What is online marketing – and why should you care?
Simply put, online marketing is the use of appropriate, available electronic tools to make sure your business gets found, to build credibility with qualified prospects, to have the best possible chance of closing a sale and to effectively nurture and leverage your existing customer base.
Online tools include search optimized web sites, blogs, social media sites (YouTube, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc), e-mail distribution and marketing automation systems, landing pages, forums and analytics.
So, as a business owner, why should you care about online marketing?
Because the buying process is fundamentally changing. According to Marketo, 93% of B2B buyers use online search to begin the buying process, and research by eConsultancy determined that nearly two thirds of consumers use search engines to help them with product research leading up to the purchase.
Even though online marketing is becoming critical to the success of any business, we are not suggesting you abandon traditional lead generation or marketing communications tactics such as trade shows, direct marketing or seminars.
What we are saying is that your marketing tactics must incorporate an online component in order to achieve maximum results. You must use online tools to make your business more visible, to build relationships with prospects before they buy, to gain access to new markets, to optimize close rates, etc.
Online marketing has become foundational to all business development activities, and going forward any business not using online means to grow its business will be left behind.
It’s the “new normal”.