The fundamental task of marketers is to spread the word about their products and services in order to get people to buy them. To accomplish this task, marketers use a combination of outbound techniques including e-mail blasts, telemarketing, direct mail, TV, radio, and print advertising, and trade shows (or expos) in order to reach their potential buyers. The problem with these traditional marketing techniques is that they have become less effective at spreading the word as people get better at blocking out these interruptions.
Ten years ago, buying a large e-mail list of “targeted names” and sending newsletters and offers to addresses on this list worked well. Internet users now routinely employ spam filters, and the National Canned Spam Act limits a marketer’s ability to send “unsolicited messages” to people with whom the company does not have a relationship. According to the research firm MarketingSherpa, the average open rate for an e-mail blast has gone down from 39 percent in 2004 to 22 percent in 2008.
Ten years ago, hiring your own internal sales force or contracting with an external telemarketing firm worked well. More recently, Caller ID has become a standard feature on home, work, and cell phones, and increasing numbers of people are signing up for the national Do Not Call Registry. A well-trained telesales rep can go a full day without having a decent conversation with a prospect.
Ten years ago, sending a piece of direct mail to a large list of people was an effective way to get business—just ask the credit card companies—because people looked forward to opening their mail. Mailboxes are full of junk mixed in with a few bills, so people pay less attention to them.
Ten years ago, spending tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars on a TV advertisement was a guaranteed way to reach a large audience. More recently, people use TiVo/DVRs to skip advertisements, and in addition the plethora of available TV channels and the rise of great video content online, make choice the advertiser’s enemy.
Ten years ago, radio ads were heard by people in their cars, homes, and workplaces. Today, the emergence of XM/ Sirius radio has dramatically lowered advertising’s reach, and the emergence of streaming services like Spotify has dramatically lowered the amount of radio people listen to at home and at work.
Ten years ago, a trade show was a surefire way for businesses to reach a business audience. Today, many trade shows have either gone out of business or have seen a significant decline in attendees due to people preferring to not spend the flight and do their marketing and connections online.
We are not in 10 years ago! Your actions can change your business visibility online which the biggest market place in the world.
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