Is Google necessary for small business?

Had lunch with a friend of mine today.  Asked him if he was doing any marketing on Google for his mulit-million dollar business.  He was not and didn’t feel it was necessary as they are getting plenty of new business via word of mouth.  (In all fairness he works for a traditional company that has never needed the web for any part of their business). I didn’t argue with him as I am sure that he knows his business.

I can’t help but think that he is missing something though.  As the younger generation takes over more of the job market, an exemplary online presence for any type of business is going to become an absolute must.  A generation that has only known the existence of the web is going to have  zero patience for businesses that don’t make great efforts to market to them on the web.  Already, if someone tells me word of mouth that some company is great, the first thing I do is research it further on the web.  If I can’t find further corroboration on the  company’s site – such as their up to date, Web 2.0 site, it is unlikely that I am going to look any further at them.  The fact that a company took the time to put up a pleasing looking site that answers any question I might have about them, shows me the love.  The lack of such, surely slaps the face of anyone under 30.

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