When we started Cite in 2000, we tried to convince Dave, a seasoned B2B Sales and Marketing Manager, that commissioning one of these new-fangled websites was a robust business investment.
Dave was quick to point out that he already ran full page advertisements in every Yellow Pages across the country; had a suite of glossy printed brochures, catalogues and flyers; regularly entertained potential clients at international trade fairs and sent out whole forest-worth of direct mail. He quite liked the idea of a ‘webpage’, but if it was a toss up between one of those and a fax-shot… well, Dave knew where his budget was better spent.
We broached the subject of Return On Investment, or ROI as we had began calling it. We explained how we could analyse traffic to his website using some snazzy software called Urchin. Dave was non-plussed. He quite liked the idea of a counter though, he’d seen one on his mate’s AOL website that was styled like his Ford Mondeo’s odometer.
We moved on. Would Dave be interested in a contact form? We explained that if we included an enquiry form, we could build a whole database of potential leads and give it a name – a ‘Customer Relationship Management System’. Dave’s eyes were glazing over. He had no use for a CRM system, Dave had his Rolladex which he guarded like Gollum’s Ring – what on earth would he do with a database?
Dave is still there. He’s in charge of international sales these days and still has a few hundred brochures printed. He also attends a show in Hamburg every year, but complains that visitor numbers are dwindling.
Thankfully, Marketing is now looked after by Charlotte, a millennial with a taste for kale-smoothies and hard data.
Milestones along the way
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