If you are in any way involved in the business of Internet Marketing or are a business owner, you may get a chuckle from seeing a truck go by with a business name like “A1 Plumbing,” or see a store called “1 Stop Shop.” Often these are businesses that have been around for decades. They are usually rare survivors from a by-gone era of marketing, where a legitimate marketing strategy was to choose a company name that would put you at the top of the alphabetical listings in the “yellow pages” of the telephone book. It is a marketing technique that has become as outdated as the vinyl record or the 8 Track tape has become to music.
You might even have to explain to young people that we used to have to look up phone numbers of businesses in a book made out of actual paper. Yes, kids, it was the kind that came from dead trees. Soon we may need to give a similar explanation to describe such concepts as newspapers and magazines that are made of paper. It might make you feel old, when you have to make that explanation for the first time. However, no matter how old you currently are, even if you have never known a world without the Internet, you have lived through drastic changes in marketing. The pace of change on the internet is fast. You better keep up if you want to succeed. Here are a few of the recent changes in the marketing world that you must be aware of and even embrace, to be in business for long.
- If you don’t have a proper internet presence, you don’t exist. Gone are the days where your company could survive and grow using traditional advertising mediums, like print media alone. If you don’t have a website, you might as well be invisible to your customers.
- Social media is king. You need to have a public face on social media websites, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Youtube. People need to see you mentioned in that setting, because that is where they hang out. As various social media sites grow and fade, you must hedge your bets and just be everywhere. As the saying goes, “Don’t put your eggs all in one basket.”
- You should make use of modern marketing channels such as Amazon and Groupon. Amazon has quickly gone from a small internet-based book store, to a dominate force in the publishing business, to the world’s largest retailer. They have become a powerful partner to businesses of all types, including those who sell physical products. Amazon can now warehouse your products and handle everything from sales to fulfillment. To speed up shipping times, they have recently bought their own fleet of airplanes. Groupon’s offerings are growing and taking a bigger bite of the marketing world pie, with their local directories and coupon pages. Tens of thousands of merchants now have a marketing presence with Groupon. You can see an example here, with the high-end watch and jewelry store, Ashford, of the new coupon code marketing channel.
- You have 9 seconds to get a new customer. Attention has become the commodity. The patrons on the internet are so inundated with information and marketing, that their attention span has been reduced to mere seconds. Studies have shown that once you do manage to capture their attention, your marketing must be persuasive enough to pull them into a decision making mode, to give your products or services a real examination. Only then will you have the chance of a sale.
The key to this modern era of marketing is to know that to succeed, you must expect and adapt to change. The businesses that will thrive will be the ones that pay attention to trends and show adaptability. Now, just 25 years after the real start of the internet, it is conceivable that you will see a day where a young person will ask you, “What is a website?” Because they too have gone the way of the 8 track tape and the paper phone book.