Do you ever think about the future of marketing? As a marketer, I think it’s fun to look to the future and ask, “what if? How can marketing get better? What can we do to reach more customers? What’s the best way to get more mileage out of marketing dollars?” How can you market your company while spending less? There are large numbers of customers spending their time surfing the Internet. What are you going to do to reach potential customers? Of course, I’m talking about your web presence or digital footprint. What kind of digital footprint do you have?
I’m hearing and reading that consumers continue to purchase tablet PCs or iPads over PCs and laptop computers with increasing frequency. The sales of laptop computers continue to decline, except in the corporate world. Think about the implications of that trend, what can that mean for you? On face value, you might tend to ignore it or you might choose not to give it any significance. However, as consumers move toward tablets they will need websites that work well on their devices and they will begin to abandon websites that don’t. In the next four years, the pressure to update your website to make it “mobile” friendly or mobile compliant will grow significantly. A simple little shift in the buying habits of consumers, can affect your business in the future.
The time is now to invest in upgrading your website to make it mobile compliant to get a head start on your competitors while the numbers of websites that actually work in a mobile environment is still relatively small. To see what I mean, if you have a smart phone, bring up your company website on your phone. How does it look? Do you have a tablet or an iPad? How does your website look on one of these devices? Now imagine your customer browsing the web with only one of these devices and having no other options available to view websites. How long will they struggle to navigate your clunky, non-mobile friendly website before they go somewhere else? Wouldn’t you rather do business with a company that had the foresight to capitalize on the future?
Consider what else a customer might surmise about a company that’s forward thinking with regard to technology. A customer could subconsciously assume that if you are up on the latest technology on your website, you are probably up on the latest technology in your industry. That has the potential to bring you additional business. Customers will seek you out, because your company projects an appearance of being on top of things. As I have said many times, marketing is all about perception, and doing this now builds the perception about a company who’s on top of its game.
Your web presence starts with your web site, but the secret to stretching your marketing budget is to look for the other opportunities available to you online. Years ago, you would have had to run newspaper ads, put ads in yellow pages, and maybe even run a radio ad or a television commercial in order to get the word out to potential customers. All of these methods would have cost you money, and obviously you can still do this today. In fact, many of you still do, but we are really talking about increasing your digital footprint. Here’s a list of “must have” social networking sites. Every business owner should create a profile, on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Naymz, YouTube, Google+, Pintrest, and others but these are the most important. By creating a consistent profile and linking back to your website, you begin to enhance your presence or a digital footprint.
Local search engines allow you to post your business contact information online so people can find your business. You can think of these as Internet directories and the third step toward fortifying your digital footprint is to make sure people can find you when they search for a business. After you establish your footprint, the next thing you should do is create a listing on every local search engine that you can find.
This URL provides a list of the major search engines and it includes links to sign up for each of them http://www.locallytype.com/pages/submit.htm. The process is time consuming but it’s ultimately worth the effort. Google is the number one search engine in the world so make sure you have a listing in Google. Many of the local search sites will offer to enhance your listing for a fee, just like the yellow pages. However, use all of the free services that you can first, afterword you can pick a few of the key search engines and invest in an upgrade where and when it makes the most sense to drive the kind of traffic you need.
My website contains links to all the marketing articles I’ve written for the HVAC-Talk Newsletter. If you want your marketing efforts pay big dividends, contact a marketing professional. I’m available to assist you in all of your marketing efforts. If you need a branding consultation, a complete strategic marketing plan, help with marketing strategy, or management services, call or send an email to discuss your needs.
Andy Fracica is president and CEO of Fracica Enterprises, Inc., a consulting firm specializing in marketing, PR, social media, and lead generation strategy. He has over 30 years of sales, marketing, and product management experience in the heating ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) industry. He concentrates on helping companies deliver their message in an ever increasingly crowded market by teaching businesses to do more with less ($). Contact him at 260-338-4554, [email protected] or visit the Fracica Enterprises, Inc. website.