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Marketing has changed: Big Advantages for Small Business
We hear it all the time, marketing has changed - what used to wor...
Marketing is now all about engaging people, connecting with them, having conversations and
inviting them to come to you. Y...
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Marketing has changed big advantages for small business

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There's been a major shift in marketing. What used to work doesn't work anymore. Technology, the internet, how we buy things, what we buy - it's all changing and changing fast! For new starts and small businesses this can be a real challenge, but also a HUGE opportunity.

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Marketing has changed big advantages for small business

  1. 1. Marketing has changed: Big Advantages for Small Business We hear it all the time, marketing has changed - what used to work doesn’t work anymore. Adverts in newspapers or magazines just don’t get response. Telemarketing and cold calling are a waste of time. And those expensive glossy brochures are an expensive luxury. Nowadays it’s all about online advertising, blogging, Google, Facebook, video and mobile marketing. There’s been a major shift in marketing – and it’s all happened so fast! For new starts and small businesses this is a real challenge. It isn’t easy to find your way through the new media, the new tools and the new rules of marketing. But there are also great opportunities – and as we’ll see small businesses are well placed to take advantage of the changes. Why are things in marketing so different? The BIG reason for so much change is technology and the internet. The numbers paint an amazing picture. In the UK, over 80% of people have access to the internet and more than two-thirds of us use a computer every day. There are more mobile phones (4 billion) worldwide than toothbrushes (3.5 billion) and 91% of adults have their mobile phone within arm’s reach. According to Google, we are now living in a multi-screen world and spend on average 4.4 hours in front of a screen every day, whether that’s a smartphone, tablet, PC, laptop or TV. Over 90% of our contact with media is screen-based – no wonder local newspapers are disappearing from the newsstands - and 38% of all purchases are done on a smartphone. We now have more ways than ever to gather information and purchase products and services – and we can do it from almost anywhere at lightning fast speed. The way people communicate has changed Technology is also driving the way we communicate. How often do you pick up the phone to talk to someone? And how often does a real person actually answer your call? These days with voice mail, texting, tweeting, instant messaging, video conferencing and posting on Facebook, we rarely need to answer our phones! Today’s businesses have to keep track of these changes and adapt and connect in new ways if they are to succeed. Customers are now in the driving seat Gone are the days of the slick marketing message pushed out to a passive audience. Customers are now in the driving seat. We look for information before we buy. We connect with others who have already bought to get their views and recommendations. We seek out the best deals, the best value, and the best fit for us. We want to do business with those we trust and who listen and respond to us. We expect to engage in conversation – and if something doesn’t grab our attention or happen fast, we lose interest. Helen Murdoch, H M Marketing Ltd 1
  2. 2. Marketing is now all about engaging people, connecting with them, having conversations and inviting them to come to you. Your customers need to find you, not the other way around. Great news for small businesses In the past when faced with competition from big companies, small firms were at a distinct disadvantage. That’s no longer the case. Technology, and in particular cloud computing, is making it easier than ever before for small businesses to access the tools and techniques used by the big boys. We now have a raft of powerful tools at our fingertips. Our website is our silent salesperson 24/7. We can use video to answer customer questions, and Twitter and Facebook to have conversations. We can gather information about competitors with a simple Google search. We can use social media to discover communities, to find our tribe, to listen to our customers, to identify trends, to engage and connect. We can stay in touch with customers and prospects through email marketing. We can store and manage our valuable customer information with CRM (customer relationship management) programmes. There are tools for building landing pages, doing surveys, blogging and article distribution, managing leads and optimising search engine marketing. And almost everything can be automated, measured and evaluated. Best of all, the technology is easily accessible, flexible and cost-effective. Many applications can be accessed through your web browser free of charge. Others are available on a subscription basis, so you only pay for what you need and for the time that you need it. “How to” guides, online demos and video tutorials cover the training and one-to-one support is available on demand. There’s no longer any need for heavy investment in hardware and software, installation and maintenance. The fundamentals of marketing still count Of course, it’s not all about the new tools and techniques, some fundamentals of marketing stay the same. You still have to know your customers and know what they want. You still have to know and communicate what it is that makes you different. You still have to connect with your customers and then work at developing relationships. However, the new media, new tools and new ways of marketing do make it easier. Just remember, one blog post, one tweet or one short video won’t hack it – success comes from building an ongoing marketing system with a consistent message. Yes, marketing has changed, and there are big advantages for small businesses like yours, so take action now and start to see your business fly! Helen Murdoch, H M Marketing Ltd 2

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