of a business.
The next big challenge is to create a unique value proposition through the substance that is on offer. Substance is what customers look for in the products and services of a business. Substance as it is presented on the website must reflect the value of the core offering of a company. This is where the business acumen of developers is tested.
The value proposition offered on the website must reflect utility, cost, exchange or esteem value of the company’s offering in the most laser focused fashion. For the website to generate leads and then translate those visitors into sales accounts, the substance has to be delivered effectively through the product listing on the website.
Even the best value propositions offered by marketers need to be weaved into a story. No customer likes to gloss through a data lab that houses information on benefits of the product. The art in marketing lies in being able to draw the customer into a conversation with the product offerings of the company. While art form of this kind has existed in marketing for ages, to replicate the art of storytelling on a website and keep the customer glued is a ball game of a different kind. It is story telling that determines the time that a visitor spends on a website.
It is the story that enables a business to craft a relationship with the customer. While traditional marketers have been doing it for ages and may not find anything new in it, it goes beyond doubt that a great website always tells a great story that the visitor will remember even after he has moved on.
Art in the web presence of a business has to be smart enough to keep the customer decisive. Beauty lies in keeping things simple for the website visitor. An overdose of substance and erratic storytelling spoils the simplicity of a website often resulting in visitors bouncing back from websites implying loss of sales opportunities.
While time spent at the website is indeed a marker of successful web sales strategy, an excessively high time spent on the website does not ensure user engagement. The present generation of consumers especially in the B2B context demand instant gratification. A website that runs slow, crashes during peak business hours or takes a long time to connect on personalized devices like smart phones, tablets and laptops offends visitors. Speed is the key to instant gratification.
Total Quality Management of Extensive Web Development
The discussion above when put into a framework provides a model for attaining the highest quality levels in website development. Extensive website development services offered by web development companies need to follow these basic rules of thumb to offer their clients a strong value proposition on the web. Science, substance, story, simplicity and speed are the 5s which together can not only generate traffic but convert into high sales on the web.
In the era of the above discussed surveillance capitalism, the website of a business is the customer’s window to the market. An effective website is one that provides the customer a memorable user interface and delightful digital experience.
Images: “Man with a Note Pad and Web Design Concept/Shutterstock.com“
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