The modem was screeching, trying to make that handshake with another modem, if I could just connect to that modem, I could get the information I need. I had a book with pages of phone numbers for most of the BBS’s out on there in the world, they published books with theme as well. You could download drivers and programs, it was great fun, but it took forever on a 300 or 2400 Baud modem. The days of dialing into a BBS (Bulletin Board System) to get information are behind us, and when the Internet came along, most of these software packages built modules / add-on’s to connect a BBS to the NET. Eventually, that call into a BBS became an Internet connection at faster speeds of a modem, the world changed in one fleeting moment. You remember don’t you, when you had to send email via FidoNet, use a program to download a package of all your messages from the week before. That’s right, it used to take days, even weeks to get a response via email on a BBS. The more games, and or information you had available on your BBS, the more attention, the more visitors. There were almost no GURUS & EXPERTS, just people with some experience, and they were willing to help you for free, for the most part.
While the BBS world was quietly doing it’s thing, TV, Radio & Newspaper’s garnered almost all the attention, in some markets they still do. You didn’t hear about GURUS & EXPERTS that much because those medium’s were closely guarded. Not open, not free. To advertise, to get the word out, the mainstream media was the most effective way. Until the Internet.
The Internet changed the game, suddenly the attention shifted, and then attention game had no rules, no watch dogs, it was wide open, it was free…..for now. Out of nowhere the GURUS & EXPERTS appeared, suddenly there were more authorities on everything than you could imagine. I’ve often said, everyone knows something about something, but no one knows everything about everything. The narcissists would argue that point.
Blogging became the mode of communication, you could write about anything, it is a writers dream, a painters favorite kind of canvas. Blogs had the attention until a bigger beast appeared, Social Networks, and the attention shifted once again. These Social Networks are shifting as I write, a new shift, they want you, all of us to Blog on their network, on their channel, because they want content. Why? They want to win the attention war. It matters not how you access the social networks, it only matters that your attention shifts.
I find it puzzling that many would rather blog on Social Networks than their own Blog. Giving away traffic to the Social Networks, when the Social Networks should be driving traffic to the Blog…..funny how it gets turned around.
Personally, I would rather be the owner a Blog, and use Social Networks as tools to drive customers, readers, viewers back to my home-base, my Blog. Most Social Networks and other mainstream media sites want you to make their site your home-base, they want to be your homepage when you open a browser, much like the Industrial Age of control. They want your attention, they want to control your attention, but so do you the Blogger.
If you give away viewers, readers, and buyers, and traffic….you lose. Big business wins again, they got you to shift your attention, and the attention of those that were paying attention to you. Giving away your followers eyeballs means they make the money, not you, defeating the purpose you ventured in to.
Guard your fans, protect your followers, they truly are valuable, to you, and most definitely to big business. Think about where you put your content, you and only you can control it. There is an attention shift taking place, no matter how easy it might seem, don’t be fooled into giving it to groups and organizations that want to take it from you. Build YOUR platform, your home-base, that’s the only way to survive this attention-getting war.
Social networks now behave like mainstream channels. I’ve spent several years on Social Networks, and have notice that they all have become mainstream. They’re no longer different from TV, Radio & Newspaper, all you have to do is watch all the yelling, telling, and fire hosing of ads and links to selling products and services. Many would claim that’s just what they’re all for, I’m not convinced.
We live in a connected economy, we no longer fall for mainstream tactics, because they don’t work well for connecting. The biggest reason it fails, we all have control over our most prized asset, our time. We don’t want anyone to waste it, or take advantage of it. So why is it still happening, two reason’s might be, it still brings results, or connecting costs too much, time & money. Or, they figured out what quality story telling is. Quality story telling always wins. The story telling looks and feels differently on each social network, because we don’t act the same way on all of them, we talk differently on FaceBook over Twitter. So the easy thing to do, just blast, just let the fire hose go full on, on all social networks. But the audience is not the same on all social networks, success with each of them requires you to do some research and looking at data, what’s really happening.
Remember when we were told, God gave you two ears and one mouth, use them proportionately. We have fallen to our old habits, we like to talk more than we listen. People today, want you to listen, they don’t want to you to talk so much they can’t get a word in edge wise, they want to take part. It’s not just TV, Radio and Newspaper that yells at you, all the social networks are doing the same thing. They’ve all become mainstream, and I’ll bet, you think nobody is paying attention to your activity on social networks.
The secret, the way to win, is quality story telling, but the way your subscribers, your readers, your visitors, and your customers want it, NOT the way you think it should be, and that’s the hard part. You already have what it takes to tell your story in a quality way, the world and those who are paying attention to you, want to hear your story. So tell it!
Considering all that is changing, how business is changing, how global and yet how locally our businesses must be, does your business line up with that future? Is your business social, or is it traditional? Does your business advertise on the Internet as part of its marketing mix, or do you stick with traditional modes of advertising. There are many questions to ponder when starting a new venture, but the main questions is, what kind of business, what structure, what type, and will it meet the needs of the economy.
The new economy is a connection economy, how does your business connect consumers, how do you connect to other businesses. Just using social networks is not connecting, depending on how you use them, most use them as another channel to yell, flood, to do what you’ve always done. You use them with a traditional mindset, it’s not connecting, it’s telling.
The traditional way, meant you had to have ads in the yellow pages, maybe you ran radio commercials, and you mostly used Newspaper. You never had to consider the Internet as part of your mix, and most still don’t have a clear understanding of how it works, and how to you use it for business. Today you have to think about where to best spend your time & money, adding the Internet as another way of enticing consumers to your business, to buy. But consumers act differently online, or do they?
More than ever , there is much to consider, it’s not black & white as it was back 30 years ago. The Internet is 25 years old, and brings with it challenges, and incredible opportunity. Asking yourself if you’re on LinkedIn, FaceBook, Twitter, YouTube, Google Plus is the new normal today, knowing what to do on them, and how to leverage them, is not normal, not like Radio, TV, and Newspaper. But you’re already figuring that out aren’t you.
Business is getting much more complicated, it’s causing you to rethink what kind of business. Traditional or The Connected. And what does a connected business model look like, it’s the Open & Free Business Model. And that you can learn here on owengreaves.com.
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)
When considering what a business of the future looks like, I had to wonder what might happen to traditional ways of marketing, branding and advertising. Some of it’s obvious, but some of it not so much. As a business owner, would you know where to look to leverage Ad Networks online? Internet Marketers have had the inside track on them, but that’s another change taking place. Ad Networks are becoming more and more mainstream, can you name a few?
When thinking about these networks, you can’t help wonder the impact they have, or will have, on traditional modes like Radio, Television, and Newspaper. Will it even reach the Direct Mail way of acquiring customers. The short answer is, yes. I’m not suggesting traditional methods will disappear entirely, but the revenue generated will make a shift to the Internet.
One problem with preventing Radio, TV & Print from disappearing entirely is a thing called NET Neutrality, but that’s another problem for another day, I’m merely mentioning it because it will at some point protect media from extinction. Traditional modes will and are moving to digital subscription models to prevent the declining revenues, as a matter of survival. On October 18, 2012, editor Tina Brown announced that Newsweek would cease print publication with the December 31, 2012 issue and transition to an all-digital format, to be called Newsweek Global. These kinds of moves are not new, but they are becoming more and more common place.
If and when this happens on a much bigger scale, what does that mean for advertising? It means, Ad agencies will have to learn a new way of marketing traditional businesses. If 60% of all commerce is moving online, that should tell you one thing…that’s where the people are and you better find a means to connect with them. Why? Because they aren’t watching TV, reading Newspapers, and listening to the Radio the way they used to. They are doing these things online, over 2.4 billion of them as of this writing, and another 3 billion coming!
Marketing, Advertising online do things different, ad networks monitor similar metrics, but they are digital now. Sure there are free ways of advertising, ad networks are digital forms of a traditional method of generating revenue online. Media buys online are not that different than offline, but they are different. How? You don’t need an ad agency to handle it for you for one, it’s actually a simple process. As business owner you can do it yourself, there’s a small learning curve, you will need to learn some of the lingo, maneuver a mouse, and fill in some blanks. I’m over simplifying of course, but you can buy media online yourself.
Keep in mind, these ad networks are setup for you to advertise, or publish, they sound like the same thing, but they are two different trains of thought on the Internet.
To help you get educated on ad networks, I’m going to list a few here for you to investigate, there are hundreds of them online so this is just sampling. Most of these are traffic generators, and we all need traffic, PPC is a digital way of getting access that you couldn’t get out of a traditional ad agency.
1.) ZEDO – www.zedo.com
ZEDO Ad Network is a traffic source for Advertisers and Affiliates who want to reach specific audience segments at the top of the impression chain.
2.) AdMarketplace – www.admarketplace.com
The adMarketplace Pay Per Click advertising platform delivers Search Engine performance across large content networks.
3.) Chitika – www.chitika.com
700 Million monthly search impressions, they have been around for some time.
4.) Adoori – www.adoori.com
Adoori’s network covers more than 250 countries, a massive reach with reasonable rates.
If you haven’t investigated online ad networks, now is the time to start, eventually you will end up using one for your business. Why? Probably because Radio, TV & Newspapers are failing you and your customer base has gone online looking for you, are you there?
This subject matter runs long and deep, and I’m merely poking a stick at it, I couldn’t possibly cover every aspect of it. But if current trends continue, online ad networks will over take traditional modes of advertising. It’s conceivable that one day, they will replace them entirely, but probably not in my life-time : )