Today is post number three from the New Rules of IWMS post series entitled: New Publicness. In this post I’ll use examples from the book What Would Google Do by Jeff Jarvis and adapt these to the IWMS / CAFM industry.
If you’re not searchable, you won’t be found
“Once upon a time, all roads led to Rome. Today, all roads lead from Google.” (Jarvis, 2009)
And this is true for approximately 90% of all searches Worldwide and 80% within the US. (values depending on which search engine ranking site is being used).
Everybody needs a website. However the point of entry is seldom your homepage. The reason for that is that Google sends visitors to your webpage based on a search they have performed. This means that visitors are actively searching for something. Your job is provide the information visitors are searching for. Otherwise you could easily lose that visitor.
Remember; your competitor is only a click away.
Sure, having a website is very important, but how do should I optimize my website for Google? How should I do search engine optimization (SEO)?
You could hire an expert in SEO, but that will cost a lot of money. I don’t claim to be an SEO expert, but over the years I have evaluated a few SEO tactics. Although many tactics exist for SEO, most of them are based on providing accurate, clear and concise information in your header and your content in such a way that both computers and humans can understand that information.
So, if your solution is particularly strong in Space Management both Google and humans should be able to understand that information. In addition to that, it is advisable to gather knowledge about visitor search criteria. (E.g. you could use Google Analytics)
Space Administration, Moves Adds and Changes (MAC), Move Management, AutoCAD, and other topics are closely related to Space Management. If you actually support those processes visitors expect to find information about these related topics on your website as well. Questions of visitors need to be answered.
This is also very true for your application itself. It should be searchable. Users need to be able to find information that they need to perform a certain task. If they need to enter a lease contract in the system not only should it be easy, but help should also be available when they need it.
Life is public, so is business
Publicness is about more than having a web site. It’s about taking actions in public so people can see what you do and react to it, make suggestions, and tell their friends. Living in public today is a matter of enlightened self-interest. (Jarvis, 2009)
If a release did not materialize, make it public. Let people share their IWMS experience with their friends, their co-workers and all other relations.
People will always make mistakes, software will always have bugs, and solutions will always need improvements. This is simply the way it is with software solutions. (And always will be).
Customers understand that this is the way the software industry works. Just don’t try to cover up your mistakes. Be open about your errors, and inspire customers to help you improve your products and services.
Your customers are your ad agency
Even in the ad-age word-of-mouth advertising was considered to be the best type of advertising. And this has never changed. The likelihood that you’ll buy something when a friend recommends it outweighs annoying intruding advertising by far.
As I have written in the first post of this post series; A unhappy customer can inflict serious damage to your brand.
Also the opposite is true. A happy customer can spread your IWMS solution further than you have ever dreamed, and that you could have ever done with advertising. In the coming years word of mouth advertising, or good-word-vertising is the only way to go.
According to one of my all-time favorite authors Seth Godin:
Advertising by Google and Apple is done by a different department than the Marketing Department. It’s done by the Engineering Department. The engineers create products that YOU WANT. They create products that sell because of the way it makes us feel.
They listen to customers to enhance the user-experience, and make us want the product. Listening to our customers is actually the most perfect form of marketing you could do and your customer service is the new marketing of your IWMS.
Jarvis, J. (2009). What Would Google Do. New York: HarperBusiness.