In previous times, businesses focussed on selling and selling and selling. You arrived at a shop and the sales people simply wanted to sell to you. It did not matter if you did not need the products or they did not suit your purpose;’ the foremost objective was to sell. When websites came on the scene, the became online showrooms. Products were displayed in attractive colours sometimes even different from how they look in real life. My wife is a “career bargain hunter” who patronises deals and offer sites names of which I will not like to mention. Often she has seen some really cool gadget or product ordered them only to find they were not as great as it looked online. The selling culture has often meant that some companies are so compelled by the need to sell that they would do anything to make a sale even if in the long term their integrity is questioned. This selling culture clearly is one extreme.

The other extreme arrived years later when smart dotcom companies arrived on the scene offering everything and anything AT NO COST. Most of these businesses were built on faulty or non-existent business models without a clear monetisation strategy. They delivered on content but not on commerce. Today’s marketing is hinged on an appropriate balance between content and commerce; giving value to create products and services that your customers become used to. Trust is built in the process and it leads to long term profitability and higher customer lifetime value.

In terms of a good strategy, it is often best to start with creating valuable content that makes your website the “go to” site for your industry and gradually use the leverage of your readership to create commerce. Increasingly this is the strategy most companies are using. A great case study example of this is Thrillist which started as a blog of curated content.

Thrillist went from a revenue of $9M in 2009 to $100M in 2014 simply from evolving and creating that balance of Content and Commerce. That was a huge significant step for them as a company. The question is how you can create this balance of Content and Commerce within your business. Have you started at all?

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