Here I am sitting in my office looking out my window and wondering how it can possibly be 60 degrees and almost December. Usually by this time of year in the Northeast we have already weathered our fair share of storms, and I have to say at this point I am ready for Winter to finally show up. The fact of the matter is that I enjoy the changing of the seasons. I know you’ve probably heard this a thousand times but I’m going to say it again anyhow – the only one constant thing in life ultimately is change. Change always happens. To be human is to live in a constant state of flux or change. And that, my friend, is the thing I’d like to talk to you about briefly.
Marketing has changed drastically over the past few years. The main reason is the Internet. Consumers now have a vast amount of information available to them with which they can make an educated buying decision. Many, if not most, people turn to the Internet first when researching which products or services fit their particular needs best. They often use a search engine like Google to start; and then turn to their friends via email, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter to get their opinions and recommendations.
The companies that get our attention are now the ones who supply the best online content. Why? Because the information supplied makes it easier for the consumer to make an educated decision on how to solve their problem or satisfy their need. Two months ago I mentioned Zappos, the online shoe and apparel retailer. If you read the book, what you’ll learn is that Zappos has grown to be a billion-dollar business by offering great information about the products they offer and also great customer service.
I recently returned from a regional hearing aid marketing meeting in Philadelphia. One of the things I took away from that meeting is that the online marketing in the hearing aid industry is starting to show great promise. What I’m about to say may seem odd for a direct mail guy to state, but here it is – why not educate yourself a little bit about online marketing so that you understand how it works and why it may be such an important part of your future (every business owner’s future for that matter). OK, so please don’t think that I’m saying that direct mail marketing is dead. I’m not saying that. I’m saying that online marketing is important and its not going away. If for no other reason than the fact that your competitors are either using it, or will be using it shortly, you have to pay attention to it.
Since I’m a marketing guy first and direct mail guy second, I’d like to turn your attention to a great read I recently discovered. If you also agree that it’s time to learn a little more about online marketing, I recommend checking out Inbound Marketing, written by Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah, the co-founders of Hubspot. This book is a great resource on online marketing and very well done. Whether you are interested in learning the basics, or refining some of the knowledge you already have on the subject of online marketing, I really recommend picking up a copy and diving in to the world of online marketing.