The world has changed. The way we do business has changed. And yet, the concept of marketing is still very much the same.
Marketing is simply getting your product in front of others. The more we see something the more credible it becomes.
Thanks to the Internet the way we pass along information has changed, but the way in which we react to it is pretty much the same.
We have become savvier buyers, but we are still human.
Persistence works because it breaks down our defenses.
As such, just what can you do to get in front of potential clients.
First off – a website.
Today, if you don’t have a site to direct people to then you might as well shut it down. It makes little difference if you’re selling books, computers, wine or education…this is the 21st century and people want to get more information on companies and people. A website is a MUST.
But it’s not enough to simply have a website. People care about it being constantly being updated. People want to know that the company is active and sharing ideas and things with their customers. If someone were to ask me what the three biggest mistakes are when it comes to a website I would have to say:
- Not being updated regularly (incorrect information is a killer)
- Not enough quality information
- Terrible layout
Good websites used to cost over $10,000 but thanks to sites such as WordPress, Drupal and Squarespace.
Today to create a website such as this costs under $50 to create (I purchased a course on how to make it) and then $10/month to run it. Total running cost per year – $120.
Compare this to my physical business with running costs of between $20,000-$30,000.
Let’s assume you’ve got a website, what’s next?
Now you need to let people know about it. How? That’s easy.
- Advertising in media outlets
- Joining forums
- Free samples of product / Giveaways
- Handwritten letters
- Social Media (namely Facebook, Twitter, and Linkedin)
Do anything and everything you can do to get your name and product out there. But one word of warning; if the product or service is garbage, no amount of marketing will save it. You must at least have something of quality to offer people. It doesn’t need to be the best, but it does need to differentiate itself from your competitors. And it does need to fill a need.
I have seen too many companies fail because their product or service didn’t fulfill its promises.
In this day and age word travels fast; don’t let it get out that what you are offering is substandard. Always, and I repeat always, go for quality.
What else can you do?
Interviews and videos with specialists in the field are always a winner with any audience.
Do surveys and then LISTEN to what your customers have to say.
Join groups such as churches, charities, PTAs anything to be a part of your community.
The list is endless. It just takes a little creativity and a lot of dedication to stay ahead of most of your competitors.
What you can’t do is take it easy. Resting on one’s laurels is a disaster waiting to happen in today’s competitive world.
The more things you do, the better off you’ll be…but rather than trying to do them all. Try as many as you can then see which work best for your product and area then focus on those.
Beating the competition is about being agile in this environment.
Keep adjusting and tweaking till you find a winning formula.
Below I’ve included one of the best ads I’ve ever seen. It’s creative and memorable. Each and every business should keep it in mind when trying to get their own message out there.
Marketing to compete in the 21st century is easier than you think.