In year's past, companies that had a "digital" marketing strategy were trailblazers. They were exploring new methods of marketing that might someday become standards, albeit supplemental ones. But in today's era of fragmented television markets and the bankruptcy and splintering of print advertising outlets, the internet has become something more than a supplemental marketing resource for many firms: it has become the best method of generating sales.
Marketing had previously been a fairly formulaic process for many companies, especially larger ones. Hire an ad agency, develop some ad copy and messaging, and purchase big blocks of print and TV advertising. Even medium-sized firms began to get into the mix in an effort to "look big" and gain market share. Business-to-business or niche businesses were purchasing extensive repetitions of large ads in industry publications and attending all of the high-overhead conferences that supported these industries. Even small local retail or food service businesses took it for granted that posting ads in local publications was the only method of effectively expanding their markets.
Until recently, no one spent much time calculating the Return on Investment (ROI) of these types of marketing investments, as they represented the only option for most companies. But then a series of events came together that forever altered this paradigm:
1. Television channels multiplied, splintering the viewership and the marketing effectiveness of this type of advertising along with it. Youtube and other online video outlets further siphoned viewers from traditional television. The price for television advertising, however, did not undergo a parallel reduction in cost to advertisers.
2. Print outlets began to fail due to increasing competition from online outlets. Craig's List alone heavily diluted a fundamental source of ad revenue that had very little competition for many years: the newspaper classified ad. The general fragmentation of customer attention as well as specific online outlets of news and information caused a reduction in circulation of print media. But once again, the price for this type of advertising did not undergo a commensurate reduction in price.
But even with these factors in place, the seminal event that is changing the way marketing is done has been the recent economic downturn. In good times, companies are more apt to continue what they have been doing out of inertia. But when budgets are limited by shrinking bottom lines, all expenditures comes under review. Now that some positive economic signs are emerging, with manufacturing, service, finance and even the American automatic industry moving towards a thaw, forward-looking companies are being faced with the problem and opportunity of how best to spend their hard-earned marketing dollars.
It's at this point in time that progressive firms are exploring their digital and online options. Everything from Twitter to Facebook, as well as good "old-fashioned" internet marketing that can place your website at the top of your customers' Google searches, is now accessible to even the smallest of businesses.
The one thing that's missing are progressive and right-priced marketing companies that can provide the proper strategy and implementation for companies that want their marketing dollars to go further, and to represent a measurable and positive ROI.
Blue Archer has positioned our marketing offerings to meet the needs of these progressive small and medium-sized businesses that will lead the next economic surge. We're one of them, after all. Contact us, and we can tell you how to be one of them too. And for a lot less than the cost of a billboard or two.