Not so long ago, advertising used to be simpler. There were a limited number of channels that would carry the sales message of an advertiser. Today, while the Internet has liberated information sharing, it has also complicated how the pertinent information is dispersed. This makes advertising in the Internet age very difficult. The degree of difficulty is not only just measured in choosing the right channel for the message but also how to handle and follow-through on the act of engagement.
Many advertisers are used to plan for a campaign, create the ad, pay the media, and then let the horses run wild. In this day and age, the execution of an advertising campaign requires a lot more technical know-how and understanding of the medium where the sales message will travel. Yes, it is much more powerful and cost efficient, but it also requires a much higher level of hands-on participation as well as time, will-power, and technical knowledge to gain that new found power and cost efficiency.
In the old days, for a local business, he/she would advertise in the local yellow pages, newspaper, and do some direct mail from time-to-time. Today, yellow pages and newspaper are gone, and direct mail have become too expensive and a lot less effective.
By the same token, businesses that sell to other businesses (B2B) are suffering from a similar fate. Gone are the days of printing endless catalogs and mailing them out, which by the way, accounts for a huge portion of the annual marketing budget. Trade publications are dwindling, just like the local newspaper. Most of the advertising channels of yesterdays are closing down or losing effectiveness.
So, now what?
Many of our clients have had the misconception that information dissemination in the Internet age, most notably, their sales messages, is cheap if not free. All that’s needed is to put their company, products and services on a website and they’d be on their way to save thousands or tens of thousands in their annual marketing budget. The key is to put their business on the Internet with a website.
While it is indisputable that the new advertising landscape starts with a website, and most often than not, the website remains to be the singular and most important foundation, advertising today goes much further than just simply having a website. The concept of “If you build it, they will come.” is absolutely and totally wishful thinking that’s only fitting in Hollywood fantasies. In reality, it’s more likely that an advertiser’s website will remain anonymous and invisible to its intended audience forever. Surely, putting the site address on business cards and other relevant marketing materials will help, but this type of action acts more like a friendly reminder rather than an active advertising campaign.
By now, online advertising is no longer a new phenomenon; the probation period for this disruptive advertising method has already passed and gone. It is a now a tried-and-tested proven method to help businesses increase their sales. Just as websites have replaced printed product catalogs, online advertising has replaced pretty much all of the traditional advertising media. If you’re still not onboard, make today the new dawn of online advertising for your business.