In the previous post, I alluded to problems with our email server. They are not yet solved. This is a “mission important” business challenge — we publish several eletters each week for different markets — so it is urgently important to solve. It isn’t quite the same as a life-and-death crisis; the world won’t come crashing down if it takes a week or two to resolve, but it still needs to be corrected with urgency.
Although we don’t (yet) have a documented system for dealing with these sorts of problems since they currently are within my management oversight responsibilities, I’ve developed some tools and processes to triage IT-type problems and solve them, relatively inexpensively. No need for stand-by $500 an hour consultants, so far a least. But as I go down the unofficial checklist, the problem remains unsolved. My willingness to pay for answers conversely increases.
Now, what would happen if someone along the way offered what seemed to be an ideal solution to the issue? Yesterday afternoon, I thought I had found the answer. I think through “organic search” on Google (in other words the SEO was good enough and the words I were seeking were well targeted enough to bring this site to my attention), the service appeared to be exactly what I needed. I sent an inquiry form, and later followed up with an online message. The service is in India. So I allowed for time zone differences and even checked for the possibility of public holidays in India. No holiday. No response. My conclusion: This is probably a “one man band” with a fancy website, and he happens to be away or has left the site unattended. Marketing fail.
Yes, in this situation, there is still recovery time. I don’t just want support on this challenge, I NEED support. In other words, as Jon Goldman would describe in his marketing materials, I am a “hungry fish” for the solutions I need. I’m the dream client for someone with the specialized services I need. But we still have to match up.
This story, as yet unresolved, shows the intriguing balance between need, want, and marketing. Most of the time, ineffective marketers or business developers (aka salespeople) are pushing stuff at me — and other businesses — that we don’t really need. Possibly there can be a tug on emotional calls, or maybe there are commodity ongoing needs that can be price-tested. And occasionally there are new and bright innovations that are worthy of experimentation.
The situations of acute need, when there is a genuine openness and desire to find new vendors, are much rarer.
Perhaps the best answer in these situations, if you are set up properly, again is a well-designed website with solid SEO, like the Indian service I discovered yesterday. The challenge then, however, is to be ready to catch the lead when it lands. I’m trying elsewhere.
If you know about Mailwizz and email servers, or someone who does, please contact me right away at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have stories of how you were able to design your business to solve urgent client requirements, you can also email, or comment if you wish. This is marketing in real life.