What kind of advertising, if any, is necessary for small businesses?
Monday, July 21, 2014 9:46 AM
Your business is small — is a website, mobile website, advertising with other media necessary?
Well, that is a great question! You are a small business and my customers know me, I have enough business, I'm busy and I really do not need to advertise anyway other than "word of mouth," do I?
Just ask yourself some questions:
• Do you have the same people living on your block as you did five years ago?
• Do the businesses that were on a specific block of your town or surrounding towns all look the same or are there new business owners and some who may be from other towns and cities?
• Do you and your friends and children and neighbors and nieces and nephews and parents and other acquaintances use a phone book and yellow pages to find phone numbers and businesses in a specific trade or service most of the time?
• What about when we go out of town, do we still have atlases (what’s that?) and maps and go to travel agencies for Trip Tixs to make reservations and find hotels and find fun and interesting stuff to do when we go on vacation?
I think we really know the answer to these questions. Most would say, "Probably not too much."
We use our desktop computers and laptops and tablets and smartphones for researching and reserving and purchasing. At the very least we use our smart phones to get phone numbers and directions and contacts for our destination and quickly review what your business has to offer.
So what does this have to do with, "I'm a small business and my customers know me, I have enough business, I'm busy and I really do not need to advertise anyway other than ‘word of mouth,’ do I?"
Simply, it means many in our society comparison shop and travel and seek medical care and check the weather and road conditions and look for services for our homes and food for our stomachs and on and on with lightning speed on electronic devices.
Children born after 1970 started experiencing electronic technology in their teens and the Internet in their 20s. Those citizens are now approaching 45 to 50, and probably their greatest buying power, and are very comfortable with online shopping and researching.
Those of us in our 60s and beyond follow our children and grandchildren and greats many times on social media sites and research and shop online to some extent because it is simply convenient.
Really, all this is to ask you to think about it. Can you really not afford to keep your business name in front of the ever-changing public in a way that they are accustomed to comparison shop?
They are on the Internet and social media sites and email so that is one place you need to be so your message is delivered. It could be local print media, it could be radio and TV and more and more and more it is with devices like smart phones and computers tablets and, yes, still laptops and desktops all connected to the Internet and email that customers look for specific products and services. Much of this Internet research is now done with smart phones and tablets while we are on the move.
Your customers of today will continue to evolve and change and become more electronic savvy. Don't get left behind!
The only thing that stays the same is that "everything keeps changing."
Whew, it wears me out just thinking about it, but it is kind of exciting.