Marketing Strategies for the Information Age

February 26, 2009

In an age of economic instability and rapid technological change, there exists a great deal of anxiety in the business world. But borne from these challenges are many opportunities for exciting new strategies to flourish. It’s important to stay current with new trends and advancements because the-times-they-are-a-changing. What follows is a detailed approach of how to embrace 21st century marketing and make it work for your business in ways you never thought possible.

– Build an Online Presence –

Online advertising spending estimates from eMarketer predict that year-over-year growth will slow from 25.6% in 2007 to 14.5% by 2009. But don’t panic! Assuming that the economy recovers from the current recession, those estimates jump back over the 20% range by 2011. The numbers suggest that Internet advertising is a sustainable and smart long-term investment.

Booz & Company media professional Christopher Vollmer writes: “…the focus for…2009 will be on advertising that works. Marketers are looking for advertising environments that are targeted, accountable and interactive–all of those dimensions continue to benefit online.”

As we pointed out in the first part of this series, the internet is absolutely the most powerful way to maximize your productivity. It’s also the least expensive, most accessible and easiest to control. Of course, you can’t take advantage of everything the internet has to offer if you’re not online!

If you’ve yet to establish web contact, it is wise to develop this into your business strategy as soon as possible.

– Eliminate Dead Money –

I use the term, “dead money” to represent capital you’ve spent on advertising or some other aspect of your operation that is no longer helping you make money. When you choose direct-mail or print advertising, there’s really no way of knowing the number of people you reached. In a volatile economic climate, investing wisely has never been more important.

With the internet, you can track the effectiveness of your spending through ad clicks, site visitors, feedback and other statistics. The data will tell you exactly how many people came into contact with your materials. You can break down the cost on a person-to-person basis, and adjust your efforts accordingly.

– Be your own Marketer –

IndustryBlender provides information to our members because we believe that empowering businesses with knowledge is a key ingredient for success. Of course, it is sometimes necessary to seek counsel from marketing and advertising professionals, but you can do a lot of it yourself.

Nobody knows your business better than you. Why let others deliver your message when you can do it yourself! You’re an expert at what you do, and that’s how you should market your business to the public.

With websites and interactive public profiles, the opportunity to brand yourself to your customers has never been more available. You can interact with them directly, and they’ll tell you what they want and need. This makes 3rd party intervention unnecessary. That’s money saved that can be reinvested into other areas of your business.

– Update Frequently –

As we’ve stated before, newsletters are a great way to keep your customers up-to-speed on the evolution of your business. This is what marketers call “sticky content.” Frequently advertising and updating your content maintains your freshness and is keeps you in the public eye. When you hear about something relevant to your industry or have interesting news, share it!

– Name Recognition –

WHITE SPOT

Whoa. Probably weren’t thinking about them at this moment, were you? An important reason companies like Visa and McDonalds sponsor the Olympics and make other public investments is so that you won’t forget they exist. Send out email updates and let the people decide whether they want to read what you have to say. The important thing is to get them to remember your name. It’s like a pop-up, except less invasive and annoying, and more valuable.

– Avoid Dirty Copy –

Chad White, of the Email Experience Council, writes, “Don’t raise questions about your attention to detail or competence by having misspellings or errant copy.”

Delivering a clear, concise and persuasive message is one of the cornerstones for success. It is important to carefully craft and proofread all copy to make sure it is clean and tight. Be understandable and honest about your business and what you do, and always seek additional proofreaders for feedback to ensure the integrity of your message.

– Internet Coupons –

Internet coupon company, NearbyThis, reports: “According to the Interactive Advertising bureau (IAB), online coupons receive up to 10 times the click through of regular banner or text ads. And according to an article in Marketing Daily, over 36 Million consumers printed and used online coupons in 2007. Coupons give you measurable results.”

Internet coupons also help eliminate waste and allow customers to choose what promotions they want to receive. It’s never good to advertise your environmental initiatives simply for the sake of doing so, but if you can truthfully say you’re implementing actions which help sustain the Earth, it’s always wise to do so.

– Be Engaging! –

The idea of engagement is a concept of emerging importance in today’s media landscape. Appealing to your market via genuine and authentic communication is becoming increasingly important. Consumers want to know as much as they can before committing financially to a product or service. This means that businesses must be people first, and a business second.

Mark Brooks of the Motley Fool and America Online writes: “Small is the new big, indeed… Corporations are non-entities by definition, and consumers have had enough. They want to deal with people at some point.”

– Seek Inexpensive Public Relations –

It is recommended that 15-30% of your advertising budget be spent on PR. The internet has created a way to reach millions of people inexpensively and efficiently, but it means sending the right message, and making sure it reaches your target audience.

Press releases are one of the best ways to deliver your message to the general public. In a significant report, titled “Search Marketing Benchmark Guide,” MarketingSherpa reported that online press releases, combined with organic search engine optimization, are one of the most effective Internet marketing strategies.

– Follow your Own Lead –

We’ve all heard the saying, “March to the beat of your own drummer,” but that doesn’t stop people from peeking at what the business across the street is doing. It also raises doubt when small businesses watch larger corporations succeed without implementing new technologies and methods. To paraphrase entrepreneur and author David Silver, the reason for this is because behemoth companies are so steeped in bureaucracy and tradition that they move very slowly and are reluctant to change their business models. Many of them simply haven’t caught up with our rapidly changing technological world.

Don’t let this deter your efforts. Continue to explore progressive marketing strategies because the data supports your efforts. Our industry is comprised of social and innovative individuals – many of whom lack financial flexibility – who rely on understanding the pulse of a changing culture. Our legacy will be that we were the catalysts of a business revolution. Our swiftness and adaptability will serve us well in the future.

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One Response to “Marketing Strategies for the Information Age”

  1. CrotAuthorn Says:

    GreetingS!
    Nice job! Like many others, I am just getting started on my new blog. hTe tips you provided are most useful.


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