Remember the days when the digits that made up your phone number mattered? Many of us marketing types spent time talking about and working through the number options given to us by the phone company is some vain attempt to make it memorable.
Businesses would try and make the numbers spell something in the hopes people would remember it for a long time. I guess we might call those “Vanity Numbers” like 555-Car-Care.
Do you remember the jingle “588-2300 EMPIRE” for Empire Today. It was all about the phone number.
Early in my marketing career I worked for a small business and remember the owner always wanting the phone number as big as possible in our advertising or promotional materials. He was always saying to me, “This looks great. Make the phone number bigger!”
I was sitting behind a truck at a stoplight the other day and there, right in front of me, was a phone number plastered on a company truck. That’s when it struck me. Who cares about the phone number anymore? This phone number is irrelevant.
So why it that? It is a little thing called the Internet. It’s not just where they find you; it’s where they find out about you.
In the good old days of 20 years ago, people used your phone number to find out about you and your company. Potential customers would call and talk to your sales staff or receptionist and ask questions or get more information about your products or services. In fact, there were some who argued the receptionist was the most important sales person in your company.
Nowadays, they look you up on the Internet and can find out more information about you before they ever talk to one of your employees. In many aspects, your website is the most important marketing tool your company has today.
Here is your chance to really tell your story to your potential customers and engage them before they ever talk to anyone. In fact, many will make a buying decision right there based on your website.
The point here is that your company’s URL or website address is the new phone number. It is the first place people are going to go to decide if they want to do business with you or not. It takes the place of your phone number because that is where people are going to go before they ever call you.
Now, you might be saying to yourself, “Duh, Jeff. We figured this out a long time ago.” Fair enough. That may be true but I make this point only because old habits are hard to break.
Every now and again, we get a customer who wants to embroider their phone number on their shirts. Just look around the parking lot some day. Some companies still put their phone number on their trucks as big as life. That is so 1980! Get over it people!!
Your URL (web address) is your phone number. Promote it like you promoted your phone number in the 90’s. Your business will be better for it.