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Hire a Sales Person or Invest in SEO and SEM?

by in Digital Media and Internet Development
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Clients have asked, instead of hiring a sales person, should I put that money toward an online marketing or search engine optimization? As a company that supplies SEO, SMM and SEM services, I love to hear this and it’s a good strategy if managed correctly depending on your current staffing and market focus. I can’t say enough about having someone that breaths air and knows how to listen to a prospect because computers don’t listen, they just tell. But on the flip side, things are changing and if you’re not online, you are just local.b2ap3_thumbnail_ShakingHands.jpg

There is a lot of talk about how the generation coming does not know how to communicate with each other without sending a tweet, txt or other online communication. I watch teenagers and they can’t seem to keep their eyes or hands off their smart phone. What is so important on that screen? YO! – put it down and look up and talk to me. So I must be getting old that I want to talk to someone when making business decisions. But when I’m shopping online, leave me alone until I ask for help and stop trying to chat with me. However, these teenagers might be the ones looking for products or services in the future and you want to make sure your company shows up where they look.

The next generation is very transparent and tech savvy so having a solid online presence is critical unless you are not interested in reaching them as consumers. But I think there needs to be blending between humans and technology, and you need to understand your target market. Online sales or lead generation through SEO, SEM, SMM and digital media should be a part of every companies marketing plan. Based on your business model depends on the extent of that involvement and it should also support traditional marketing methods. Marketing campaigns should drive traffic to your website which should be designed to convert that prospect into a lead or sale. Leads require responding and follow up. It’s proven that conversion rates are higher when a qualified sales person does the follow up and closing.

So the answer: There is a blend and I see the internet as a referral source to your sales team. So depending on your sales team configuration, that will determine how much should be spent on Internet Marketing.

I also recommend you hold your SEO, SEM and SMM vendor to the same accountability as your sales team. In most cases, sales professionals’ success is based on activities and goals. Why don’t companies hold their Internet Marketing vendors to the same accountability? I think it’s because most Internet Marketing vendors don’t offer accountability and most companies are not viewing online resources at the same value. But what if you did and expected results? If you hire a lead generation or cold call company, they provide you detailed lists, call scripts and record keeping to justify their services. At Intrada, we have an aggressive online internet marketing campaign using Pay-Per-Clicks, landing pages, call to actions combined with traditional print advertising. We also focus on article generation like this one to build ranking on target keyword/key phrases for organic placement. But we also have a sales team that follows up on all leads and does traditional cold calling. It’s a balance and, depending on your business, your current staffing and target prospects, determines how you balance this decision.

So how do determine this balance? Intrada offers a Strategic Market Planning session designed to teach our team about our client and then identify the marketing goals. With the goals identified, a marketing plan can be created to deliver those goals and provide tracking, accountability and desired return on investment. Some of the questions asked and information gathered in the marketing planning session include:

  • History and Company Background
  • Service and/or Product Information
  • Current Staff and Positions
  • Current Market Reach / Target Market Reach
  • Current Market Saturation / Target Market Saturation
  • Current Competitor Challenges / Target Market Competitors
  • Current Sales, Budgets, Marketing Campaigns, Web Traffic and Online Visibility
  • Past Marketing Campaigns Efforts
  • What do you want to accomplish? Goals / Objectives / Growth

With this information, Intrada researches the current placement of a company on both online and physical placements. Intrada also identifies competitors, both physical and online, to establish a competitor analysis. Using tools available from search engines and other paid services, Intrada identifies the estimated search traffic available based on keywords and key phrases. After compiling this information, Intrada is able to provide a detailed marketing campaign designed to accomplish the goals, objectives and desired growth of a company using both digital media and traditional media.

So you want to find out if you should invest in SEO, SEM and SEM service instead of hiring another sales person? Contact an Internet Marketing company, establish some goals and get a quote. If you decide to move forward, hold the vendor accountable for hitting those goals and benefit from the largest referral network in the word.

If you would be interested in learning more about Intrada, give me a call or email me today.

David Steele, Partner / Webmaster
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Expertise - David is one of today’s new breed of technology pioneers creating, building and managing technology for today’s business environment. In 2000, David co-founded Intrada Technologies, Inc. In 2001, Intrada partnered with Micro-One Computer Center to create Micro-Link, a regional ISP serving more than 2000 dial-up customers. He also developed a public wireless network for commercial industry in Williamsport / Montoursville / Montgomery, PA that includes corporate email, broadband, VPN, firewall, network management, consulting, installation and training. In 2004, he sold the Dialup and Wireless portions of the business, with Intrada assuming the Micro-Link hosting and commercial ISP services. Today, David’s primary business focus is web development and network management.

Client Depth - David’s clients include health care, telecommunications, retail outlets and cataloging, and web-based robotic management systems. He has implemented full E-commerce and inventory billing systems, visual packing and shipping systems and other E-commerce solutions for large distributors with EDI interfaces and multiple vendors.

Accomplishments - David gained his expertise from a unique combination of formal education, natural ability, and on-the-job learning. He acquired his business acumen studying business management and computer programming at Pennsylvania College of Technology. In addition, David studied privately with renowned lighting and theater designer Stan Prestner at UCLA, where he learned the intricacies of light engineering and design and electrical sound reinforcement for live performance.

In addition, David continues to pursue advanced training in new media and technology developments.  570-321-7370 x102


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