[This article was recently published by Biznik.com, ed.]
While the Internet has changed the face of business forever, one large business segment has been left behind – The Local Business Owner. If you own a business & operate on a local level, then what you need is a complete geo-targeted online advertising campaign to compete with national chains and major corporations.
Local business requires a unique positioning in the arena of multimedia advertising. Existing on the Internet has never been enough. And while search engine optimization tactics providing a presence with a purpose is a great thing, it’s got to be done cost-efficiently & without breaking the bank.
Every business needs to pursue guaranteed local solutions for one important reason: The Internet Has Changed Everything!
If you had to describe in one word why the internet changed everything, it would be connection. Businesses and personal relationships have changed due to the internet’s ability to instantly connect people globally through e-mail, websites and social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace.
Think of it this way . . . what is it that popular people have? Well, among them is: CONNECTIONS. Popular people have alot of friends – they have alot of connections. The same is true of the Internet.
But it’s true in the reciprocal, as well. Not only do you need alot of connections to be popular, your website needs alot of connections . . . your web PRESENCE requires alot of connections to work. It’s another manifestation of networking (call it Social if you like).
The immeasurable connection the internet created has changed the way the world communicates, gathers and sends information, and markets its products and services.
However, this global connection has created a problem for the local business in their local markets!
- Traditional print advertising is becoming less effective.
- Most people have thrown their Yellow Pages away and search online
- Newspaper’s readership is down and many papers are declaring bankruptcy
- With TiVo, people are skipping commercials
- The credit crisis of recent years has made it more difficult to “Move Markets” through traditional gimmicks
- Search results are dominated by large companies
- Search results bring information overload. Local businesses get lost
Did you know?
- 97% of people with online access will research products and services online before they purchase
- 35% of all searches are done with an intent to buy
- 55% of all local searches are done with an intent to buy
- Of all local searches, 8 out of 10 call or visit a store and 60% of those result in a purchase of some kind
Days of Future Passed?
The Holy Grail of Advertising & Marketing? Some might say that single most-prized method to which all aspire but never quite reach . . . the ultimate value-efficient marketing proposition . . . must occur at 100% market share attained at zero-cost advertising.
Essentially, this can only occur in a monopoly market.
But aside from monopoly, where do we get closest to this business model? Direct Marketing. Ask any business owner, entrepreneur or operator: What is your most effective form of advertising? 95% of the time, the answer is, “repeat & referral; word-of-mouth”. Of course, this is the most ancient form of “telling about something in a positive light”. A stock market represents a highly-efficient market – and what is the typical form of advertising in a stock market?
So, in terms of Direct Marketing, we are dealing essentially with a social milieu – a network of people. And what is the most ubiquitous social milieu of the nascent 21st Century? You already guessed it . . . GOOGLE!
And now, Facebook, LinkedIn, Biznik & others are picking up the model, growing organically & enabling the marketing efficiency that comes through social, person-to-person, B2B & direct response advertising.
After all, Customer Relationship Management can be nothing more than a simple handshake!
It’s time to get your business tuned in to the 21st Century. Come on, get in the game – Do It!