Posted: 2012-01-24 14:49:32
There was a time, not too long ago, when if you wanted to sell globally you put up a website and if you wanted to sell locally you put an ad in the local paper.
Now the split is not so nearly as clear and certainly the sands are shifting with respect to local press. Internet search engines now have a much clearer focus on local search results and it is much easier to get targeted local results now by adding a location to the end of of your search.
In fact, you will also find a local bias on search results in many instances by virtue of the searcher's IP address location. In the case of a mobile search, your actual physical whereabouts may bias the results if you choose to share your location.
The readership of local press is falling and will continue to fall and this is also true of national press. This trend is not only affecting the advertising revenue of the newspapers, it is also affecting the advertisers ability to reach their target audience.
The internet is also biting into trade periodicals making advertising through that route far less effective than it used to be. So you are getting the message by now that the old printed publications are on the wane and that the future is the internet.
It has been like that for a while - so what?
Well, yes it has been, but it has been changing constantly in recent years and as the internet has bitten in to the effectiveness of printed publications so social networks are now biting into conventional search and this now gives us a real problem.
If the answer to the effectiveness of ads in the printed word is to whack up a website and promote the living daylights out of it, what do we do now if our prospect and customer traffic is being sucked away to the social networks?
This is a whole new level of marketing effort. With the printed word, you designed an ad and ran it for a few days or weeks or months. Tough to design the right ad perhaps, but once well placed there was little more effort to be made.
With a website, yes there is a fair amount of effort required to get the thing off the ground sometimes. However, once the website is up and running, then incremental updates need only be moderately time consuming. It just depends on how small the niche is, or how aggressive the competition.
The social network beast is another matter. It is a beast and one that must be fed. Customers and prospects have to be connected to it and your presence.
Once you have them, you have to feed it and them with information. New developments, new ideas, new products, new information and other content that has to be original, useful and engaging.
This can be a real challenge, but not facing it risks a steady erosion of existing business and a future where acquiring new business becomes more and more difficult.
Social networking is now a very important part of the promotional and marketing mix and cannot be ignored.
It has to be more than part of the total marketing mix - it has to form the core alongside the web presence.
Ignoring this new reality is not only turning away from new opportunities, it is also failing to address important new threats.