Business Marketing 2014: Fact vs Fantasy

web-marketingIf there ever comes a day when somebody manages to write the definitive book on marketing, there is one thing you can guarantee in this day and age; that huge sections of it would be obsolete within a year, maybe even less.

True, there are some basic constants in marketing, but marketing methods are changing very rapidly. The sad fact is that if you don’t keep up – or are not willing to change – you and your company could fall so far behind your competition that the lost ground may be hard to ever make up.

Here are just some of the marketing fantasies that some business owners and their management teams cling to so tightly – and the realities behind these mistaken beliefs as they apply to marketing in 2014.

Marketing Fantasy : B2B Companies are wasting their time on Twitter and Facebook

There are still those business owners and business managers – and this applies to Fortune 500 executives as much as it does to small business owners – who still refuse to see the value of a Facebook page or a Twitter account for company’s that are primarily business to business sellers.

Some of them are embracing Linkedin as they see it as a “serious” business network but they dismiss Facebook and Twitter as lightweight stuff that is the stomping ground of spotty teenagers and Farmville obsessed Moms rather than a place where “real” business people hang out.

Not true. Facebookers have become a very diverse bunch and yes, there are lots of “serious” businesses who have devoted time and resources to establishing a presence there and the same holds true, for Twitter. Maybe some of these social media doubters should tell the CEOs of huge companies like Xerox, IBM and Bloomberg Financial, amongst dozens of others that they are wasting their time with their Facebook pages and Twitter accounts…

Marketing Fantasy : Telemarketing is still a good idea, most people don’t mind the calls

Anybody who has actually ever worked as a telemarketer making cold or “warm” calls can tell you this one really is a fantasy and maybe always has been.

These poor souls have been hung up on, screamed at, cursed at, even threatened just for trying to do their jobs.

Add to that the fact that in 2013 200 million people signed up for the FTCs Do not Call Registry and we think you should be able to see that if telemarketing ever did really work it certainly does not now.

Marketing Fantasy : If you give some of your content away for free prospects will never buy the full product

This is another big misconception and businesses that believe this could really be missing out on both a lot of new traffic to their website and a lot of new clients or customers.

A free offering, whether it is a free trial of a service you provide or content related to your business offered at no cost is a great way to grab people’s interest and to showcase just what you can do and what you have to offer. For example, it is one thing to tell people what a great software program you have created and that it can do all kinds of wonderful things, but if they can actually try the product and see that for themselves they are far more likely to buy.

This logic does not just apply to free trials though. Offer your prospects something for nothing and you have already made a favorable impression on them and even if they are not quite ready to buy right now chances are that your business will be the first one to come to mind when they are.

Marketing Fantasy: Online advertising, blogging and social media accounts are just not effective for small local businesses

Business owners who think this way are really out of touch with their target audience. 89% of people in the U.S. search online before they make a purchase, even if they eventually make that purchase close to home. If your business does not show up during that Internet search they may not even know you exist.

In addition the fact is wherever they live, however small the town is people just expect that every business will have an online presence. If you’re a restaurant they expect to be able to look your menu up online before they make their dining choices for the evening in the same way that they can the McDonalds menu. If you run a gift store, they want to be able to see before they leave home how your offerings compare to the big stores. So failing to build an online presence is a big mistake for any local business, whatever their niche.

Marketing Fantasy : Blogging is just one big, self indulgent waste of time

Blogging does take time, effort and commitment. You cannot automate blogging in the way you can, to a certain degree, a social media marketing campaign. You (or someone) has to actually sit down and blog, creating original content that is both interesting and valuable. Many small business owners still fail to see the value of a blog and are in fact vehemently opposed to the idea of adding one to their companies marketing campaign. They just do not see how a blog can help their business.

If that is you then consider these stats from Marketing Sherpa:

Businesses who blog get 55% more traffic to their website than those that do not.
Businesses who blog get 70% more leads from their website than those that do not.
57% of businesses who blog report getting customers directly from a contact made on their blog.

In this case the numbers speak for themselves really don’t they?

Marketing Fantasy : Optimizing my website for mobile users is a waste of time.

A website displays differently in different browsers and it certainly appears differently when viewed on a mobile browser. Many business owners though have still not taken the time to create a mobile version of their website. Some of them just do not know that this is an option while others just do not see the point.

Need a few reasons why you should create a mobile version of your site?

In 2013 almost 60% of Americans owned a smartphone.

86% of C level executives in the U.S. own a smartphone and most of them report it is their primary form of communication and the way they access the Internet most often.

79% of smartphone owners have made an online purchase using their smartphone only.

40% of U.S. smartphone users will use their phone to search for a better price while they are in a store.

The strangest thing about the resistance to creating a mobile version of a site is that to do so is very easy. There are a number of free tools and plug ins available that will create a mobile version of your site almost automatically, so you really have no excuse not to do so.

Koehler Home Decor is a wholesaler of home decor accessories and unique gifts. Source quality wholesale merchandise at KoehlerHomeDecor.com and find tips for promoting your business on our blog.

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