I’ve been privy to working with big brands that were making the transition from the brick and mortar world to e-commerce. In the B2B sector, clients were always very afraid of pissing off their sales channel, VARS (Value-Added Resellers) and third-party dealers who were pushing their products and services. The thinking was, if they upset those channels, their sales would take a hit and they might loose some valuable partnerships which means lower sales. But consider the speed at which change happens on the internet and you’ll soon realize a slow approach to supporting your online efforts could put your business in the slow lane, or worse, standing still in the emergency lane. When you consider a story about how Dell earned $3 million through their Twitter strategy in less than 24 months, (nobody had even heard of Twitter 24 months ago) you start to see just how fast results can happen. A recent Mediapost article states, “by easing towards online at a safe, incremental rate because you’re mitigating risk to your core business, you’re allowing your critical mass of customers to get in front of you. Whenever a mass of customers is underserviced, someone will fill that gap, and you can bet it will be a nimble, online pure play that’s moving at light speed compared to you.” I agree. Smart businesses are realizing the power and speed of implementing targeted strategies and aren’t afraid to allocate resources to solidify their leadership position online. More companies are brandcasting and migrating their budgets toward SEO and SEM campaigns. But most are not. If you haven’t seen a threat from a competitor who is putting more effort online, then either you’re just lucky, or you’re moving too slow to seem them whiz by.
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