It’s a fact – Traditional methods of marketing (TV, Radio, Newspaper, Magazine Ads, Trade Shows, Direct Mail, Etc) have become less and less effective. These “push” tactics are intrusions that people have become numb to or developed defense mechanisms for. There will always be a need for some “push” tactics in marketing but it is giving way to the new paradigm of “pull” marketing. This new breed of marketing focuses on being interesting, informative, generous, and engaging to attract attention. It’s not about who has the biggest blow horn anymore, it’s about who tells the best story. The web happens to be the cheapest and most far reaching platform to do this.
We are currently living in a search culture; we’ve all become information junkies. Much of the world is at our fingertips and it’s almost unfathomable when we can’t find something on the web through a search engine. When is the last time you relied on an advertisement for researching a purchase decision? How about the YellowPages? You’re probably having a hard time remembering because it’s a rarity. Now think about the last time you used a search engine and scoured the web for information pertaining to a purchase or interest? It was probably sometime today. If your market is online then you better be as well – If you can’t be found online you don’t exist. Period.
So, what’s the implication of this emerging search culture on marketers and business, in general? Well, we all need to start thinking of ourselves as publishers. Every company is now a media company. The web makes the production of content easier than ever and there’s an almost insatiable and growing market for it. Having a static website isn’t enough; you need to start considering putting out product information, industry expertise, reviews, opinions, and how-to guides in the form of videos, podcasts, slideshows, photo galleries, webinars, ebooks, whitepapers, and blogs. Rinse and repeat. Maybe you don’t have to do all of them, but pick a few you can handle and get loose.
Next to “word of mouth” and “face-to-face” interactions people turn to the internet to aid their decisions. Marketing 101 states that your duty as a marketer is to meet the needs of your market. Your market needs information. In fact, a recent survey found that people will generally do 60% of their information gathering before even contacting a company! So, if you think providing limited amounts of information on your website will entice people to call and find out more, you’re mistaken. They’ll move onto your competitor who is more helpful because they’re generous with information.
In my opinion, there is the need for a new breed of marketer. One that is less steeped in marketing dogma, brochures, media buys, and trade booth exhibits and more saturated with tech savvy, analytical skills, creative content acumen, and a network of web influence. This new breed of marketer will need to be a digital citizen. An observer, joiner, collector, and creator of digital content. If you’ve ever dreamed of being a writer, film maker, radio broadcaster, journalist, or commentator then the web affords you the chance. “The medium is the message” has never been any truer. Thanks for reading.
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