Recently, I had a very interesting coffee table discussion with a group of my business associates. The discussion surrounded the subject of marketing and some of the techniques being used by large marketing firms to harvest large volumes of business from small businesses.
In specific, the discussion revolved around an incident where one of the large firms had approached one of the members of the group to sell advertising space on an un-launched web-site that was affiliated with a radio station. The grouped quickly agreed that anyone buying advertisement on an un-launched venture would be foolish to do so. They likened this mentality as going along with the rationale many people use when buying franchises from businesses that has not been in business over five years.
The marketer’s claim that advertisers will receive hits from millions of people in their target demographic and their back-up claim that the radio station will pump attention to their ads, both sounded possible. In reality, the claims of millions of unsolicited, unpaid for, hits from actual real live people is something many internet marketing firms are not willing to stand up to and in most cases are not true.
The debate leaned towards the fact that consumers are more interested in businesses that are unique and offer services or products that are of interest or they need. The slick ads produced by the large firms normally what the consumers consider as SPAM. These unique small businesses draw considerable more attention from online viewers than the slick ads for unpopular items. The group concurred that the businesses the consumers are wanted more information on are really not being given credit for their value in market.
The traditional marketing approach to internet marketing used by the large marketing firms loses site of the big picture due generally from the pressure of investors’ demand of an immediate ROI. This need for an instance return and immediate profitability of a web-site venture results in mandating the sell of every inch of space on the computer screen to produce the profit needed to pay for these big box marketing firm’s advice. This is the old way of capitalizing on a product or service.
The interesting part of this discussion was the fact that these web-site marketing groups are now starting to realize they are pitching space to businesses that have more draw to their target demographic than the radio station they are selling space for. In reality, there are some very, very good, well run small businesses consumers are going to instead of to the product and services of company’s who produce the slick ads.
It was obvious amongst this group that the radio based web-sites should be out paying some of these Hot New Businesses to be on their web-site home page since most of these businesses have a bigger draw than the radio station’s format.
The benefit paying advertisers would have on these sites would be the exposure they would get from being on the same page with these highly popular catchy businesses. Up front marquee positioning of these businesses would draw more attention to the paid for advertisement than the radio station. This is espically the case if the station’s format is Talk or Country or other less desirable of the formats used by radio.
This group of business people, who would consider selectively using radio and web-site advertisement for their business, concluded that it would be better for a radio based web-sites, who are dropping a big bundle on marketing personnel to go out and sell the space on yet ANOTHER web-site, to consider setting aside a considerable amount of free space for businesses that will bring in higher volumes of traffic to their site. The logic behind this conclusion was based on the fact that these high traffic businesses would serve as back up to the radio station lack of drawing attention to the paying advertisers.
The benefit for the paying advertiser on these radio based sites would be the solid attention driven to them from these rising stars of business and would provide a back-up to the radio promotions, especially if a radio station starts having slumping ratings or proves to have fewer listeners that they claimed to have.
The group found the approach used by these internet marketing firms being a reverse from traditional marketing of the internet. The convention that every inch of space on a web-site has to produce revenue is dying quickly.
This discussion confirmed that the market is changing with the advent of unique Internet marketing of businesses that the consumers really want information on or buy products from. This group would advise the big box business to dump the MBA’s who are leading them down the path of demise and who are sell their over inflated high cost services.