I understand why some businesses are scared of diversifying their marketing and promotional efforts in rough times, but they really need to reconsider. Too many businesses – both local/small and even chains are holding on tight to traditional advertising channels like newspapers, yellow pages, and commercials. It’s time for them to put on their big boy pants and make some changes.
The internet isn’t going anywhere, we all know that. What most don’t know is how effective – cost and performance wise the internet really is. The traditional advertising channels I mentioned are two things that bother me: expensive and difficult to track. People (as a whole) aren’t looking at the newspaper or yellow pages when they need a plumber, or a roofer, or a massage therapist. They look to the internet – and search engines. It’s almost CRIMINAL how much it costs for an ad in the yellow pages, a full page ad will run you in the thousands of dollars per month with all kinds of cute little hidden fees. You know what you get for all that money? Maybe a few clients, but will you ever know if they came from yellow pages? Probably not. There are some ways to track clients coming from your ad, but in reality – little to no companies do this because it’s difficult.
Now let me tell you how advertising on the internet works. Everything you do – every campaign, every customer, every click is all 100% trackable. You can find out AMAZING information about your demographic you might have never even known. With internet marketing, you can find out who is interested in you, WHY, and what makes them buy (or not buy). It gets even better, the very popular cost-per-click advertising model only charges you when the ad is CLICKED on, not when its seen or loads on a page. You can’t do this with things like print advertisements and commercials easily, if at all.
So it must cost way more than yellow pages or a newspaper ad right? Wrong. Let’s say you have a marketing budget of $2,000 a month, probably at least what you’re spending on untrackable traditional ads. You can stop throwing away your money and hire a well informed internet marketer or search engine optimizer to give your company an amazing web presence and bring you MORE customers for LESS money, or you can even do it for yourself if you invest the time to learn.
Here’s the big difference you might not understand yet: you’re being found when someone is LOOKING for you, not when they happen to flip a page or turn on the TV. It really is incredible that there is so much raw opportunity available that is much more affordable and trackable. With internet marketing you’re also opening up opportunities for long term relationships and 2 way interaction. If you put an ad in the newspaper you can’t decide “I’m going to follow up with all of those that read my ad and see if I can generate more business.” With the power of the internet, you can build a list of subscribers that at some point LOOKED for you – and see if they’re ready for your services or product again. Having this kind of long term interaction is extremely powerful, and this is just the tip of the possibilities.
I might sound harsh, but it’s time to evolve or die. Nobody is going to wait around while you decide if you think this is or isn’t right for you. Consumers are demanding more and more for their money and time – it’s your job to be there when they NEED you.
I’m working on a case study to show how much more cost effective using the internet is as opposed to the traditional channels discussed, if this post didn’t convince you and show you the power here the case study will!