Marketing 2010…What now?

November 30, 2009

So many companies will go back to the old methods of advertising their products or services because that is all they know. We are already seeing an increase in TV ads which have had less than stellar responses for years. Is this because they are becoming more effective? Not likely! It is always easier to do what we have always done as business owners rather than explore new, better and more effective methods of marketing. Is it time for you to rethink your marketing? If so, where do you begin?

Everyone is a specialist now days. This can be good or bad. What it does do is make it even more difficult for business owners, who often don’t know the right questions to ask in order to determine if a particular service or method is really the best for their company or industry. Don’t assume that because no competitor is using a particular marketing method that you shouldn’t. Maybe that is exactly what you need to do to stand out from the crowd. Take for example the creation of a Web site or updating your existing Web site. Where would you likely start?

1. Graphic designer: Makes the site look good and coordinates your visual brand. Tend to be artistic.

2. Developer: Creates the functional aspects of a site. Tell them what you want it to do and they will make it work. Tend to be technically oriented.

3. Writers: Create the verbiage with your input. Usually write for grammar, spelling and content flow. Tend to be word smart, not marketing smart. May or may not be experienced in writing style for the Internet.

4. Consultants: Advise based on their background, knowledge and expertise. Tend to tell you what you need to do but don’t usually get involved in the implementation phase. The best consultants listen more than they talk. They need to understand where you have been, what you want to accomplish and how they can assist. Choose your consultant well. Make sure they have a solid marketing background and are knowledgeable about current marketing methodology.

5. Search Engine Optimization (SEO): Use a variety of methods to get your site seen on the Internet. This service is often used when a site is not creating the results you were hoping for when you created your site originally. SEO is a very vague term that is used for doing many activities that may or may not be what you need from a marketing perspective; creating meta tags for your site, submitting it to search engines, setting up and analyzing the analytical reports, creating links, and even regularly writing articles and blog postings for you or with you.

Now that you have an understanding of the complexity of marketing today, is it really your area of expertise? If not, I would recommend beginning with an analysis of your current marketing methods and what has worked and what is not now working well. It is often best to seek outside consulting assistance that understands the importance of integrating everything you do and how critical it is to create a perception of value for your goods and services. Make sure that the consultant of choice is up-to-date and stays up-to-date with the many options available for action and results oriented marketing. Just remember, if you don’t do this first, and your competition does, they will have the advantage. Next year may be too late.

Most companies make the mistake of calling in a specialist first. Those that do are more likely to start out in the wrong direction, waste time and money, and be less effective.

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