The diffi­cult part for many compa­nies is devel­op­ing their product to a point where it sells itself. Consumers want a mean­ing­ful expe­ri­ence from the compa­nies with which they inter­act, a state­ment espe­cially true on the web. Not only will people give you more time and money for the right expe­ri­ence – they will connect you to their peers. Using the connec­tiv­ity of the web then, produc­ing a product that sells itself should be easier than ever.

Zach Krame and Seth GodinZach Krame attends Seth Godin’s Busi­ness Seminar

At his busi­ness seminar last Friday in Atlanta, Seth Godin began with the example of Amazon.com. While devel­op­ing the company, the leaders at Amazon made a deci­sion to forgo tradi­tional tele­vi­sion market­ing, and instead budgeted to improve their product offer­ing. They chose to focus on activ­i­ties like offer­ing free ship­ping and to develop one of the most content rich, consumer friendly sites on the web. They chose creat­ing a mean­ing­ful expe­ri­ence over tradi­tional market­ing.

Today, this is the model for a success­ful busi­ness. Expe­ri­ence is at the fore­front and the web is one of the main battle­grounds. Ecom­merce site or not, your web pres­ence is a funda­men­tal part of your perceived value. If you devote the right resources to your website, you can get your product to sell itself. If you create the right online expe­ri­ence your users will share your site content and the web will do the rest. After all, the web was not created for tradi­tional display market­ing – it was created in order to connect.

Groupon and 37signals’ busi­ness models work because they utilize the web as a connec­tiv­ity tool. Their busi­nesses are built on the concept that users will want to share their prod­ucts with peers. Groupon members want to share daily coupons with their friends, since after a certain amount of people apply, the coupon acti­vates. 37signals users are brand ambas­sadors because the system is most power­ful when people actively use it together. The two sites are also leaders in usabil­ity and user expe­ri­ence.

It is more impor­tant than ever that you devote resources to your web strat­egy and build a compe­tent web busi­ness. Don’t make just another website, provide a thought­ful, struc­tured, and intu­itive web expe­ri­ence that users will appre­ci­ate. Just another website is no longer accept­able. Utiliz­ing solid coding, analyt­ics, usabil­ity, infor­ma­tion archi­tec­ture and SEO can propel the type of mean­ing­ful online expe­ri­ence that will push the needle forward for your company. These tactics are vital to elevat­ing your connec­tiv­ity and perceived value on the web.

An example: For smaller compa­nies, become the best in your commu­nity. If you can achieve a highly perceived value in your indus­try or loca­tion, you can begin to develop a base that will advo­cate for you. Consider utiliz­ing search market­ing to gain brand advo­cates in your commu­nity before branch­ing out to state or national scale campaigns. Focus on keywords like “best in Atlanta” or “best in the [indus­try]”. By creat­ing a strong base in your commu­nity, be it geograph­i­cal, occu­pa­tional, ideo­log­i­cal, etc., word will spread … the web connects us all.