Empty Nest Syndrome
I recently read a very interesting piece of research that highlighted how at least 30,000 businesses in Ireland should be online but are not. This same research suggested that 70% of Irish consumers fail to find what they’re looking for online in Ireland, compared to just 10% in our nearest neighbour, the UK. Obviously, this has implications for companies like ourselves, in that we still have a massive pool of people to take online (happy days!) Our take is simple: if you’re in business you need a website, simple as that. It’s a salesperson who never gets sick and never has an off-day, who’s there 24/7 to communicate with your customers, having a web presence is a no-brainer as far as we’re concerned.
However, the other side of it, is the reality that there is a significant proportion of Irish businesses operating outside the Internet so where does that leave our B2B strategies?
There is evidence that a lot of companies are re-directing marketing budget from traditional media to online which is fine if your customers are in this space, but what if they’re not? If they’re not then your messages are the equivalent of that proverbial tree in the forest falling and not making a sound!
To me the message is clear, traditional marketing should not be abandoned in favour of online. If you’re not sure where your customer buys, you need to find out because that’s where your presence needs to be. So, if your clients are still making deals on the golf course or signing off jobs after the local networking session then your well-crafted online messages are somewhat wasted.
For me it always comes back to two things; knowing your customer, his/her habits and values and integrating your marketing across all channels. To throw out another cliche never put all your eggs in one basket, unless you’re 100% that basket is bullet-proof!