The PitchAfter the Global Entrepreneurship Week launch event last Monday I went along to the IoD for the final of The Pitch. Think Dragons Den without the TV cameras.

It was an entertaining afternoon with 6 businesses pitching for a prize package worth £50,000, Anthony Lau, Founder of Cyclehoop was crowned the winner.

One thing that did worry me was the finalists response when asked about their marketing plan. For some of them their entire marketing plan could be summed up in one word: Google. “If you search for x we’re number one on Google”.

It’s something I see way too often. Relying on natural traffic from Google for your sales is a very precarious position to be in. Google can change it’s algorithm overnight and you can drop from page 1 to page 100 – effectively putting you out of business.

Whilst free traffic (as opposed to paid-for Adwords) is highly desirable – and we certainly do well from it ourselves – you should never rely on it as your primary source of new business.

If you’re ranking well now then great – but make sure you use the revenue generated by that traffic to implement a marketing plan so that you’re not so dependent on one source for your livelihood.

What’s almost as worrying is the  judges apparent willingness to accept “Google” as an acceptable response to “What’s your marketing plan?”.

It isn’t.

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