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How to explain this cost to clients?

 7:31 pm on Nov 14, 2000 (gmt 0)

Assume that we find some value in paying for Inktomi spidering. And further assume the whole scheme doesn't crash and burn early on.

How can we explain this cost to clients, who must pay for it. To the average business owner, this is a major abstraction -- a real brain-bender. And if they are looking at ROI, what can they measure? What can we promise?

This seems much too complicated to explain to a client, unless they are already pretty savvy. For that reason alone, I wonder if it can succeed in the long run.

I'm considering serving up the idea of an "experiment" to one client, but I just balk at it. I think I'd end up needing to teach seminars.

However, lots of complex business practices have succeeded without the general population having a clue about them. Has anyone heard of "slotting fees" in the supermarket business? These are fees a manufacturer pays just to have their products available at wholesale distribution warehouses. And, yes, it does keep the little business off the supermarket shelf. This seems to be a pretty good analogy for what Ink is hoping to do.



 7:41 pm on Nov 14, 2000 (gmt 0)

re littlesite.com client
Why go into depth about it? It's like office supplies, factor it into the cost.

re bigsite.com client
Adding $500/yr to a proposal or contract update could cost you the client. If you make it 'optional' and he opts out, the poor positioning could cost you the client, too. This gets sticky.

If you're doing the client on a ppc basis, I guess you just absorb the cost.

>Has anyone heard of "slotting fees" in the supermarket business?

Yep. There are some lawsuits currently surfacing on slotting, btw.


 12:43 am on Nov 15, 2000 (gmt 0)

Today I gave a presentation at a Merchants Meeting at a midsize mall. It was a diverse group of 20+ store owners. During the presentation the subject of search engines listings quickly came up.

I explained that being listed in search engines, in the past for the most part, was free. However since the decline of the Nasdaq market in the spring, Search Engines Companies were forced to find ways of generating real profits for their investors.

I briefly described how the search results on search engines were generated by databases supplied by database suppliers and that these suppliers were now charging companies to be added to their database in one form or another.

I gave a quick overview of pay for listing services, banner ads, pay for keyword, pay for spidering/indexing a full site, pay for spidering/indexing a page etc . .

I explained that attracting visitors now came at a cost and it was now more than ever important to attract targeted visitors at the lowest cost, and to focus on converting the visitors to buyers.

I let them know some of these services were new and still in question and some testing and time would be required until the full benfit could be realized.

As business people, there was not a dim light in the whole group, they got it an accepted it.
They are meeting to budget for their internet advertising costs.


 4:53 am on Nov 15, 2000 (gmt 0)

Nice work, minnapple. Do you have a transcript of your talk?

I'm only half-joking here. That's exactly the kind of material I try to develop in print for "client education" purposes.


 2:43 am on Nov 19, 2000 (gmt 0)

Sorry Tedster, no transcripts, putting anything in writing today is outdated before the inks dries. However . . .
Educate the client and let them make the decision, the business savy cleint will make the right one.


 1:32 pm on Nov 20, 2000 (gmt 0)

I'm not trying to just 'pass the cost' along. I'm actively informing clients that engines "x,y,z" now are charging just to look at your site with no garantee of listing. Once they see how the game has changed, most understand it.

I also will admit to doing a bit of engine bashing while humming the tune, it's us against the world.

What has helped soften this blow, is I've been harping for a year to find alternatives to search engines. Especially, those local concerns that are really looking for local traffic. Find the highest traffic local site you can and purchase ad space. Banner ads at the local level still work fairly well.

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