This is little doubt that for the foreseeable future, internet marketing is going to be a major player for the small players. The big names can afford to sponsor events like the FA Cup. For small players, a thirty second spot would equal five years worth of marketing budget.
Internet marketing has one big bonus that all other forms of marketing don’t offer – permanency! TV, radio and print media are all temporary. Marketing strategies such as printed mugs, calendars and printed pens are also fairly short lived. Having a web presence is permanent, so long as you pay your hosting and domain name fees.
For many small businesses, they don’t need much more. Having said that, more than 44% of all small businesses don’t have online presences. Of those that do have a online presence, high proportion have got to the stage of having a web page and stopped – many of those have not even claimed the business through Google’s Local Business Centre.
With the internet offering so much, why is that so few are using internet marketing as part of their long term marketing strategy. One theory is that many businesses are comfortable with what has worked in past – principally the Yellow Pages. This is part of the problem. The real problem is a very basic one (or three) – fear!
Humans have a real fear of change, of doing things differently. Many small business are owned by those in the 45 plus age group – and age group that has a reputation for avoiding computers if possible. Add to that a basic laziness. Yellow Pages come to you. They set up your ad and you pay the bill. The internet is very different. It is more hands on. The third issue is time. Small business owners want instant results, not results that may take six to twelve months to develop.
When I read that 44% of small businesses are not using internet marketing – I am not surprised – what surprises me is that so many are using the internet. These numbers will change, however there will always be a large number of business owners who will never go near the internet, let alone internet marketing.
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