Most traditional businesses entrenched in conventional marketing approaches find it difficult to transit to modern day online marketing approaches. A lot of persuasion and proofs are needed to convince these offline businesses about the plethora of advantages that can benefit the business, no matter how small or big the business may be.
Brick and mortar businesses
Local businesses that operate from a specific location or brick-and-mortar stores think of concentrating on the local consumer market around their neighbourhood alone. There is no aspiration to venture further than the next road from the business store even though the business may not be very lucrative. These traditional location based stores depend on regular community business that offers sustainable business operations without much progress or development of the business.
A brick-and-mortar business is confined to a specific premise that limits its circle of influence as it is not mobile. A lot of advertising needs to be executed to make the business and its location known to a wider customer base. This would take a lot of work, time and money as well as manpower to be employed. Business leaflets and pamphlets must be widely distributed with expensive buntings and banners positioned at strategic locations to catch more consumers’ attention.
Billboard advertising is one of the most expensive forms of traditional marketing that does not bring in the desired high yields in sales and profit as these options are not mobile or flexible in terms and conditions.
It is important to remember the basic marketing principle taught in business schools that stresses on identifying the target audience. This new economic era with a host of new technologies coming onto the scene ushers consumers towards a new platform of business discovery. If businesses are not on this new platform, they are missing out on great opportunities in reaching many potential leads to boost their business through online marketing.
Hence, smart businesses that wish to grow in leaps and bounds would capitalize on the currently available technologies and their offerings such as search engine optimization, websites or online marketing strategies.
These SEO features attract the right types of audience to the web business sites as potential leads. High conversions to sales are possible as web consumers view the whole range of available products and services on the web business sites. Interested web consumers would be informed about the brand, product or service to make a store visit; alternatively, businesses with websites incorporating ecommerce features can enjoy immediate online sales to boost their bottom lines immediately.
Online marketing through the latest technologies can indeed benefit offline businesses. A market survey on modern marketing reveals that 97% of web consumers today make use of online media for their shopping needs. A Google research reveals that 90% of Internet searches bring in some form of follow up action such as store visit or call in inquiry that becomes a new lead to the business.
Mobile searches bring about 73% conversions with 28% resulting in a store visit. These figures are not surprising as more and more consumers own a mobile device today. Hence, it is very convenient for them to get connected to the Internet using broadband or Wi-Fi to browse for things or information they are interested in.
Traditional businesses today need to understand the new trend of shopping by new era consumers who have a plethora of hi-tech gadgets and devices at their disposal. Further researches reveal that 90% of consumers would make use of a popular search engine to look for their shopping items while 48% refer to the Yellow Pages on the web. About 42% web consumers capitalize on online comparison or review websites to get good shopping recommendations or special offers on the net.
Web consumers enjoy a greater convenience when they execute online searches on things they need or want. Recent studies reveal that 50-70% of small business websites are incorrectly listed or inaccurate in their information as the web business sites are not updated regularly. Effective online searches that result in sales and profit taking come through the simple task of updating web business sites regularly with search engine optimization features.
Advantages of online marketing
Brick-and-mortar businesses today that still have not yet embraced online marketing should consider the plethora of advantages the latter offers. The increasing competition compels every modern business, small or large, to have an updated website that would offer accurate information to potential leads that visit the site. Global potential leads are possible as the Internet is always available on a 24/7 basis for browses and online transactions.
An updated web business site reflects a professional and reliable business that consumers want to interact with. The business is more visible and deemed trustworthy when the listed information is accurate and correct. Web consumers do not feel ‘cheated’ or frustrated with the wrong or misleading information that is outdated on the web business sites.
An attractive web business site that always has interesting contents tends to attract more web traffic than a dull or cluttered site. New web designs need to be considered to attract web traffic as consumers like new changes in this modern era. Special discounts, promotions and freebies online are very effective in attracting potential leads to the web business site as well as get their contact information for a follow up action that would benefit the business. Very little effort and operation costs are incurred in such online marketing strategies to boost business profits.
A well designed web business site would be one that is well thought out to fit the modus operandi of the business enterprise on the web as well as offsite. SEO features incorporated on the well-designed website for a business would boost web traffic such as ecommerce features, online reservations, online orders and easy to navigate screens.
The inclusion of social media today in any web business can increase the customer base of any business enterprise quickly through the large membership of popular online social media sites like Facebook and Twitter and is part of online marketing for offline businesses.