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Nathan Ayers
advertising & marketing consulting
Bailey, Colorado
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Existential Advertising Is Not Enough

Think Globally, Act Locally
Written Mar 20, 2010, read 2201 times since then.
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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!

Connection! 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!


Why?

  • 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?

Word-of-Mouth!

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!  Just do it!

Learn more about the author, Nathan Ayers.

Comment on this article

  • SEO Guru and Open Source Web Developer - NBS Crusader 
Courtenay, British Columbia Canada 
Reg Charie
    Posted by Reg Charie, Courtenay, British Columbia Canada | Mar 21, 2010

    Not sure what you mean by "Do it! Just do it!"

    As a marketing person dealing with smaller companies I cannot agree that the internet has left the smaller businesses behind.

    With proper SEO one can compete on an equal footing with the major players.

    You say: * Traditional print advertising is becoming less effective.

    (I say it has never been all that effective without large investments into repetitive advertisements).

    • Most people have thrown their Yellow Pages away and search online

    (True.)

    • Newspaper’s readership is down and many papers are declaring bankruptcy

    (True and comment #1 applies here also). * With TiVo, people are skipping commercials (True, but mainstream commercials are way above the small business' budget.)

    • The credit crisis of recent years has made it more difficult to "Move Markets" through traditional gimmicks

    (Not certain what this has to do with the topic. The credit crunch has forced some new marketing ideas.)

    • Search results are dominated by large companies

    (No they are not. Search results are being dominated by relevance.)

    • Search results bring information overload. Local businesses get lost

    (Not if the local business targets local search.)

    While the amount of pages for any given search term is constantly growing, Google is managing information overload by concentrating on relevance in it's listings.

      • 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*

    All of this reinforces how important it is to get one's site SEO'd properly.

    Word of mouth and referral marketing are excellent methods and will return well but one needs an awful lot of happy clients. Think of some companies that have satisfied your needs and tell me how often you go around proclaiming their value.

    There is no doubt that sites like Biznic, FaceBook and Twitter like sites are providing opportunities for self promotion. Participating here is going to benefit the small business through exposure and indirectly, SEO.

    What some do not see is that online marketing is becoming multi-faceted. While blog, network, forum, and social networking posts get good coverage, it is one of constant change. True you can get good SEO coverage when searching for the long tail but SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages) favor the standard webpage over the blog or thread based results.

    If one is going to social network market, one needs a website. If one has a website it should have well defined calls to action.

    Best of luck. Reg

  • Search Engine Expert 
Seattle, Washington 
Aaron Muller
    Posted by Aaron Muller, Seattle, Washington | Mar 21, 2010

    Nathan,

    As a real business owner of 9 companies I think this is a Great article and believe you are dead on.

  • advertising & marketing consulting 
Bailey, Colorado 
Nathan Ayers
    Posted by Nathan Ayers, Bailey, Colorado | Mar 23, 2010

    Thanks, Reg & Aaron.

    Reg, excellent points. My article skims the surface. Some elaboration: it's really small businesses' perception that they are left behind by search. They can compete with large corporations; but need to fine-tune & hone their approach (much as you describe).

    What the credit crisis has done is limit the effectiveness of "gimmicks" in advertising - which makes Search Engine Management all the more critical.

    I completely agree with you on the Call to Action. It is imperative, really in all forms of advertising, to ask the audience to do something.

    "Do it!" is a veiled reference to Art Williams' famous speech. Too many small businesses fail simply because of indecision. As you point out, the solutions are out there & they are not hard to find - but the small business owner needs to take the action & do it.

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