The key to successfully harnessing this essential marketing tool is to ensure that good design and functionality underpin your corporate objectives. Here Roger Taylor, Creative Director at Montpellier Creative explains that far from entangling a business web strategies can liberate and provide new opportunities.

You may be a web novice, but if you don’t have a web presence, then you are almost certainly missing out on sales opportunities. At the very least a web portal, which by the way doesn’t necessarily have to be an all singing all dancing Hollywood production, provides the backdrop for all your other marketing efforts.

If your competitors are on the web, then you should be too, and with a different angle to stand out from the crowd. If they are not, then get in early. Business is all about competitive edge!

For those who have already started a website, there may be some simple enhancements to bring it up to scratch, which a professional can quickly put into place, and at a reasonable price. But, more likely, you’re faced with redesigning a website that isn’t functioning as well as it should. There are a number of critical steps you need to go through and apart from ensuring that you support the overarching business objective, you will need to start with a site plan, followed by design and navigation. Embedded words, such as meta-tags, will also help your web’s ‘searchability’ through browsers such as Google, MSN or Yahoo. This is such a fast moving marketplace that you will necessarily need to build in scalability. That also helps in terms of budgets, and a phased plan can ensure that you start with PDF downloads of brochures or catalogues and can later add SMS messaging, webcasts and other more sophisticated tools.

Which ever route you choose, the key point to remember is that your marketing efforts should cross refer. How many times have you been frustrated by trying to find a contact number on a website? Likewise your letters, brochures and advertising should point to the web. As with so many things, keep it simple. For examples of how webs work or impartial advice call 01242 211183