Looks can kill

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Spend as much as you like on online advertising, but if the experience your website provides is not up to scratch you’re wasting your cash. It’s the equivalent of spending big advertising your products or services in business directories while having a shop window whose glass is cracked, whose paint is peeling and there being no engaging products on sale.

Managing a small business is not easy. Budgets are tight and every dollar and cent spent needs to be justified. In situations like this the choice between looking good and providing a good product or service is almost always won by the latter. It’s not uncommon to hear small business owners say, “It’s all about the quality we provide. We need to spend our budgets on our core competencies, not on some fancy shmancy aesthetic work! People will judge us on the quality of our work!”

The idea that there is little or no relationship between the product or service and the way in which it is experienced is, well, wrong. If you want proof, simply ask yourself if you would step into a restaurant that looks like it has not been cleaned in a couple of years?

The fact is that there is no separation between how a business looks and the quality of what it provides. These are not independent factors in the customer’s decision making process.

This is why spending on advertising without having a good customer experience in place is simply a waste of your money. In fact it could do more harm than good because it could actually be scaring away warm leads.

If we want our advertising campaigns to be successful then we need to understand the importance of three things: consistency; quality; and repetition. Our story, whether the prospect hears it from us or reads it on our website, needs to be consistent. The colours and layouts that we use need to be representative of the words we use which need to be in line with our values. No matter where the lead, prospect, or customer sees us it must always be consistent with our high quality standards. We should never have to tell people that we do quality work, they should feel it from the way that we represent ourselves.

Then, once our website is a representation of the quality of our work, when it gives the customer confidence in us, when it encourages them to contact us or engage with us, that is when our advertising campaigns will start working. They will work because when customers come to your shop, website, or social media page they will see quality, they will know where you want them to go next and what you want them to read, and they will be encouraged to do what you want them to do.

It’s not just about getting people to you, if you do only that you will fail. It’s about getting them to you, making them feel valued, and giving them an experience that will make them want to come back. Looking good is just as important as being good, because together they make your customer feel good!

Don’t just advertise, create unforgettable experiences.

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About Author

Mehrdad Behroozi

Mehrdad (Merv) Behroozi is general manager of Hamilton graphic design and web development company E9. Phone: 07 838 1188 | Email: merv@e9.nz