Traditional methods of marketing and advertising are dying.
Why do I say that? Answer the following questions and what conclusion do? You draw.
Do you use the yellow pages?
Do you watch television commercials?
Do you listen to advertisements on the radio?
Do you read “junk mail” advertisements?
Do you read newspaper and magazine advertisements?
Did you, like most people, answer “No” to most, if not all, of those questions? If you did answer “No” then you should be reaching the same conclusion as I. If “No” is the answer; that raises the question of where are you and others going for your information and of course the primary answer is the Internet.
Why is traditional marketing/advertising dying?
Many people today either cannot find their Yellow Pages Directory or they threw it away when it arrived. Companies that track their leads have learned that the Yellow Pages are no longer producing the desired results. Yellow Pages are not the only media where companies are seeing diminishing returns: newspapers, magazines, and direct mail pieces have all been effected by the Internet. The Internet puts information close at hand and provides the viewer access to more details at the click of the mouse.
Today, customers and prospects either:
Use the Internet to find the services they want or need.
Ask family, friends, and even acquaintances for referrals and references.
Instead of watching television or listening to radio commercials people change the channel with their dial or remote controls or they have recorded the program and fast forward through the commercials. Viewers and listeners are looking to be entertained versus having products pitched to them; there is no tolerance for the hard sell tactics.
This begs the question: why do businesses even advertise in the yellow pages, on television, and the radio? To some extent the answer is: advertising using those media is expected. If customers and prospects do not hear or see these advertisements from the companies that have traditionally advertised in this manner; they will begin to question the staying power of the business. Conversely if the customers and prospects are not accustomed to seeing the business use the traditional advertising; they think nothing of it.
On the other hand customers and prospects do not want to be interrupted by the commercials. It is a dilemma that businesses must figure out.
The oldest form of marketing is Word of Mouth or relationship marketing. The effectiveness of these “advertisements” was typically successful because you were simultaneously receiving an endorsement.
As markets grew and as businesses expanded; new techniques were created to reach new prospects. With the advent of newspaper or print advertisements, television commercials, and direct mail to name a few; ways to spend your advertising dollars exploded.
Although businesses were successful in the goal of reaching more customers the effectiveness of the process declined drastically. Businesses were typically told that a return of 1/2 of 1% to 2% was a great response. When you consider how much time, effort, and cost was expended in attracting these new customers the return was truly very small.
With the advent of today’s new Internet technologies, commonly referred to as Web2.0* applications; technology has brought back the days and effectiveness of Word of Mouth and relationship marketing. Not only has it come back; the ability to have more control and manage it has improved dramatically. Businesses even have the ability to drive the effort. To be successful today’s businesses need to take advantage of this technology to make their products and services known and to be a viable competitor.
Answer these questions:
Are you looking to build your business?
Do you want your marketing and promotional dollars and efforts to generate more results?
Did you or do you expect more from your website?
Do you want your customers speaking on your behalf and promoting your business?
Do you want to tap into the Social Networking phenomena to promote your business?
If you answered “yes” to these questions watch for my next article: What Is a Social Network Contact Worth.
*web2.0 applications are those that enable interaction between businesses, customers, and prospective customers. Specifically the applications are Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, and business and personal blogs to name a few. In the past communication was one way, now with the opportunity for dialogue effectiveness increases dramatically. In fact in the web2.0 environment content is a collaborative process between you and your customers.
Tom Staskiewicz is a Social Networking Coach, consultant, trainer, and speaker on the topic of using LinkedIn, Twitter, & Facebook to drive job offers and new business. Tom has worked with businesses and individuals to help them establish their brand in the Social Networking environment. If you are looking for ideas and ways to drive more business and opportunities in your direction you need to talk to Tom.