The old cowhand expression goes “you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink” is how advertising agencies often feel about our clients.

Coming up with the “big idea” is one thing- getting the client to buy it- can be infinitely more difficult. Sometimes, even when you have a client who thinks you are brilliant- they run into an “expert” who convinces them that their ad agency can’t possibly know how to make the web work for them- and that they should “trust” them.

Screen shot of search results for “Zen Windows” with The Next Wave being first

This was the case with our client Zen Windows- a small business that we provided the tools to compete and win against much bigger and better capitalized business heavyweights. Our name, our tagline: Zen Windows, Relax, window quotes in five minutes, set them apart from the high-pressure, hard-sell, commissioned window sales companies in Columbus Ohio. Our simple web strategy involved using blog technology to keep Zen Windows at the top of search- for many terms- not just keywords. Unfortunately- the client drank from another cup- and so yesterday, when I saw we had gotten a google hit for “Zen Windows”- I checked to see what was generating the hit- and it was our post showcasing his logo. Considering “Zen” is the name of a hit MP3 player, and “Windows” is the leading operating system- the fact that our technology and our logo got first position in Google is a miracle. Considering that his company didn’t show up in the first 30 hits is a testimony to the snake oil salesman that told him he could build a better website for Zen Windows.

If you aren’t showing up in the first 30 results (or 3 pages) of Google for your own company name, you should be talking to an ad agency that truly understands integrated marketing communications and site construction for optimal search results (not just SEO or Search Engine Optimization- which we believe to be voodoo).

The funny thing is that the new site doesn’t look much different than the design we began with. But, the developer added Flash video to the home page. Flash, but no bang-for-the buck. You decide- what you want- snake oil- or results?

The Next Wave is marketing • innovation for a reason.