The Role of the Web in Business Marketing Strategy


The rapid advance in web technology challenges business managers to stay current, but most recognize that the internet is a critical element of marketing strategy. There is an overwhelming service offering within the three broad marketing categories of internet technology: websites, search engine optimization and social media. Poor understanding of web technology and difficulty selecting internet marketing strategies appropriate for the specific business objective, lead to mediocre return on investment and lost opportunity for revenue growth.

The Website

What are the critical elements of your corporate website? In many cases, the website is outdated and ineffective. Websites developed several years ago offered basic information, typically to existing customers or prospects familiar with the business. Today, prospective buyers utilize the internet as a primary method of researching the purchase decision. To quantify the critical elements of today’s website, a survey of 200 purchasing managers was conducted*. The goal was to rank the importance of website elements. The most important website elements, starting with the most important, were found to be: Service Description, Industries Served, Success Stories/Case Studies and Professional Web Site Design and Layout.

Search Engine Optimization

In the mid 1990s companies began developing website content with the purpose of being found by internet users. Since then, search engines began offering Pay Per Click (PPC) services, allowing business to buy key words and phrases commonly being searched by prospective customers. Although, PPC is still a proven method of driving web traffic, search engine optimization is increasingly more important. By creating content that your prospective customers want to read, you provide a valued service and drive traffic to your website free of charge.

Social Media

The least understood aspect of internet marketing strategy is social media. Even so, market research** indicates that since 2009 small businesses have started participating in social media, 65% have Facebook accounts, 64% have Twitter accounts and 19% have Wordpress (blogging platform) accounts. Facebook accounts are commonly set up incorrectly, causing the account to be deleted by Facebook. By following the required standards, companies can build a community of loyal customers and potentially tap into the Facebook user base, which numbers over 500 million. Blogs can draw web traffic to your company without paying search engines, such as Google, for clicks. Publishing content on the web is easier than ever before, as blogging platforms are free and easy to use. Twitter offers an easy way to monitor conversations about your company or issues you care about. In the same way, your company can send out 140 character messages that are relevant to your prospective customers.


Internet marketing offers significant opportunity to grow revenues. Although, appropriate technical resources should be hired to develop internet marketing campaigns, senior management involvement is critical. Effectively developing each category of internet marketing strategy requires: fundamental understanding of the business, an ear for stories and experiences that resonate with your customers and people skills to assemble a team that can effectively manage such a complex undertaking. Staying informed about changes in the dynamic area of internet marketing is critical. If senior management can’t do it, ensure that some responsible party is closely monitoring the company’s internet marketing, to recommend changes and identify better practices.