According to Small Business Facts.com, 47% of small business owners use the internet to market or advertise their business. [Source: Open from American Express, 05/2006] Keep in mind that census data is collected every 10 years so I’m sure that figure has risen.
With the rise in social media marketing for small businesses I wonder if traditional marketing is still relevant for “the little guy?” You remember traditional marketing don’t you?
It included getting some business cards, designing cool fliers to post around town, securing a 30 second TV spot, and maybe even a radio spot to match. But it didn’t stop there, remember telemarketing, direct mail advertising, and the ever reliable word-of-mouth marketing?
I remember a time when you could spend thousands of pounds on an ad campaign and not even break-even from the results. Yet, with a highly targeted and planned social media marketing campaign you can generate more buzz, leads, and sales with a fraction of the cost.
The days when marketers could confidently sink all their advertising dollars into traditional media such as TV and radio are dead. The problem is the new generation of consumers, commonly referred to as Generation Y, doesn’t play by the same rules most had come to take for granted. I have talked to a few members of the so called Gen Y and I can attest that they rarely watch TV unless it is Sky+’ed and most can hardly remember the last time they listened to the radio, since the iPod plugs into their car. If by chance they are ever subject to a traditional advertisement such as a mailer, they will be more annoyed by it than persuaded to consider a product. In fact marketing to this generation in a traditional sense will often have the opposite of the implied effect. Instead of showcasing your brand and all the benefits, you are showcasing that you haven’t bothered to look into what your consumer wants…never a good way to garner business.