Last weekend was the “TAX FREE” Massachusetts Holiday and the first place my husband and I thought to shop was at our local BEST BUY store to see what types of savings we could get on components to upgrade our computer systems. As I looked around the crowded store I commented that consumers are addicted to computer technology and smart phone systems and it has become an essential part of our world in much the same way that the automobile replaced the predominant use of the public transit system in the 1950’s and 60’s. Most families today grew up with at least one car and many had two and they watched the landscape of their communities move to offering shopping malls and other stores with large parking lots to accommodate their customers who all owned cars, while we watched a deterioration of the railway system that never reached the new shopping malls. So, what does the comments about automobiles in the 50’s and 60’s have to do with the impact of technology on consumers today and how you can relate it to help you market YOUR own business? Cars and computers both replaced something that once were considered essential and it directly affected how consumers shopped and will shop in the future.
Just like when the automobile became the popular choice of transportation over the railways, computers are now replacing the old systems of finding information like libraries, magazines, newspapers, and waiting for the news or weather report on TV. Today’s consumer is directly influenced by the breakthrough in computer technology and faster internet services which allows them to be more informed and able to research quickly on-line items that they are considering buying. Why wait for a commercial or printed advertisement to tell you about a product, when you can quickly find information on the web from your phone or follow the company that offers the product on their social media page, Twitter or blog? Have you heard that today’s consumer doesn’t like to be “sold” and they often fast forward through commercials? If you have been to the movies recently or watched any of the new TV shows, you will see that the larger corporations are incorporating product shots in the actual movie or show. Last night as I watched SyFy’s hit summer show, “Warehouse 13”, they had several product shots of the candy “Twizzlers”. This use of branding products with popular programming or media is to help “sell” the consumers who do not wish to be sold.
So, what does a small or medium size business do when they do not have the budget to have their product appear in a new hit movie or popular TV show and they need to find a new way to get their message out? Create a bigger than life splash with the target market you are trying to reach using the resources you do have. Make sure your website looks great, comes up high on SEO rankings and that you are creating current blog content and using the popular social media marketing sites like Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin. Be sure to look for ways your product or service can align itself with larger corporations that already have strong brand recognition. If your business is B2B in the local area, seek out the most successful businesses in your network and make them part of your inner circle of businesses that you attend events with, “friend” on Facebook and sign-up for their email newsletter. If you’re trying to extend beyond the local market, take the time to join targeted networking groups on-line and be aggressive on Twitter and other sites for promoting your own blog so that you start to develop a loyal following. There are many ways to use the technology of today to enhance your business and it will keep changing so be sure to work with a marketing specialist that will help you to understand what you need to do right now to help your business grow. Don’t ignore how much today’s technology has impacted the way your clients shop!
All my best to your success~