The one major trend in marketing that has been pervasive for the last several years is that customers want to find the products and services they are looking for. They do not want to be found. This is the real difference between Inbound and Outbound marketing.
I am old enough to remember a time when we didn’t have a computer in our home. We kept a telephone book near our telephone. (Remember when we actually had to pick up the phone to find out who was calling us?) Companies spent a lot of money on large ads in these books. We looked for local services in the “Classified” section of the local newspaper. We scanned the (many) ad inserts in the Sunday newspaper for bargains, and compared food prices at various stores in the Thursday edition. Interactive marketing happened when we went to a store to buy a something. The salesperson extolled the virtues of what he had been hired to sell. Since we didn’t have access to the same information he did, we had to take his word that he was being truthful, and we understood the caveat “buyer beware.”
Today, I begin my search for many products and services by arming myself with the information I need to make an informed decision. For example, when my garage door “crashed” and trapped my car, my first stop was Facebook to ask my friends if they knew someone who fixed garage doors. I got several answers, and went to those websites and then to their Facebook pages. I found someone who had a helpful website, including a blog that explained the “ins and outs” of garage doors and had good reviews. The repair person I found did a great job at a reasonable price. I went on Google+ and left a good review! That vendor understood that the new caveat is “seller beware,” because if I was not satisfied, my review would have been very different.
Are your potential customers finding you when they need you?
Having a strong online presence, including a responsive website (that looks good on mobile devices) and an active presence on Social Media sites like Facebook and Google+ can not only help people find you, but can give them the information they need to make an informed decision.
Where is your telephone book? Do you still read printed newspaper daily?
If you are in doubt, ask yourself where you get the information about products and services you need. If you are like 80% of the population, you start your search on the Internet.
Finding the right marketing person to get your company visible on your customers’ online “radar” might be the best use of your marketing budget.
This article was syndicated from Business 2 Community: Facebook or Yellow Book – Which Do You Use?
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