Of course there are various ways consumers can find out about your business. Traditionally, they may have heard about you through a magazine, a newspaper ad, a television ad, or the yellow pages. This is no longer the case, however. Can you guess where your business name typically comes up first these days? You guessed it--online--all over those search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing.
Although older consumers (aged 55 and above) still tend to look at the yellow pages for local businesses, the vast majority (under the age of 55) use search engines to research local firms. According to the Local Search Association, last year the yellow pages (print and internet forms) were "less likely to have been used than search engines" (eMarketer). The key-take away here is that local businesses need to have an online presence so they can be found online. Without any web presence, you're missing out on possible customers. Sure Maribel may tell her friend, Susie, about your company, but is it not best to get the conversation started in the first place?
So where is ad spending headed in the near future? How will consumers find you then? Search discovery (how consumers find you online) will continue to increase, if not more. By 2015, eMarketer estimates that advertisers will spend only $5 billion on yellow pages and print, whereas online ad spending will increase from $14.4 billion this year to $21.5 billion in 2015. That's 7.1 billion dollars expected to rise for internet advertising. I repeat: $7.1 billion. What does that translate in potential revenue and customers for your business?
We cannot ignore the hard evidence that search engine marketing has completed reinvented the way firms acquire, manage, and retain their customer base. Has your company already adapted? Has your firm's advertising budget shifted its dollars toward internet marketing in any way? If so, by how much?
About Alan Moore: Alan is an Internet Marketing Consultant with ReachLocal Baltimore. His mission is to help you increase your revenues and decrease unproductive advertising expenses through proven, online marketing strategies. He manages over $1,000,000 in yearly marketing budgets and has worked with local businesses, agencies and the US government. Give him a call at (877)655-3438 to schedule a free consultation.
Interested in learning more from Local Search Association's research? Check out the complete article at http://www.emarketer.com/Article.aspx?R=1008462