At some point, every company was started because there was a vision. This vision could have been powered by something such as a product idea, as was the case with Apple. Or maybe, this product existed but there was a falling out at a previous company such as was the case when Intel was founded. There could be all sorts of reasons but the bottom line was there was an underlying reason that the company was started.
That reason should have helped you determine who your company is and what you do. The question is, are you communicating this to people?
I have written several articles over the last couple of months talking about some of the elements that I use in planning such as the importance of a SWOT analysis, creating Rocks, and the importance of knowing where your organization wants to be.
Those are all important elements of your strategic plan but there are two more that I want to discuss today and they work hand in hand. Really, they are a starting point for everything else because they are the reason why your organization exists in the first place.
Have you ever been to a website to find out information about a company and you can’t really figure who they are or what they are about?
I see that much more than I should (sometimes even on my website) and it’s a problem. It may have a lesser impact for business to consumer (B2C) companies than business to business (B2B) companies but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be addressed, so, that’s our topic for today. Who is your organization and what do you do?
What Are Your Pages Communicating?
I’ve been going through an exercise lately where I look at the content I have created to determine where it falls in the marketing funnel, the buyer’s journey, and in awareness. Essentially, it’s an audit to make sure I’m hitting the notes for prospects who are interested in my services.
What I found wasn’t something I was necessarily looking for. As I went through my pages, I started to question if somebody could look at my website and know what my agency is about and what it did.
I knew both these things and I addressed them but I wasn’t communicating it well. In fact, it was kind of confusing. I knew if what I was reading wasn’t clear to me, it wouldn’t clear to anybody else.
That was a tough pill to swallow. If I saw something similar on a client’s web page you better believe I would point it out and strongly advise that it be fixed. Clarity is important. Especially when you are trying to win somebody’s business.
People want to know you are and what you’re organization is about. Don’t assume that they will figure it out. You need to communicate it clearly.
Who Are You Anyway?
It really starts here. If you don’t know who you’re company is, you are probably going to be in trouble somewhere down the line.
The first thing we usually think of is the “who”. When we think “who”, especially when we don’t know a person, the first thing we get is a name. “Who is that?” That’s Tristan.
It works like that in business too. The name is the identifier which is a start but when I ask about the “who” there is more to know.
Your company has values. A mission. A vision. These things guide you and you’re employees (or least they should).
If you tell me that one of your values is curiosity, I’ve learned something about who your organization is. It sets a certain expectation because I now know that you are probably going to be open to learning about new ways of doing something.
If you have a mission statement that talks about changing the world for the better it tells me that you are probably are an organization that focuses on more than profits.
People will have a hard time identifying with your organization if they can’t see some human-like qualities in it. When I plan. I consider who the organization is. I want to discover those values. I want to help personify them so your customers see the organization as more than just a company.
We are talking about the organization’s identity. When you know what it is, communicate it. Your employees and your customers will better be able to understand who you’re organization is and what it is about.
What Do You Do?
When I looked at my website, I made a concerning discovery. If I looked at it from the viewpoint of somebody visiting for the first time, I wasn’t sure what my agency did. There was information there but I found it confusing.
I thought to myself, “What is it exactly what I do? Strategic planning, coaching, and plan implementation. Where does it say that clearly?”
This is a big problem and I’m not the only one who is guilty of this. A couple of weeks ago I was doing some research and I thought, “What better place to go than the company website to find out out more about a company?”
It should have been fairly easy. I knew the name of the company and I wanted to find out a little more such as what they do but I ran into some problems. It wasn’t obvious on about 80% of the sites I visited. This creates a problem because most people won’t spend the time to hang around and figure it out. They will just leave.
Out of those websites, for about 70%, I could dig around the website and figure it out. That’s better than nothing but it means that your visitors have to be committed. Since your website is the primary online presence about you and many of the visitors are just starting to show interest that is most likely a problem. Will they be this patient?
As for the other 30%? No clue. There was a list of products and some copy that didn’t really tell me much. In fact, in some cases, it just added to the confusion. I saw a bunch of information but I couldn’t connect anything. I just that this was a company that offered a bunch of products and/or services.
Don’t forget that many people are coming to your website because of a Google search. They think they are going to find something on your website that will help them but if they can’t figure out what you do, they will leave. There is another downside to this. If it happens enough Google will notice and demote your site in the rankings.
It may be obvious to you what you do but don’t make the assumption that people will just figure it out. It’s a competitive world. If you’re not willing to clearly communicate this information, people will be more than happy to go somewhere else.
When you live in a world where 60% of people will have done their research before ever reaching out, you can’t afford for them to leave them guessing. If you can’t tell them who you are and what you do, they won’t contact you. They will go somewhere else.
It’s really that simple.
Tell me what you think in the comments.