These days marketing is a hot buzzword in the business community.Â Everyone is talking about marketing plans, social media marketing, direct marketing, search engine marketing, and on and on.
What happened to simply putting an advertisement in the yellow pages and that was the extent of your marketing efforts?
Can a business still survive with just advertising, or is it now necessary to add a marketing department to your business operations?
Seth Godin states that â€œadvertising is just a symptom, Â a tactic. Marketing is about far more than that.â€
Traditional media advertising still can work, and I am not going to tell you to stop if you are using it effectively.Â But the difference is that technology has changed the way people get information.Â Traditional media (TV, radio, newspaper) is no longer the main source of entertainment. Â Physical directories (yellow pages, trade journals) are no longer the predominant source of company listings.
Technologies such as the Internet, smart phones, iPads and low cost data packages have changed things immensely. The biggest difference is not the type of media.Â If all the people had simply switched from one media to another, or even added a media – then we could simply go about advertising – we would just learn the new media and keep using the same strategies that we always have, only with the new media rather than the old.
The problem is that there are just so many alternatives, so now we need a plan.Â We need to study our customers â€“ our best customers â€“ and see how they behave. We need to examine how they make buying decisions, find out what influences them to make a purchase, and examine what ways they get the information needed to make that purchase.
From there we then need to create the right message, transmit that message through the most effective medium, and then we need to carefully gauge the response.Â If it works we keep doing it, even do more and better.Â If it doesnâ€™t work we find a new way that does. And remember â€“ as David Olgilvy stated, â€œThe more informative your advertising, the more persuasive it will be.â€
So what it means is that marketing is more work than it ever was. I am sorry to say that simply putting a basic advertisement in the yellow pages is not going to cut it.Â Nor is simply putting up a basic website. If you want to get your message in front of your best customer â€“ to optimize your sales and increase your revenue â€“ you need an effective marketing plan.
Therefore, you need to add a marketing department to your business.Â Whether you outsource that part of your business or bring in someone internally, that is up to you.Â But make sure you are doing an effective job of marketing, as it is the key to sustainability in your business.