In the 1970’s, a guy by the name of Gary Dahl marketed what he deemed “the perfect pet”: a rock.
Maybe you’ve heard of it?
Complete with a box with holes in it so the rock could “breath” he marketed the rocks as serious pets. It cost him less than a dollar for production and he sold them for $3.95. By Christmas of 1975, Pet Rocks were all the rage and Dahl had made millions.
This is just one of many examples of the principal that how good your product or service is does not determine your income. It’s how good you are at marketing and making sales.
In the world of marketing, testing and keeping up with what is working can make all the difference—it can even be critical to survival.
The Times They Are A’Changin’…
In a time where people are becoming savvier, what may have worked 2 years ago, isn’t always effective today.
For example, in the “good old days” (about 18-24 months ago,) when it came to search, most people relied on Google. If someone was searching for your product or service, they would go to Google, type in what they were looking for, and either find your product or service—or not.
But now, the market has shifted. Google isn’t the only thing people use anymore.
In fact, Stathunter just revealed that for the first time Google dropped below the 75 percent mark for search marketshare. And now that Yahoo is the default search engine for Firefox, they are gaining even more marketshare, growing three times in the past three months. So while Google is still King, Bing and Yahoo now make up just over 26 percent of the search market.
This does not even factor in things such as social media marketing which has become a hot trend to add to the mix, especially Facebook marketing.
So the truth of the matter is that the search marketing environment has evolved and converged. The relationship between marketers and consumers has become more complex.
I will say that one place Google still reigns supreme is when it comes to emergencies and impulse buys. For instance, when your kitchen sink is backed up and you need to find a plumber, Google is people’s #1 go-to source.
Google paid search can also increase impulse buys. For instance, including reminders of specific holidays such as Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day or showcasing deals relating to your consumers’ search results can trigger fast purchases.
However, in the current market, most businesses can’t rely on emergencies and impulse buying purchases alone.
So if your business typically experiences a longer buying cycle or your customers typically do more research, then to get the sale, you need more than just Google search. You need additional communication touch points across multiple channels that can be seen on multiple devices.
In fact, according to Google’s ZMOT, “the average consumer engages with 18.2 pieces of online content before making a final purchasing decision.” And Marin Software predicts that 50% of Google searches will be done on mobile devices by December of this year.
I’m witnessing this happen with my clients too. For example, one of my clients used to kill it with PPC on Google only. When his results started to decline using methods that had always pulled well, we began testing some new marketing for him.
Your New Winning Strategy
What I found was that using a combination of strategies that included PPC, remarketing, display ads, Facebook ads, and Bing ads did the trick. We also made sure that his ads could be viewed on mobile devices, desktop computers, and tablets. This new combination out pulled his former model.
For your business, it might be that you need PPC, remarketing, direct mail, and Facebook. I can’t say for sure within the space of this article as it depends on your target market, the length of a typical sales cycle, and a number of other factors. But what I can say for sure is that the market has changed and it requires a more sophisticated marketing strategy if you want to cut through the noise and get the best return.
Three Key Takeaways You Can Use In Your Business Right Now:
1) It is no longer enough to rely on a single channel for all your marketing. You must diversify and combine multiple marketing channels if you want to stay on top.
2) Examining your target audience, their behavior patterns and preferred marketing channels, will help determine which marketing channels you should test first.
3) Your ads and content must be mobile, tablet, AND desktop friendly as consumers are doing research and making buying decisions across multiple devices.
Standing still and continuing to market in the same way you have been is dangerous. Keep up with what is working and what isn’t. Test new strategies. And keep your marketing a moving target so you’ll never be left behind.
If your marketing isn’t pulling what it used to or if you want to avoid a decline, contact me for a free consultation. I can help you determine what is working for your particular product or service and target market and help you decide what to test first.