Love Google or hate Google, there is no argument that the ubiquitous search engine has had a huge impact on the internet and changed the face of web marketing to the point where it is difficult to remember a time before Google. But did you know, they have only been around for 15 years. If you want to read more about the history of Google, you will find an interesting article here on the e-consultancy blog My marketing career started well before Google was even a twinkle in Larry Page’s eye so I thought it would be a good to take a look at what has changed, and more importantly, what has not changed in the world of marketing over the last 15 years.
What has Changed?
The heart marketing is communication; to inform your marketplace of your offering. One thing that has changed dramatically is the cost of communicating this message. 15 years ago you had few marketing communication options:
- Press/Broadcast/Directory Advertising
- PR in printed trade publications
- Direct Mail
- Face to Face meeting
I am sure there are more but this list covers the main ones, and they all have one thing in common, they are all expensive. The truth is that before the internet, consistent sustainable marketing was expensive, and thus the domain of companies with significant marketing budgets. Move on 15 years, and to the above we have added:
- Search Marketing
- On-line PR
- Social Media
Because these tools are much more accessible, they are also much cheaper to implement and thus it is now possible to put together a sustainable marketing programme on a much more modest budget.
What has not changed?
Clearly there have been some significant changes in the world of marketing, but marketing fundementals have not changed. To be effective marketing still needs to:
- Be based on a planned & considered strategy
- Have a clear message showing the value you are delivering to your market
- Have a clear understanding of what is your target market
- Have a clear understanding as to which communication tools are effective and relevant to your circumstances
The Result – “Marketing” in 2013
And now, I’m afraid I am going to get on my soapbox…. The broader access to communication tools and the reduction in their cost has resulted in many marketers offering to deliver marketing programmes (SEO, Facebook Marketing, etc) at costs that appear to not need too much detailed consideration. The propositions sound great and suppliers promise the earth, but because they do not encourage a joined-up approach and give little consideration to the marketing fundamentals outlined above, they risk becoming short lived & unsatisfactory, leaving clients disillusioned with the whole marketing process.
An Alternative Approach
Rather than focusing on the tools, focus on the process. Develop a joined-up approach to marketing that considers the issues outlined above and then translate this into an appropriate, cost effective marketing programme using the wide range of tools available. The great thing is that because the ongoing cost to use these tools is still relatively low, it is possible to develop a long term sustainable approach to marketing on a modest budget. If you want to learn how you can get real marketing benefit in the internet world, we would love to talk to you.