Super Session: Running with the Big Dogs! - WMW Conf 7

Nov 18, 2004 • 3:14 pm | comments (0) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under WebmasterWorld 2004 Las Vegas
 

This is the last official session of the day, after this everyone goes to the bars. I don't - I head back to NY. Brett thanked all the speakers, the exhibitors, he thanked Matthew who is his new right hand man. This session is about people who started small and made it big (well not fortune 500).

Christine Churchil from KeyRelevance who sold net mechanic way back, was up first. The good news is that you can compete against big guys but you also go up against amazon types. Pros of small companies are; leaner, nimbler, more resilient, enthusiastic and ingenious, and grassroots understanding of business sector. Corporate negatives; slow to change, bureaucratic, fights turf wars, lack of communication, and risk averse. Some advantages of big companies include; distribution, resources (people/money), infrastructure, and brand recognition. What can a little guy do?

(1) Build Trust through, site design, address and phone, trust seals, privacy policy, customer testimonials, product reviews and awards, and guarantees. (2) Build Relationships; maintain a dialog with existing customers, sell more products to current customers, offer valuable content, email newsletter, and soft-sales. (3) Automate Everything; online help, make transaction process simple, confirm email receipt automated, and use third part software (4) Improve the Customer Experience; usability matters, fix site errors, easy navigation and clear pricing.

Jessie Stricchiola from Alchemist Media Inc was next up, glad to see she is doing well. Back in 1997 she did SEO while in school, and had a small company. She then got hired to work in house in California and then later on started her own customer. She has three people and outsources a lot. She is a small dog and will share her small dog experience. If you do not have a big operation then you a probably dealing with the following elements; (1) reliance on word of mouth lead generation, (2) lack of top 10 rankings for SEO related terms, (3) limited cash flow/lack of marketing budget to spend on other marketing. She will give us some small dog, dog tricks. Success of your business is dependent on your relationship with your customers. SEO-CRM is dependent on expectation management (no standards in this industry and constant change, cost variation due to the lack of commoditization, client issues (design teams, external agencies, ego issues). Major components of SEO -CRM are client selection, expectation management and communication. Client Selection; clients understanding of the SEO industry, prior SEO engagements, development resources, commitment and availability, and financial status and account process. She then goes through her real life examples of these issues. Communication & Expectations; what you will and wont do, the risks involved, influential factors out of your control, what your expectations are of their team throughout the project and consider incorporating these elements into your agreement.

Finally Anne Kennedy from Beyond Ink. She said small business need to work with each other to succeed. Build strategic alliances. Make sure to protect your reputation, they do not sub contract their core competencies. Choose clients carefully. Match the solution to the problem (not a one size fits all). At the same time, don't overplay your hand. Remember even when you get it all right, its still a dog's life.

That covers all the sessions. I hope to write up a short recap for you all later on.

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