Each entrepreneur must know and be aware that the last 20 years bring tremendous changes in the industry which, perhaps for years or even decades worked in the same traditional way. Today, your online strategy will need to prepare you for tomorrow.
We must accept today, but at the same time to look into the future and as soon as possible to forget the past and the huge number of concepts and strategies that are not applicable in today’s economic conditions.
Before many years Google comes on the stage and brings a completely new way of marketing. That miracle simply changes the market and the overall culture and attitude of the people in the market. The language of businesses before the appearance of Google and now is quite different.
Costly ads cannot cover poor-quality products or poor services offered by companies. Peoples now consult Google, social media, YouTube, and other online services before making the final purchasing decision.
The internet has an increasing role in the business world. The Internet simply becomes the dominant marketing medium in which we are spending the biggest portion of the pie that represents the marketing budget of the companies.
In 2004, Facebook comes on the stage and quickly become larger than the country with the largest number of residents on our planet.
Today people simply choose what to read, what to see, whether they will pay attention, and how much attention they will pay on something.
If I start with myself, I don’t buy a newspaper for years, and I don’t watch TV news because I feel the pressure. Also, I don’t look at TV ads because I simply change the channel. But on the other hand, I use the internet, and I am there 80% of my time. I can click on some ads that will attract my attention when I am on Facebook or searching Google.
My Personal Experience With Some Traditional Marketing Channels and Start With Online Strategy
Several years ago I paid $200 in a traditional advertising medium. To measure the efficiency and effectiveness of the ad, I make a discount coupon that was valid for the whole year. Do you know how many customers took advantage of the coupon for 365 days? Zero… I only start receiving cold calls from companies that want to sell me something. But, I was not interested in that specific time about their offers or their products and services. So, it quickly starts annoying me, and all of that creates a completely negative effect in my eyes.
Later for the same company, I put a Facebook ad. And then for one-week advertising to a specific targeted group of potential customers, I spent only $10. Here, I am talking about location-based business without online selling. In that period of time, the sales rise by 40%. 10 customers said that they had been reminded about their needs through Facebook. 10 customers used the promotional actions that were announced only on Facebook’s page. The last thing, that still cannot be measured in a monetary unit, the ad brings an increased number of fans on that page for almost 40%.
What is the difference? $200 – $10 = $190. $190 difference for a campaign without results. Because of that, I don’t continue the advertising contract in that medium.
Offline Business to Online Media
In many talks with entrepreneurs, I hear that offline businesses can’t use online marketing strategies. Is that correct? My example above is just an experience of a fully offline based business with an online campaign.
Some time ago, I read an article about five trends for small businesses in 2011 provided by John Jantsch. The trends were the following:
- Social media will become standard in small business marketing strategies.
- Mobile marketing will begin to be applied by small businesses.
- O2O (Online 2 Offline) will become a strategy, or using online presence to bring customers in the offline space.
- Networked referral automation
- Apps will be over a web.
Online Strategy Becomes Business Strategy
One of the most interesting trend is O2O trend.
We can easily said that the sales is associated with the presence of the global network. If you want to be found, you simply need to be present where someone asks what you can offer to them. How you will be contacted, how you will communicate and interact and how you will agree with them remain on your own will. But, one thing is clear, the opportunities and freedom of creativity are enormous.
Is something still missing?
Can I say that it is enough for my business to be present on Facebook to succeed with an adequate online strategy? I would not say that it is true. An online strategy for the presence of a business on the Internet is and should be a complex mix of different media and platforms, which will provide that presence. It is also not enough to have a web site. It is not enough to have only the blog or to be only on Facebook.
You need to be present where your target customers are. Also, only presence on some medium will not guarantee you success.
What is the key link for all these new mediums? The key link here is the content.
Content is something that will intertwine like a spider on all of those platforms and media. Content is something that will be created from your business, but also from your customers or your potential customers or your competitors and opponents. You will always have opponents, which will not like you for various reasons. So there will be more spiders that will weave a variety of networks. One spider will be you, and the rests are all business stakeholders. Each network has one or more points with your base network. The success and size of these networks still depend not only on online factors but also on offline factors.
That’s what is missing in traditional marketing. It is necessary to reduce our time spent on Excel, and all those decorated tables and charts and start to build that content and interactions. Marketing began to move into a completely new and different direction if it is not already moved.