http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/8291319.stm, a small business dealing in road and white line painting services asks the question as to which are the best advertising investments for their niche business. The BBC's expert, Ganesh Selvarajah, is an advisor at Business Link. He suggests that primarily after research on possible clients, the company should create a brochure, call up companies and mail the brochure out to them. Developing the website is also a secondary suggestion - insofar as making sure their unique selling point is clear on the home page. When reading this, it reminds us that, as an company steeped in the methods of internet marketing, how many offline avenues to lead generation are still valid in today's climate - networking, word of mouth, as well as mailings suggested here. It is nevertheless a surprise that the advisor didn't mention search engine optimisation at all. Suggesting the brochure route is costly in terms of production and mailing and does involve a significant time investment. "Developing your website" seems to suggest the "build it and they will come" attitude to the web which was common in the early days on businesses buying their first website. These days, as advertising money streams from offline to online methods, most know that having a website is not enough - it needs to be found! It's possible that manufacturing or industrial business services are considered inappropriate to web marketing. However, if it were the case in the past, times have certainly changed. A quick search on Google UK for "road marking" shows 5 out of the 10 results feature road marking companies like this one asking the question. Another two of the results are to online directory lists featuring links to such "road marking" companies. Our own portfolio of clients shows businesses from all sectors - retail, wholesale, B2C, B2B, but also many of them are what would be considered "industrial" clients. It's well known these days in any business that when the order comes down from above to find a supplier for this or that, those tasked with coming up with possible contacts go first to a search engine. Sending a brochure out relies on hitting the recipient at the right time, just when they are considering your services. Otherwise the brochure will end up at best in a drawer, at worst in the bin. Irrespective of sector, if your company is not featuring in the top search engine rankings, you miss out on a cost-effective marketing method, one which allows many prospects to find your company exactly at the time when they are looking for what it is you do.