As a small business owner, I was never sure where to focus my marketing and PR investments. I was certain it was not in the Yellow Pages. Are you having some of the same questions?
On a getaway to the beach last week, I read three business books. One of these really helped me understand how to approach marketing and PR using the new social media programs. It is “The New Rules of Marketing and PR” by David Meerman Scott (http://www.webinknow.com/) and I highly recommend it.
David writes that the old rules of marketing no longer apply. The old way used advertising that:
- was designed to appeal to the masses
- was exclusively about selling products
- relied on interrupting people to get them to listen
- relied on creativity as the most important component
None of this is true anymore. In fact, Steve Yastrow one of today’s leading experts on branding thinks advertising is a waste of time and money http://bit.ly/cHcCtY
Additionally, companies used Public Relations (PR) as another device to attempt to keep your company’s name in front of the business community. PR relied on communicating with journalists in the mainstream press and trade publications using “press releases”. It was up to the publication or the journalist to decide whether the release was relevant and to make a decision to publish it or not. Often it got passed over.
As David Scott writes “none of this is true anymore. The web has transformed the rules and you must transform your marketing and PR strategies to make the most of the web enabled marketplace of ideas”
The idea is that we have moved from a process of outbound marketing that needs to “interrupt” the prospective buyer (who does not want to be interrupted) to a process of inbound marketing where the buyer picks up information about your company and products by reading and being exposed to it through your presence on the web.
It is not my intent to discuss exactly how all of this is done, but to encourage you to take a couple of hours and read the book. In it he discusses:
- Building your marketing and PR plan.
- Audio (Podcasting) and Video publishing techniques
- How web content influences the buying process
- How to use Social Networking sites to you advantage
There is a lot of excellent information on how to move to the new rules of marketing.
So, if you want to learn quickly how to move past the yellow pages and develop an inbound approach to your marketing, I recommend that you simply go to a bookstore (online or down the street) and pick up a copy. You can probably pick up a copy at your public library, but I promise you they won’t like all the highlighting and side noting you do on their copy and you will also want to have it available on your bookshelf to pick up from time to time.