Encouraging Words from a Web Veteran
Every day I watch the news and read the business section of the Washington Post and it's easy to get a little freaked out. Software giant Microsoft announced its first-ever lay-offs on Friday, and we've all seen local stalwarts like AOL expand and contract over the last few years.
But, as someone who remembers the heady days of the dot-com boom and the bleak days of the ensuing crash, I'd like to offer some hope to my fellow web-entrenched colleagues. The Web has irrevocably become an integral part of our infrastructure -- and, if you're lucky enough to be in this industry, take a deep breath and remember that:
- Companies, now more than ever, need to be able to leverage their web presences. This bodes well for web designers, web developers, and online marketing strategists who can help companies maximize ROI and deliver more customers.
- Companies with shrinking marketing and operating budgets are going to shift even more money to their online channels. A/B testing, custom landing pages, SEO, analytics funnels tied to specific business goals, and highly-targeted PPC campaigns are far more affordable -- and flexible -- than offline advertising and collateral.
- Companies need to engage with their customers, proactively and consistently, to foster customer loyalty and trust. Email marketing, blog strategies, and social media marketing are critical to meeting these objectives.
- Companies may need to outsource web-related activities as they freeze hiring (or downsize). Companies which previously didn't need help with content generation or development or Flash design or banner ads may now be seeking outside assistance.
- This too shall pass. The economy will recover and prosperity will return. Know that -- and try to get some sleep*.
*Full disclosure: this post written well after midnight on a Sunday.