Marketing – for the people who are involved in it there always remains a certain sense of mystery about how it is we achieve the things we achieve. While many psychological and behavioral scientists have aptly explained the results marketing companies get, it is still quite the thrill to watch the “science” in action. Similarly it is also quite disconcerting for many marketers when the myths and flat out false understandings make their rounds, mostly in laymen’s circles. Some of the more popular myths that need busting are –
- Anyone can build an effective website with a little spit, gum and the right wrench.
- Marketing = Instant Results
- Social Media isn’t effective for my demographic (or a million other reasons)
- Social Media marketing is free, right?
- Mobile Websites are for kids on skateboards, not REAL businesses.
Anyone with a computer and a $30 piece of software can build an effective website
In today’s market the website is by and large the most effective window display a company has. It showcases who you are as a brand, and encourages people to use your service or try your product. Successful marketing companies know that a website is about creating an experience, from the very first time a customer visits to checking out with product in tow.
Color schemes, creative content, effective branding, these are all critical elements to making a website an effective tool. Retail outlets spend millions of dollars on their shop floor, essentially the same concept as the digital version, which is your website. It is also a myth that having the technical expertise and programing ability alone can help build a good website. A well balanced website needs both the design and graphical elements as well as the solid functioning structure if it is going to be effective.
Marketing is designed to get instant results
Marketing is fundamentally an investment in your brand and a means to educate your customer. It is not designed for the instant sale, nor should it be measured as such. There are many tactics in marketing that can deliver results quickly, however the most effective marketing companies know that the slow and steady build-up of a loyal customer base through organic marketing, like content marketing and social media, yields far better long term results.
If the idea is to quickly sell out of a product and then disappear of the market then an educated marketing play is not the route to go. Hard hitting advertising and sales is a more effective means. When done right marketing is a combination of education, sales, and loyalty building which take time but yield ongoing results.
Social media is not an effective tool to market
Many executives have used this excuse simply because they are not adopters of technology. Surveys have found that regardless of the demographic, including seniors and baby boomers, people are using social media more than ever before. A 2012 survey by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project found that people in all age groups are actively using social media –
This next one is one of my favorites –
Social media marketing is very cheap or free
While there are ways to market a company for very little money, and social media certainly can be a less expensive route to market, it is also true that marketing is an investment, especially when it comes to social media. In order to be effective at social media marketing, blogs have to be updated and monitored, social site content has to be kept fresh and engaging, users have to be engaged through comment responses, profiles have to be optimized, the list is long and varied. It takes skill, dedication, time and resources to build a successful social media campaign.
The reason many companies put out a Facebook Page, get an initial outlay of fans, and then die on the vine is this idea that social media marketing is completely organic and self-sustaining. Consistency of engagement builds brands – not jumping from message to message or starting a profile and walking away.
Mobile websites are nice but not really something that my business needs
This is perhaps one of the most dismaying and prevalent myths in the business community. Here are some facts to consider before dismissing the need for a mobile website or at least having a responsive design –
- 80% of consumers use smartphones to shop. That is 4 out of every 5 sales happens on a mobile device.
- 116 million Americans own and use their smart phones. By the end of 2013, this number is expected to include over 60% of all Americans.
- 70% of online mobile searches lead to action. Meaning that of every 10 times your website doesn’t respond to a mobile device, you lose 7 potential sales.
- 75% of Americans admit to using their smart phone on the toilet … shopping never stops?
The trends are clear. Most analysts believe that mobile phones will replace desktops no later than 2014. The question shouldn’t be if your business needs a mobile website, but how quickly can one be put into place.
There are many other myths out there about marketing that have been around for as long as man has sold magic beans. The important thing for a company to know is that building a reputation online is essential to sales – the process of educating customers, creating brand recognition, and demonstrating the value you bring are critical tools for the success of your business. The more time you spend investing in and nurturing your online marketing platform, the better the results will be both now and for the foreseeable future.