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If you are reading this article, you are most likely on the Internet.  If you are on our email list, you may have seen our email newsletter.  You may have put a few keywords into a Google search box and found it there. You may have seen it in your Facebook or LinkedIn Newsfeed. You may have read it on the online magazine that we write for.

I would like to make two points about this:

  1. You found this article and were interested enough to read at least this far.
  2. Your customers are looking in the same places for you. They are putting key words in Google, accessing Social Media sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus; they are reading online magazines and blogs. They read their email.

I also have two questions.

  1. Are the people who would be most interested in your products and/or services finding you?
  2. If they are finding you, are you telling them what they need to know in order to turn them into customers?

An Internet presence is important for almost any business today.  This is true whether you are selling to consumers or other businesses (B2C or B2B)…  It is also true whether you have a brick and mortar store or sell your products/services/knowledge online only.

Digital Marketing is More Relevant and Less Expensive

I recently heard a news report that stated that Ben Carson, who is running for President, is spending more money than he is raising. The commentator mused that it was, in part, because Dr. Carson is using direct mail to solicit contributions. The overall cost of traditional mail (including postage and printing) seems to be higher than what he is able to collect from his direct mail program. The journalist went on to say that his competition seems to be getting better results (at least when it comes to fundraising) with email and other online tactics.  For example, Bernie Sanders is actually raising a lot of money via Twitter.  Add to this that he is also reaching a much larger audience.  (An audience he may not have thought of targeting directly).

Bernie

Just Being There is Not Enough

To continue with the political analogy, consider this:  all of the Presidential candidates want the same thing.  They want to fulfill the promise of the Constitution: “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.” They all have (sometimes wildly) different ideas about how to accomplish those goals, and it is their job to convince voters that it is their ideas are the ones that will get us there.

While Jeb Bush is outspending all of his rivals, his message does not seem to be working.  Political pundits are spending a lot of time dissecting both his campaign and the attitude of the electorate. In many ways, his ideas are not that different from the other candidates, but for now, Donald Trump has tapped into what makes today’s conservative voters “tick.”  For better or worse, the way he is framing his message resonates with a large segment of the Republican base.

This is neither an endorsement nor a condemnation.  It is a lesson.

When Trump supporters are asked why they think he would make a good President, they often say that it is because he is authentic and real.  In their minds, he is “telling it like it is.”  His lack of “political correctness” makes him unique among other politicians.

The Lesson

While using the rhetoric of Donald Trump would do unbelievable damage to most businesses, there is an underlying truth that must be recognized.  People, whether deciding on who to vote for or who to do business with, look for authenticity and credibility. They want to find a company that has something unique to offer – something that sets them apart from their competition.

How to Succeed In Business Today

To go back to my original premise, businesses today have two challenges:

  1. To develop the online presence that will allow interested people to find them.
  2. To develop a marketing strategy and message that will turn the audience into customers.

If you have not developed the right strategy for your website, blog, social sites and email, you may end up at the bottom of the pack when it comes to who your customers will “vote” for.

 

Image Sources:

Donald Trump – Gage Skidmore on Wikipedia -By Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America (Donald Trump) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Bernie Sanders – Screenshot Twitter- https://twitter.com/BernieSanders