This Weekend has seen me reflecting on modern marketing methodology. My personal use of these technologies with YourNetBiz has enabled me to market and promote my business, products and services and even use some of the tools to move traditional business from advertising with traditional media and hoping for results, to working more scientifically with today’s technology and buiilding an effective marketing machine. This gives my clients a strategic marketing and promotion system which can be turned up or down, on or off and the whole thing can be fine tuned on the fly. What a concept for most business.
Last week I was asked to visit a successful company based in the South East of England and talk about how they market and promote their products and services and how we could expand that promotion and market effectively using today’s technology. I have already examined their business and implemented technology to ‘capture’ clients email address’s and build a list of customers and potential customers all on autopilot. This has built a list of over 1200 in it’s first few weeks! With the ability to communicate via email directly with that list, the client can look to create an offer and market directly to his customer list. This can enable the business owner to create an offer and see if it is a success before committing financially!!!!! This is Big News!!!!!
Today’s savvy customers are ‘googling’ your products and services to the tune of 1.2 Billion searches every day. Yes 1.2 Billion searches on Google, and Google isn’t the only game in town. According to comScore based on a million users performing searches Google accounted for 43.7% so while it may not be the only game in town it is certainly the widest used. If 1.2 billion searches on Google only accounts for 43.7% of searches overall then we could be looking at approximately 3 billion searches every day across the search engines as a whole. Thats 12.5 Million per hour, or 208,333 every minute of the day. The Referral Sources for buying demonstrates the tendency for this type of search activity is growing in popularity with the results of Q1 2009 up over 2.5% over 2008 ( in a so called recession). So more people are doing it and therefore it is the smarter entrepreneur who invests now for the future.
This made me wonder about how many of today’s small, medium and even big businesses are wasting their advertising budget doing the same things that they have always done and really are not taking advantage of today’s technology. Many business’s have a web presence but where are they on the Search Index and will they appear to a customer looking for their services or products using, for example, the Google search box. For this example I am going to get into the customers mind as he is searching for a fine dining experience to celebrate his 50th wedding anniversary.
A quick search right now for the search term ‘fine dining’ has produced over 25,600,000 results. Narrowing down to UK pages only there are now only 738,000 results! Well our customer lives in a small village called Middleton St George just outside of Darlington in County Durham so he adds the search string ‘Middleton St George’ to Google’s search within results box. Google returns 5470 results.
Now let me just explain that Google has returned 5470 results for the search query fine dining middleton st George. All pages that have one or more or a combination of these words on the page will be listed in the search results. So many of the results will be of no use whatsoever. A closer examination of the results reveals that many have been triggered by the word fine or by the word dining. So for example dining triggers many real estate listing’s with the term ‘dining room’ as part of the description.
As a matter of interest ( this would be very interesting to a restauranteur in the local area) the only listings in in the results on the first page of Google are from Google maps and only one listing had its own website I could click on. (It was a restaurant in a different village). Continuing with our example we click on our restaurant website link and we are welcomed into a home page that is very nice to look at describing the venue with pictures and further links to a virtual tour of the restaurant, menu’s contact phone numbers and even a newsletter I can subscribe to, find out local events and what’s happening.
Our customer has found his venue! calls the number and books his evening out. It’s a flowing example and It’s a real example I have just done today 01 June 2009. With a little work this niche could be examined and dominated by a local business with the right marketing efforts. At the very least we should be looking to give the customer a choice of restaurant’s, in our example only one had it’s own site!!!!!!!
Traditional business has spent many years advertising through traditional media, newspapers and local magazines forming the backbone of their advertising spend and maybe they have a website that offers some kind of presence however it isn’t optimised or have any form of marketing within it’s pages. They probably have a relationship with the local publications and it’s more a habit to continue to advertise rather than to examine what actual returns they are achieving through their present marketing methodology. Word of Mouth continues to be as important as it has always been and passing trade is hit and miss. Direct Mail is very interesting and I feel warrants covering in much more detail in another post.
It is safe to say that advertising in the local media would be the first port of call for any local business looking to increase their exposure make more sales and or service more customers. This is ‘traditional’ and many local advertisers now offer an online service so your ad can become part of their online service. This is great for your local advertiser as you are effectively paying them to create a better online presence for their website! Only a couple of years ago I had a traditional business in the construction field and we covered electrical contracting as part of our services. We looked to advertise with a very well known UK company directory (the biggest) and when all told we were looking at around £3500 to place a decent sized advert in the right category. We immediately placed our adverts to appear in their online directory and expected to have the phone ringing off the hook. To this day I don’t believe we ever had one call as a direct result of this ad. And this is the point I am trying to make, that their is a Massive difference between advertising and marketing your business!.
Placing your business into a directory no longer guarantee’s the same level of response you could rely on ten years ago. And the directory companies will tell you the same and offer their online solution to ‘compliment’ your order (and take another slice of your advertising revenue). How effective it is will be determined to some degree by the market you are serving, if its a competitive market then you really need to do a lot more than just pay up and hope it all works out. And lets remember that the directory company will have their hand in your wallet year after year after year!. Is there an alternative? Well yes that’s the easy answer. It’s a little more complicated than just giving your advert to a newspaper but with the right effort you could rank your own website for search terms that you desire. With a little more homework you could find the search terms used by Google’s millions of users to find the results they are looking for. This arms you with the right terms to ‘optimise’ your site for. And you could have our Friend celebrating his fiftieth wedding anniversary with all his family at your restaurant. The added advantage of course is that over the course of your optimisation you are spending monies on your own website.
Your investment in your own piece of internet real estate will come to offer far more returns over the long run than feeding into a local advertiser’s coffers. As your site becomes a more targeted marketing machine delivering results for ever more searches and ranking up its authority within Google’s engine it’s nice to remember that your investment in time or money will be delivering results 24/7 for as long as the internet is working! This is BIG news! You can build an effective marketing machine that is quietly operating in the background 24/7 365 days a year and lest we forget this ’24 hour Automatic Salesman’ we have only paid once. Once he has been paid off he goes working on your behalf forever.
Exciting times indeed that for a small investment you can build many automated salesmen out there looking to present themselves just as soon as someone asks via the search engine machines. You can build one salesman or a hundred and 1 it’s completely up to you and as time passes there will only be more competition not less. If you wondering how to get your adverts onto the first page of Google for the keywords that you choose then Google AdWords is the answer your looking for. Google AdWords is beyond the scope of this post however I will be writing a post soon about getting started with Google AdWords.