You should be proud if you manage to transform your business into a multi-generational success. There is something to be said for taking something that worked in one era and making it work in another. Some musicians manage the trick and we describe them as timeless. But there is no such thing as a timeless business. A company has to continually adapt to the changing times.
We used to say things like “the more things change, the more they stay the same.” But when it comes to business, what we have found is that the more things change, the more they change, and you had better be prepared to change with them. Doing the same things you did 30 years ago to attract customers simply doesn’t work in the modern world. Just ask retailers who are dying out and fading away.
Old-school businesses have to change or die. Even venerable religious institutions cannot escape this reality. No one can blindly rely on what worked yesterday. You can’t hope to be a modern success with outdated marketing ideas. Here are some marketing ideas that will help you tackle the new marketing realities:
SEO Is About More Than Search
If you are one of those businesses that are just discovering the 21st century, you need to talk to an SEO consultant right away. You need to get on board with all the basics such as a good mobile website, HigherVisibility tools so that site can be found by casual searchers, and quality link building for maximum reach across a variety of partner sites.
However, you should know that SEO is more than just search. New technologies will eventually render online search boxes obsolete. Products like Google Lens are changing the way we think about search. You can get information about products and places just by pointing your smartphone camera at the item. That even goes for text and images on signs and photos.
Being searchable means keeping your signage clear and unobstructed by foliage. It means having readable text and clear photos on brochures and business cards. It means opting in on those services that surface your business as a place to purchase when consumers take a photo of an item similar to those that you sell. Pretty soon, people will not need to go to a search engine to find what they are looking for. You need to be ready. Modern SEO consultants can help you keep up.
Experience as Marketing
If you want a repeat customer, you have to make their experience fabulous the first time. These days, the line between user experience and marketing has blurred. If you want people to have an emotional connection with your company, they have to have an emotional experience with your product.
This is why the only metric that Apple really seems to be concerned about is customer sat. When people love your product or service, they will not only buy it again, they will evangelize it to others. It only takes one influencer to turn their entire social graph into users of your product or service. Good marketing is not just about getting them in the door with a low price. It is about keeping them in the fold by providing great experiences.
Never Land in the Spam Folder
While focusing on new techniques, it is only right to provide a warning as well, Never let your emails land in the spam folder. Email and text message spam is marketing death. There is a fine line between email marketing and spam. Steer well clear of those consultants who blur the lines.
The only guiding principle you really need is to take a look at your own inbox. It takes you about 1 second to identify an email as useful or spam. Your customers can do it even faster. Never send the type of email that you would immediately send to the junk mail folder. You can send customers followup thank you notes, and special events you are having if they have purchased from you in the past. But email is a double-edged sword. So handle it with a light touch, or suffer the consequences.
The best way to keep your old-school business alive and well in the new world is to embrace the evolving ways people search. Provide experiences that linger. And avoid using the new tools to be creepy or annoying.