Your website is now more important than your store or head office frontage, and needs to be invested in accordingly. CRAIG REARDON
By Craig Reardon
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It’s Energise Enterprise month down here in Victoria, which means that if it involves business, there’ll be an affordable seminar about it near you.
All spruiking aside, this is a fantastic initiative which brings the country’s best speakers together with insights on how to grow all of our businesses via more than 360 events.
I managed to see and introduce some very inspiring speakers over the last few days, from RedBalloon founder Naomi Simson, to Wiggles boss Mike Conway to search gurus Chris Thomas (of this here ezine) and Jim Stewart.
But the single message I took away from the presentation at the The Australian Business & IT Expo was one which was pitched in my very own backyard.
It stated that a full one third of your marketing budget should now be spent on eMarketing.
One third! If that were only true, eMarketers like myself would be holidaying in the Riviera instead of the Riverina. Not that the waterways of the Murrumbidgee don’t give fine vacation.
But the source of the recommendation should know a thing or two about marketing budgets. Carolyn Stafford is one of the country’s leading experts on SME marketing and author of a new book, CD series and workshop entitled “Small Business, Big Brand”.
There are few speakers that present views that I agree with 100%, but to her credit Stafford knew her subject inside out, and then some.
She quite persuasively argued several points to support her view, namely:
- There are now more Australian people online than watching television.
- Printed directory advertising is in rapid decline.
- The internet and mobile devices are to today’s youth what television was to anyone older than 30.
- Product and service research is the second biggest online activity behind email.
- The internet provides unprecedented measurement capabilities of all promotional activities.
- Your website is now more important than your store or head office frontage, and needs to be invested in accordingly.
- eMarketing is more affordable and cost effective than traditional marketing.
- If you sell to youth, Web 2.0 marketing is now mandatory.
Of course, these opinions will be nothing new to anyone with their earlobes anywhere near the ground. But the most compelling factor of all is the source.
Unlike many other commentators, Stafford had neither an eProduct to flog, an axe to grind or shareholders to sway. Her point of view was from a marketer whose prime motivation was growing businesses through better marketing.
Her impartial views also help dismiss the notion of the web being a techie thing once and for all. The fact is that most people now use the internet in some shape or form and the vast majority of those use it to find, research, evaluate, find a supplier of, order, purchase and comment on an amazingly diverse range of products and services.
Only last week a client asked me to help re-purpose their five figure print directory advertising budget as it simply isn’t working for them anymore. I’m in the process of coming up with a strategy that will take them on a journey through some techniques that weren’t even heard of a decade ago – online customer reviews, eNewsletters, pay per click advertising, blogs, RSS feeds, YouTube video, search engine optimisation and more.
As Stafford so emphatically stated, these tactics are the new currency of today’s marketing.
I couldn’t have said it better myself!
Craig Reardon is a leading eBusiness educator and founder and director of independent web services firm The E Team which provide the gamut of website solutions, technologies and services to SMEs. www.theeteam.com.au