Discussing the Cazbah internet marketing process to business owners in manufacturing and industrial distribution recently reminded me of the Peter Principle definition which generally states, “Employees within a business will rise to their own level of incompetence. Beyond that point, they will not be particularly effective inside the organization, and will not contribute as they once did”.
The Peter Principle definition may sound harsh and blunt, but let’s take a step back from that, examine what the principle is really saying, and apply it accordingly.
Use Your Resources
The Peter Principle was formulated by Laurence J. Peter in 1969 as a concept in management theory. Wikipedia also attributes Peter as the creator of the term “hierarchiology”, referring to the study of hierarchical structures in society.
Everyone and everything has a certain limit to their potential, a marker they cannot rise above. However, that’s not to say those individuals or “things” are not worth investing in. I would argue the Peter Principle is incomplete and doesn’t consider the effects learning and upkeep can have on a person, system, or technology. So for the sake of argument, let’s frame the Peter Principle as a warning of what can happen if you don’t take the proper action.
As it says in J.M. Barrie’s “Peter Pan”, “Dreams do come true, if only we wish hard enough. You can have anything in life if you will sacrifice everything else for it.”
If you want sales and steady customers, it’s time to sacrifice your comfort with the old and start investing in the new internet marketing methods of the internet.
A strong, comprehensive website is the best way to gain leads, conversions, and long term success in today’s market. The internet is the pixie dust which will allow your website to fly right into the path of your target audience.
Using the Peter Principle definition, your business website need to be considered like an employee – they are an internal resource that needs to be utilized as effectively as possible for the ultimate growth of the company. Like any resource; it needs to be kept current, relevant, and in sync with your business goals.
The average American does a large majority of their shopping online, or at least spends a large amount of time researching the products they buy online first before they actually walk into a store or shop. In fact, according to CPC Strategy, an astonishing 96% of Americans buy online! If your website doesn’t come up in their search, or if it’s outdated and difficult to use, you’re business will be overlooked.
If you’re not providing your potential customers with a good website experience, your competition will. Buyer’s are changing and that means you as the seller need to accomodate those changes by investing in a current website.
Give Your Website New Life
Unfortunately, many businesses neglect their sites so they remain a static listing of products – lethargically posting information to its point of incompetence, running rampant inside many vertical markets; such as healthcare, food production, bio sciences, and others.
I talk with many business owners who do not fully understand the fact that the Internet – regardless of their market and industry – needs to be a dominate factor in their marketing and sales strategy to drive business growth. Business owners I speak to inside industrial markets still believe the Internet is not important to their own customer base. It’s just for kids, or those buying retail they say. These company leaders are falling way behind with regards to sustaining business relationships and leveraging the Internet to grow revenues, year in and year out.
Traditional marketing methods aren’t cutting it anymore and you’ll soon feel just how cold being on the outside is, if you continue to overlook the internet’s potential for your business marketing needs.
Having a static website is no longer a viable means to grow your business. Like your sales team, your site is about interacting with real people, ensuring they find you based on what you offer in terms of a solution to their problems. People searching on the Internet are looking for someone to help them and then, deciding if they want to engage with you before they ever pick up the phone to speak with you.
So what does that mean? Your potential customer is coming to you (inbound marketing) and is pre-qualifying you as a potential vendor.
That is how business to business is done on the Internet. For manufacturers, distributors and dealers who understand that the Internet is such a powerful medium which must be embraced and used to its fullest, they are taking actionable steps to use it. Why?
Your Customers Are Looking For You
About 75 percent of the U.S. is now on the Internet at some level. 75%!
In the US alone in 2016, there was 290 million internet users, making America one of the largest online internet markets in the world!
That is three out of every four people you talk to – and transact business with every day. Doing business with people on the Internet is not just about having some product listed in your business site and hoping they pick yours over someone else’s. It’s about helping to solve a problem they have by freely giving them educational, actionable information.
New customers come from those who are seeking a partner to provide a solution, the right solution, for their own business. You need to be found so you can be that solution provider.
Yes, internet marketing can be daunting. But, it’s the new frontier where business gets done. And what about business owners who dismiss the significance of the Internet: not preparing their organizations to strategically leverage it to their own fullest advantage?
Those not recognizing the Internet as the viable and essential business tool it is may be classified as Peter Pan and his lost boys who exemplify the Peter Principle definition quite well.
Like Peter Pan, it appears they would rather remain the same forever, fearing what change and growth may bring.
However, one of the better motifs we can take from the classic “Peter Pan” is that if we continue to stay in the same spot and refuse to change and grow, we are left behind by those around us and become incapable of achieving necessary progress.
The Peter Principle states that an individual’s usefulness and abilities will be capped at some point and from then on, they will not be as useful as they once were. Apply this principle to your website. Is your website performing to it’s full capacity or has it hit a brick wall? An optimized, well designed website will help your business sales fly and and “Never Land”.