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Ancient Marketing

Discussion in 'Website Marketing' started by toradrake, Nov 24, 2014.

  1. toradrake Member


    Did you know that some of the "old ways" do still work very effectively in marketing your site. I find it hilarious when a business owner is talking to me about the marketing of their site and I mention the idea of business cards. The look on their face is priceless... then I remind them of a few key things about this method.

    98% of the population on Earth have access to the internet. This access also means they are part of forums, social media sites, etc... That means that they talk to a lot of people from all over the world. Lets say that person visits you or your store. They really like your store (or if it is personal, they like you). You make for sure before you part they have your website address, facebook page, or twitter information right in their wallet on that little paper card that many have begun to overlook as a marketing tool. They get that information out and start talking. This leads people from around the world to your site opening the door for you to gain the traffic you want to your site. You saved yourself the trouble of having to blog or talk to others online to get your site promoted... others have done it gladly for you.

    Any thoughts on this?

  2. Mockingbird New Member


    That's a pretty broad stroke you just painted. I would say that might be a great move if you are a selling something, but otherwise the internet might not be a good choice as your main marketing tool. It never fails to amaze me the number of sites that are out there just for informational purposes. Never updated and nothing more then a hone number really. There is nothing more frustrating then to find a handyman or someone along those lines that do not really check their email. It makes sense that they would not. Honestly do you think for a small collision shop a website is a good idea? It might be great to showcase the work done work but I can tell you as fact they are not getting clients just because they have a site. Major dealerships might have good luck online, most will let you schedule repairs that way. But small collision business? Probably not so much.

    Now if you are a smart business person you could take advantage of the web and use it for things like reminders and apps that would keep your happy clients loyal, think about this say you had your car in the collision shop for work and they were like hey you know we do other things like tune ups, oil changes and did you know we have the ability for you to log into our site and see when you last did ___________. that's personalized and very sticky! Now you have a captive audience you can market to much better. Pull off the data you gave them to make life easier and send out a blog/article/message on why it is important to check your belts or change your plugs and Oh yea it has been two years since you last did that.

    So yea, the business card idea is great as long as the plan was thought through and you are going to somehow use that web information past being a electronic phone book or map.

  3. Converse Active Member


    Yeah, I do. People who live in the neighborhood are probably aware of where they want to do business and who they'd rather not do business with, and they are going to recommend shops to others or warn them away, depending on personal experiences.

    However, a lot of people are on the move these days, and have been for quite some time. A large number of people no longer live in the part of the country where they grew up. I've lived in Michigan, Iowa, California, Texas, North Carolina, and Maine, and in several cities within these states. Before the Internet, when I needed something, I'd check the Yellow Pages of the telephone book.

    Today, I check online and that's one of the things that I find directories to be more helpful with since Google passes on too many irrelevant results when it comes to finding a specific type of business in a specific town. Still, I would probably try a search engine first but if I am unsatisfied with the results that I find there, I'll to to BOTW, since they have a pretty up-to-date and comprehensive regional directory; then there's always BOTW Local if I'm willing to settle for something that doesn't have a website.

    Chances are though, if I need an auto repair place, I'll be at the one that has a website before I ever even know about any of the others, but it's doubtful that I'll try to contact them through the website.

    A few years ago, small businesses, and even towns, were dropping their websites for Facebook pages. Now, with the changes that Facebook has made to its news feeds, these people are finding out that their Facebook page doesn't have the reach that it once did, and they're looking for a website again. In the past couple of years, I've built websites for small towns, historical societies, meat markets, grocery stores, and auto repair shops. The meat market regularly sends updates of its products for me to add to the site, for a monthly stipend, and the organizations usually want a CMS site, like WordPress, that they can add to themselves, but a lot of them are static; unless they change their telephone number, they are unlikely to change anything.

    I agree with the OP though, in that it is a mistake to ignore the tried and true marketing schemes, like business cards, advertisements on restaurant menus or, in some areas, even newspapers; although there are far fewer people reading print papers these days, they can still send some foot traffic.

  4. toradrake Member


    LMAO @Converse you are one heck of a quick draw. I was going to comment on that same thing and was going to say what you were saying. I guess I need to be a bit quicker if I'm going to keep up.

    @Mockingbird a business, whether offering a service or products, would be wise to have a web presence. A website is a selling tool that allows for seekers to better under who you are. It can also be used as an online "business card" so that people who are looking for your services will find your information. I would say that approximately 90% of the population utilize the internet to seek out business' of all kinds. I myself look online for business' that offer services. Just the other day I was looking up information on a crop dusting service for a friend.

    Ideally the business would have a full website that explains who they are, what they do, and have customer reviews on the site along with there business information for contact. However, just having their information out there is good for the business. Example... when I worked for Website Pros, one of our customers sites went down... I can't remember what happened but I do remember that the customer was very upset because with his site down he was losing business. His site was a simple site. It had information on the limo's he had and his contact information. We also had sites that were used as online resumes, portfolios, and blog sites.... regardless of the type of business, a website is always a good marketing tool to gain clients/customers.

    Converse likes this.
  5. Mockingbird New Member


    I think I may have been to subtle with my point. Never said there shouldn't be a website, what I said is that the way the website is utilized makes a difference in how well you can market yourself via the information you capture and utilize over the web you can keep a customer base coming to you instead of someone else. A directory is great for some types of business that are local when you go one the web to look them up because you already know about them. So you keyword search something like.... car shop Boyton Beach District, VA. ( I know I look up tons of vendors like this all day at work. ) What do you get? Usually a text listing of some sort like Superpages or a Website that may or may not be good, Usually though pretty standard website templets, you get the address, some pictures of work or other relevant things, maybe a few articles or factoids or something like that.

    Now major car dealerships have pretty smart websites, you schedule your repair, look at some cars you might buy, maybe some tires on sale and when you make the appointment meanwhile they (the dealership) recorded all that data about you as a customer electronically. Dealership knows your cars broke and you looked at a bunch small cars on sale. BINGO sales call.

    I notice that there are many medical based sites that are similar. You schedule your own appointment, pay the bill and check back a few days after your appointment for the test results. Now even the doctors have portals you can log into and make your appointment, request your prescription, and get paperwork you might need.

    My point was small business has to rethink how they use the web for optimal market advantage. Capture that data and build that connection to keep a solid customer base. You really can not survive by just opening up everyday without doing more. And it has to be more then hoping the guy down the streets muffler goes or someone saw your card on a bulletin board at the local restaurant and look it had a website. There are urban areas with quite a bit of competition some businesses are literally right down the street from each other.

  6. Converse Active Member


    For many of them, it's a matter of money. Since the average independent grocery store or meat market doesn't bring in the volume of cash that auto dealerships and medical facilities bring in, they are more likely to opt for something simple and affordable. The kind of sites that I build for the majority of my clients lately are ones that I can do in an hour if they've supplied me with the content in a discernible format, and there is someone else in town who is selling sites that are built from free templates, and he doesn't even bother to remove the template code; I've come across some of the sites that he has built whose meta tags still point to the template site. Most brick and mortar stores aren't going to invest heavily in their web site unless they're hoping to sell online, as well. Many of them dropped their sites in favor of Facebook because it was free.

  7. SimplySidy Member



    Ok Ok. I will not get into that, as it is not what the discussion is about... :: PEACE ::


    What you cite in your Discussion is/was called "Word of Mouth" marketing in the non-internet era - where people spread the word about you if they appreciated your work and sometimes it backfired if they did not appreciate.

    But yes, traditional stuff (often called ancient and even offbeat - by today's Gen-[XYZ] - still stands good. On internet, or better, in today's era, many people who have online websites (or blogs etc) tend to forget one basic thing - Marketing Starts Locally. If you cannot deliver to the local market, you cannot deliver to the world (agreed, there are a few services and products that do not have local buyers).

    On one instance, a local guy set up an online shop and did almost everything he could to market to the world and kept failing to gain visitors. He forgot that the right audience was locally available.

    Someone pointed this out (that the audience was locally available and Marketing starts Locally) and asked him to organize local shows, put up banners and adverts in local newspapers and within a month, his incoming traffic soared high and he made good business. With high volumes of incoming traffic, his site started to rank good then better and now, his site is a like a "brand" in the country and maybe he is doing great offshore too.

    Moral: Identify your real audience, cater to them. That is where it should all start. Rest will follow.

  8. Mockingbird New Member


    Wouldn't that depend on what it was you were trying to market though? Not trying to split hairs, I get what you mean as far as the traditional business goes. and yes I agree it is about location.

    here is where I think the ball gets dropped, traditional business, like barbers and salons and that sort normally open with a business plan of some sort. For some strange reasons many online business models don't. They just slap up a blog or something else figuring they will generate revenue with ads, or more common is artisans like jewelry makers and such, just think that because they have an Etsy now they will do well. there are so many genres now of business that could be worldwide via the internet that fail because they have no plan on how they are going to market. it sounds something like this, I am going to advertise, see my new banner? Button? whatever? they go to sites or worse yet an online marketing rep that will take care of that for them, and yea OH they got click thru's but did that transmute into sales? Hmm why not?

    marketing 101 can not be skipped, keeping a narro focus in the beginning is fine, but in reality there are many things you can do to market much broader. Even if you are just a small local bakery or something along those lines there is no reason why you can not become an online expert in some aspect of your business. Get features in an article, get some video of you on a show or at a trade show or something. You will get far more mileage and received value as a business then doing nothing but handbills and coupons. back in the day we called this PR

  9. SimplySidy Member


    Exactly. The unrealistic goals, the belief (of many) that on Internet, you can mint money, and a Not-Well Planned marketing strategy - all of these definitely are responsible. And the reason many fail is - lack of knowledge. Many start believing - it is a simpler world on the internet - forgetting that they have to learn and acquire new tricks every day - quite unlike the local market - at least, as long as they dont become a Brand on Internet.

    From what I have received, I think it is like - if you find a consultant who in willing to understand your business better and then providing you solutions or ideas to market - it is a better deal than to hire the professionals who would need you to accommodate what they are aware of. This often creates a gap between the owner, the online business and hence results in bigger losses - as now the online presence becomes a combination of two different ideologies and diverse people.

  10. Mockingbird New Member


    Why not become a brand? If your doing something that is selling your product and you want a world wide reach becoming a brand is exactly what I would think you should want to do.

    While it is true that you have to learn everyday with internet marketing I am not so certain it's about tricks. I don't think you meant literal tricks if the fly by night marketing sense because you seem very upstanding. I think you meant new knowledge to help you get your site that much closer to producing the way you would like. The "tricks" in its literal sense is what brings a bad name to internet marketers everywhere. No one like to be fooled, and no one likes to be tricked. there is no faster way to get a bad reputation then to try something that is a bit swarmy.

    I never feel like I have to re-invent the wheel, marketing even on the internet is exactly what it is and that is plain and simple "marketing." It didn't just start happening, actually it has been around quite awhile now.I personally started doing this in 1997 and I do not mind telling you I have seen some things along the way, but perhaps the most consistent thing I have realized is that what really worked then really still works today. IMHO and I have always felt this, at the end of the day content is still king, it is your strongest tool and you have to pay attention to it.

    SimplySidy likes this.
  11. SimplySidy Member


    Almost every other business on Internet applies the nearly similar methods of marketing online. Very rarely you find people online think out of the box and that is what I think adds to the problems. When almost everyone out there is doing the similar thing in the similar way, you often have a higher chance of getting ignored.

    Ask anyone about what marketing tricks I should follow and they mostly come up with - promote socially, promote on ebay and related sites, optimize your website, try becoming visible on SEs etc. - I think these are all generic ideas, but presented to many in such a way, that they all seem to appreciate it without getting into how these can be applied to their website.

  12. Jason76 Member


    Sometimes you can build a music lesson business by posting ads on community boards. You see them in many places like grocery stores or laundry mats. Of course, getting attention this way takes time, but once you got a quality list of clients, it can be a goldmine.

    Of course, in the old days, as we saw on the movie Wall Street, stock brokers also did cold calling to obtain a valuable list. Doing that action, of course, took a lot of time for most people.


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