This is a guest post by Susan White
Gone are the days when Internet marketing was perceived as the bold, new and innovative way to market and publicize your products and services. Today, email marketing and other forms of pushing your products on the web are passé. The Internet is growing faster than leaps and bounds, and most marketers find that they’re being left behind because they’re not able to keep up or change pace accordingly. They’re sticking to tried and tested methods that have worked for them so far without realizing that for a medium that changes as fast as the Internet, you must continue to hone and revamp your marketing strategies if you wish to ensure continued success. Just as you took the step and crossed the chasm between traditional marketing and Internet marketing a decade or so ago, it’s time to start bridging the smaller chasms between Web 1.0 and Web 2.0 and any future avatars that are sure to follow. So with these basic principles in mind, here’s what marketers need to do to ensure that their tactics continue to work:
1. Monitor and research future trends
If you’re going to take advantage of technology, you must go the whole hog. It’s no use getting on the Internet to market your products and services just because everyone else is doing it. Rather, you must use this medium to the fullest and extract all the benefits that it can provide your business. To this, it is necessary to keep up with future trends that will affect the way people use the Internet. For example, today, most people don’t use their traditional email addresses for personal or even professional email. They’ve moved most of their communication to Facebook, Twitter and other social media. So if you want to gain the marketing edge, you need to be where it’s all happening before it starts to happen or soon after. And when it does happen, you have an advantage over your competitors.
2. Go where the crowd is
Most marketers fail because they don’t differentiate between the general population and the population that is likely to be interested in their products and services. And so they jump on the bandwagon that everyone else is keen on and start their sales pitch. What they fail to understand is that a shout that is directed at all and sundry is much weaker than one that is targeted at a certain, select crowd. For example, if your target is the older crowd of baby boomers, sure, some of them are active users of social media. But you’re more likely to find most of them playing Scrabble or Bingo online. So if you place your ads in these communities rather than on the general pages, you’re likely to taste more success. Go not just where the crowd is, but where the crowd who is most likely to patronize your business is.
3. Understand what customers want
This is one time-honored rule that most marketers still don’t get – don’t market what you have to customers; rather, sell them what they want. No, you don’t have to change your products and services; all you need to do is make the customer perceive that they need what you’re selling. Previous buying patterns, lifestyles and interests, and other random data can help you identify what customers want, and sell to them accordingly.
When you change with the times, you don’t have to worry about being left behind.