“Why Businesses Need to Embrace Technology for Their Marketing”
1987 was a great year. I started a talent agency in a rural area of Pennsylvania that was underserved with “live” entertainment. The “business as usual” method of selling entertainment as an agent was with the good old-fashioned telephone. For the next 13 years I got very good at closing customers over phone—out of necessity. It was the only medium, other than face-to-face in which to conduct business.
By the time 2000 rolled around and I decided to sell the agency, e-mail was getting a real foothold in how people did business. It really threw me. I knew if a prospect called me I could normally close them 90% of the time. Why? Like the old adage, “sales is a numbers game”, over the thirteen years I owned the business I became very good at phone selling simply by the sheer volume of calls I made and received in any given week.
- When I realized e-mail was quickly becoming the “new’ way to communicate I had to change gears and learn how to sell this way. How do you sell with the written word though? This is where I actually started my direct marketing education. E-mail marketing and selling are very similar to a sales letter. It was difficult at first. Change isn’t easy. I was used to “hearing” people’s body language, intonation and voice inflection to see where the the sales call was going and how I would have to adjust my pitch to close the sale. Now, I no longer had that luxury. I had to learn to sell via print in a variety of media. My point is, I had to embrace this change whether I liked it or not. This was the new way business was being done. The fact that, at the time, I wasn’t crazy about it didn’t matter one iota. If I wanted to compete and stay relevant in the marketplace, I had to “get onboard” and do what the natives were doing—communicating by e-mail. I soon saw that it was a very convenient way to do business—if a little less personal.
Things continue to change rapidly in the online world. Although I still teach offline techniques in my trainings and consulting which are time-tested, the internet is seeing continual change. The best way your ads or message can be presented should still be through good, old-fashioned direct selling techniques. Learning to write effective copy is still incredibly important and can make you a lot of money both offline and online. But the media in which your marketing is presented continually changes.
Social media is an area that is currently free(for the most part) and valuable for businesses to get in front of their ideal prospect and promote their marketing message and brand. But this media is also in continuous flux. There are a lot of different social media sites to choose from. You need to do research to figure out which ones are best for your business. In other words, find out which sites your ideal customers are subscribed to.
However, although most social media sites are free, Facebook and Twitter are now charging fees like search engine pay-per-click. If you want to boost a post or advertise you need to pay the site for the privilege. And the bigger your daily budget for these ads, the more your posts will be seen. Business technology and the media that drive it continues to change. It’s prudent to follow along. The Borg in Star Trek said it best, “Resistance is futile.”