People shop and learn in a whole new way compared to just a few years ago, so marketers need to adapt or risk extinction. People now use the Internet to shop and gather information, but where on the Internet do they go-and how do they use the Internet for these activities? We can break the Internet down into three main areas.
People primarily shop and gather information through search engines, such as Google. The average information seeker conducts dozens of searches per day-and, rather than listen to a sales rep, read a spam message, watch a TV ad, or fly to a trade show, most people find it easier to sit at their desks and find the information online through Google. In order to take advantage of this new reality, marketers need to change the way they think about marketing, from the ground up.
Another place people use to gather information is the blogosphere and its over 100 million blogs (as of this writing). Virtually every industry and consumer niche you can think of has a cadre of online pontificators, many of whom are quite good. Your target audience is no longer reading the trade publication, and instead is searching Google and subscribing to blogs written by the folks who used to write for the trade rag.
The third place people learn/shop is in the social mediasphere- the name for the collection of social “media” sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Stumble Upon, LinkedIn, Digg, Reddit, YouTube and others. These sites started as niche techie sites, but are becoming main stream.
To be successful and grow your business and revenues, you must match the way you market your products with the way your prospects learn about and shop for your products. And you do that by generating leads through inbound marketing.