Does anyone read the newspaper anymore?
I was waiting for my lunch appointment in the lobby of an Austin hotel where I noticed about 100 newspapers stacked on a table. Curious, I asked the person at the front desk if anyone picks up those newspapers. He smiled and said it used to be those papers were gone by 9:00 AM but today most of those papers will still be there by the end of the day.
I didn’t find that surprising. Having shed 30 percent of its workforce in the past decade, newspapers are America’s fastest shrinking industry. Newspapers nationally have lost $25 billion in advertising revenue over the past ten years and in 2012 newspapers lost $16 in print ad revenue for every $1 made in digital ad revenue.
Welcome to the information technology economy.
The way information is consumed has changed.
Remember email blasts? No longer an effective communication method, there are spam laws and spam filters that keep your message from getting to an inbox.
Remember cold calling and telemarketing? Not a very effective marketing strategy. We have caller ID to block those calls.
How about direct mail? Don’t we get most important information and bills via email? Your mailbox is becoming more and more a junk mail resource.
What about TV advertising? The problem is most people are using TiVo or DVRs to bypass commercials. Heck, you can even subscribe on iTunes to watch your favorite shows commercial free.
What about radio advertising? Many people are paying a premium for services such as XM and Sirius Radio that remove the unwanted interruptions.
If you were thinking about trade publications, they are losing massive subscribers. Tradeshows or conferences? They are now mostly attended by job seekers or other vendors, generally not buyers, but there are some exceptions.
So who moved my customers?
Today most people use the Internet to shop and gather information. There are three primary places people go on the Internet to get information. They are:
A person seeking to solve a problem will use search engines such as Google to search for information. It’s much easier than locating a sales rep who may or may not be able to help you, reading spam on email, watching TV, or flying to a tradeshow. It’s instant gratification without the hassles.
People also subscribe to blogs written by people whom they consider authorities on the subject they are interested in. Today there are over 150 million blogs. If your blog provides credible advice that your audience wants to know, you have a better chance of winning.
#3 Social Media
The third place people learn and shop is social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Reddit, YouTube, and others.
So if you want to be successful at growing your business, you need to market your services and products, in the same way, your customers and prospects go about learning about your products and services.