Here’s the bottom line (pun intended): it’s critically important to advertise and market your business where your customers are.
Despite the sensational media reports, there are still plenty of consumers and businesses buying products and services. However, they’re being more selective than ever before as to what they buy and with whom they do business.
Interestingly, just the act of advertising itself in a recession may be more important than ever. According to a recent study of retail stores, banks, and auto dealerships by Ad-ology Research, more than 48% of U.S. adults believe that a lack of advertising during a recession indicates the business is struggling. Conversely, the majority of respondents perceive that businesses continuing to advertise are healthy and committed to doing business.
As a result, it’s evident that business owners still need to advertise, but they must be prudent as to where they spend their advertising dollars.
A recent study by Nielsen and Webvisible shows that 63% of consumers and small business owners turn to the Internet first for information about local companies, and 82% use search engines to do so. In contrast, only 44% of small businesses have a website, and half spend less than a tenth of their marketing budget online.
Apparently, the problem is that a majority of small businesses can’t be found where their target market is looking for them!
Many resources are available to the small business owner to help them develop an Internet presence and begin advertising online. It’s okay if you’re not sure where to get started; do-it-yourselfers can find a variety of books, seminars, and online tutorials to help them. For those who don’t have the significant time to invest to do it themselves, there are several Internet marketing companies and web designers in this Chamber who are expert at helping companies use the Internet to grow their businesses.
So, don’t be caught trying to sell toilet paper at the computer store. Go to where your target market is looking for you: online.