Sometimes sales calls amaze me. I had a call today with a fairly well known brand. They were interested in search optimization. We had to schedule a call over a month in advance. We get on this call with what must have been at least 8 people in a room. For some reason the sales staff at USWeb has come to like WebEx (which I will go on the record as saying itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a piece of crap), but of course these geniuses on the prospect side canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t get their own computer to work and then have a hard time with instructions like Ã¢â‚¬Å“click on the link in the emailÃ¢â‚¬?. So, after they figured out the whole WebEx thing, we started our presentation.
One of the things USWeb pushes out as a normal process of SEO is creating a blog. As soon as I mentioned the term blog, one of these geniuses interrupts and tells me that Ã¢â‚¬Å“We have already went through the blog idea and decided that blogging is not part of the ***** corporate culture.Ã¢â‚¬?. What!?!?!? What does corporate culture have to do with blogging. No one here asked them to pierce their tongues, wear Doc Martins to work, listen to My Chemical Romance, or drive a Prius. We simply wanted them to take content (like their lame newsletter that no one reads) and repurpose it to a CMS that syndicates through RSS. Then that worthless content actually provides them some value in cross linking.
These people were just negative from the beginning. They had this real attitude like they already new everything, although from their crappy site itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s clear they knew close to nothing. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s been my experience that anyone who uses the tem Ã¢â‚¬Å“corporate cultureÃ¢â‚¬? these days simply means Ã¢â‚¬Å“we like to take our time making very bad decision.Ã¢â‚¬?
Ironically, I spoke one person at a company earlier today for a kick off call on his project. It lasted less than 15 minutes. He was clear on his expectations, we were clear on our plan of action, and he understood what the next step was. This man will have his company site ranking #1 for every term her asked for. This other company will most likely go with some other search marketing firm, see a lot of paperwork, have endless meetings about how things fit into their corporate culture, and not see any results.
There is one part of corporate culture I believe in. There was a business book from the 70Ã¢â‚¬â„¢s called the Peter Principal. It stated a once controversial, but now generally excepted idea that people in corporate culture all rise to their level of incompetence. I met some today.