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EP 03 – Should I Market My Business Online Or Offline

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Which Form Of Marketing Should You Choose?

In this episode of the Marketing Mayhem Show I go through the pros and cons of marketing your business both offline and on.

Podcast Transcription

Hello everyone Shane Walker here and one question that I get asked a lot by people who are fairly new business owners and some of them even quite experienced is that.

[00:31] The Big Question

Should I concentrate my marketing efforts online or should I do it offline? And my answer to that is, well, even though I’m bias and I am, I think online is a fantastic medium. It depends.

[01:00] The Golden Rule Of Marketing

So firstly you’ve got to think about the goal of marketing. The golden rule is find out where your target market hangs out and then place your offer or your business in front of them.

Big Mistake people make all the time is they try and bring people to them rather than going to where the customers are. Now, a good example of this would be, one I use all the time is a hotdog stand.

You could have a hot dog stand and sell the best hot dogs in the world and if you put it your stand up outside the front of your house, you can stand there and you’ll say, hot dogs, hot dogs iv’e got lots of hot dogs.

Come and get some hot dogs. Hey look, you’ll probably sell a couple hot dogs, but in comparison.

If you took your hotdog stand and you went down to the local nightclub at [3:00] in the morning when they’re all coming out with a stomach full of grog and the Munchies.

You’re going to sell a lot more hot dogs than you did at home, and that is an example of taking you to the customer. Knowing where the customer hangs out and taking your offer or your product to the customer.

[02:16] You Need A Customer Avatar

So to start off with that, before you even do that, it’s really important that you have a customer Avatar. A lot of times when I’m speaking with new clients, I say, well, who do you sell to?

We sell xyz product, yeah, I understand that, but who do you sell to or anyone that wants to buy xyz product?

Well, big problem with not having customer Avatar. is you really need to understand who it is that you wish to sell to and when you know who it is that that, you wish to sell to their average age, their sex, their education level.

Lots of things like that that you go into with a customer Avatar. You will know, firstly you’ll know where they hang out. You’ll know where to put your message in front of that person.

You’ll also be able to target your message. So a good example is that, you wouldn’t write a message to target lawyers the same way you’d write a message to target 14 or 15 year old gamers.

So you need to understand who your target market is so that you know where they are, where they’re hanging out. And you need to be able to make that message resonate with them.

Because if you wrote the same sort of message or you took the same approach with all different people in society, then you’re only going to appeal to a very small lot.

And quite possibly, if you haven’t done your homework, you could be appealing to someone who’s not interested. Or You could be resonating with someone who’s really not interested in your product anyway.

So you’re not going to make any sales. So that’s why it’s really important to have a customer Avatar.

[03:52] Don’t Make This Mistake

Now, one of the biggest mistakes also that I see with businesses is when I ask them what sort of marketing do you currently do?

They say, oh, well we might have a facebook page, we might do the local newspaper, in the radio, whatever. And I say, why do you do that? And the answer, they’ll quite often return to me is well, that’s what everybody else is doing.

I heard it’s really good. You know, it’s a really good way to advertise. And again it goes back to is your target market there.

Don't Copy What Others Are Doing
Don’t Base Your marketing Decisions On Copying What Others Are Doing

So the big takeaway from that is don’t copy or don’t base your marketing on what your competition or what everybody else is doing, because there’s two very important reasons for that.

If they’re going well, your competition or the person you’re basing it on is going well. It might be that that particular method of marketing or that particular channel, resonates with their customer Avatar or their target customer.

It doesn’t mean that it’s going to work for you.

Also, another thing you need to think of with this is that in Australia, and the US, approximately 90 to 95 percent of businesses are struggling. They’re either just breaking even or they’re going broke.

Of course, please don’t write in and say, oh, it’s only 80 percent, it’s only 70 percent. I’m only using these figures for the purpose of illustration. But it is a great majority of businesses are struggling or going broke.

They’re just breaking even. So if you base your marketing and your business decision on what everybody else is doing, isn’t it only logical that you’re going to get the same result.

So again, it comes back to you need to find out where your target market is, where they hang out, and pick the right method to take the right message to that target market.

[05:58] The Pros and Cons Of Offline Marketing

So what I’m going to go through now, some pros and cons of both online and offline marketing. As I said of course I’m biased, but I’m not against offline marketing.

I think offline marketing is very good and has its places. If you had a target market that doesn’t go online, you need to do offline.

So first thing we’ll have a look at is. We’ll have a look at the good old yellow pages. Now, Yellow pages. Anybody who’s been around long enough, will notice that yellow pages over the years and the last 15, 20 years has shrunk considerably.

It used to be two volumes, you know, you could use them as doorstops and now they’re getting smaller and smaller.

So firstly, that’s telling you something. Secondly, if you think about the modern generation and depending on what age you are, you may fit into that. Theres different definitions on what the modern generation is.

But more and more people are going online to look for not only products and services, but they’re going online to look for reviews of the companies that provide those products and services before they make their purchases.

You only have to go down any street in any major town or city and you’ll see the great majority of people walking around with their head in their phones and they’re not even watching where it is that they’re going.

So the problem with offline marketing is that more and more people are going online. If you look at the stats, mobile searches in particular have now overtaken google desktop searches.

So more and more people are using their mobiles when they’re out and about searching, but this trend is only going to continue because the old school people that look in things like yellow pages, well, they’re getting old. They’re dying off.

Now, if you’re targeting an ageing population, that’s great. Continue with something like that, but every year the amount of people that are going online to look for goods and services is only going to increase and the amount of people that are looking offline is going to decrease.

So that’s right across the board with offline advertising. Now, problems with yellow pages, as I said, it’s getting smaller, but funnily enough, even though it’s getting smaller, it’s costing more and more to advertise.

In some cities and towns, just for even a quarter of a page ad, it is a phenomenal fee that you’re paying to have that ad out there. Sometimes thousands and thousands of dollars.

Now the problem is, let’s just say you’ve gone to the yellow pages. This is just an example. It might not be the yellow pages. I’m certainly not yellow pages bashing here specifically,

I’m just using this for an example. You go to yellow pages and the salesman hooks you up with an ad.

They get the artwork done etc. If that artwork and that ad for want of a better expression blows dog.

If it’s no good and it’s not resonating with your target customer, you can’t change that.

And if you are not getting one customer or call from this really bad add. You’ve still got to pay those thousands and thousands of dollars. They don’t care.

They going to keep charging you and they can’t go and reissue the telephone book to everybody in the city to get your ad fixed. So you’ve effectively blown your money.

Whereas with online advertising, you can run an ad and within, depending on the budget or whatever it is that you’ve allocated. Within a week or two, you are going to know whether that ad is resonating and whether it’s worth continuing.

And you can either scrap it. or you can make adjustments to it. So that’s one of the biggest problems with yellow pages.

Order A Website Audit

Now another problem with yellow pages and print media, newspapers etc. Is that they charge you according to the readership, or the eyeballs.

And yellow pages will say, well our phone book is delivered to so many million people in your city, so you’ve got exposure, all those millions of people. But if you turn around to them and say, hang on.

You might be delivering the phone book to those millions of people. My target customer is this age, this sex in this area that is looking for…….

If you’re a plumber, how many people are looking for a plumber this age, this sex in this radius. How many of those people do you deliver yellow pages too?

They won’t have a clue. Same with the newspaper. Oh, we deliver our newspaper to so many thousands of people every day. So what? Just because thousands of people read it.

How many of those thousands of people are interested in my product and service and fit within my target customer?

That’s what you’ve got to keep asking yourself. So don’t get sucked into those sort of things with the eyeballs or the readership. And radio and TV is the same.

Well, we can put it out on tv and it’s going to reach millions and millions of people.

Yeah, it will. And if you’ve got a product that will appeal to millions and millions of people and you’ve got the budget, it can be very, very good.

But if you haven’t then you’re probably going to waste a lot of money on some expensive advertising that’s just not going to help.

[11:30] The Pros And Cons Of Marketing Online

So we look at online and as I said, a bonus of online is if something’s not working, you can scrap it, you can change it. You can split test. You’ve got a website and you can test two different pages to see which one’s converting.

You can change your ads if they’re not working. It’s so flexible and you can only do something for a week or two and then they turn the tap off if it’s either worked or it hasn’t worked.

Now there are a lot of minuses with the online game as well.

So one of the things is that there is heaps of conflicting information out there. And the conflicting information comes in for a number of reasons. Some of it is just dead set wrong.

Some people are out there and they just put information out there because they like to sound important.

Some of them, there are actually a lot of people that make money from teaching you how to promote your business or make money online. But they don’t actually promote online or make any money online.

The only money they actually make is from selling something to you to make money online. So you’ve got to be very, very careful of that as well.

Now, theres lots of conflicting information, but there’s also lots of multiple different ways to do it.

Theres lots of different tactics out there that he that you can use. Should you do facebook, social media, should you SEO? Should you use pay per click, should you do facebook ads?

There’s lots of different things and they all work and they all don’t work. Again, it depends on your situation, but what you need to remember is that there is no quick fixes.

You need to pick something and test it and adjust it and keep working at it to see if it works before you cut it. If you just do something once, it’s not going to work and you’re going to bounce around.

And in the army we used to call it the shiny kit syndrome. A new bit of kit comes out, or it’s Gucci.

Let’s have this, I want that. With your online channels, whichever you choose to do, you’ve got to keep working at it and you’ve got to fine tune it. You’ve got to master it.

So don’t continually bounce from one to the other. Otherwise you’re going to be a beginner in each particular one.

[13:36] Don’t Fall For Hacks Or Quick Fixes

Another thing is, with online, don’t fall for the quick fixes or the hacks.

Now, a good example of those, they come out all the time in the SEO game. When I take on new customers with SEO, the first thing I tell them is that this is a longterm play.

Think Before Going For The Quick Fix

It’s going to take three to six months to gain momentum and get traction.

Now, in all honesty, I could do it a lot quicker. I could get them up in the rankings and get them having new customers within a few weeks.

But the problem with that is I’m going to be using a hack that is gaming the search engines and there’s plenty of those around.

And yes, they work, but they only work up until the next algorithm change. The next google refresh when google catches on the fact that everybody’s using those hacks, and then you’ll be penalised.

Not only will hack no longer work, but you’ll also have a website penalty and doing proper SEO is not going to work. So beware of hacks and quick fixes.

So that’s pretty much all I’ve got for you today. I wanted to give you some food for thought on the differences between online and offline.

Now, if you’d like to know more and delve deeper into more advanced sort of trainings. Go over to our website at rapidseoexpert.com. At the moment you can download our cheat sheet. Or download any of our free training.

Because as soon as you do that, as soon as you download one of them, you will be on our list.

And what that will mean is we will then start emailing you different case studies and training thats more advanced. And not available anywhere else. So it can really help you start growing your business online and seeing results.

So thanks very much for listening. I’m Shane Walker and we’ll talk soon.

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Shane Walker Bust
Shane Walker

Shane is a former intelligence operative turned SEO and marketing expert. 

After spending years working long stressful hours in war zones Shane realised that the systems and processes used in the intelligence world can be used to grow a business online. 

For the last 11 years Shane has been a Director at Rapid SEO Expert and is a leading figure in the Australian online business community.

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