I’ve been in the advertising and marketing business for over 35 years. The introduction of the internet has been one of the greatest disrupters (yes the introduction of radio and television also had huge impacts on the advertising industry) and depending on how you look at it, it may be the best thing that ever happened or the worst.
I remember so well my sales days at a local newspaper trying to convince a local car dealership to increase their print advertising. The obstacle always encountered was that the newspaper did not have a clear way to prove it worked not any guarantee of performance. My comeback was always “We will run a FREE ad in the newspaper for you. You will advertise that you are giving away $1,000 to anyone who walks in with the ad”. They would always respond with an astounding “No way… I would have to give away too much money”. Of course, my reply was “so you see, newspaper advertising works with the right message.” I never had a business take me up on that offer but the truth was that there was no way I could target their preferred audience or create strategic ads for varying audiences. It was a shotgun effect that worked when newspapers had a large share of the market. This is the same for most traditional media.
This year has been the tidal wave to help us fully embrace all things digital. Covid-19 has certainly been a huge factor but this wave was already coming. Consumers trust shopping and buying online now and with so many people forced to work from home and stay away from large crowds the enticement of online shopping has become even more popular.
So the best part of this disruption is that small and medium-sized businesses can take advantage of digital marketing as never before. Local businesses can target their existing customers and reach more new consumers that fit the profile of these existing customers. The days are diminishing when we had to ask a business owner who their ideal customer was. Technology can help us get that information.
Here are some interesting reasons to make sure your local business is utilizing all things digital1:
- Grocery and food purchases online have doubled in 2020.
- With today’s technology it is easier than ever to get your store online and take orders and payments.
- 42% of online shopping will be on a mobile device this year.
- We are a society on the move (even despite Covid-19) and want easier and faster methods to run our homes.
- Consumers have taken to virtual events. Live events are even better and can drive even more new sales to your business.
- The older members of our communities have also embraced online shopping and searching. A full 56% of shoppers older than 60 will be avoiding larger shopping areas like malls during the current holiday season.
- Here is the biggest aha!!
- A Constant Contact survey of 3,000 respondents found that 7 in 10 (71%) planned on buying from small businesses during the season, with 6 in 10 (62%) saying they plan to visit new small businesses they’ve never shopped at before the end of the year.
A common statement used by marketing folks and sales people from media is “Reach the Right People at the Right Time with the Right Message.”
I think it’s time to tweak that a bit to “Reach the Right People at the Right Time with the Right Message with the Right Marketing Device.”
If you are a local small to medium-sized business looking to grow your customer base and want proven strategies, give me a call. Upward Consulting, LLC