Can consumers find you? Or are they finding your competitors instead?
Any successful business owner knows that a marketing strategy that not only encompasses a mix of media but includes a mix of media that shows their services or products to their potential consumers is the best way to grow their business and spend your marketing budget effectively. For instance, if you’re a realtor, how much would it really benefit you to advertise homes for sale in a college newspaper? Are these really the consumers who are ready to purchase a house? Or if you’re a roofer, how would business would you get from sending direct mailers to consumers who live in apartments?
What you have to ask yourself is - where are my consumers?
Do they read the newspaper, watch the 6 o’clock news, flip through specific magazines or search the Internet?
While I may not be able to tell you which magazines your consumers read, what I can tell you is that they are online.
In fact, there are over 240 million Internet users in the U.S. and consumers who are between 18 and 44 spend more time on the Internet than with offline media. These Internet users spend an average of 2:35 hours a day and 18 hours a week online. And in the last 5 years, time spent surfing the web has grown by 121%.
So, are you reaching your consumers where they are spending their time?
Yet even with all these statistics on where consumers are spending their time, most businesses are still spending the bulk of their advertising budget on traditional, offline marketing efforts (radio, TV, newspaper, direct mail, Yellow Pages).
To give you an idea on how things are changing in where your consumers are looking, I’ll use myself as an example. I’m 29 years old, never married and don’t have kids. I spend well over 2:35 hours a day online, I’ve NEVER used a phone book to find a local business (in fact, the only time I’ve ever used a phone book is to prop up my computer monitors), I only look at the retail inserts in the newspaper, and I DVR all my TV shows so I can skip the commercials.
If you’re interested in marketing your products or services to me, do you really think advertising through traditional media is going to get my attention?
If I’m looking for a local business, I’m either looking at Google, using Yelp or using Google Places, Google Search or Yelp on my smart phone. I am frequently on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter and am often found reading blogs, articles and news stories online.
I AM CONSUMER 2.0.
Does this mean I ignore traditional advertising altogether? Not necessarily but you’ll be hard pressed to get my attention through it. Every now and again a clever billboard, catchy radio slogan or amusing commercial might catch my attention but odds are I’ll still search for you online before I ever even consider doing business with you.
“But 29 year olds aren’t my target demographic so why does it matter,” you may be inclined to think. To that I say, anyone younger than me is probably spending more time online than I am and those who are older aren’t necessarily spending less time online they may just be spending their time on news related sites instead of sitting on social media sites all the time.
Try some of these facts on for size though if you don’t think those who are older than I are spending their time online.
- Recent trends show older are among the fastest-growing demographics online
- Social network use among Internet users 50+ has nearly doubled to 42% over the past year
- In the U.S. alone there are nearly 16 million people 55 and older using Facebook
A growing number of older adults are taking advantage of the web right now. Don’t ignore them. (How Baby Boomers are Embracing Digital Media | Mashable)
From 19 to 29 to 69, consumers from all age groups are now spending a significant amount of time on the Internet. And while we may all be using the Internet to serve different purposes, don’t you think your brand should be where your consumers are?
Author: Leslie Whittaker
TeamBishop is your local Internet marketing consultants with ReachLocal Orlando. Our mission is to help you increase your revenues and decrease unproductive advertising expenses through proven online marketing strategies. Give us a call today to schedule your free consultation.
Consumer 2.0 photo courtesy of blog.wsiwebworks.com