In a recent SitePoint article, I painted a hypothetical scenario about how to make a living in the web industry. I said if you need to earn $50,000 a year and your average project is $2,000, you must land a minimum of two clients a month … to which one commenter pleaded:
“Really interesting, but please help us find clients!”
That plead reflects a recent study, in which 76 percent of small businesses owners said attracting new customers is their “top concern.” And 69 percent said it’s the #1 challenge they face.
I had the opportunity to speak with an account rep at an Internet company recently. As we talked about different types of advertising, it became obvious that he distained old media. He said that television advertising was pointless because people TiVo past them, and that he “couldn’t begin to remember” the last time he’d looked in the Yellow Pages. Instead, he uses a smartphone, buying a new one every 3 to 6 months, because he gets bored with the old one.
A small, local festival had a small problem … or a big one, depending on how you look at it. Someone had set up a Facebook page about the festival—which was fine, except they’d used the festival logo as the profile picture, giving the impression that they were the “official” page. The webmaster had even received emails saying, “but it says on your Facebook page …”
Michael Hyatt, Chairman of Thomas Nelson Publishers, says that when we think there’s a singular solution to our woes, we’re guilty of “silver bullet thinking.” It’s precisely this type of thinking that’s led to the debate over whether inbound or outbound marketing is “best.” Proponents of inbound marketing claim that, in new era of social media, outbound marketing is no longer effective. Yet, many companies continue to use outbound marketing with great success. Let’s take a look at each.
In my latest article on SitePoint, Transactional vs. Consultative Selling: Knowing the Difference Makes All the Difference, I compared the transactional sale with a consultative one. In Harvard Business School professor Ranjay Gulati’s new book, he explores the fallacy that media companies are “consultative and customer focused.” According to the article, salespeople are saying “I’ll talk about your needs so long as it leads to you only buying my portfolio of solutions …” but that they are “communicating with customers through a product lens (with a pre-determined end in mind).” That’s a problem.
It’s popular to bash Yellow Pages these days. After all, everyone uses the Internet now, right? Yet, a 2010 study conducted by CRM Associates, shows that both usage and calls volumes are increasing to the 2008 level, suggesting that the decline in Yellow Page usage over the past six years was more economy than Internet-driven.
Another study shows that the average consumer uses both Yellow Pages and the Internet when making a purchase decision. A year-long study of 8,000 adults conducted by marketing research firm Burke, Inc. found that 74 percent used print Yellow Pages over the course of the year to find a local business—just slightly behind the 76 percent who used a search engine. So it’s no longer a question of Internet or print. Smart marketers know there is no single advertising method that will bring in all the business. Effective marketing is more like a team than a shotgun.
Curious how Yellow Page consumers convert into leads and sales? Here’s an infographic to show you:
When I was 14 years old, when the Internet was still ARPANET and “Amazon” was a female warrior from Greek mythology, I discovered science fiction. Satisfying my craving for new and exciting stories each week meant riding my bike to the nearest bookstore, which was just over three miles away, but felt more like ten. Soon, however, the ache in my legs (and posterior) began to pale in comparison to the joy of getting lost in a bookstore. An hour or more of searching the shelves for “just the right book” was all part of the experience, and the discovery was at least as satisfying as devouring the book once I got home.
With all the hype surrounding QR Codes, it begs the question: Is anyone really using these? If the amount of code reader app downloads are any indication, here are some raw numbers:
Previously, I wrote about how to make print ads interactive using QR Codes. Depending on who you listen to, QR Codes are the next wave in advertising, or they are Internet’s equivalent of the pet rock.
I’ve been writing about how to use targeted marketing to attract better clients and clone your best ones. One way to do this is by focusing on a vertical market.
To recap, a vertical is simply a specific industry, like photographers. Yet there are different specialties in photography, from wedding photography, to food photography, and more. You could narrow the field and focus exclusively on wedding photographers. But here’s another way to look at a vertical market:
“A set of customers having the same product needs”
This means that bridal shops, florists, disc jockeys, caterers, and banquet facilities also fall into the same vertical as wedding photographers. This is important to consider when targeting a vertical, because you can focus on marketing to all the companies serving a common customer base.
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Thanks for visiting. I’m a Marketing Evangelist, Blogger and Sales Trainer.
I get excited about geek stuff. But I’m also passionate about helping people and companies reach their fullest potential and becoming wildly successful.
That’s why I love helping businesses figure out how to market (especially web marketing) and why I train sales people to be the best they can be at what they do.