How Engaging With Your Customers Has Radically Changed
If you were running a business in the 1980s and wanted to sell or maket a service or product, the vast majority of your (below the line) budget was spent on print. From overpriced double page spreads in your local newspaper to outragously expensive Yellow Pages ads, print was the advertising medium of choice.
I say ‘medium of choice’, when of course what I really mean is: ‘medium of NO choice’. Because back then print was the only option available for anyone looking to do a concerted below the line advertising campaign. Oh, sure, you could do letterbox drops, and send out brochures, and give away fridge magnets, and a dozen other low-key scattergun approaches to market your product or service. But they all pailed into insignificance next to the enormous reach and power of the printed word.
Fast forward thirty years and we discover that the ways a company connects with their customers (and would-be customers) has radically changed. Because, in the post internet / post Google world, print is about as relevant to a business as a woolly coat was to a mammoth after the last ice age came to an end. Sure the coats were tactile and made their eyes glaze over with memories of a simpler time. But deep down you’d have to figure that even the thickest skinned Mammuthus Primigenius knew that the world had changed forever, and that the coats were now only weighing them down and hampering their chances of survival.
That said, I am not going to tell you (as many of my SEO expert colleagues will) that ‘Print is Dead!’. Given I’m the Doyen of All Things Digital, you’d probably excuse me if I did jump on that particular bandwagon. But I won’t. Because – separate to my 10 years of SEO / web experience – I’ve also worked in print as a National Advertising Manager (Government News) and National Classified Manager (BT Weekly). So I know full well that if it’s done correctly (and used judiciously), print can – and should – still form a (small) part of a company’s overall marketing strategy.
However I’m also smart enough to appreciate that in an age where 98% of all people SEARCH FOR PRODUCTS OR SERVICES ONLINE (rather than in newspapers or magazines), working out where a company’s marketing budget needs to go if they’re looking to connect with the masses, isn’t rocket science. Because, unlike print, there are no tyre-kickers where a well optimised web strategy is concerned, as everybody that finds you online has searched for WHAT YOU DO and WHERE YOU DO IT…and they’ve SEARCHED NOW.
And leads / customers don’t come much hotter or more relevant than that.
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