I just got back from an extended business trip to Istanbul, including a visit to the Grand Bazaar—one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world, and widely considered to be a precursor to the US shopping mall. It's an impressive place, with 61 covered streets and over 3,000 shops selling everything from mugs to machetes to an estimated 250,000-400,000 visitors daily.

Inside the crowded marketplace, you get the sense that there's nothing you couldn't find there. The problem, of course, is not knowing where to look: The streets are choked and crowded, even in December's off-season. And the merchants shout at you from their individual stalls, clamoring for your attention with invitations like "Hallo! We can help you spend your money!" and "Good day! Come look!"

It's sensory overload, and unless you know exactly what you're looking for and who sells it, despair can set in.

I don't think I'm exaggerating when I say that Istanbul's Grand Bazaar reminded me of the MarketingProfs homepage that was. In our case, there was nothing marketing-related that wasn't represented there. (Content marketing training? We've got that over here, lady! Stats on how small businesses are using social media? No problem! Come look!) But as in a colorful, crowded market... good luck finding it on what was our previous homepage.

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image of Ann Handley

Ann Handley is a Wall Street Journal bestselling author who speaks worldwide about how businesses can escape marketing mediocrity to ignite tangible results. She is the Chief Content Officer of MarketingProfs, a LinkedIn Influencer, keynote speaker, dog person, and writer.