Back in the day, a short 8 or so years ago, the traditional marketing model practiced by agencies was called The AIDA Model: Awareness, Interest, Desire, Action. Clean, simple, a clear-cut path to your customer. Sounds a bit Mad Men-ish! “If they know about it, they’ll want it and sales will skyrocket!” All that has changed, and with few exceptions, the big game changer has been the internet.
Today it doesn’t matter whether you sell directly to customers online or use your website as a support tool for your brick and mortar business, the typical customer for just about all goods and services goes through a very different shopping/decision making cycle. Online research dominates.
Consider your own methods of discovery. Does a commercial or print ad make you aware of and interested in an item enough to drive you to commit to a purchase? More likely, ads support a decision you are in the process of making or help create name or brand recognition. Don’t get me wrong, they still hold an important place in a multi-channel marketing plan as one element in a well-planned campaign.
Most customers go online to research products and services, compare pricing, read reviews and find locations. You “Google” things, places, services and check out websites and online reviews. How can your business stand out in the the mass of websites? (If offering the lowest price is the only tool you are using, you may want to rethink that. Sooner or later, someone will beat your price and then you have nothing.)
Think about offering great customer service, both in-person and online. A well-developed strategy to be the best at what you do can’t be beat, ever. And let’s face it, most companies don’t even play in that arena.
Then build a marketing campaign focused around the quality service you offer. Online, in-person, using any media you choose – you’ll stand out every time.