In the past decade (plus a little bit), the internet has created a universe of opportunity for new and old businesses to become marketing machines. This has been good… but it has also been bad.
In pre-internet days, businesses would think up some marketing ideas, have them created by professionals, and rely on more traditional methodologies to get the word out: Flyers were mailed; coupons were handed out; advertisements were published. These efforts were expensive, time consuming, and usually required the skills of an outside expert (to design and/or to publish).
Now, anyone can start a business and any business owner can drive traffic to their site using a variety of web-based marketing activities (like blogging or article-writing) and techniques (like SEO). They can do it themselves quickly and affordably.
This is advantageous — because it blows the doors wide open for anyone to become an entrepreneur — it has also had some nasty repercussions:
PROBLEM 1: MAKING IT UP ON VOLUME
Do-it-yourself marketing has led to entrepreneurs trading quality for quantity and spamming search engines and inboxes and Twitter streams with volumes of content. Even businesses that market legitimately (that is, they don’t spam. Rather, they create quality content that adds value for the reader) need to achieve a certain quantity of marketing to get the job done.
PROBLEM 2: MARKETING THAT DOESN’T KEEP UP WITH THE EVOLUTION OF BUSINESS
On top of volume is another reality that people don’t realize: Businesses change and markets change but content posted online can outlive those changes. So if you create a series of articles and point those articles to a page on your site, then take that page down, those articles no longer provide the benefit they once offered. (I’m definitely guilty of this one!)
PROBLEM 3: NEW OPPORTUNITIES ARRIVING DAILY
There’s a third factor in this new reality of “DIY marketing”. New marketing techniques crop up almost daily. When I started writing (nearly two decades ago) the internet wasn’t on my radar. It wasn’t on very many people’s radar at all! Then, over the years, the web arrived and along came new ideas about how to market your business: Websites then ebooks then blogs then articles… Heck, just a few years ago, no one had heard of Twitter. Now it is THE darling of social media. It seems like a new way of marketing your business is arriving daily.
You can probably imagine what happens when you combine these three things together: A “requirement” of quantity + an ever-changing business environment + a constant flood of new marketing opportunities = An over-abundance of marketing is published and it is helpful for a brief season, but then it ceases to be helpful.
What is needed is sales funnel strategy to solve the problem: Businesses need to take one more step before they start flooding the web with marketing. (Or, if they have already started, they need to pause and revisit their strategy). In doing so, businesses will find that they will spend less on marketing but quickly achieve a more profitable result.
Sales funnel strategy will reduce the need for a volume of work and will actually make a lesser quantity of marketing content more effective. Sales funnel strategy will remain effective for longer than marketing that wasn’t applied to any sort of strategy, helping businesses stay competitive even though they are evolving. And, Sales funnel strategy will help businesses discern which marketing opportunities are right for them and which ones are unnecessary wastes of time.
TRENDING: SALES FUNNEL STRATEGY
Because of the economy being what it is (and what it was just a year or two ago), I think businesses are looking to cut back on expenses but increase the effectiveness of, well, everything they do. On top of that, I suspect that entrepreneurs are getting tired of having to race from one marketing technique to another just because everyone else is doing it. Entrepreneurs want to get back to basics and work on the parts of their business that can generate results.
So sales funnels and sales funnel strategy will increase in importance in the year(s) to come as businesses pull back from the frenetic pace that once was a DIY requirement.