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Anise Smith Marketing

Social Media Professor | Digital Marketing Technologist | Mobile Web | Digital Webinar Developer | Analytics

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August 2013

Hey Old School Marketers: Your Target Audience is DEAD

Hey Old School Marketers: Your Target Audience is DEAD
Hey Old School Marketers: Your Target Audience is DEAD

Hey Old School Marketers: Your Target Audience is DEAD

I grew up in an era that was not technology focused; there were no computers, mobile devices, or Internet when I was in high school. My generation did not even grow up with cable. In fact I remember when cable initially hit the scene, when MTV actually played music and the HUGE campaign “I want My MTV” which was used to push MTV to mainstream. Oh, those were the days. A lot has happened with the growth of technology since my high school years. If you have been able to adapt and embrace this super fast growth of technology, that is fantastic. However, if you have not you could be a little screwed now and a lotta’ screwed later. This, is especially the case if you are trying to run a business based on philosophies and an organizational structure from the 1980’s, MTV Era. The biggest mistake in taking that path is that this audience is dead or on life support.

Think about this, we are reaching an age when we have augmented reality and your business cards can talk. We are moving toward the Semantic Web, closer to an era when ALL of the computers mechanisms in our devices will be able to communicate with each other. Do you seriously THINK that people are in touch with old school methods? NO one is looking backward, or I should say consumers aren’t looking backward. This means that your organization is being left behind,  if you are not forward thinking.

Companies that have not embraced our new social oriented culture and the growing mobile market, are  whistling in the wind. Those companies are targeting a dwindling population. Just visualize it as a numbers game. Think about the target markets that are NOT online and those that are NOT mobile, this number is growing smaller and smaller as more people embrace the digital marketing space. So companies should NOT be gearing  their primary marketing campaigns toward a demographic that is shrinking. It’s really common sense. Companies should be looking to always GROW their audience NOT focus on the shrinking audiences.

Social-Media-Stats-of-2013
Social-Media-Stats-of-2013

In essence, in choosing NOT to adapt to newer technologies companies are choosing to throw in the towel on their businesses whether they realize it or not. Companies MUST go where their audiences are, that’s the only way in which they will continue to grow. In fact Seth Godin wrote a post “What do you think of my brochure? ” 7 YEARS ago, about the total reliance on brochures as a way to reach an audience. That piece was applicable in 2006 and is even more so now.

The Internet is the 2nd most widely utilized channel for news. If people go to the Internet and social media channels for something as valuable and important as news, they will also go there for other information as well. So, every business SHOULD make it a priority to have a strong social media and mobile presence. The old saying, “If we build it, they will come.” definitely applies to a strong digital footprint. On the other hand, if we build it and it’s geared toward a dwindling demographic, they may NOT come. As business owners we should be interested in substantially shifting those odds in our favor by going where our customers are.

Where America Turns To For News  via Gallup.com
Where America Turns To For News via Gallup.com

Ultimately if companies are not tapping a new more social and mobile oriented market with content geared for this demographic, they are taping a dead audience. Take a look at the video below to see exactly HOW much social and mobile is ingrained in who we are, as a culture now.

People are on the go, we now live in a super fast paced world, and people are looking for content that they can access easily and quickly on their mobile device. They DO not want to read a companies long-winded prepackaged full-page ad in whatever magazine that’s lying about in an office or waiting room. They want quick access by way of mobile while they are on the go. So as business owners we must be willing to supply them with this information or they will go to competitors that will.

The take away, while your organization is spewing their prepackaged printed message, other more innovative companies are going where their audiences are and moving past that 1980’s strategy. The time to step it up was a few years ago and companies that have not done so may be living a “STUFF” got real nightmare if they select to continue on this path.

I am not saying that companies should roll over and die, I am trying to subtly nudge those living in a time warp to adapt or die.

As usual, I welcome all comments, good, bad, ugly or indifferent. I welcome dialogue even if we don’t agree, so follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ and lets start a conversation.

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Due to #Mobile and #Social: Every Business MUST Be An Internet Business

Due to #Mobile and #Social: Every Business MUST Be An Internet Business
Due to #Mobile and #Social: Every Business MUST Be An Internet Business

Due to #Mobile and #Social: Every Business MUST Be An Internet Business

When the Internet initially started to become mainstream in the 90’s there were so many companies that felt as if the, then called World Wide Web, was a fad and that it would go away. Hmmm, “how’d that thought process work for ya?”  Not so well for those that were reluctant in embracing the World Wide Web, now called the Internet.

I cannot fathom why many many years later there are still people in the world that have selected NOT to embrace technology as a part of their lives. I do have a little bit of tolerance for those that are not into it on a personal level but businesses that STILL have not fully embraced technology are doing themselves a disservice.

In 1995 it was perfectly fine to consider getting a website and waffle in the process of getting that done. Fast-forward eighteen years, YES eighteen year, and organizations are STILL waffling and more behind than ever.  We have moved so much beyond just having a website not that it is mind altering.  We have also moved to an era where waffling could allow your competitors to get such a big jump on your organization that you would forever be behind the eight ball.

Due to the super quick growth of the tablet and mobile industry we do not have the luxury of waffling on decisions to go full force into the new and aggressive digital marketing space. In fact, if you have a brick and mortar business, you can really no longer even view your organization as a traditional business. YOU must start to see your business as an Internet business. EVERY BUSINESS IS AN INTERNET BUSINESS now.

There is literally no such thing as traditional business anymore, ANY and ALL businesses must be online; therefore, considered Internet businesses.  With so many people accessing company websites with mobile devices it’s not even enough to have a traditional website. YOU must be mobile.

It amazes me that there are so many organizations that have not grasped the importance of an online presence. It’s been eighteen years or more since the Internet became mainstream, I don’t think it’s going anywhere anytime soon.  Actually the Internet is fast becoming the most effective way to market any business.

Traditional ways of consuming media is a thing of the past, very few people read newspapers, magazine, flyers, brochures and pamphlets as a primary source of information as was once the case. If someone finds your traditional media somewhere, they search for a website or social media channel to find out more about your company using their mobile device.

So companies that are still utilizing these traditional media outlets for the majority of their business are placing themselves behind the eight ball and additionally presenting themselves to their clients as a company that is NOT on their game.

Companies must create a strong Digital Footprint for their brand and use traditional marketing as a means to DRIVE traffic to their online brand, not the other way around. Traditional media as a primary source of gaining information is DEAD, like the steel mills in Allentown. I’m not saying that all companies should stop using traditional media, but I am saying that you must go where your customer base is and that’s online and by way of mobile device.  Simply, people are using mobile devices to access information about YOUR Company and YOUR competitors so that’s where you must go. People are on social media channels accessing information about YOUR Company and YOUR competitors, so that’s where your organization must go.

As we decide to lead our organizations into this digital journey of social media and mobile we must realize that we can not just adapt our old “shove the company pitch in their faces” way of marketing. That does NOT work with social media and no one using a mobile device will want to scroll through an old school organizations long winded pitch about what they do, what they sell, blah blah blah, on their mobile device.

A few keys to reaching your social and mobile audiences are:

  • Mobile Website: YOU must first have a mobile website. This is not even optional anymore.  With the rate of people consuming media on the go if you opt out of having a mobile web presence you are turning your back on a huge amount of customers and YOUR competitors will be right there to grab them from you.
  • Social Media: You must have a strong social media presence AND a strategy that is socially driven. Posting your sales pitch on your channels ONLY displays that you have not fully grasped what our new social oriented world is about. Old school marketing strategy consisted of sharing prepackaged content saying all the right things to push your message without regard for the customer. Social Media is about sharing social oriented content that appeals to YOUR READER. It is NOT about you or your company but about building a relationship with followers, building trust with customers and providing information that THEY will find of value so THEY will then think of your company when it is time to utilize your services. I’ll say that again. It is NOT about you or your company but about building a relationship with followers, building trust with customers and providing information that THEY will find of value so THEY will then think of your company when it is time to utilize your services.

People are on mobile devices AND on social media with their mobile devices so it is imperative that ALL organizations have a presence on both.  Take a look below in the statistic on mobile usage.

As of May 2013:

  • 91% of American Adults have a cell phone
  • 56% of American Adults have a smart phone
  • 67% of cell phone owners check their phone for messages, alerts and calls EVEN if the phone is not ringing or vibrating.
  • 44% of people sleep with their phone next to their bed.

As of April 2012:

  • 55% of adult cell phone users use the Internet on their mobile, which has doubled in three years.
  • 31% of cell phone Internet users mostly use their mobile device for Internet, not desktops or laptops.
  • 17% of ALL adults cell phone owners use their cell ONLY for accessing the Internet.
  • 31% of cell phone uses look for health or medical information online.
  • 68% of Smartphone users use their device to access the Internet.
68% of Smartphone users use their device to access the Internet
68% of Smartphone users use their device to access the Internet

With desktop computer usage on the decline, laptop usage rising and mobile usage growing at a super quick rate of speed businesses,  MUST start to see their businesses as Internet businesses. They can no longer AFFORD to ignore having a strong presence in the SOCIAL and MOBILE space.

Mobile usage is on the rise AND desktop is on the decline
Mobile usage is on the rise AND desktop is on the decline

It’s time to ADAPT your ORGANIZATIONAL strategies to the new the new mobile and social world NOT keep your same old school strategies and add digital as an afterthought. It’s a new world squirrel Adapt or die.

If you have any questions or comments, good, bad, ugly or indifferent, I can be reached socially on a variety of channels. Follow me on Facebook, Google + or Twitter.

ALSO if you’d like your business to go mobile check out WordPressPressMobile.net or the WordPressMobile.net Facebook page, they are doing great things over there.

Sources:

Pew Internet http://pewinternet.org/

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