Business today has become very competitive. Cut throat competition demands even more visibility than ever before. Companies try to reach out their prospective customers through all convetional means primarily through print and television media.
Some forward thinking businesses do realize the importance of creating their own online identities and they end up developing a website for their business. But sooner or later they realize that a website alone cannot do much in this huge virtual world.
Business directories provide companies with an advantage that is largely ignored by many. I found it really ironical when a trader friend of mine who logs on to various online marketplaces searching for new vendors has no online presence at all. Upon asking he started talking about how search engine optimization is required with a website and not many companies can achieve it. I was surprised at the way he was constantly ignoring the need of himself being listed on one of these marketplaces.
Ask yourself, how many people in the industry know about you? And those who know about you, how many of them have not seen you or heard about you in the last 6 months? Do they know about your latest products or product advancements? Do you realise how much you are missing out by not having your prospective customers updated about your products? It is a well known fact that people visit tradeshows and industry events. Yes, you do go there to see your competitors and customers even when you already know about them. And the visit is not a waste of time, you gain each time you visit. Right?
Business directories are online verisons of conventional tradeshows. Your customers and competitors learn about you when they see your business listing. Its a well known fact that prospective buyers perfer b2b marketplaces than company websites to obtain information they need. So, next time you think of having a new office upgrading your sales team, consider getting listed in online marketplaces.
My clients have often asked me Which directories and b2b portals should they get listed with? I suggest going with as many as possible. Most of them offer free listings. If you are serious and looking at premium listings, look for a place which has less competition, offers value added services and you can trust them to be a long term partner. On another note, if you have enough budget, get listed on as many places as you can.