By LARRY BAILIN, Single Throw CEO
Yes I meant "revolution"; it's not a typo. A revolution can be defined in many ways but it can only mean one of two things. An overthrow of an established system or procedure, resulting in a course back to a starting point.
Only one type of revolution can help you make the upcoming year one to remember, at least from a marketing perspective.
Many companies get caught in a trap when it comes to marketing. They keep doing the same things over and over again. Round and round our marketing goes, when it makes money we never know. The world changes too fast for anyone to think that doing the same old thing will produce new results. When it comes to marketing, that type of, "revolution" is the one to avoid.
Our customers are changing; in fact, you might even say they are creating a revolution of their own. There is no denying that the Internet has changed the face of business and marketing forever. One of the biggest changes brought about by the Internet is in customer behavior. We live in an on-demand society, a clickable culture where everything a customer wants is a mouse click away.
Our customers have more choices and they can have whatever they want; any way they want it; whenever they want it. This limitless choice has created a very competitive environment for every type of business on the planet. You either work within the clickable culture, or lose business to armies of competitors who are very anxious and willing to take your best customers.
In order to grow in the competitive Internet marketing landscape, you are going to have to start your own revolution this coming year. Here are my 3 Internet marketing tips that will help you create a marketing revolution for your company.
Tip # 1 - Think like a customer
Sounds simple but in actuality it is very difficult. You must separate yourself from your products, services, and solutions. Throw away what you know and put yourself in your customers place. When people search for products and services on the Internet, try and remember that they do not search for the solution, they search for the problem. If they knew what the solution was they would not need your help.
Does the content on your website speak to the problem; or jump right into the solutions with industry jargon and other language a client may not connect with? Simplify things and get to the heart of the matter. What are the client's needs, wants, and overall issues that brought them to your site in the first place? Review all the content on your website and make sure it speaks to the customers needs. Shake things up and start to change your writing style and messages to be customer centric; or bottom up as opposed to top down.
Tip # 2 – Step out of your comfort zone
In today’s competitive marketplace a website alone just won't cut it. We have to expand our reach and use more diverse methods to connect with connected customers. We've all heard of Blog's and Podcasts, YouTube videos, and MySpace pages; but did you know that a lot of these communication tools are great ways to connect with customers? It's true, corporate Blogging alone is one of the fastest growing marketing vehicles on the web.
Start using some of these tools. Look into creating a Blog, see what others are doing on YouTube and Facebook. Familiarize yourself with some of the new media tools and figure out how you can use them in your marketing. If you don't step out of your comfort zone, your competition is going to step all over you.
Tip # 3 – Seek out opportunity
The best information to help your business grow will come form outside your industry. Stop looking at your competition when deciding what type of marketing to do or what should be on your website. The dumbest thing you can do is to do something just because a competitor is doing it.
When I sit with clients to help them create Internet marketing strategies, they always give me the list of things their competitors are doing as if to say, "They are doing this so we should too".
How do you know if what your competition is doing is actually working? Will they tell you? Probably not. You will end up spending time and money to create something that was doomed before you even got started.
What you really need to do is figure out what your competition is not doing and then do those things. If your competitor has written testimonials on their website, you could create video testimonials. Is your competition Blogging? No, then start a Blog. Are they Podcasting? No, then do that.
Look beyond your industry for ideas. Seek out what has been successful for other industries that service your customers. If everyone is doing something and you do it to, all you do is level the playing field. If you find something no one else is doing, you've found an opportunity.
Those are my tips that should help you break the oppressions of old tired marketing and get started on your New Year's Revolution! Remember, most revolutions are started with a desire for a change from the norm; it's only when you take action that true change takes place.
Copyright 2007 Single Throw Inc.
Larry Bailin is a sought after public speaker, author of the Internet Marketing Book, “Mommy Where do Customers Come From?”® and CEO of Single Throw, an Internet Marketing consulting firm that has helped hundreds of businesses develop successful Internet Marketing strategies.
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