Marketing Has Changed The Business Landscape

In recent years we have seen a fundamental
shift in the way consumers make their
purchasing decisions. The availability of
free, high quality information online has
changed the way consumers research
and buy goods and services. You can buy
anything online now - shoes, clothing,
whitegoods and even accounting and legal
services.

Historically we used ‘interruptive’
marketing techniques to ‘buy’ the
attention of customers including coldcalls,
persistent sales representatives,
pamphlets, brochures, radio, TV
advertisements, newspaper ads, billboards
and telemarketing. To stop the unwanted
interruptions, consumers purchased set
top boxes so they could fast forward
through commercials, they stopped reading
direct mail and they signed up for the
‘Do Not Call’ register to block calls from
telemarketers. With the shift to online
marketing, consumers now hold the power
because they can unsubscribe from your
newsletter, block your phone call and
move on from your website with a simple
mouse click.

Inbound vs.
Outbound Marketing

Interruptive or ‘outbound’ marketing
methods have been replaced by permission
or ‘inbound’ marketing techniques. These
tactics are designed to lure visitors to your
business rather than chase their attention.
Inbound marketing involves promoting
your business through content marketing
like blogs, podcasts, videos, e-Books,
e-newsletters, whitepapers, search engine
optimisation (SEO) and social media
marketing. The mission is to earn the
attention of customers and draw targeted
customers to your website by producing
relevant and interesting content.

With the shift, the need for a bricks
and mortar shopfront has diminished.
Consumers now do extensive online
research as part of the buying process
and a recent study suggests nearly
two-thirds of Australian Internet
users use search engines as the
first step in making a buying
decision. They read reviews,
participate in forums, use
social media channels to
get feedback and download
guides and product reports.
Buyers want to gather as
much information as possible
before they have to speak to a
sales person.

The term ‘inbound marketing’ is
also associated with the concept of
‘permission marketing’ and inbound
marketing has five stages including:

1. Attract traffic to your website
2. Convert website visitors to leads
3. Convert leads to sales
4. Turn customers into repeat higher margin customers
5. Analyse the results for continuous improvement

Your content should draw your target
market to your website and the next part
of the process is offer them a lead magnet
(i.e. a video, e-book or product sample)
in exchange for their contact details. That
gives you permission to then market to
them in the future. With their contact
details you can then nurture these leads
and work on converting them into paying
customers. That’s really just the beginning
because a great website will then have an
automation process in place to generate
repeat business from those customers.

You need to see your website as the
front door to your business. It is often the
first touch point with a prospective new
customer and you only get one chance to
make a good first impression. Prospective
new customers will pass judgment on your
brand and your business in seconds and
your website can be the difference between
boom and bust in the digital age. Your
website is the most relevant and important
piece of marketing technology for business
owners.

Lead Generator or Billboard?
Modern marketers suggest the primary
purpose of your website is to generate
leads and new business. If your website
isn’t creating business it’s time for a new
website or a makeover. It’s fair to say that
most businesses in this country have been
slow to adapt to this marketing revolution.
In fact, most small business websites are
just electronic ‘billboards’ that list the who,
what and where of the business.

The content is shallow, often duplicated
from another site and it has a focus on the
business not the customer benefits.

Owning a poor performing website in the
digital age is like owning the infamous
Leyland P76 car.

For those not old enough to remember, this was
the car that the 1970’s Prime Minister, Gough
Whitlam referred to as a “dud” and the car Bill
Hayden famously called a “lemon”.

To win new customers online you need a lead
generation website full of problem solving
content. You need to educate potential
customers and articulate how your product or
service can benefit them. The challenge is to
build a relationship with these prospects and
earn their attention and trust. An exchange of a
valuable benefit like a lead magnet creates trust
in your business which then opens the door.
Your website must have a visible ‘call to action’
to take prospects through to the next step of the
buying process and close the sale. Your website
must be responsive to hand held mobile devices
and as permission based marketing methods
replace interruptive marketing methods, you
need to recognise your website as your most
valuable marketing tool.

You’ve probably noticed that our website has
undergone a major renovation recently. It was
a carefully planned process and it remains a
constant work in progress. During the re-build we
documented the steps we followed in a highly
valuable 13 page e-book titled, The Ultimate
Guide to Winning Clients. In the guide you’ll
learn about what we call the website essentials.
These features have the potential to turn your
website into a marketing magnet and lead
generation machine. We have even created the
‘website winning formula’ that provides worked
examples of these features and functions to help
your website stand out in a crowd. The truth is,
if your website doesn’t have these features then
your business probably won’t reach its full profit
potential. To access the free guide simply go
to the home page of our website and download
your copy from the right hand side of the page.

Over the last few months we have also been
working with a number of clients to help them
develop their websites. In some cases, their
website has given them a serious competitive
edge. If you need any assistance with your
branding, video production, responsive website
design or search engine optimisation, call us
today and let’s get to work on your business so
it’s more profitable, valuable and saleable.

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E info@proactiveaccountant.com.au
A Boronia 254 Dorset Road
Melbourne 430 Little Collins Street
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Oakleigh 3/2 Railway Avenue
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