Groupon’s decline is a salutary reminder for all of us

With today’s news confirming the decline of Groupon and the continuing doubts over whether it is a sustainable business or not.Its a key pointer for small and medium sized businesses and how they need to market themselves. Groupon is all about what I call broadcast marketing a daily blast out to a large opted in email list (no spam please) which over time becomes less and less effective.

This is for two reasons:

1. Your average human today is inundated with over 2000 outbound marketing interruptions per day! However there are more and more creative ways to block them out, including caller ID, spam filtering, Sky+ etc.In short our immunity is growing.

2. Cost :Outbound Marketing is expensive and profit margins are always being squeezed and business is constantly looking to drive down Customer Acquisition costs .

Businesses can see this and are rethinking how they market themselves and are looking for more cost effective ways of reaching prospects .And thats where Inbound’ Marketing  comes in.This is where your business :

-Spends time talking to its customers -visits and calls !

-”helps itself “get found“- by people already learning about and shopping in your industry.

– Has a website that is a “hub” for your industry

– Has a website that attracts visitors naturally through search engines

– Uses the blogosphere to influence market opinion and attract prospects.

– Uses Social Media (LinkedIn, Facebook,Twitter and Google+) to engage with clients and prospects

– Builds fully Opted In Email Lists where clients and prospects have asked to be kept in touch with your latest news and information.

– Uses Business Networking to generate ‘Referrals’ from prospects .

These are the ways of the future !

To keep up to date with the latest Inbound Marketing News ,Views,Hints and Tips  SUBSCRIBE to our EMAIL UPDATES –You can also find more information on how we can help you on our Website or Contact Us if you want to know how we can help you.

Richard

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Why Mobile Internet use is troubling Google and Facebook and why it should concern you ?

You may have noticed in the news that both Facebook and Google share prices have struggled recently .On the face of it this is a puzzle ? Google is the dominant player in the search market and Facebook announced it had reached 1 billion users .

The reason is the growth is Mobile access to the net specifically the Smartphone which allows users to view websites more easily than a pc or even a laptop can. According to the Office for National Statistics internet use is now nearing 50% of all internet traffic. 

The problem with mobile internet use is that there is a lot less room on screen to display ads so the advertising revenues from mobile are much less . It also means that traffic to the PC and Laptop versions of their sites is falling and so the amount they can charge for pay per click advertising is reducing too .As this trend is set to continue both Facebook and Google needs to find a way of fixing this and earning more revenue for mobile or ‘monetising’ it.Some investors doubt they will be able to do this hence the fall in share prices.

Whats does this mean for your business in terms of your online and inbound marketing ?

Well traditional online and inbound marketing like ,pay per click advertising,email marketing and search engine optimisation remain,important. However you need to start bringing mobile into your marketing plans. You should make sure you have a mobile version of your website created and perhaps consider an app version to promote your products and services.It also puts an even heavier emphasis on social media like Twitter,Facebook,You Tube and LinkedIn as engagement with potential clients for these areas is becoming more and more powerful.

If you would like a free review of your online marketing activities to help with the rise of mobile Contact Us .

Please feel free to comment below

Richard

LinkedIn and Customer Relationship Management Masterclass – Launching Very Soon

I am delighted to announce that we have just about finalised the programme for our new LinkedIn and CRM Masterclass . We have partnered with Sales Dynamics who are Sage Accredited Partners so we can show you how the effective use of LinkedIn and best practice Customer Relationship Marketing (CRM) techniques can help you really grow your business massively !

Our first Masterclass will be in late April and the booking website will be launched shortly . In the meantime Contact Us here to make sure you get an invitation .

Why your business needs ‘Inbound Marketing’ in 2012 ?

Marketing is changing and the emphasis is increasingly on making your Marketing activities ‘Inbound’ rather than ‘Outbound. ‘The key is “Talk To” your customers don’t “Talk At” them.

Traditionally in Marketing we use Outbound techniques where we focus on –’pushing the message far and wide’. So we do things like :

-trade shows

-seminar series

-email blasts to purchased lists

-leaflet drops

-direct mail

-cold calling

-telemarketing/telesales

-advertising.

This is getting less and less effective over time for two reasons:

1. Your average human today is inundated with over 2000 outbound marketing interruptions per day! However there are more and more creative ways to block them out, including caller ID, spam filtering, Sky+ etc.

2. Cost :Outbound Marketing is expensive and profit margins are always being squeezed and business is constantly looking to drive down Customer Acquisition costs .

So Business has had to rethink how it markets itself and look for more cost effective ways of reaching prospects .

So what is ‘Inbound’ Marketing ?:

Inbound marketing is a marketing strategy that focuses on getting found by customers.

As Brian Halligan says in Hubspot here ‘ The best analogy I can come up with is that traditional marketers looking to garner interest from new potential customers are like lions hunting in the jungle for elephants.  The elephants used to be in the jungle in the ’80s and ’90s when they learned their trade, but they don’t seem to be there anymore.  They have all migrated to the watering holes on the savannah (the internet).  So, rather than continuing to hunt in the jungle, I recommend setting up shop at the watering hole or turning your website into its own watering hole.’

So its where your business :

-Spends time talking to its customers -visits and calls !

-“helps itself “get found“- by people already learning about and shopping in your industry.

– Has a website that is a “hub” for your industry

– Has a website that attracts visitors naturally through search engines

– Uses the blogosphere to influence market opinion and attract prospects.

– Uses Social Media (LinkedIn, Facebook,Twitter and Google+) to engage with clients and prospects

– Builds fully Opted In Email Lists where clients and prospects have asked to be kept in touch with your latest news and information.

– Uses Business Networking to generate ‘Referrals’ from prospects .

I am not saying cancel all your traditional Outbound marketing in 2012 but what I am saying is understand the value of traditional Outbound marketing has decreased .Look at changing the balance of your Marketing activities and putting much more of your time and effort and a little money in to ‘Inbound Marketing ‘ .Remember you heard it here first .

To keep up to date with the latest Inbound Marketing News ,Views,Hints and Tips  SUBSCRIBE to our EMAIL UPDATES –You can also find more information on how we can help you on our Website or Contact Us if you want to know how we can help you.

Richard

Richard Dawson
Harlaco Webb