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.