Recently, I took a voyage of discovery, my rickety- aging Suzuki Fiero, and four hours of blissful biking from Sakleshpur to my home base in Mangalore. The air was chilled, the roads were placid and there was a tune in my spirits. It’s a magical journey, this route through the cloudy Western Ghats, at the slow beginning of the monsoon and if you are a biker, the feeling of being an extension of your machine is just ambrosia for the soul. And then, like a rude awakening, my bike died on me.
It’s not a pleasant place to be stuck in at 6pm in the evening- the damp, dark slopes of the Western Ghats. And since I don’t consider myself much of a survivalist, I actually started to worry. Thankfully, I am a digital marketer- and the really nerdy kind. I whipped out my cell phone (praying that the network gods were not part of this conspiracy) and was fascinated to find a single stick indicating my signal strength. A couple of hops on higher ground, and two more sticks made their lethargic appearance. Whoa!! One phone call permitted- pick this one up Ma.
No Sir. I pried out my Web Browser and ran a Google search for the nearest Bike Mechanic. The results were pretty encouraging and after browsing through some promising listings, I zeroed in on someone who claimed to be a ‘Bike Doctor’. The doc’s website looked very neat and functional on my phone’s postage stamp sized screen. I called him up and he showed up with a pickup truck in no time at all. After two eventful hours and a couple of cups of hot tea, I drove away enriched by this experience, and having gained a new friend and a lifetime’s appreciation for hot beverages.
Also, enthralling was the website experience on my mobile phone. This is a real comfort, not rocket science and millions of people are coming on board every day to experience this magic via their increasingly powerful Smartphones and Tablets. Obviously, not all websites that will function magically on your standard computer or laptop will work seamlessly on the mobile screen as well. The real advantage beckons businesses that customize their websites to be compatible with this evolving medium. In the real world speed matters, as also looks, and actual functionality.
But just building a more compatible website isn’t enough. The actual point of conquest is in making your website easily accessible to those that seek it (I mean, seek the collective of websites that are dedicated to a cause that’s similar to yours). That day in the Western Ghats, I searched for a Bike Mechanic and got a Doctor instead. Since then, this story has undergone numerous retelling and each time, people are made aware of this Doctor who is a magician when it comes to wheels and concocting hot cups of life-saving tea. Word of mouth spreads, if your business brings actual quality to the table, and invests in productive Search Engine Optimization (SEO) so that your website gets found when someone runs a search on engines like Google, Bing or Yahoo.
The world has evolved beyond the obvious and the loud. Businesses don’t compete based on how big they might be- but how effectively they reach out to a potential customer. Put your website to work- it’s about time it paid you back for all the time, money and energy you have spent on it.
And PS- Anyone looking out for a 2002 model Suzuki Fiero? It flies like the Wind.