Digital Marketing Strategy for Business

 

Do you have a digital marketing strategy in place for your business or are you still trying to figure out how to make this whole online marketing thing work?

A digital marketing strategy is more than being active on social media or running Facebook ads, it's about creating a layered and comprehensive online marketing strategy suited for your business that is aligned with your business goals.

Do you ever feel like you're spinning your wheels online?  Do you try one online tactic (because an “expert” said you had to do it) after another with little results?  Do you have a game plan?

Most businesses run their online marketing campaigns in silos.  They run a Facebook ad campaign here, send out a newsletter there, and have someone write some blog articles hoping that will “SEO” them to the top of the search engines.

Wrong.

While you may find some success with each of these tactics, these are just that, tactics.  All of your marketing should have a purpose along with a predefined outcome.  All of your different marketing strategies should be working in unison with each other to create that layered, comprehensive digital marketing strategy that will generate regular leads for your business.

Digital Marketing Strategy Map

Developing a Digital Marketing Strategy

A digital marketing strategy is when you have a clear picture of what your goals are, who your audience is and how you are going to reach them.

It's a layered approach where you use several different online mediums to reach your ideal customer.  It's knowing what messaging you should use for each medium and understanding where each of these potential customers are in the buying cycle.

It's understanding what value you need to offer potential customers at all stages of the buying cycle to keep them interested, engaged and eventually, ready to become your customer.

A proper digital marketing strategy will keep the top, middle and bottom of your sales funnel so full that your sales team will fall in love with you.

Who is your audience?

The first thing you need to be clear on is who your audience is.  You may have several different types of customers and will need to create profiles for each of them.  This is important because knowing who your potential customers are will determine what mediums you will use to reach them, which we will discuss below.

How will you reach them?

Once you know who you are targeting you will need to determine to best place to reach them.  Are they on Facebook?  Do they use Pinterest?  Are they actively searching online for a product/service like yours?  Asking and answering these types of questions will help you determine where you should be spending your time and money.

There are so many opportunities to reach your audience online it's scary.  Social Media alone offers dozens of different platforms and advertising options.  You want to take a layered approach so you can reach your audience across different channels as well as reaching them at different stages of the buying cycle.

Putting Together a Digital Marketing Strategy

The options listed below all have a single thing in common, your website.  When it comes to the online space, your website is the only property you fully own.  It's where you can create the perfect environment to convert interested visitors into customers.  Pretty much all of the channels below will involve sending people back to your website, where you will have landing pages setup that have specific messages and offers for each of your different customer types.

A great digital marketing strategy will draw traffic from a wide variety of sources.  It will use a mix of Search Engine Optimization, paid advertising and email marketing that will draw generate leads in all stages of your sales funnel.

A typical sales funnel will look something like this:

Digital Marketing Strategy Sales Funnel

SEO

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) will provide you with some of the best ROI out of all your marketing strategies, if well executed.  The reason  most businesses don't go this route is that it can take several months of work before you start to see returns on your investment.  And most businesses have been burned in the past by some company making “first page of Google” promises that they couldn't deliver on, leaving people sour on the idea of doing SEO.

The best thing about SEO is if you target the right search terms and can get good rankings for them, it will deliver traffic and leads month after month, long after you have paid for the initial work.

A good SEO strategy can cover all part so your sales funnel.  You can target people just starting the buying journey with Q&A questions and product reviews, as well as end of funnel people who are looking for specific products/models to buy.

Local SEO

Local SEO, is similar to traditional SEO, it concentrates on a specific geographic area and places a focus not only on your website's organic rankings, but also on 3rd party sites as well to drive leads.  Google My Business, Bing Places, online review sites and directories are examples of 3rd party websites where you can optimize you presence and generate traffic for your website.

A solid SEO/Local SEO strategy can typically get you listed twice on the first page of Google, one for your local listing (AKA the map listing), as well as your traditional organic search ranking.

Social Media

Social media has become a core marketing strategy for many businesses though most have yet to figure out how to generate paying customers with it.  Social media has two components, the organic use of social media and the paid advertising opportunities.

Using social media organically to grow your following to generate leads is still an option, though the platforms like Facebook are making it harder and harder for businesses to grow organically.  It can also be time-consuming as you typically need to keep a constant presence in order to gain traction and visibility.  Organic growth is still viable, but some paid advertising layered on top is what usually what makes it work for most businesses.

Paid advertising on social media is probably where the biggest opportunities lie, especially with Facebook.  The types of targeting available with Facebook Ads is unmatched on any other platform.  LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter all have their own advertising options as well and has made social media an awesome place to spend your advertising dollars where you can reach highly targeted audiences.

Pay Per Click Advertising

Google Adwords is the king of pay per click advertising, where you only pay when someone clicks on your ad.  Facebook also offers pay per click advertising and is quickly becoming a favorite among advertisers.  With pay per click advertising, you can serve ads to individuals based on what they search for (typically how Google Adwords serves them) as well as demographic, behavior and interest targeting (how Facebook targeting works).  It's basically the opposite of traditional advertising where you send a single message to a mass of people, hoping someone might be interested.  With pay per click advertising, you can create specific messaging and offers based on the type of user you are targeting or what they typed into the search engines.

Pay per click advertising works great alongside an SEO strategy as it allows you to “fill in the gaps” where you are not getting organic rankings for certain search terms.  Google has also been giving paid ads more and more visibility in the search results, at the expense of organic search listing.

Remarketing

Remarketing is when the ad platform you are using (Facebook, Google Adwords, etc) drops a tracking cookie on someone device when they visit your website.  With this tracking cookie in place, you can now advertise to them after they leave your website. In the case of Facebook, you can now serve ads to them on Facebook and partner sites of theirs.  With Google Adwords, you can advertise to them on thousands of Google partner sites.

In the case of Facebook, you can now serve ads to them on Facebook and partner sites of theirs.  With Google Adwords, you can advertise to them on thousands of Google partner sites, giving advertisers a very wide reach in serving remarketing ads.  Ads can be in the form of image banners, text ads, video ads and various Facebook ads and post types for Facebook remarketing.

Remarketing will reach a smaller audience, only people who have visited your website, but typically returns a high ROI compared to other advertising options.  Remarketing works great for products/services where people are comparison shopping or where the sale is more complex and requires a longer sales cycle.

Display and Video Advertising

Google Display Network (part of Google Adwords) is the biggest platform for image banner and video marketing and has thousands of partner sites where you can serve ads based on demographics, interests, and behaviors.  Facebook is also becoming a great pace for video advertising.

Think of display banners as tiny billboards, except you have the ability t show your ads to highly relevant people instead of anyone and everyone, like a typical roadside billboard.  While not as targeted as Pay Per Click advertising, it can give you a wide reach with a targeted audience.  Think of it as the middle ground  between pay per click ads and traditional mass advertising.

Mobile Marketing

More people search the internet now from their phones rather than a computer.  The crazy part is that many businesses do not have a mobile-friendly website, let alone doing any sort of mobile-specific advertising.  Yes, by not having a mobile strategy in place, you are immediately giving up on half the people on the internet.

If you're a local business or a brand with multiple store locations, mobile is a goldmine for marketing, especially with Local SEO and in the advertising space.

Imagine have a storefront and serving ads to people as they walk down your street.  Yes, you can do that with Facebook proximity ads.  Someone is driving home from work and needs to order a pizza from the car, a mobile Call Only ad with Google Adwords or a high ranking local listing is perfect for getting in front of them at just the right time.

If you do not have a mobile friendly website, that is where you probably need to start if you want to develop a mobile marketing strategy.

Email Marketing

Most online retailers, when asked what is the one marketing channel that delivers the best ROI for them, will answer email marketing.  Building an email list can be one of the most profitable things you can do for your business.  Where else can you communicate with thousands of customers and potential customers at will for $25-$75 bucks a month using email marketing software?

Many people abandoned email marketing as social media gained prominence, despite that fact that study after study concludes that email marketing returns a far higher ROI than social media.  Go figure.

 

Getting started with a digital marketing strategy

Do you need to do everything above in order to create a great online marketing strategy?  No, you don't.  What you want to do is select the right marketing mix in order to reach you audience through different mediums and across marketing channels.

Creating a layered marketing approach with a purpose will ensure that you reach the right audience, at the right time and with the right message.

Road to nowhere

Road to nowhere

Do you feel like you're getting nowhere with your business? Have you lost momentum and now feel like you're just spinning your wheels?

In your first year or two of business, the enthusiasm is high, optimism is at its peak, and you can overcome most obstacles with sheer will.  That first year is awesome, scary and a roller coaster ride that non-entrepreneurs will never experience.

But what happens after the momentum fades, your new business shine fades, and the only thing you are left with is the day to day work of the business?

Welcome to the messy middle.

The messy middle is that part in your businesses life where you need to work on the day to day activities of your business.  Things you can't ignore (or make excuses for) once you are out of that startup phase.  It's the part where you actually turn your business into an actual business, one that will live on for many years to come.

The messy middle is where you figure out how to manage people, create processes, manage finances and learn how to refine your marketing as your startup marketing budget is long gone.  Entrepreneurs hate this part of the business, the part where you need to figure out how to make your business work for the long haul.  The term, “Serial Entrepreneur” simply means a person who loves to create and start businesses but hates running them.

Most small businesses fail within the first 5 years.  Almost none fail in the startup phase, where you have the funds and the will to weather the storm.  Most small businesses fail when they run out of money before they can figure out how to make their business work.

Businesses that succeed or fail all go through this messy middle phase.  The difference is that successful businesses learn how to make their businesses work before they run out of money, or the will to go on.

I've been in this situation a few times in my life, where I didn't know if the business (or myself) would make it.  A few times the business didn't make it, a few other times it did and eventually thrived.  I also know dozens of entrepreneurs who have been there, sometimes the business fails, other times it lives.  I have a few friends that have incredibly successful businesses, both in monetary terms and personal satisfaction, all of them at some point had some serious doubts about their business and themselves.

So what's the difference between businesses that fail and ones that thrive?  It's hard to tell the difference in those early years, but there are some key areas that successful business owners seem to get right eventually.

From my experience as a business owner and working with lots of other business owners over the years, there are a few skills and mindsets that separate successful business owners with ones who will eventually have to close shop.  You can get away with these when you are starting up and still trying to figure things out, but eventually you will have to face them or risk hitting a wall that your business may not be able to overcome.

You have your hand in every aspect of your business

Ever hear of whack a mole?  That's you and your business if you keep your hand in every pie.  It's good in the beginning as you need to understand how things work before you can delegate, but if you are still doing this 2-3 years down the line and can't trust/train others to take on non-essential roles, your days are numbered.  You can't grow your business when you are the one doing everything, eventually you will hit a wall that you can't overcome without other people.  This is also the number one reason for burnout, you become so overwhelmed doing things you don't want to that you begin to hate your business.

Whack a Mole Meme

The most important things in business are marketing, sales and customer service/retention.  That should be your world and you should let others take care of everything else.

The book, The E-Myth Revisited, is a must-read for any business owner.

You refuse to spend money on marketing

If you refuse to spend money on your marketing efforts, you are doomed.  You can get away with sweat equity, networking and doing everything that involves time but not money, but eventually you will reach your limits as these are non-scalable activities that don't let you generate business on demand.  You need to spend money to make.

As you grow your business, your time will become very valuable and you will need to figure out marketing strategies that don't involve you spending all of your time trying to grow your social media networks, attending networking events and other time-consuming activities that are stopping you from growing your business.  While these activities may be important, you will see that successful business owners are very selective about how they spend their time and money.  Especially, if it means they can have more of their time back to concentrate on growing their business.

You can never find good employees

You may find a lemon once in awhile, but if every employee you hire is terrible, the problem is you, not them. Your job when hiring is to interview, hire, train and mentor your employees.  If you miss any of these or do them poorly, you will ultimately have sub-par employees.  But it's your fault, you expected an off the shelf ace employee. You hire for talents and personality and you train for skills.  You need to keep people motivated and inspired to work for you.

You will reach a point in your business where you will need others to help you grow.  You can't do everything forever.  Business owners that do not know how to hire and manage good people, will eventually implode as it creates an expensive and time-consuming cycle of revolving employees.  This leads to frustration for the business owner and poor service for your customers.

Charles M Schwab Quote about arousing enthusiasm in other men

Charles M. Schwab of Bethlehem Steele and right-hand man of Andrew Carnegie, credited all of this success to his ability to create enthusiasm among the people around him.  He was also paid 1 million dollars a year by Andrew Carnegie to run his steel operations at a time when most men were lucky to earn a few hundred dollars a year.

Want to know how to hire and mentor great employees?  Read this book.

You're not a people person

Everyone business has a customer, if you don't like interacting with people or collaborating with others, then it will eventually show and reflect on your business.  If you don't enjoy being around people or you get frustrated easily with others, it'll be difficult to grow a successful  business.  Customers and employees won't want to be around someone who doesn't want to be around them.

You can probably see a theme in this article, that you need a team of people to help grow your business and to allow you to concentrate on the important aspects of your business.  These people may be employees, contractors peers,or 3rd party vendors but you will need to work with them all in order to grow your business.

Chinese Business Quote - Dont open a shop unless you are rpepared to smile

Dale Carnegie's classic, “How To Win Friends and Influence People”, is a must-read for every business owner.

You're not excited about your business

You may not love the actual product or service you offer, but you should love the business itself.  I know many business owners who aren't necessarily passionate about the product or service they offer, but they are passionate about growing a business, serving others and the satisfaction that comes from building a successful business.

What makes business exciting are the possibilities. If you aren't excited about that, then maybe you are in the wrong business or maybe owning your own business isn't for you, there is nothing wrong with that.  When you are in that “Messy Middle” of your business, the only thing that is left is the work itself, so if you don't find the work exciting and fulfilling, then what's the point?

Whether you have your own business or work for someone else, who wants to spend 30-40 years doing something they don't enjoy?

What road are you on?

You may be able to get away with one of the above and still have a successful business, but if you start identifying with a few of the above points, then maybe it is time to pause and reflect on your business and where it's headed.

How Increase Conversions on Website Small Business

 

Having trouble getting website visitors to convert into leads for your business?

Join the club.

The majority of small business websites do a terrible job at creating a compelling website experience where people become engaged and will want to take action.

Most of the time they simply don't ask people to take action or they fail to make it clear what actions people are supposed to take.

Here's a test for you.  When someone visits your website, if you could have them take any one action on your website, what would it be?  Now look at your website, is that action crystal clear to people that visit your website?  Is your website set up to move people towards that conversion action?

If not, then you need to think about the end result you're looking for people to take on your site and start creating your website experience to support it.

Below are five relatively easy, but powerful changes you can make on your website to start turning it into a lead generating machine for your business.

Create a Powerful Value Proposition

A value proposition is a statement telling visitors what value you can bring them if they do business with you.  When people land on your website, the first thing (the only thing actually) they want to know is, how is this business going to help me and make my life better?

Value Porposition Example

A value proposition is not a catchy headline or a self-gratifying statement ( we are #1 in sales), it is a value based message, letting people know what they stand to gain if they decide to do business with you.  It can be a combination of your headline, supporting statement and value based bullet points letting people know all of the value your are ready to give them.

Evernote Value Proposition Example

You can read more about value propositions and how to create them here.

You can read this for help on writing a great value proposition.

Make an Offer They Can't Refuse

The easiest way to create more conversions is to make an offer where people are thinking, “Hell, Yeah!”  Create an irresistible offer where the benefits far outway the costs of choosing your business over any other.  How do you do this?

  • Make it very clear the end result the customer will receive
  • Take away the risk of this type of purchase
  • Make the benefits far outway the risks of choosing you
  • Make it a no brainer

 

Examples Great Offer

So what are some things you can offer?

  • No questions asked, money back guarantee or a double your money back.
  • Lifetime warranty, or warranty far longer than your competitors
  • Extended free trial period
  • A value-add that has a large perceived value to a customer but low cost to you
  • Get a second product or service free with purchase
  • Free training or free resource access with purchase

These are just some examples, but you get the point.

Ebay Money Back Guarantee

Look at what your competitors are offering and then make an offer that puts them to shame.  Afraid to offer a money back guarantee or rock solid warranty?  If you deliver what you promise, the vast majority of people will never take you up on your offers, but will feel comforted knowing they are there when they make the purchase.  Even if you do have a few people that want a refund or call you on your warranty, the increase in business you get by putting yourself out there will far outway the occasional person who wants a refund.

And if you do have a lot of people wanting refunds or requesting multiple warranty calls?  Then stop what you are doing and go fix your business because it's broken.

Want to learn how to create irresistible offers?  Learn from the best.  You can also read more about creating irresistible offers here.

Place a Contact Form and Call To Action Right On The Homepage

Turn your homepage into a conversion-centric landing page.  Too many business websites bury their contact form in a single place, their Contact Us page.  Why are you making it so hard for people to contact you?  Make it easy for people to contact you by placing contact forms throughout your website, along with strong calls to action.

Example Small Business With Call To Action

And if you can't place the form on your homepage, then at least have a call to action and a button that will direct people to your contact page or to take some sort of action that will move them closer to contacting you.

The two easiest places to add a contact form is right on your homepage as well as all of your secondary pages, which usually has some sort of sidebar waiting for you to add some value to it.

Example Website With Contact Form on Sidebar

One mistake many website owners make is to assume everyone is starting their visit on the home page.  If you have a lot of pages on your site, especially if you have a blog, then many visitors will be starting on a page other than your homepage.  So what do you need to do?  Look at every page on your website and make sure each page has everything people need to know about your business and an easy way to contact you.  Essentially, every page on your website is a landing page.

Add Testimonials and Social Proof

If people are coming to your website from an ad or an organic search, chances are they do not know you or your business.  They don't about your high level of integrity or the awards you have won over the years, you need to let them know that it is safe for them to trust you.  How do you do this?  By adding trust and credibility elements to your website such as:

  • Customer reviews and testimonials
  • Links to 3rd party review sites
  • Trade associations you belong to
  • Industry awards you have won in the past
  • Media outlets that have interviewed you

 

Landing Page with Customer Reviews

Let people know that is safe for them to trust you.  Most of the time businesses bury their testimonials on a dedicated testimonial page…..that is not very effective because you are assuming every visitor to your website will visit that page.  If you look at your Google Analytics, you will see that is not the case.  Best practice is to spread out your testimonials, customer reviews, awards, etc across you entire site, especially important pages like the homepage and your service pages.

Man Packs Landing Page Example

Learn more about the power of social proof here.

Get Clear With Your Copywriting

Copywriting.  While the design and images on your website will get people's attention, it's the words on the page that will turn them into leads.  Don't be wishy-washy with your copy.  Good copywriting for a business website should be clear, specific and value based, so the reader knows exactly what benefits and outcomes they will be getting by doing business with you.

Your website should talk about 3 things:

  • The features of your product/service (size, ease of use, technical details, etc)
  • The benefits people will receive by using it (how using it will help them)
  • The outcomes people will have by using it (How their life will be improved by using it)

Unfortunately, most businesses never get past the features, which is the weakest part of the value chain here.  People want to know the benefits they will receive, and more importantly, the outcomes.

Here's an example using an Apple iPod Touch.

Features

  • Comes in 5 colors
  • 8 megapixel camera
  • 32 megabytes of storage

Benefits

  • Bring you entire music library with you wherever you go
  • Take stunning pictures while on vacation
  • Enjoy hi-definition stereo sound for a full music experience

Outcomes

  • Capture precious family moments anytime the moment strikes
  • Relax while listening to your favorite music in hi-definition, you'll feel like you're at the concert
  • Create customized playlists, to push you through that last grueling mile on training day

If you want to create powerful words on your site that will engage readers, focus on the benefits and outcomes your product/service can offer.

You can read more about creating great copy for your website here.

Start getting more conversions on your website

If you do the above 5 things for your website, you will be ahead of 99% of all other business websites on the internet.  Think about that, not just your competitors, but all business websites.  Start a plan today to start turning your website into the lead generating machine you always dreamed it would be.

Online Marketing Outperforms Traditional Marketing

Online Marketing Outperforms Traditional Marketing

Is traditional marketing dead?  Sort of.

There will always be a place for traditional marketing such as direct mailers, newspaper ads, etc……but using traditional marketing as your only source of marketing is as dead as the companies that continue to stubbornly refuse to embrace the internet.

It's like being alive in 1925 and still thinking automobiles are just a fad.

Proves ROI for Your Marketing Dollars

Online marketing, especially when using Marketing Automation, will let you track a user from the moment they click on a specific marketing campaign you are running……..all the way until they become a paying customer.  Sometimes this will all happen in a matter of minutes, other times it will happen in a matter of months.  It gives you a clear picture of how your online marketing campaigns are impacting your revenue.

When you run a television commercial or a radio spot, how do you prove ROI?  If you're like most business owners, you hope for an uptick in business following the ad campaign and attribute any additional business to that campaign.  If you have a direct marketing mindset, you may include channel specific offer codes, which will give you, at least something you can track

But what if you have an extended sales cycle?  How do you trace a sale today back to a specific television ad you ran 6 months ago?  You can't.   With online marketing, you can.

71% of companies planned to increase their digital marketing budgets this year – Webbiquity (2015)

Better Matches Consumer Behavior

Traditional marketing is also known as interruption marketing.  Just when somebody is very engaged in an activity, like reading an article or watching a TV show, you “interrupt” them with your ad, which they often find non-relevant and annoying.  Consumers today are very savvy, they do not want to me marketed to, they want you to be there when they are ready to see what you have to offer.

Seth Godin Death of Traditional Marketing

Well run online marketing campaigns place your business in front of a consumer at the moment they show interest in what you have to offer.  They are the most engaged at this time and offers you the perfect opportunity to introduce them to your brand and the value you can bring to them.

Online marketing allows you to reach consumers when they show signs of buying and the most open to your marketing messages.

Adults 50 years old and above represent the Web's largest constituency, comprising one-third of the total 195.3 million Internet users in the U.S. – Abobe CMO 2014

More Cost Effective

Two things make online marketing very cost effective compared to traditional marketing.

Search Engine Optimization.  90+% of consumers do research online before making a purchase.  Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a marketing method where you get your website ranked high in the search engine results.  Once you get your rankings, you do not have to pay each time someone clicks and visits your website.  A quality SEO campaign can produce tens of thousands of visitors each month to your website for free.  It's like paying for a television commercial once and then having it run free of charge for the next 3 years.

Targeted Marketing.  Would you rather pay for a magazine ad based (and priced) on it reaching 50K people, but only 100 of them may be interested in what you have to offer, or would you rather just pay to market to those 100 interested people?  That's the difference in spending $300 on a targeted online ad campaign vs paying thousands of dollars for a mass advertising campaign that reaches the same amount of interested people.

SEO leads have a 14.6% close rate, while outbound leads (such as direct mail or print advertising) have a 1.7% close rate. – Search Engine Journal

Deep Segmentation

With mass advertising, you create a single marketing message for everyone.  Not really an effective strategy.  People buy your products for different reasons, online marketing allows you to create different marketing messaging for each of your different customer segments.  Why highlight how cost effective you are to your wealthier customer segment who are more interested in your higher end features?

Online marketing allows you, all the way down to a one on one level, to communicate with your customers with the benefits they find most valuable.  This type of marketing segmentation creates more relevant marketing communications and higher conversion rates.

60% of all Internet activity in the US originates from mobile devices and about half of total Internet Traffic flows through mobile apps. – CMOcouncil.org

Real Time Results

A good marketing strategy isn't something you create once, it's something that is continually improved upon over time.  Online marketing allows you to see the results of your campaign in real-time, allowing you to make changes on the fly based on the data coming in. If you see something working very well, you can double down on your winner and drop your losers without having to wait until your entire ad budget is gone.

With mass advertising, television ads and direct mailers, you have to try and get it right the first time as there are no changes once production starts.  Online marketing allows you to be nimble, making changes as you go so everything isn't riding on getting it right the first time.

72% of marketers think branded content is more effective than advertising in a magazine; 69% say it is superior to direct mail and PR. – NewsCred (2014)

Campaign Testing and Optimization

One fo the greatest benefits of online marketing is having access to a wealth of data, helping you make smarter marketing decisions.  Testing your marketing campaigns, using multiple variables, can help you determine the right message that resonates with your potential customers.

Split testing, also known as A/B testing, allows you to test different headlines, offers and designs to see which ones consumers are responding to (and which ones are turning into revenue).  These side by side, real-time comparisons allows you to make decisions faster and save you from wasting money on poor performing ads.  The nice part is that they are run simultaneously, on the same audience, so there is little bias in the results.   It would be like running two newspaper ads side by side at the same time to see which one people respond better to and dropping the poorer performing one without having to pay for it.

Content marketing in 2015 generates 3 times as many leads as traditional outbound marketing, but costs 62% less – Hubspot

Wider Reach

Most traditional advertising options are local or regional in nature, unless you are a major brand and can pay for nationwide coverage.  So you have to pick and choose your markets. With online advertising, you can segment locations all the way from the entire country (or planet), down to a specific neighborhood in a city. You can choose specific cities across the country or even specific neighborhoods in each city.

This slicing and dicing of where you want to advertise allows you to advertise only in the areas that will give you the most bang for your buck, without the waste.  It's like being able to choose only the cable channels you want to watch, instead of paying for a bundle with hundreds of useless cable channels.

Nurtured leads make 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads. – The Annuitas Group

Better Targeting Options

With traditional advertising, you will usually get vague, generic demographic data like gender, age and income information from the media outlets selling these ads.  While it gives you a general idea of who is reading or watching, it doesn't necessarily give you detailed information or signs of interest or buying intent.

Two things you can do with online advertising that you can't do with traditional advertising:

  • You can run Pay Per Click ads, where you only pay whens someone searches for what you are offering and then clicks on your ad, which leads them to your website.  This is advertising based on buyer intent (I want to buy), which is what the entire Amazon.com platform is built on, people searching to buy stuff.
  • You can create highly targeted ad campaigns based on demographics, interests and behaviors. Facebook is the king fo this so I will use them as an example.  With Facebook, I can run a specific ad campaign (I'm a motorcycle dealer) that targets males aged 40-55, that live in Charlotte, NC that are belong to one or more motorcycle member groups and have purchased a motorcycle in the last 3 years.  I can actually dial down a lot tighter than in this example, but you get my point.

 97 percent of consumers go online to research products and services locally – BIA/Kelsey

More Interactive With Consumers

People want to engage with the companies and brands they love, not read one-way marketing messages.  Online marketing allows consumers to engage with brands in a way traditional marketing cannot do.  You can speak to your customers directly via social media or answer questions from potential customers. You can offer visitors to your website free downloadable guides or free tools they can use to help them make smarter buying decisions.

Traditional Marketing Image

The ways you can engage your customers and potential customers are endless and gives you the opportunity to deliver value to people on an individual level. This type of personalized experiences is what consumers love and what they are coming to expect from all of the companies they do business with.

 79% of marketing leads never convert into sales. Lack of lead nurturing is the common cause of this poor performance.  – MarketingSherpa

It's the Present and the Future

The internet is here, online marketing is here.  It's only going to become more so in the future as people move more and more from paper and scheduled viewing to bytes and on-demand viewing.  You be hard pressed to find anyone with a traditional Yellow Pages book in their home (under 75) just as you ar finding less and less people subscribing to cable television.

People want to read, watch and buy when they want and how they want.  The internet is the only medium that lets companies reach these people when they indicate they are interested.

37% of B2B marketers are using marketing automation to generate leads

So, is traditional marketing dead?

No, it's not dead, it actually can play a very important role as part of a bigger marketing strategy that uses online marketing as its cornerstone.

The most important thing is to understand where consumer behavior is heading, which is online,  and to make sure your company's marketing strategy is evolving along with the times and that your marketing dollars aren't destined for the recycling bin.