Marketing has never been easy; at one time it was “door knocking” then seminars, newspaper advertising, radio, yellow pages, billboards, TV and direct mail. This was further perpetuated within stores as the different brands tried to draw attention to themselves.
How much has changed; In my home we record the few TV programs we want to watch so we can avoid commercials. I can’t remember the last time I saw the yellow pages; perhaps my wife throws them out when they arrive. Telemarketers are eliminated by use of caller ID or the “do not call list”. For all practical purposes, newspaper advertising has disappeared in our community.
It isn’t hard to figure out what has caused this dramatic change. It’s called the internet. On our cruise around the British Isles last year my wife planned and booked the entire trip on line. There were no calls to the cruise company, the airlines, hotels, or trips to the bookstore for information on our destination.
For my personal purchases, for products or services, unless I know a provider ( then I go directly to their web site) or have a referral, I turn to the internet and search for my needs. I make a purchase decision based on the information provided on web sites and also upon the placement of the information. Does anyone go through hundreds of listings for the same product/service?
I am convinced that the secret to marketing growth is getting found on the internet. No, I have not eliminated other forms of marketing, even some of the “old” ones; but they have to become part of a process for being found on the internet.
Internet marketing is very complex. Having a brochure website is not nearly enough; there are hundreds of thousands of web sites. In my mind the most important part of internet marketing is CONTENT. Consumers want to know you and your story before they pick up the phone or place an order online.
Content is created in many different ways. Having a value based blog will allow readers to measure your depth of knowledge. Having a presence in Social Media will give them an insight to your business, community and personal life. Don’t forget the importance of having an effective “visual marketing” program to tie everything together.
Marketing is an ever changing endeavor. Work with your coach/mentor to select the proper internet support team.
In the end, people are persuaded not by what we say, but by what they understand.
Nick J. Petra CFP in the near future this blog will only be available through a $5/month subscription fo www.onebizcentral.com