Darrell Keezer is a digital marketing evangelist. He strives to make digital marketing great by creating engaging websites that convert visitors into customers. Proving that digital marketing can help businesses increase revenue and gain relevancy in today’s marketplace, Darrell uses humour and real life examples to demystify online marketing techniques and explain the importance of connecting with the digital buyer in order to succeed. Below, Darrell looks at the problems inherent in today’s marketing efforts:
You have an idea for a new product or service that you know will be successful. You can prove that this product is superior to everyone else’s, and you can produce it cheaper, faster and offer better service. You tell yourself that the dollars are going to start flying in as soon as it is on the market… but do you know how to sell it?
Here’s a quick story to illustrate my point:
Every weekend during the summer, I make hamburgers for my family from scratch. I have a secret recipe that everybody loves (from allrecipes.com). I know how to cook the burgers on the BBQ in such a way that they taste better than any burger my friends have ever had. Okay, I’ll exclude In ‘N Out burger, but that’s about it. But McDonalds can’t hold a candle to my heavenly-burger, or come close to the quality of AAA beef that I use. The competition is laughable, but guess what? McDonalds sells hundreds of millions of burgers per year, and I make $0.
I guess you could say that I’m not in the burger business, but even if I was I probably wouldn’t make a dent in their sales. They are marketing geniuses and have been for decades. They own the space, the locations, the process, the distribution channels… you get the point.
The thing that makes companies take off, is Marketing. At it’s core, marketing is the entire process of bringing a product or service to the end customer. This includes branding, advertising, supply chain management, product development, location, pricing, and even customer service (in my own opinion).
So what has changed?
Our customer’s habits have fundamentally changed the way that they buy products, which means that we need to change how we market them.
If you spend a couple of minutes each day watching people as they shop, go for a walk, enjoy their holidays, or spend time at work, you’ll see that our behaviours have changed. We are more connected than ever before; from taking countless pictures (or albums) of our kids on the swings at the park, to scanning barcodes in Best Buy to do some quick comparison shopping.
We buy differently.
Do you remember looking for a cab service 15+ years ago? Flip open the Yellow Pages and choose the guy with the biggest ad, or the one that’s named AAA-1 Taxi Service because it’s first. Simple times. Now cab companies are fighting to keep their market share because someone has developed an app that has made this process a lot easier.
It’s no longer about having a website that tells the world you exist; you need a web-presence that convinces people that their lives will be better with you in it.
We demand more.
We used to complain if a company didn’t have an available phone number. Now we get upset if they don’t have online chat, or respond to our Facebook Page message for days. We look for deals and coupons as we shop in stores, and break a blood vessel if the company charges a large amount for shipping, or even charges in the first place.
We know there are options.
“Do you know a Real-Estate agent that I could call?” When would anyone ever say that. We all know that we can find about 25K local Realtors in minutes online because information is extremely accessible. There is an information overload that brings us options! Last year I was about to buy a $250 Kitchenaide mixer in Target (on sale down from $449), but after scanning it with my Amazon.ca app, I found it for $199 with free shipping.
The fact is, it is now harder than ever to compete. With competition, however, comes a ton of opportunity. If you have a good idea and know how to tell a good story online, the entire world will be open to your idea. People will share your products with their networks in milliseconds, and you could become an overnight success while you sleep. I’ve seen it happen.
In my opinion, it’s not time to give up on marketing, it’s time to get creative.