Is ‘set and forget’ marketing dead?

Who remembers the good old days? 

The days when you could plan your marketing in January or thereabouts, arrange some creative to last you at least the year, book your advertising or promotional schedule and sit back and watch the leads flow in.

Whilst that world still exists, it’s one that’s relatively expensive compared to the free and low cost leads the web and its marketing capabilities can deliver. And one that is gradually being eroded by these digital interlopers onto the marketing scene.

But there’s a hitch to so much digital traffic.

It takes regular and time consuming maintenance.

If you look at all of the now proven digital marketing techniques, they all require a constant pattern of content creation and distribution.


Time-hungry techniques


Websites require constant updating and refreshing, or risk looking dated and stale, particularly to Google, which loves fresh new content and new content hooks for its robots and spiders.

Email marketing is still an outstanding digital performer, but clearly it needs new, fresh content or is pointless. 

Social networking is probably the biggest time bandit of all, requiring a constant stream of business, product or industry news to try satiate the overwhelming desire for new and interesting information.

Even online advertising requires more maintenance than its offline counterparts as online ads tend to date more quickly due to the same need for the new and different in order to cut through such an information-heavy medium.

Google’s AdWords and its ilk also need constant monitoring and maintenance in order to keep ads prominent as competitors bid and manipulate theirs into a more prominent position.


Unprecedented accountability


One big advantage of these techniques though is their unprecedented ability to measure effectiveness in as good as real time.

Your website, your ad campaign, your eNewsletter and so on are all able to be absolutely accurately measured and compared to previous days, weeks, months or years.

This capability means that they are all far more accountable than the ‘not sure which half of our advertising works’ days of yore.


Big business mainstays


Larger business is far more accustomed to this ongoing need for new and constant information and so are able to leverage the content opportunity more readily.

Their marketing departments, advertising and PR agencies have been dealing with regular content for decades and so can adapt to the online world relatively quickly.

But the need to create and distribute new content so regularly is still very new to the average smaller business operator.


Change for the better


Instead of the yearly visit from the directory or media advertising rep, they now need to embrace and adopt the content providers larger business have been employing for so long.

And if they cling to decreasingly effective traditional media, they will be handing a valuable free kick to their competitors who will gladly accept the new business on offer.

Certainly there are now few business operators who shouldn’t at least be experimenting with these content-hungry new promotional techniques.

Just be prepared to see your provider a whole lot more often than you are accustomed to!

In addition to being a leading eBusiness educator to the smaller business sector, Craig Reardon is the founder and director of independent web services firm The E Team which was established to address the special website and web marketing needs of SMEs in Melbourne and beyond.


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