In last month’s issue of Water Technology, we published the article, “Next level service with smart equipment.” For the article, we interviewed some water treatment professionals about the impact of technology on today’s dealers, manufacturers, original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and end users. Using technology in front of the customer elevates your company’s status among many end users today.  

However, an area that continues to be a concern among most dealers, according to our annual benchmarking survey, is advertising and marketing; in other words, giving your company a chance to meet with customers face-to-face. In the aforementioned article, one contributor keenly noticed where the first point of dealer-customer contact often happens today — online. “Homeowners do about 60 percent of their research online before they even visit the store,” stated Kathleen Fugler of Pentair Filtration & Process.

In addition to an attractive storefront, it is becoming increasingly important for dealers to have a user-friendly, virtual storefront. And, in terms of advertising and marketing your business, some online options are free or cost effective. However, some may require a sizable investment.

By now, most business owners have at least heard of the buzzwords in online marketing that have evolved in recent years, such as content marketing and search engine optimization (SEO). Ranking high on search engine results is a goal most companies are trying to weave into their digital marketing strategy. Popular search sites continually change their search algorithms, forcing your company to commit significant resources to stay updated on these changes and produce the content.

Of course, online marketing, while an increasingly important area of advertising and marketing, is only one source of promoting your business and being where the customers are. In marketing, dealers should strike a balance in their strategies and let the target market dictate where your focus, and money, should be. We feature this topic and more in this edition of Water Technology.