In order to market products and services successfully, businesses focus on the four elements of the marketing mix – product, price, place, and promotion. Each of these elements contributes to the success of the marketing campaign as a whole and together helps businesses to reach customers and drive their business. An important piece of maintaining a business is to have a website in which all four elements can be brought together into one place that is accessible to existing as well as potential customers.
Your product, or in some cases service, is one of the most important pieces of your business. It is the way you satisfy the wants or needs of consumers by offering them something of value. Having a website for your business can help add value to your product or service in a number of ways. Today, pre-purchase research on products, services, or businesses is increasingly important in influencing consumer decisions. Through your website, you can provide information on important product attributes that show customers how your product can fulfill their needs. Customer satisfaction with your product or service is highly important and having a website offers you a number of ways to ensure their satisfaction. Through your website, both satisfied and dissatisfied customers are provided a way through which they can leave feedback that will help you to improve your product or service. This helps to increase the satisfaction of customers as well as give your business greater credibility. This can be done through means such as polls, surveys, or questionnaires. When trying to communicate with your customer that your business is the best option for them, testimonials are an important feedback tool for increasing your credibility and providing firsthand accounts of customer satisfaction with your product or service.
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With the recession still on our minds and consumers becoming more price conscious, price is one of the most important elements of the marketing mix. For a business, the best way to keep prices down is by keeping their costs down. Something great about having a business website built is that it is often inexpensive. Also, unlike other forms of advertising such as print, a website can easily be updated, added to, or corrected. Another way a website offers efficiency is because they are economical. A website has the potential to reach far more people than other means of advertising, minimizing cost per reach. Whereas print only has the potential to reach those who come across it, a website can reach virtually anyone who gets on the Internet–and more importantly, your target audience. With the use of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), you can easily reach the people who are interested in your business–at a relatively low cost. And when you keep your costs low, you can also keep your prices low providing you with a greater competitive advantage over your competitors.
With today’s consumers being time-poor and busy, they are always looking for ways to save time. A website offers this convenience to consumers who can just hop on the Internet from their computer at home or virtually anywhere from their Smartphone–someone from Philadelphia could reach your business from any country in the world! So now, your business is located virtually anywhere. No more having to rely solely on your brick-and-mortar location, and customers now have the convenience of not having to drive to your location. Another great aspect of having a website that adds to convenience is that it makes your business available 24/7, so even after your physical location had closed, your business is still open. With 79% of Americans on the Internet, not only are you available almost everywhere, you are available to almost everyone. In today’s world, the Internet is where people go to find the information they’re looking for, people don’t rely on the yellow pages anymore, instead, they just hop on a search engine and find what they need. If you don’t have a website they’ll never find you, and you’ll miss out on potential business.
Websites offer an additional form of two-way communication between yourself and the customer. Your website is a unique platform that represents your company. It offers a platform through which you can provide information that helps customers get to know you, your products, services, values, and personality. There are many tools on your website through which you can build your brand image and create stronger relationships with customers; these include tools such as blogging, testimonials, videos, and links to social media. Through the use of these tools, you can put your best foot forward and encourage customers to choose your business. Through the use of Search Engine Optimization, you can increase the number of visitors to your site, thus creating more relationships, which can later be converted to sales and foster potential business. Your website can also be used to promote your brick-and-mortar location by providing information such as your phone number, e-mail, address, and directions to your location. If customers are time-poor, your website can even offer an additional point of purchase and allows them to make purchases from a place and time of their convenience. Having a website simply communicates that you care about your customers- that you want to provide them with access to your business that is available at their convenience and in line with their wants and needs.