Don’t tell me that your audience skews too old – or young – or anything else to market to them online. It’s just not true. Today my 84-year-old mother bought shoes for a special occasion on Zappos. She did it all by herself after the bricks and mortar stores in a 20-mile radius of her home didn’t turn up anything suitable for her tiny size 5 feet.
I’ve seen too many toddlers having tantrums when their parents take back their iPhones. The little guys actually know how to use them, too. The parents are moving to mobile to research products and services, make buying decisions and complete some of their purchases. The kids are growing up downloading games and may never set foot in a retail establishment. Like my mom, they’ll buy it online and if they don’t like it or it doesn’t fit, they’ll send it back.
Making excuses for not changing your marketing to take advantage of the enormous shift in how we all shop and use technology makes you an ostrich. Sure some of the traditional ways to market still work ok for now. They don’t work as well as they once did and they’re not going to work any better over time as we continue our relentless move to the Web.
So consider this tough love. We’re in a global economy with competition you haven’t even thought about yet. We hate to change. Sorry. We have to change. The sooner we do it, the more successful we’ll be. There’s no time to waste. We still have a competitive advantage if we’re willing to change now. But it won’t last forever – or for very long.
Oh, did I tell you that my mother now reads the New York Times online? It’s something she said would never happen one short year ago. Now she feels great about not throwing out all that paper every week. And when I do guest stints on the LinkedIn Lady Show on Internet radio, mom streams it live.
Please don’t tell me that you don’t have time to write a blog and create other content, or to learn how to find and interact with your communities on social media. We’re evolving and you don’t have to do it all at once. But if you don’t have time to at least begin marketing in the ways that are successful today, then you don’t have time to be in business.
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The Massive Change image is from the Flickr photostream of Maria Reyes-McDavis under Creative Commons license.