1999. We look back on that time longingly. In many ways the world and our lives were much simpler. Terrorism was something that only happened in countries thousands of miles from us. We had a soaring stock market thanks to the ‘dot com’ boom. Real estate values were starting their astronomic rise. The unemployment rate was only 4.2 percent.
And, marketing was much simpler.
As a distributor or manufacturer in 1999, you could rely on a handful of simple marketing tactics to grow your business. At the heart and soul of your marketing efforts were face-to-face sales. Pounding the pavement and calling on customers was the tactic most relied on by industrial companies.
This was complemented by an inside sales team waiting for inbound sales calls, often coupled with outbound telemarketing. To help get that phone to ring, some distributors leveraged print advertising in trade magazines, industry directories and the yellow pages. Some companies added direct mail and trade shows into the mix.
Finally, some forward thinking distributors began to embrace the new online world by creating a simple website coupled with some email marketing. This marketing mix was all you needed in 1999 to remain competitive. But then something happened that fundamentally changed how we do business.
Do You Remember Life Before Google?
In the late 1990s, Google came on the scene and quickly evolved from Stanford research project into the definitive resource for all knowledge and information available on the Internet. Before Google, we had to rely on libraries, volumes of encyclopedias, printed directories and catalogs and other offline resources when we wanted to learn more about something. Now, thanks to Google, the worlds’ resources can be accessed within seconds just by performing a simple search.
Google has fundamentally changed our lives. According to a Pew Research Center study, 54 percent of us use search engines like Google at least once per day to find information online. Google has become the first stop for many when researching products at work, at home or in a retail setting using their smartphone. Because of this, your online presence has become extremely important because it is the most public face of your company.
How has Google changed your life? Do you use it often to research products and companies before you buy? If you use it so often, don’t you think your potential customers do as well? What will they find when your company bubbles up? Will they like what they see and buy from you?
If these questions make you uncomfortable, do not fret. This blog is here to help you master the art of industrial marketing in the 21st Century.