By Jim Galiano –
A lot has been written and debated about SEO [Search Engine Optimization], especially over the last few years. What most business owners fail to realize, however, is that SEO isn’t the end-all to Internet Marketing anymore than having a store on Main Street is an end-all to traditional marketing. In a bad economy, this is doubly so. Most people work hard and endure a significant amount of stress for their money. They’re not parting with it as easily as they were in the past.
In order to prosper in today’s world, a prospective buyer must find more value in parting with their money for what you’re offering then they do keeping it in their wallet. That’s marketing in a nutshell.
I’m sure you’ve heard a lot about the ABC’s of marketing. Now, I want to talk about the part most people avoid, namely… the XYZ’s.
General marketing principles never change because basically, when it comes to the psychology selling, people never do either. The things people value, however, does change. The value of newspapers and magazines is a good example of this. Many businesses are withdrawing their advertising budgets from these mediums and redirecting them online.
Why? Because an increasing number of people now choose to get their news, information and entertainment online. Newspapers and magazines (not to mention the phonebook) are getting thinner because there are fewer pages with fewer advertisements.
There are also hundreds of additional sources of information on the same or similar topics. In most cases, thousands. The options continue to increase. As a result, the value of an individual newspaper or magazine for many people decreases.
Some publications won’t survive this shift.
I’m using newspapers and magazines as an example, but there are many other things right now that would fit just as well as examples.
The point is, marketing and SEO aren’t magic. If you’re in a business that sells items people no longer place the same value on, you have two basic choices.
- Deal with having a smaller profit margin.
- Get into a different business.
I’m not saying this to be negative; I’m simply pointing out the fact that “better marketing” isn’t always the miracle cure for sagging sales and shrinking markets.
I think back to how popular the boxed game market was when I was growing up. Today, most people play games on their computers. We could go on and on. Time changes and so do people’s interest.
Consumers are weighing value in their purchasing decisions more today than they have in the past 50-years. They weighing the value of the products and services they buy and use. They’re weighing the value of where they’re spending their entertainment money. They’re weighing the value of the restaurants they dine in and the clothing brands use. They’re weighing the value of everything. This trend, if you want to call it that, shows no signs of slowing up or reversing direction. We’re living in a time where unchecked consumerism and status possessions no longer hold the same appeal to the masses as they once did in the past.
Is this a bad thing? Well, as a business person, I guess it depends what your marketing is and what you’re selling. At the end of the day, though, make sure you’re not one of the last to abandon a dying market. As we’ve already seen over the past few years, “Too big to fail” is a fantasy you don’t want to buy into.