This morning I attended a meeting of small business owners. The presentation was geared to small business owners with no specific industry targeted. I was eager to learn what kind of businesses were represented and as each person stood up and introduced himself/herself. I was amazed that exactly half of those present were involved with technology, specifically marketing via the internet through the use of APPS, blogs, social media and websites. Many of these “tech” firms were “full “ service offering everything from website design, building apps and then helping with the social media marketing.
For me this past year has been a learning experience as I strive to combine traditional marketing practices with the rapid growth of information technology marketing.
The term “inbound marketing” has become prevalent in this new marketing era. Inbound Marketing is marketing focused on getting found by customers. The traditional marketing (outbound marketing) is focused on finding customers.
As I keep repeating: “Change is the only constant in our business lives.” Technology has changed marketing to a process that is led by consumers who are looking for information. Our prospects search for information on products and services and take action when they are ready. They demand information that is easily accessible when they are ready to look for it. The 8 to 5 time frame for marketing has forever changed to whatever time is convenient for our customers, which means 24/7.
Most of us are on information overload and as buyers we look for value in our internet searches instead of the traditional sales pitch. Thus new and relevant content is the force that will generate lots of website traffic.
Another interesting statistic was in an IBM study released in June of 2012, almost 9 out of 10 global marketers either have a mobile site or a mobile application or plan to employ one in the future. I believe that by the end of next year, mobile will become a must have channel for businesses.
While this new inbound marketing system is grabbing the headlines in marketing, the basis for it is still found in the Strategic Business and Marketing Plans. Target markets have to be clearly identified as well as the value needs of your prospects. Action plans still have to be developed and implemented with a strong accountability factor thrown in. I don’t think that it is too early for small business owners to consider the addition of an “inbound marketing” person to the staff, or at least employing an inbound marketing firm.
As a small business owner you can never close your eyes to new technologies. You don’t have to know the “how to” behind them, but you must be aware of their existence so you can integrate them into your marketing efforts.
Always be open! Listen and learn! Be the leader in real –time inbound marketing for your products and services.
Nick J. Petra CFP We challenge our clients to think outside the box! Our main function is to help grow your bottom line. Subscribe to this blog at www.strategicduck.com reach me at email@example.com