It used to be, the only way to win at acquiring customers was to buy as much advertising as you could afford. The more you spent, the higher the results. That is and was the traditional advertising model that worked for a bricks & mortar business. Today the game has changed, yes traditional ways still work, not because it’s effective, because it’s what older generations prefer it, and they still have the money.
It’s easy to reach a traditional buyer, just run enough ads on traditional advertising vehicles, and you’ll get their attention. Today the customer with money is getting younger by the minute, and we need to market to them differently. We have to make offers that make us extremely uncomfortable. It used to be, if you wanted to get the greatest reach, you ran radio & television ads, newspaper has never had the same reach. You could run 30 second ads on radio for $30 a piece, but to get the frequency for it to be effective, you had to run more than 3 spots a day. The minimum would be 10 spots a day, because the life span of a radio ad is much like a Tweet on Twitter, about 20 minutes. So to have a successful customer acquisition campaign you had to spend significant amounts of money. The same held true for television, but at a much higher cost, not to run the ads, but to make the ad. Customer acquisition campaigns can also be considered branding campaigns, but they are different.
Today we have the Internet, we can reach more people via the NET than we could with radio & television together, for FREE! I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know, I am wondering why there is still such resistance to it. The resistance has the power to kill your business, and you the business owner must guard against it, not succumb to it.
The challenge with having such great reach on the Internet isn’t the cost, it’s being found, and being heard. Hence, we have a new kind of advertising vehicle like Google, Yahoo & Bing. These powerful search networks have really just adopted the traditional way of advertising for the Internet. If you want to be found, land on the first page, you now have a sufficient budget to have that desired result.
Today you can purchase qualified traffic, which, if you speak to them the right way, will become newly acquired customers. The same challenge you had with traditional mediums, holds true with digital ad networks, you need to dedicate resources to get the desired results you’re looking for.
The secret to customer acquisition today, is by leveraging and Open & Free Business Model, where free is the driving force. Like the resistance, free has the same problem, for reasons unknown to me, entrepreneurs and business owners can’t seem to wrap their brains around free. We understand loss leader concepts, but not free, I suspect the fear of giving something away and not getting paid is far greater than we would like to believe.
Companies that have figured out how to use free, have also figured out how to generate revenue because of it. Companies like Google, Spotify, Skype, Vimeo, Twitter, Evernote, Grooveshark and many more. These companies have proven free works, and they have mastered acquiring customers, they have mastered list building to the 9th degree. It does work, but we seem to have more reasons not to use the model. Whatever the excuse is, it’ll work.
You want to get more customers, give them something they want….for free, and then figure out how to monetize your new customers. The old business models are in the genre of win-lose, the open and free business model is about win-win, where everyone benefits. Mater giving products and services for free, and you will have an entirely new market to sell to. The concept makes sense, it just sounds and feels foreign.
FREE is not the enemy, free is your best friend, learn to embrace free, figure out where free fits in your business, because free is the secret to customer acquisition.
- The Definition Of The Open & Free Business Model (owengreaves.com)
- The Future Of Business – Build Small Loyal Communities (owengreaves.com)
- The Future Of Business – Create. Differentiate. Deliver. (owengreaves.com)
There is much confusion on what SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is, and what it will do for you, in fact, there are many claiming it to be the end all to your websites problems. I’m not going to go into the details of SEO, I’m going to share an experience, what I’m often asked to do for a business. I can safely say, if you think SEO is going to bring the desired outcomes you’re hoping to obtain without planning, without knowing why you’re flexing the SEO muscle in the first place, you most likely would be wrong and disappointed. If your website sucks, SEO will merely reveal that it sucks even more, much like Social Media Networks do.
SEO is not duck-tape, it’s not a quick fix to a perceived problem,I’m not saying SEO doesn’t play a role in your marketing efforts, I am saying…you need to step back, fly at 50,000 feet, and ask yourself what it is you want your website to accomplish, and then work towards that end. It’s called a realistic strategy, and then a marketing strategy. To explore, to discover what your business objectives are, why do you even have a website? There are many, many questions that need to be answered long before you journey down the Search Engine Optimization road. The future of business is not about shortcuts, it’s not about SEO either.
SEO is not duck-tape, it’s not a quick fix to a perceived problem, it’s supposed to enhance, to improve your findability on the interwebs, to assist your conversion ratio, and much, much more. SEO is so much more than just trying to game Google or Bing, to just end up on page one. If you haven’t done the hard work, SEO won’t do anything if your site isn’t designed or setup to make people do something. If you’re only goal is to end up on page one, that’s easier than you think….but you will still fall short of your desired outcome.
SEO is so much more than just trying to game Google or Bing. SEO, in my opinion, should be in your marketing efforts, well after the planning and building, after you have completed a mind map of your site’s objectives. SEO is a tool to ensure your content is directing visitors to a call to action of some kind. SEO is not a destination, it will not fix other broken problems with your content, or your website, it will reveal them. SEO should be used to qualify those visitors, and then enticing them to go where you want them to go, what you want them to do. The very notion that SEO should is the solution to your site reaching page one is the wrong objective, it’s the wrong goal, you are asking the wrong questions, there are deeper reasons why Google and other search engines aren’t giving your site it’s due, your site isn’t doing the right things to garner their attention in the first place.
The future of business is not SEO!
The past few weeks I have spent considerable time looking forward, what does the business of the future look like? I’ve repeatedly told you it’s primarily two things, Social & Mobile. That would be the description equal to a hundred years ago, if I said Social & Mobile are the bricks & mortar of the future business, the mechanics if you will. But what will be happening within these two massive worlds, it simple really, commerce.
I wrote a year ago (August 11th, 2011) that everyone will be an affiliate of something, imagine that, you an Internet Marketer! The term congers up all kinds of emotions deep from within, but try to get past it, the world of commerce is going there at a rapid pace.
I’ve shared with you time and time again that OB3 Networks is connecting the world by putting up dishes in space that will provide Internet access to the third world countries, it’s being rolled out as we speak. Now add every smartphone developer going into a frenzy trying to beat everyone to the new marketplace. Once this endeavor is done, the other 3 Billion people will have Internet access, and soon they will have a smartphone loaded with things to buy, will it be your products & services? Imagine, over 5 Billion people on the Internet buying goods & services on a hand-held device!
So now the term Internet Marketer has a different ring to it, a smartphone ring. But there is a lot to learn about who they are and how to reach them, it’s called market research. Internet Markers of yesterday like to withhold some of the secrets, oh sure you can get the secrets for a price, but they almost always hold something back. It’s the nature of the business. All the power to them, but soon, the secrets will change, and you will won’t have to pay for some of them, it will be integrated into the new commerce landscape.
I challenge you to learn more about market research, in fact, start with your business, find out how the digital world sees your business, you will be shocked. What does Google think about you, have wondered what people use to search for your site, what keywords they use in that search. Do those keywords describe your business the way you want to be perceived? I thought this site would be one bring keywords like Futurist, foresight, building a better business and so on. I was wrong!
Try this quick exercise:
Open up Google in a browser, type Google keyword tool, click on the 1st or second link, the Adwords links.
Then, on the left hand side, uncheck Broad, and then check Exact.
In the second dialog box on the right, put your sites URL
Then hit SEARCH!
You will find below a list of keywords that people have been using to find your site, are they keywords that describe your site? You will be surprised that the keywords do not match how you feel about your site, or what you thought they should be. You will now be able to target your keywords better knowing what Google thinks about your site.
The Internet is a weird and yet predictable family member, your business will use the game changer on some level, you won’t be able to avoid it. You will find your business being drawn to the dark side called Affiliate Marketing, you will either sell your products through the many ad networks or you will sell someone’s products & services for a commission. There it is, we will all become commission sales people / businesses, from out office, from out patio, on our vacations, we will do business wherever we happen to be. This isn’t news, not NEW news, many have been doing this for years, we merely mocked them, looked down on them, we avoided them, we avoided the business model.
You can run but you can’t hide, this open & free business model will catchup to you, and you will find yourself trying to figure out how to adopt it. I truly believe this business model will be the most common one used in the future, once we get passed old ways of thinking, once we accept the truth…..the Industrial Age is DEAD!
I’m not advocating or putting down Internet Marketers, like most businesses, there are good people, and you will always here about the bad ones. It’s almost always people that are the problem, motive tends to speak louder than anything you can say. Affiliate Marketing is one major player in the business of the future, we won’t be able to rely on just revenue source here online, there’s too many people.
How do you feel about business going in this direction, how will your business leverage it? Eventually, you will be an Affiliate of something, it will become part of your DNA in every online business.
- The Future Of Business – “Everyone” Is Not Your Customer! (owengreaves.com)
- The Future Of Business – Flick The Switch! (owengreaves.com)
It amazes me how many business owners and entrepreneurs write off the power of the Internet, the value people in Social Networks can bring to a business, it’s astounding! Too many spend far to much time complicating something that is as simple as the telephone. The GURUS & EXPERTS would have you believe it’s hard and complicated, you better spend thousands to figure it out. I’m not suggesting you should get help, or even pay for that help, but do some diligence before hiring the snake oil salesperson.
Yes there are parts of the Internet that require and investment, you will invest time, you will invest money, but you should invest first in the plan. More importantly, you should have a clear understanding of why. I don’t teach people how to do this badly named thing called Social Media, how to setup an account and so on. I show you why you should pay attention to these networks, why you should investigate the game changer, the Internet. Why is everything. If you knew what I know, if you could see what I see, you would be concerned. Why, because everything you think you know about business and how it’s being done won’t work in the next 5 – 10 years.
Too many spend ten minutes using Twitter or Facebook, then cry foul that it doesn’t work, you / they…are the tire kickers, they don’t respect the digital shift. They don’t know why they are kicking the tires, they got told or sold a bill of goods, or worse yet thought they could figure it out on their own.
Business owners / Entrepreneurs that take their business seriously don’t use Hotmail, Yahoo mail, Google’s Gmail, they are where the hackers and spammers live. Many businesses reject email from these carriers because of attempts of fraud! You are asking for trouble if those are your primary email carriers, especially if you take orders on your site and allow those email addresses. I can speak intelligently on this topic, I get attacks or attempted fraud orders everyday from these email domains.
Many merely poke a stick at the Internet thinking it’s easy and it will make them rich over nite, you’re wrong! It takes time, it takes a plan, it takes a well thoughtout marketing strategy, and then near flawless execution. Anything less means you are probably a tire kicker. Check your pulse, and be even more concerned about who you take your advice from, your business deserves it.
There is a reason why the upper percentile is considered rich or even lucky, they for the most part, respect themselves and their business. Of course I’m talking about legal, legit….not crooked business dealings, businesses with integrity, businesses that understand you the customer is everything. It’s not all one sided, it’s a two-way street, the business owner also counts on you having integrity, and is honest with them.
Unless you are willing to invest properly in using the Internet / Social Networks, don’t waste your time, more importantly, don’t waste the time of those who work hard to teach you, who try to guide you, those who respect their business. Don’t be that person, don’t be a tire kicker in everything you say & do. Don’t waste people’s time, including your own.
The Future Of Business has changed, it’s always in a state of FLUX, are you investing or tire kicking?
Today I have been hanging out on Google+, Twitter, FaceBook and a few other Social Networks. All this hanging was bothersome, why?
It got me to thinking back when the Internet was new, there was very few places that dominated your time on the Internet, at least not since AOL. Today we are sucked into big sites like FaceBook, Google+, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and so on. Think about how uch time you spend there, think about what you did before these sites came to be.
Can you even remember what the first thing you did back before these Social Networks? I used to spend a lot of time using Gopher, remember that one?
Today we are immediately, automatically taken to FaceBook or Twitter, we don’t even flinch or think twice about it. It’s like the Internet has lost it’s glitter and has taken a back seat to Social Networks.
The Internet has far more to offer than just Social Media Networks, it does doesn’t it? I hope so, if not, we will wonder aimlessly through the desert once again.
So whatever happened to the Internet as a destination?
- Build Your Platform – Start (chrisbrogan.com)
- The Future Of Business – The Death Of Social Media GURUS & EXPERTS! (owengreaves.com)
- Real Estate Agents, Politicians & Social Media GURUS (owengreaves.com)
- The Next Social Networks (chrisbrogan.com)