Today’s economic climate is getting tough on not only consumers, but business owners also.
Small business owners are especially being hit hard, as potential customers are basically not using the traditional ways to search and find any business. Essentially, much of the advertising being utilized today is actually not reaching potential customers, as most customers are using the internet to search for just about anything.
Traditional advertising like TV, radio, Magazines, Yellow pages, mailers, etc., are not as effective or affordable anymore. You may ask why is this happening. Well, just about every household uses a TiVo or DVR to skip commercials; more consumers are going to commercial free radio or simply change to another station during those 3 to 5 minute commercial blitzes; Yellow pages are becoming a waste of trees in that no one even picks them up anymore; and most customers are too busy to clip coupons from a magazine, mailers or newspapers.
To make matters worse, the actual cost of such traditional advertising is increasing as businesses demand for such advertising is dropping dramatically, as well as actual circulation. This reduction in advertising revenue and circulation means that most advertising companies have to increase the cost of their advertising.
In addition, with reduced advertising revenue coming in, these advertising companies themselves now have to cut costs, resulting in layoffs, reduction in the size of their media, charging more for the advertising, or worse, these simply go out of business.
It is predicted that several major newspapers will be out of business by 2010 mainly due to loss of advertising revenue. The Rocky Mountain News closed, and the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, has recently closed.
For example, Time.com recently listed these 10 newspapers that are in serious financial trouble. Again, the issues are due to decline in circulation and most importantly, lack of advertising revenue. Most of these newspapers, and others, will go digital to try to stay alive.
So, what does this mean for the small business owner? There has to be major changes in the way they advertise to reach potential, and even current, customers. Business owners must still drive traffic and interest to their business, but it must be done in a way that is cost effective and gets a better return on the investment.
The answer is that all businesses must have an online presence that is effective and affordable. However, most business owners don’t know how to achieve this goal.
Less than 50% of businesses have websites. And, of those businesses that do have websites, these business owners have no understanding of how to promote their web presence, or it is too expensive and time consuming.
Creating and being effective with an online presence is something that business owners need to do, but, it should not take away from why the business is really there anyway – to make sales and stay in business. Business owners are good at running their business. Advertising and marketing should not take away from their main function.
But, in today’s economic climate, online advertising is the best strategy for businesses to stay competitive and reach customers. But, this effectiveness actually goes one step further. There is the need to focus their advertising to a targeted audience, with ads that are relevant on a localized basis.
However, most business owners do not know how, nor have the time to do this tye of needed local online advertising.
For example, a lawn mower repair shop in Houston, TX is not effectively advertising online, when a customer searching for mower repair in upper New York state, sees the Houston businesses beautiful website on the internet.
Customers are already searching online for businesses and services, and that beautiful website that a business has does not really have a chance to compete with the large companies. In addition, most business owners do not understand ideas like SEO, or have the revenue to use Pay Per Click techniques like Google Adsence, etc.
Therefore, business owners need help in finding the best way to advertise online in their local areas, and without spending a ton of money to do it. Face it, the dollars being spent on print advertisements and coupons is just not working anymore.
The internet has always been a tool for businesses to connect with customers, if the business could afford it.
And in today’s tough economic times, reaching the most targeted customers is the way to stay ahead of the competition, while keeping costs affordable.
This article shows the importance for businesses to have an effective marketing plan that targets a specific audience, and that is affordable. Having a home based business that specializes in helping business owners advertise locally online, can be profitable.
The writer, Barry McCoy, helps business see how to be effective with a local, online advertising system.