Courtesy of Benson Kua via Flikr
Marketing and Sales. They go together like, well, sand and jam for most small businesses.
At the Amersham Refer-On meeting last week we discussed how most business creators are technicians who’ve carved a bread and butter career with great skill, but find the sandwiching together of all of the elements of a successful business a serious challenge.
Suppose you want a slice of internet marketing. Well, it’s a big deli bar, an overwhelming choice of specialities from far and wide that promise to make you fat and content.
Of course, by the time you’ve taken a taste of everything continental you’ve lost your appetite, and your lunch money.
Look around and you’ll see that in the last three years there has been a huge shift in how people think and behave when looking for services. Now that everyone has a computer in their pocket to shrink the web and go anywhere, they choose to go just around the corner.
Over 20% of all Google searches are localised, i.e. they have a postcode, town or other local intent. Think of mobile search and that percentage rises to at least a third. Smartphones like iPhone, Android and Blackberry devices are outselling regular mobiles, and the numbers of mobiles selling are at least three times the number of PCs.
Google has been quietly altering the way they return results to match our desire for local information so in all searches, location is factored. For the bulk of Refer-On businesses, even in B2B sales, this is a big deal. Why? Because Google want to provide accessible results to searchers. Which means they will prefer local results, there’s no immunity from community.
Small businesses find the bulk of their income comes from local customers, and when businesses network, it’s usually at groups in their local vicinity. The truth is, most business, even global business, happens locally.
PlaceMe! reports let you know where you are and then we do something about it, because we’re interested in driving enquiries, and lifting you in the listings is just one little bit of the puzzle.
Here’s some other tasty morsels to stick in your sandwich:
- Mobile searches quadrupled in 2011.
- 79% of smartphone users use their phones to help with shopping.
- 71% of smartphone users who see TV, press or online ads search for more info.
- After looking up a local business on a smartphone, 61% of users call, 59% visit.
You know this. Look at your own family, friends and colleagues checking prices online to buy at the best price locally, or window shopping at the weekend to later buy online with free delivery, and we all know people who are online all the time, but never on their computer.
When a local search is done, the searcher is close to buying.
When a mobile search is done, the searcher is ready to buy.
People don’t behave like this all weekend, then start using Yellow Pages, Newspapers, etc., when they get to the office. They look for business services they need in the same way, with the same expectations. Now all businesses need local presence, just to be found, because Google is going to prefer those that do.
What’s in your lunchbox?
Of course, we’re now back at the deli bar, with not a lot of money, and my suggestion is whatever you do, make local internet marketing the thickest slice. You see, you haven’t much time before everyone realises buyers love local, and that maybe they should be paying attention to their (your) local market.
As Amersham Hub Manager for Refer-On I’ve given many presentations on tips and techniques for small businesses to improve the way they work and think, including how local really is where one’s head and heart should be.
But as a business coach, I also know it is really hard to follow up and follow through on advice. So for this one, critical part of a small business’ business a new service Place Me! has been developed that works on an exclusive basis, taking one type of business in one location and promoting them ahead of their competition. It’s a monthly service, to get the phone ringing with more local enquiries. If you’re not seen now in your local market, you’ll need to displace those that are.
A lunchtime offer for Refer-On members
Place Me! concentrates on increasing business enquiries from your local market. It should be obvious from this post that those enquiries are likely to be of quality, so we’ve added three benefits for Refer-On members and partner network members:
- First refusal. I’d rather members’ businesses be inside Place Me! than trying to compete from the outside.
- Set-Up discount. To make first refusal viable for smaller members, we’re discounting the set-up cost by over 50%.
- Competitive Report. We’ll build a report for you that confirms who your competition is, so you can decide what to do.
If you’d like more information about Place Me!, what it is, how it works, and how it can put the jam back in your sandwich, please just add your details. Then while you decide if you want to take advantage, we will have locked out your sector and location for you.
Amersham Hub Manager
Thanks to LinkedIn, a few months ago I renewed contact with an old school friend – someone with a common interest in field hockey – Derek Arden. We hadn’t been in contact for nearly 30 years.
To my surprise he had transformed in that time from a middle manager in banking to a top business coach / mentor with a USA based mentor himself. In the last few months, he has been elected to be President of the Professional Speaking Association of the United Kingdom. I find his eNewsletter worth reading and thought you might like to see one.
More than that, I would like to use this to demonstrate how important it is to build your network of old contacts in LinkedIn – who knows how their ’usefulness’ for your company may have escalated since you last contacted them!!
Even more interestingly when I sent this story to a few of my contacts, one replied that their husband had been made redundant just before Christmas. But his subsequent LinkedIn activity had led to contact by two companies and he starts his new job on Monday
I encourage you to dig out your notes from when I spoke about LinkedIn at a Refer-On Showcase and implement the ideas – they work!!
To find us online just Google – ‘Living Streams’, ‘WSI Thames’, ‘WSI’, ‘Tony Thornby’, ‘internet consultancy’, ‘internet marketing companies’, ‘internet marketing services’ or ‘payment by results SEO’