Think Like a Consumer
Back in the 1980's and 90's, marketing methods like cold calling, billboards and spam emailing were prevalent and were an accepted method of attempting to attract new customers.
Those methods may have been successful to some degree, because well, that's just what marketers were doing those days so consumers weren't familiar with much else.
Today, consumers are much less tolerant of "interruption marketing" and are much more intelligent and equipped with information to help them make a purchasing decision.
Enter - Permission Marketing
If you are a business owner sitting there and thinking that simply blasting your message out to the masses, regardless of whether they want to hear it or not, is going to build you a successful business, think again.
Consumers are constantly bombarded with information - on the internet, on the radio during their drive into work, with those little pop-up ads that appear before YouTube videos now (highly annoying, might I add), TV commercials....why add to that noise? But business owners are also consumers. You need to purchase groceries, clothing and beauty products just like everyone else - so start thinking like a consumer.
Create a Need
Do you like it when you are asked for your email address at Ann Taylor LOFT every single time you make a purchase, and then you are blasted with an email every single morning at 7am from them? I highly doubt it. I do like a good coupon when I find myself in need of something. But that's just it - when I need something. The same goes for any other type of communication from a business.
We all lead busy lives. We don't need added sales pressure and annoying messaging to add to the noise. Sometimes I truly enjoy my 30 minute commute home from my office with no music on, no radio, no phone calls, nada - just for the sake of enjoying some peace and quiet.
Be an Expert and Be Helpful
Moral of the story - marketing has changed. Gone are the days when interrupting consumers' lives with sales pitches and "Get them before they're gone" attitudes will get you anywhere. Why not just be there when a consumer has a need?
If you own a business, you offer a product or a service that someone out there will inevitably need. So why not just be the best at what you do, educate consumers about your product or service and continually try and help anyone out there that has a need in line with your business? Consumers will begin to trust you and view you as the go-to expert.
"Content is King"
There's this thing called "Google." Ever heard of it? Well, Google likes websites that have fresh, unique content that is updated often. Know what fits into that category? A blog. Know what a blog will help you achieve? Crazy website traffic - because your website will appear in tons of search results if you do it right.
Content, content, content.
If you don't have a website or a blog, get one and start writing about what you know and love!