Many years ago, one of my undergraduate marketing professors aptly stated, “If I had to define marketing in a single word it would be: ‘targeting’”. Innate in that single word are two potent marketing concepts that, if followed, have the potential to transform a struggling business into a successful, thriving business. The two concepts are…
Be Found. Be Relevant.℠
The fundamentals of successful marketing have remained unchanged for millennia. But where marketers should be marketing is in constant flux. And the answer to the “where question” is simple: be where your customers are. Being in the right places (including virtual places/on the Web) is the first step (Be Found). The last thing any business wants is to waste valuable resources fishing (prospecting) in ponds with little or no fish (prospects).
One of the most common pitfalls U.S. small businesses fall into is being overly concerned with where their competitors are; even if the competition is looking for new customers in all the wrong places. The reasoning goes something like this: “It looks like all my competitors are there [fill in the blank], so I need to be there also.” Being where “all” one’s competitors are might generate some warm fuzzies (especially if your ad is bigger, bolder and more colorful than your competitors’ ad), but it is targeted marketing that generates warm leads and new sales. And remember that fundamental marketing encompasses a company’s product (goods and/or services), price, place, and promotion (the “4 P’s”) – all of which need to Be Relevant to your target market (a.k.a., targeting).
So where are your customers (looking for your business)? In a word, Online. Consider the following:
- According to Business Insider, every 60 seconds, a combined 1.5 Million searches and status updates occur on Google and Facebook, respectively (that’s more than 65 Billion every month!).
- 97% of consumers look online for local products and services… yet 63% of small businesses in the U.S. do not have a website. (sources: BIA/Kelsey and Google)
- Everyone is online, regardless of age. ComScore reports that of the seven age brackets from 12-65+, those 45-54 are online more often than any other age group (nearly 40 hours every month). And believe it or not, those 12-17 and 18-24 are online the least often, respectively.
Like it or not, we are all in the “generation of the web”, where businesses can no longer cost effectively search out new customers. Rather, prospects are now searching for and coming to you… that is, if they can find you. And when businesses offer what prospects want at the right price, is when businesses thrive. Your business needs only to Be Found. Be Relevant.℠ Online. (which, by the way, is the Generation Web® tag line – it’s what we are all about!).