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Get Found Vs Find Us – From ‘Brick And Mortar Location’ To ‘We Are Everywhere On The Web’

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Till the late 1990’s, the major way of finding information on a product or a service is through the walk-ins to the physical store, print ads in newspapers, magazines, brochures, hoardings, TVCs, radio etc., with the physical address being printed aka Outbound Marketing. Things have changed a lot from the physical brick and mortar location to the era where information is a click away on the web.

The traditional method involved a lot of time and cost and it was a one-way communication from the company. There is no scope of finding the customer’s interest in the product / service. The customer has to blindly trust on the information given by the sales person. He can’t get the feedback from the consumers / end users. Then, with World Wide Web being the order of the day, everyone moved on to the web in creating own websites, blogs, forums, Facebook pages etc. through which a good amount of information was shared and being engaged actively with the consumer. These days, customers are smart and have a better control / choice on the kind of information they want and how they want to receive. The companies boast of digital traffic in almost all the media possible like Facebook brand pages, blogs, Twitter, online games, mobile apps, forums etc. This helps in drawing the attention of the customers to the brand.

Presence on the web helps in building a bigger brand as the reach is wider and has a good visibility. This is a two-way communication that happens between the brand and the customer /consumers. Information / feedback is shared on the web by different users. This method is cost effective and economical when compared to the ‘Brick and Mortar Location’. There are small companies / players who don’t use a traditional website, but are rather present digitally and make a good business by creating interest and engaging with the customers. There is no huge cost involved in digital marketing, but it works wonders if used in the best possible manner by striking a balance.

Ex: Hamilton, Ont.-based Cupcake Diner*, a mobile cupcake shop. Owner Natalie Ravoi uses a comprehensive inbound-marketing strategy involving regular updates to her website, to her Facebook fan page and to her Twitter feed (@cupcakediner). By connecting with her customers in near real-time fashion, Ms. Ravoi uses Facebook and Twitter as her primary means of notifying customers of her cupcake van’s location that day. The strategy is a direct channel to her growing base of prospective and current customers, which currently number 3937 Facebook fans and 4,511 Twitter followers.

This is the reason we don’t find the physical addresses or website printed on the TVCs / hoardings / print ads these days but with the URLs of the social media links. The focus is now on creating quality content created to find, sell, interact with the customer and create value and build loyalty towards the brand. Companies are coming up with separate budgets for developing new online games, building mobile apps, etc. to ‘interact’ with the consumers. People can voice their opinions, feedback, queries on the web and can get the latest updates / happenings about the company on a real time basis.

The companies are taking this digital marketing activity seriously and allocating separate budgets to generate leads and revenue. Through this media, visibility is high and engaging with the customer is good, even if it is in the digital world. We cannot say what is in store after a period of time as the digital trends are evolving.

*Source: Contributed by Dev Basu to The Globe and Mail and published on Jun, 29 2011.

  • inbound-marketing

  • There is 1 comment

    • 5 years ago

      Tarun   /   Reply

      A very fine read. While businesses are trying to be everywhere on the web, aren’t they becoming very unfocused in their marketing strategy? By not leaving ineffective channels just because it might be working for their competitors, aren’t they losing money unnecessarily?

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