More and more customers are accessing information about suppliers via PCs, Laptops, iPads and smart phones. Fewer and fewer customers will go to the yellow pages or pick up leaflets. I wonder how many yellow pages directories go straight from doorstep to recycling bin? Mine certainly does.
Printed newspapers, with dwindling sales, are now having to adapt or die as their readership turns to the web for news and information. The likes of Amazon Kindle has completely changed the publishing landscape and readers grab books and magazines from their store with the minimum of effort. Night time readers don’t even have to get out of bed to select a new book to read – it all happens wirelessly, downloaded in seconds.
With web marketing it is perfectly possible to pull people towards your goods and services without any additional cost, barring time and effort.
And therein lies the second dilemma for businesses. Precious time must be dedicated to build up that web presence. Regular blogging, newsletters, social media, adding your company to the best directories, Google places and the likes all take time. Time which, traditionally, graphic designers, printers, leaflet distributors and snail mail carriers took off your hands by producing and delivering your printed marketing material for you.
I believe the best marketing mix for the modern business world includes both offline and online activities.
A company that spends that little extra to produce quality business cards, as opposed to the free, or very inexpensive ones promoted by certain online printers will stand out from the crowd. Printed material is tactile, thus introducing the touch sense to the prospective buyer’s overall impression of you as a business.
A well targeted direct mailing campaign can still reap rewards – banners, posters, vehicle graphics, glossy brochures and even printed letterheads still have their place. However these can’t eclipse or replace a quality and easily found web presence.
With the same limited time and budget constraints as before, businesses have to be absolutely clear where their marketing budget will be spent and how to measure its success. Then they must commit wholeheartedly to ensuring that the decisions they make result in success. This may mean paying for the help of social media and search engine experts in much the same way as businesses paid for graphic design, print and postage in the past.
Clearcad has teamed up with business growth and customer development strategists Neontics to offer you a variety of solutions including consultancy, CRM, web design, authoring, web hosting, Search Engine Optimisation, print design and analytical tools. We would be happy to meet with you to look at the options you have for developing both an online and offline marketing plan.