Fighting Inertia In Business

From time to time, one or another of us from our team will send around an interesting article, this is to share knowledge and ensure that the whole team is aware of developments throughout the SEO/Digital Industry. In every case I can remember, I’ve found something useful in the time spent doing so.

This week, I read an article which introduced some great ideas. Among the observations was the concept that inertia can be a negative influence on changing many situations. “I like my [service professional, technology provider], therefore, why switch?”, “My hairdresser is the best!” (Of course, in my case, I had to come to grips with having to dump my hairdresser a long time ago…). This inertia may be more along the lines of a perceived alliance. “They gave me a great deal.” Well ok, but what if you’re actually lacking value? Positive inertia implies that things are moving forward. What if your results are lacklustre? Many of our customers may be comparing us “against nothing.” In other words, they are currently logging in and out of a bunch of different tools and that’s extremely time consuming. It may be a challenge to understand the forces of inertia in this case. In fact, the effects of perceived alliances may cut across several providers which may make it even more difficult for companies to consider trading in multiple tools for one platform.  

Business people are naturally responsible for making good business decisions; but this is often easier said than done, especially in the world of interactive media where more “brother in law” deals are often made. Only to discover that they may not actually be very good at building websites or managing your SEO efforts – what then? Have you ever had to make that decision? In general, many business relationships are not nearly as strong as they should be. We like to maintain personal relationships with all of our customers and right now, I can safely say that we have great relationships with those of our customers who wish to allow us to establish one.

In fact, if you really do value your partners in the ways in which we would hope you would value us, you should stay with them. We’re the right choice for those who want to save time and make money beyond what they’re able to achieve currently. That may sound like rhetoric, but time and time again the math doesn’t lie. If you add up all the time you’re currently spending on SEO related activities, you may be surprised. If you’re not doing a lot of SEO right now, then you’re likely missing loads of opportunities. In either case, our platform will help you to identify opportunities. There are opportunities to piggyback on your competition, to find keywords you should be targeting and finding technical deficiencies that are time consuming to explore.

We talk a lot about our lifecycle management approach to SEO and to SEO account management. That’s a primary benefit that is mission critical to so many companies. From beginner to advanced users, and from project start to…well the next project you start…we make your life easier.  It is the unfortunate reality that SEO is never done. That’s a blessing and a curse. While it does require effort and the end zone is elusive (that’s an American Football reference for all my British friends), it’s worth the effort both short and long term. As a company, we are acutely aware of this and are in the midst of the relentless pursuit of improving both the ideal process and the journey.

So how does inertia work? Well especially some technologies require challenging implementations. The value is delayed until such time as the integration is achieved. That can certainly get the flywheel going in the wrong direction. Unfortunately, there are some who allow the whole process to annoy them and the result is annoyed inertia. Categorically, that’s right up there with the “It didn’t work before” problem. Well two things. First- if it was a good idea before, but maybe the implementation was flawed, why would it no longer be a good idea? Lots of projects have been tried and failed. Innovation should always be the result. Otherwise, that’s a total loss. Second- yes the bar should be raised, but often the differences don’t seem valuable enough for the shift to occur.

I really want to be constantly challenged along these lines. We are innovators and as such, should be expected to raise the bar for ourselves. We’re the kind of company that does that. So beyond the feature by feature, line by line, report for report evaluation, how is the benefit value proposition? We know the bar is set high, but we’ve made it over the bar over 20,000 times. We’re managing a lot of sites and have obviously built successful working relationships many times. While we rarely lose a deal over price, we realize our real obligation in satisfying the value equation. We’re doing our best to establish a trust relationship with our customers even beyond the day to day activities we help to streamline.

If you value this kind of partner, please take the time required to evaluate the business decision for what it ought to be. And there it is; another important way in which inertia can negatively influence your current decision. Change takes time, it has to. Analytics SEO CEO, Laurence O’Toole often uses the analogy of switching from one version of MS Office ™ to another. That can be painful – “Where did they move my scissors?” So why would anyone purposely subject themselves to that process? Well- again, the benefits have to outweigh the time investment.

Once again, as a company, we understand that. We’re asking our customers to push against the inertia of their own flywheel in order to generate better results. We provide our time to help you implement and to learn. From our Welcome Program (with the weird British spelling Programme) to our very excellent manual and available one to one training, we are committed to making the transition as painless as possible. In fact, our customers tend to admit that they come out the other side a better SEO practitioner; that’s a high compliment from our customer base! It may sound a bit strange, but if you think about it, familiarity boosts satisfaction in many cases so and being taken out of your comfort zone can stretch you and help you reach greater heights.

So why are we suggesting that you consider a change? Well from the highest level, which horse do you want to be riding during the ongoing battle to overtake your competition? More practically, in most cases, we can help you save time and money. In fact, we’re every bit as enterprise as other enterprise solutions and yet we’re priced at a fraction of the cost of other similar platforms. Then consider the vast array of features and the benefits that are directly connected to them. We’re making our best effort to relentlessly pursue greatness, with regular updates and a constant drive to deliver world class software and service. Is that a journey you’d like to join us on?

Thanks very much to @destraynor for the inspiration from his excellent post on inertia.

By: Dennis Hart


photo credit: Lori Greig via photopincc

photo credit: Scallop Holden via photopincc

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