Volume III, Issue III

Natural Selection Despite the Web’s bad press and our lethargic economy, the growth of your company’s Web site is just as important as it always was. The communications and marketing capabilities of your site can go a long way in educating the “stealth” prospects—online researchers who choose to learn about you before identifying themselves.

Columns From: 3/2/2002 Modern Machine Shop, ,

Natural Selection

Despite the Web’s bad press and our lethargic economy, the growth of your company’s Web site is just as important as it always was.

The communications and marketing capabilities of your site can go a long way in educating the “stealth” prospects—online researchers who choose to learn about you before identifying themselves.

For starters, represent your capabilities and performance accurately and thoroughly. Nothing beats the simple, direct approach online, particularly when serving the manufacturing-minded.

But then what? What should you do after you’ve done everything with the formatting of text and graphics on your site?

For inspiration, why not look to selectors to improve the research experience your Web site provides?

Selectors are ideal because they allow online visitors to build tailored lists built on their exclusive criteria. Quite simply, they let prospects or researchers see what they want to see, when they want to see it.

A great example of selectors—how they work, what they can do and why they’re effective—can be found at www.selectsmart.com, a site created and maintained by a fellow named Curt Anderson.

Now, before we go any further, you need to know a few things:

SelectSmart.com has a lot of selectors that don’t apply to machining. There are selectors there for choosing the right dog and the right hobbies. SelectSmart.com will build selectors for you, or even let you create your own selectors right on its site.

But Curt isn’t just a “Webhead.” He’s with Darex, a manufacturing company in Oregon, and he’s a manufacturing professional himself. He’s even applied the selector model to Darex’s site (www.darex.com).

The point of all this is for you to see the potential in selectors and similar Web-based utilities and use what is right for you, your site and your audience.

Job Shop Site Of The Month

Cupples’ J&J Company is a Tennessee-based manufacturing company with two locations. Its Web site (www.cupplesjandj.com), to say the least, describes each arm of Cupples’ in great detail. From machining to turning to EDM to screw machining, this site mixes equipment with capabilities nicely. But the company goes the extra cyber-mile with a great links page (see Company Web Browser) and a printable brochure. Nothing fancy, but awfully effective as a shop marketing vehicle.

To have your site considered for Job Shop Site Of The Month, send your URL to otw@mmsonline.com.

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