by Tom Snyder on Jun 05, 2007


Over the past few months we've been looking at the perils of developing your own Web presence. We've been likening the Internet to a minefield, with potentially fatal missteps. Last month we talked about bulk email practices that are certain to get you branded and banned as a Spammer. In this issue, we continue with:

Internet Landmine #4: The half-truth that you get what you pay for.

I'm smart enough to know that a.) Neither I nor anyone on my staff has the expertise to develop and implement a successful Web strategy, and b.) I need to avoid the little one-man shops like the plague... for all the obvious reasons. So I spent a bundle to have my Web site done by my ad agency. It looks pretty slick, but I'm just not getting the results I should be.

The above scenario is one we hear frequently. The bad news is that had they done a.) or b.) they would have paid a little bit to do it wrong, and would now be spending a lot in addition to do it right.

Unfortunately, because they chose the path they did, they paid A LOT to do it wrong, and will need to spend a LOT again to do it right.

They say "You get what you pay for." Unfortunately, it's only half true.

While companies who choose a cheap, small one-man shop almost always prove the axiom to be true, there are sadder stories that prove the opposite...that it is quite possible to NOT get what you pay for!

Many companies rely on their ad agencies to be their Web "experts." Or they use an engineering firm, a local computer manufacturer, software developer, networking firm, or a consultancy with specific expertise in their own particular industry, not realizing that none of those disciplines have anything to do with what it really takes to develop and implement a sound Web strategy. And they end up paying a LOT to these "experts," many of whom actually know even less than many of the one-man Web shops.

And the even bigger tragedy is that, in addition to overpaying for a product that is lacking in many of the necessary details and best practices, they have no idea how many opportunities they are missing because thy assume that the high price tag bought them the proper expertise.

A proven multidisciplinary team of Web design, Web programming, and Web marketing experts who understand all the potential landmines of the Internet landscape is necessary to keep you from stepping on this land mine and blowing your self up. Few agencies, IT/engineering firms or computer "specialists" have the necessary elements to cover all the bases. The smart, honest ones actually outsource much of their Internet work to firms like Trivera. Here in Milwaukee, a dozen of the top area agencies, and a half dozen technical firms use us to "fill in their blanks" and bring a complete package to their clients.

The rest misrepresent their expertise and charge a bundle, knowing that their clients will probably never even question the expense or the results.

The Internet is a minefield… and all of us are navigating through it together… company employees trying to do it themselves, vendors in seemingly related fields, ad agencies and technology firms and even outside Web development companies, both big and small. There's a lot to know, and every day new landmines are planted in that field just to keep it interesting.

So even a single misstep can result in tragic and expensive consequences.

In our next newsletter, we'll wrap up this series with some final thoughts, and a personal confession to drive the point home.

-Tom Snyder