I know this sounds like a tall order, but lets look at the facts. According to the recent SEMPO (Search Engine Marketing Professionals Organization) survey, people are going to spend more and more on Internet Marketing services. If you are not marketing your business online, that means your competition is edging you out by being where the customers are. (and what in the world are you waiting for, a recession? :-))
On a larger scale, I know of companies that still spend over $100,000 in direct mail campaigns year after year. This is not speculation but based on a conversation with a business owner I met after speaking at the AFSA Marketing Forum this past March. This company paid very little to their online presence, and my bet is that if they invest a fraction of that direct mail money on:
a) Building a user-friendly, search-engine friendly (optimized) website.
b) Perform a simple link building campaign, starting with basic search engine directories and business directories.
c) Allocating a portion of their money for Paid Search which will give them live prospects, which in my opinion is far better than branding via direct mail and praying that someone wants or needs your service.
d) Implementing a solid system for follow up both online using email marketing and off line now that they are warm direct mail prospects, which is a huge difference than buying lists.
How will this save the economy?
Businesses will spend less to attract more targeted customers, which will make them more profitable, assuring that much needed raise – along with keeping the door open. If you work in the direct mail field, you might be saying “he’s trying to ruin our industry”. No, but I am showing you where marketing is headed so you should take this to heart and find a search marketing firm to partner with (shameless plug here) to help your customers maximize their spending. They’ll soon figure this out and you will lose them so you are better off looking like a hero in their eyes by presenting the facts to them.
If it doesn’t save the US economy, I can bet it will change your personal economy.