Hello. Welcome to this month's installment of The Corporate
Muse! As always, we welcome suggestions and/or questions.
What Is The Purpose Of
Anymore, it’s rare
to find a company without a Website.
Many a business
owner or decision maker has purchased a domain name and thrown up a site with little thought about what they expect it to do
for them. (True Story: In 1996 I asked my 14 year-old son to “make me a Website” for a restaurant we owned. I figured he could
just type some stuff into the computer, and Voila! We’d have a Website.)
Others have heard
you can make money on the Web and they’re determined not to miss the boat. But the gap between building a site and having it
produce results can be enormous.
So how do you avoid the pitfalls?
make the mistake of believing, once they get their site up and running, they’re done. If you’ve just created your first
Website, pat yourself on the back. You’ve truly accomplished something and deserve to feel good about it. As anyone who’s ever
tried it knows, Web construction is no easy undertaking and can be a very frustrating endeavor.
Production is only Phase One.
Like every other
portion of your business, Websites need to be managed.
The first step is to
decide the purpose for your Website (if you haven’t already done this). What do you want your Website to do? This can be
daunting, but here are a few options:
1) Showcase your skills
2) Describe your business
3) Generate Leads
4) House your portfolio
5) Sell a product or service
Next, and perhaps
even more important, you need to establish what the visitors to your site expect. What task (or tasks) are they trying
1) Are they seeking information about your products
2) Are they there to shop – do they want to order
3) Are they looking to find out more about you?
The last entry may
be a bit of a trick question. Most of us want to feel a connection to those we conduct business with.
For example, let’s say I recently moved to a new area; have made few friends, and my car breaks down. How do I know whom I can
trust to fix it? I scan the Yellow Pages, but most of the advertisements offer limited information. I can take it to a reputable
nationwide company, but many of those are franchised and locally owned, and sometimes no more dependable than a fly-by-night
This is where I turn to the
I do a Google or Yahoo search and find three different
repair shops close by that look pretty good. Two have Websites, one doesn’t. I click to the sites.
On one page, the
first one tells me their location, how many years they’ve been in business and the kind of work they do. The second has
multiple pages, giving detailed description of each of their services, a page featuring the staff and their expertise, and
included on the home page are six testimonials from existing customers. Which one will I choose? Which one would you
Once you’ve figured out what you want your site to achieve and whom you’re addressing, have settled on the graphic features and
published to the Web, you’ll need to continue your management aspects. These will include:
1) Regularly reading over your site…
2) Checking the stats (through your Internet Web host – how
many visitors, how many pages they visit, etc.) and…
3) Making necessary changes. This is best accomplished through
a specific schedule of three months, six months, or a year.
examining your site, you may choose to scrap it and start fresh or just replace some wording, or even, heaven forbid, correct
grammar or spelling errors (In this case, it’s definitely better to be safe than sorry). If this process seems overwhelming,
you might consider enlisting help – such as, a Web designer, marketing consultant or copywriter – especially if you select to
Of course, this might add some cost, but an outside eye will offer suggestions you may have missed.
Those ideas can lead to a more polished image,
a lighter load and …Increased Sales.
Properly managed, a well-planned Website is an invaluable
part of your marketing toolkit. It will provide measurable evidence of its worth, and will be a 24/7 resource your customers
can access at their convenience from almost any place they might be…
Otherwise, why bother?
© QuickSilver Copywriters 2005 – Andy & Shawn Catsimanes; http://www.quicksilvercopywriters.com/; mailto: firstname.lastname@example.org; Sign up for The Corporate Muse:
It’s been reported that business at Sonic Drive-In has boomed since the advent of their most recent advertising campaign and
introduction of those ads to Cable TV. Nation’s Restaurant News and the Kansas City Star expressed amplified sales by the gay
community because of “P.J. and Pete,” the two battling boys in the SUV outside the restaurant. Personally, I’ve never bought the
whole gay reference. In fact, until learning their names a few minutes ago, I’ve always referred to them as “Dumb and Dumber.”
Still, I admit, I enjoy the commercials and started thinking about why these two, whatever their sexual preference, would cause
The basis might be because they appeal to our
“limbic mind,” the part of the brain that controls trust. Dr. Lynella Grant has studied this intently and has dedicated a Website
to her findings (http://www.giantpotatoes.com/). She states in the first paragraph of
her home page, “Trust and believability are established by subliminal influences which are much faster and more accurate than
logic. Unless you seem believable right off the bat, people won't give you a chance.”
Without delving too deeply, I can’t help but
wonder why these two guys give us that instantaneous sense of “trust and believability.” To answer this question, let’s look a
little deeper at what Dr. Grant says:
“A person’s limbic system decides in an
instant—then doesn’t change its mind. That part of the brain constantly scans for either of two things—what it likes (attraction)
and, equally important, what it dislikes or fears. Anything else hardly rates a notice (indifference)—and that includes almost
What the Limbic System Looks
Curiosity and Novelty
The unexpected, bizarre or impossible
Exaggeration (to the point of ridiculous)
Perplexing and quirky
Challenges to figure out—puzzles, riddles, optical illusions
Fun, silliness, humor, laughter, and slapstick
NOW—what’s present (since it can’t relate to the future
or remember the past)
Sexy and Titillating enough said
Love, kindness and caring
Gratitude and appreciation
Recognition and flattery (prefers that it be sincere)
Personalization, which is why using a person’s name works so well
Inspiration that rouses the spirit (often through symbols)
Good feelings and pleasantries
Relationships and enjoyable shared experiences
Sensuous—involves all five senses
(especially smell, which
is in the brain stem)
Beauty—however they define it
Grace and elegance
Eye catching—with color, images and movement
Congruence—all the parts in synch and credible
Sincere, simple and direct
Authentic, genuine and consistent
It Doesn’t Like
—same as everyone else
Inconsistency and incoherence (sends sour notes)
Scary or dangerous
Being controlled or manipulated
Being taken for granted
Unpleasantness (offends the senses)
© Lynella Grant,
In gaining a slight
understanding of the limbic mind
—its likes and dislikes—it seems we trust P.J. and Pete especially because we find them perplexing and quirky,
silly and slapstick, and exaggerated to the point of ridiculous. In fact, those qualities I find myself mocking are the exact
things my mind accepts as believable and trustworthy. Funny how the mind works.
Let’s take it a
step further and make it personal. When considering your next marketing campaign, respect the limbic mind and make those first
few seconds count.
A Lesson In Persistence
By placing a leaky
coffee pot on it, we inadvertently made a disaster of the teakwood table my husband’s parents gave us. For months, I covered
it with an antique tablecloth. It looked okay, but I prefer the look of well cared for fine wood, so the other day I decided
to see if I could remove the water spots. I gathered Tung oil, soft cloths and steel wool. With tools in hand, I set to work.
To get that beautiful hand-rubbed look I was going for, I had to … well … rub by hand. That meant good old-fashioned elbow
grease – and lots of it.
After about an hour,
the unmarked areas of the table began to take on the sheen merited by my hard work, but the blotchy patches soaked up the Tung
oil and refused to give up their bleached-out appearance. The bad part was these weren’t small discolorations. One stain, in
the shape of the coffee maker, left a circle about five inches in circumference. The other was a rectangle about sixteen
inches long and six inches wide. And they were both stubborn.
I tried several
different methods and finally decided alternating between scrubbing with the fine steel wool and wiping the oil on and off
worked the best. Rather than bore you with the nitty-gritty details of the process, suffice it to say, it took a long, long
time – time I used to think. For a while, I debated about whether or not to finish the project, especially when there was
little progress in my laborious efforts. But being a tenacious sort, I pressed on. After about five hours, I began to see some
improvement. I stood back and admired my handiwork. Not bad at all.
It took another two hours to get the table close to what I wanted and it could probably use at least another hour’s work, but by
now, you can see where I’m going with this. Living, as we do, in a result-oriented society, it’s easy to quit in middle of
something we don’t see advancing as quickly as we’d like. If you’re struggling right now because some facet of your life or work
isn’t moving at the pace you expected, I’d like to encourage you to keep trying. Whatever the issue, it could be like my
water-damaged table that took so much time to correct. And just a little more effort will bring the desired
– “Never give
up. Never surrender.” (Those of you
familiar with the movie “Galaxy Quest” can appreciate this!)
If you're planning a marketing campaign or change to your Website, feel free to contact us for a Free Consultation. Thanks for reading. See you next
Andy & Shawn Catsimanes
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