Firstly, can I ask you a few questions?
- Do you always go to a bank branch to pay your bills?
- Do you always walk into a travel agent to book your flights?
- Do you send faxes?
It’s unlikely, especially if you’ve got an internet connection and use the web. You’re most likely to use internet banking, book flights online and use email or Facebook instead of faxes.
The web really can help make your life easier, right?
The next question I’d also like to ask you… “has your marketing mindset evolved accordingly?”
Most of us know the old way of marketing.
You know, the marketing where you spend what cash you have trying to buy attention. You might buy an advert in the local rag, list in the Yellow Pages, do some letter box drops or “blast” an ill-gotten email list. And then wait until the phone rings.
Unfortunately, many start-ups still take the mindset that you need to launch with a big marketing budget to let people know what you do. In fact, nothing is further from the truth.
In short, it is no longer “the done thing” to cleverly interrupt people with your advert and hope that you can convince 1-2% of them to respond to your offer. This worked really well for decades but then the web became popular.
And this is where the huge opportunity for you lies.
How did the web change marketing?
Two things happened.
Firstly, the web saw an explosion of information. People can now Google something they are interested in, they don’t have to rely solely on the mainstream press, TV or radio.
Secondly, the web connected everybody.
Using the web instead
David Meerman Scott says that “on the web, you are what you publish”. Yet two thirds of Australian businesses still have no website – which is terrifying… unless you are an entrepreneur looking to leap frog a few competitors!
The secret is that you must now create remarkable content on the web in order to earn people’s trust and attention.
Why use the web rather than traditional marketing?
Traditional marketing is now much less effective because it’s too easy to block these interruptions out. Think how you respond to adverts, banner ads and cold calls. Don’t you try to ignore them?
People turn to the web, when they need something. They’ll usually Google it or ask their friends on social media.
Stop reading. And type your company name into Google. What comes up? This is the first thing your potential customers will be doing. If you don’t show up for your own company name, you’re putting yourself at a severe disadvantage.
So how do you get set up?
If you’re boot strapped with little or no cash, you can do it yourself. DIY isn’t hard anymore and you can have a domain, basic website, blog, Facebook page and Twitter – all for under a few hundred dollars. Of course you can pay a web design consultant if you have the luxury of some money lying around, but many start-ups simply don’t. I remember I never did.
In my opinion, something is better than nothing. Even just your contact details on a WordPress blog is a good start. Especially if you are a start-up, secure your domain and get something up.
Now how do you get noticed?
Firstly, you need to be remarkable. If you are, then people will remark about you. That means they’ll mention it to their friends, share it on Facebook, tweet about it or email their colleagues.
And if you’re not remarkable, the web is way too vast to ever be noticed. No amount of marketing can make up for being unremarkable.
On the web it is about earning attention, not buying it. And you earn attention by earning trust.
Next time, we’ll look at how to earn attention and trust by determining who your buyers are giving them what they want. And no, it’s not information about your product!