Are you wasting your marketing dollars on outdated strategies?

Many people who have been running businesses for a long time get caught up in habits or habits that may not be the best way to determine the most effective and productive strategies when it comes to marketing. What worked in the 1980’s, 1990’s or even the 2000’s, may not work today.

As we are all aware, times have changed and with them, consumer shopping and buying preferences. Whether your customer is a private person or another business, decisions about what to buy, how much to pay, where to get it, and how to pay for it have been greatly influenced by the Internet.

Years ago, if you wanted to buy a used car, you probably picked up the classified section of the newspaper and scanned the appropriate listings. The same applies to real estate. If you were looking for a job, where did you look? Of course you want ads in the newspaper.

What about clothes, gifts, jewelry, golf clubs, books or even shoes? Well, you probably hit the mall for a tiring day of browsing, asking the salesperson questions, trying things on, and lugging bags of purchases to your car.

How about tax services, medical advice, planning a night out at a good restaurant, or pet sitting? Recreational equipment, car insurance, office supplies or finding a local plumber? We used to grab the Yellow Pages for all kinds of things we needed – must you remember those huge books filled with little type listing everything under the sun?

But we live in a brave new world. Today, practically everyone is shopping for everything online. Not only that, but we use our credit cards to pay and deliver everything to our homes or businesses for the ultimate convenience.

So how has this affected how we access our markets? enormously! If you’re still placing classified ads in newspapers or buying expensive display ads in the Yellow Pages, you need to step back and re-evaluate your decisions, which may be a little outdated.

Instead, you should take advantage of all the free “yellow page” listing guides available online. This can take some time to set up, requiring you to write a few short declaratives (known as paragraphs or “sound clips”) about your work, but it’s worth it for a few reasons. First, most people now use the internet to find contact information for anyone or anything they want to access. And it’s impossible to know which Yellow Pages they’ll use, so you need to be listed in all of them. But more importantly, if you have a website, which you should, all those listings that usually include free links back to your website will help you with SEO, or search engine optimization. (This means that the time you invest in putting together free listings will pay off handsomely by pushing Google search rankings higher in the search results if anyone is looking for your products or services online.)

I’m sure not all Yellow Pages salespeople will appreciate my suggestions here. But they are not the only ones whose printed products have lost popularity. I still anticipate the demise of the printed newspaper and many magazines, as much as I continue to enjoy sitting at the printed page when I get a few minutes. It’s probably just an old habit that I’m going to need to break before it breaks me. First of all, as we age, our eyesight takes a turn for the worse, and seeing this little type in paper is much more difficult than it was twenty years ago. Since I spend most of my days staring at my computer screen, I take advantage of the expanded type feature that makes it easier to read. And while I consider the little time I spend reading real magazines and newspapers a rare moment of luxury, continuing to do so in the future will likely only happen online or via electronic tablets or e-readers.

This means that if you are running a business, your advertising mediums must also change. While you may feel like you’re still reaching the target audience you’re looking for with a print newspaper ad, which has become admittedly more affordable compared to the rates charged in the past, you can change your tune once you explore the logic behind Internet advertising. Online text ads, as well as banner ads (display “billboards” on the Internet), which appear on appropriately planned topic searches that you control with keyword decisions before placements, are the modern and perhaps superior method of target marketing. In the same way we used to buy mailing lists to reach a specific demographic we used to appeal to through direct mail, today we can reach the markets we want by appearing within the subject of our Internet searches. Sure, this is still quite new, but it’s evolving more with each passing day, and it’s clearly the future of marketing.

Call me old fashioned but I have to say that direct mail can be more successful in its ability to land in the hands of a prospect than it is in trying to get your customer’s attention splattered on crowded Google search results with the click of a mouse button. page! The advantage here is that the direct mail sender if designed effectively has the ability to keep the recipient interested with the graphic effects of color, visuals, font size, and selection. In comparison, an online text ad is just text, and just like every other text ad on a Google page, it doesn’t give you a bigger edge to drive a click than anyone else. Whether a piece of direct mail is opened, read, and responded to or whether it is immediately discarded without a glance continues to be the hard factor for marketers everywhere. As with investing, there is no magic formula. To give a little guidance, if you’re marketing to everyone, anywhere, online text ads probably make sense because of the large numbers of people who might see your ad. Provided your choices are in the area of ​​popular interest. If your goal is too small, those numbers can dwindle dramatically. While it is also possible to attract a small market in a small geographic area via online text ads, doing so successfully may require some diversification and support from other types of traditional marketing. At least until the Internet becomes the only means of marketing, or until Google is ousted from the internet throne of infallibility.

With the proliferation of ways to enjoy the vast entertainment industry that includes radio, television, movies, videos, games, and more, just to name a few, investing marketing dollars in the right single medium in your target market is getting more and more difficult. Trying to stretch your budget to attract the audience you want to reach can be frustrating with all the options, distractions, and short attention spans of most entertainment seekers. From a marketing point of view, and a 35 year history of experience, my advice would be to guard those dollars very carefully before making a rash decision on where to spend.

While I admit that new venues have replaced the old, some of the old choices still reach some naysayers who refuse to accept today’s new technologies. Although few and far from each other, some markets still respond to the traditional yellow page, newspapers, magazines and other forms of advertising, which may justify maintaining a judicious presence within these media. It is hard to debate the merits of buying the back cover of telephone directories when thousands and thousands are being delivered to countless homes even if they are viewed only once in a year. The sheer numbers of marketing reach are staggering. But to do so blindly in the future would be irresponsible if not downright wasteful, when there is now talk of adding Do Not Deliver lists to Do Not Call lists.

and when newspaper advertisements are sold at a great rate for a fraction of what they once cost, the temptation sometimes trumps better judgement, for the sheer momentary thrill of dominating the newspaper’s page for pennies. Any response is considered gravy.

This leads me to conclude that we are in a period of marketing limbo: some strategies are on the way out but the door is not closed yet. The new strategies are a little scary, but the old ones are less effective. If you can balance the two until time sorts out the survival of the fittest, then marketing budgets will be held a little longer and perhaps maintain a semblance of success despite having to navigate seas of confusion, fear, and obsolescence.

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