This Is Not A Computer Company by Rich

I would like to point out a common confusion many people have. If you are mixed up about this, you are probably going to end up with a bad website.

Website development is not a computer or an I.T. (Information Technology) job.

Yes, we use computers. So does the local fish market. Yes, we do our work online. So does the online vape store. Yes, it involves technical know-how about computer programs. So does being a stockbroker.

So what is website development?

It is, of course, a MARKETING job.

Oh, I’ll admit a website may have no marketing purpose. It may be a service tool for customers, for example. But that is a small percentage.

The vast majority of websites exist to help the company get more business. That’s marketing. Often they also have a secondary customer service function. That’s the easy part.

So why would you hire an I.T. company to build your website?

WRONG HAT

You might as well hire a 10-year-old bicyclist to drive your tractor, because bicycles also have wheels.

I.T. is the wrong hat for building a marketing website because it is the wrong skillset and the wrong purpose.

I.T. guys make sure your computers and networks and phone systems and security systems are set up and work right. Stuff gets backed up. If a computer won’t boot, or you can’t connect to the network, you call them. This is entirely a technical job, for people who know all about how computers and other electronic systems (such as phones) work.

The purpose is to ensure that your electronic infrastructure does what it is needed to support your operations.

If they build you a website, it will work correctly. You know, click on a link, it goes to the right page?

But websites are about getting you more business. How about getting people interested and excited about what you are selling? Does that sound like something for a computer guy?

Are there two more different purposes imaginable? Well yes, but still, that is a pretty wide difference.

Might as well hire a chef to build your credenza. After all, “chef” and “carpenter” both start with the letter “c.” And both use knives.

WHY IS THAT?

If I sound a bit miffed, it’s because I am.

It starts with, people don’t know what marketing is. Since that is what I do, I find that a bit annoying. People call me up and ask me to fix their computers. Really?

I’m not just engaging in hyperbole. At least not right now, this time. People really don’t know what marketing is.

And it’s not their fault. Have you ever looked at what they teach in colleges and call it “marketing”?  It isn’t. I have, as a marketing professional, participated in the marketing program of a prestigious local university. It shall remain nameless. Some of you graduated from there.

I was horrified at the egregious errors being passed off to students as “how to market.”  I was equally amazed at the simple basics of marketing that weren’t being taught to these students.

Imagine a class in car repair that doesn’t teach what the parts of an automobile are, or how an engine works. It is that bad. They don’t teach Claude C. Hopkins, or Ries and Trout? Amazing!

Actually, they don’t even teach the definition of the word “marketing.”

I’m a little bemused when a prospective client asks about the educational background of our staff. Believe me, they didn’t learn about marketing, or website development, or search engine optimization in college. They might have taken useful art classes if they attended an art school.

SO WHAT ABOUT I.T. COMPANIES?

I.T. companies don’t know marketing.  Again, not their fault. It’s not their job. So they think they can build websites.  Well, yeah, many of them can. Just not ones that bring in new business for their clients.

People, being confused, they sometimes call I.T. companies when they want a new website. So I.T. companies, thinking, “sure, we can do that”, put it on their websites as a service offered. They take the calls, sell the jobs, take the money, and deliver something or other.

Don’t blame them if you go this route and end up disappointed when your phone doesn’t ring. After all, “Caveat Emptor” (Latin: Let the buyer beware).

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