Sales people are often paid more than programmers and that used to bother me a lot because I’m myself a web developer and I know how hard it is to come up with all the logic to make a web application work seamlessly and provide functionalities that others take for granted. In most companies, it’s usually the sales team who get most of the credit for the hard work done by the development team and that’s the reason devs don’t really get on with marketing people.

However, now when I look back, I can clearly see why this culture exists. You can build the most beautiful, the most unique and out-of-this-world website but if no one knows about it, then it’s a definite failure. The purpose of a website is to serve its visitors and without none, it can’t survive. I’ve seen many great websites start up only to die after a couple of months. Initially, there’s the buzz about the launch and people are curious to know what it’s about and come to check it out but afterwards, it becomes forgotten.

Having a great idea is not enough! You need to convince the visitors that your site is great and give them a reason to come back. If your website does not engage your users, then it’s a flop already. Right from conception, you need to build into your web app a way for your users to interact with your site. Engagement is all about giving the users a way to communicate something and it can be in the form of posting content (commenting, emailing etc), liking your material (votes/thumps up) or uploading material (images/videos). If you are a news source, then you might think that visitors are only coming to consume your content, that is, reading the news but if there’s no way of interacting with the news source (rating the news, voicing their opinions), sooner or later they’ll go to your competitor who’s giving them the chance to do all these.

People want to be heard so it shouldn’t be a one-way conservation. You need to listen to them because without them, there’s no point continuing what you’re doing. A blogger writes as a hobby but when he sees someone commenting on his blogpost, it gives me more reason to blog.

Marketing is difficult but is a must. You need to understand your users and craft content to their needs. When you’re able to unleash your creativity, you’ll see more people flogging to your site but until then, you have to learn to understand what your users want.


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