Earlier this week, I was talking with a prospective client, and the topic of online marketing came up. Now, this client’s business has been in operation for the better part of two decades, and has always been successful, both at retaining existing customers and drawing in new ones. Recently however, they’ve seen customer retention drop through the floor, and as a result, hired an SEO company to aid in their site redesign, aimed at increasing traffic. After spending tens of thousands of dollars over the course of almost a year, however, the ROI for this venture is almost non-existent. The client mentioned they have seen a massive increase in the traffic to their site, but very little (essentially none) actually translate into any sales.
Just as we’ve seen with the massive upheavals in the print industry (books, magazines, newspapers, etc.), the continued movement from physical to digital is beginning to crack the foundation of traditional retail businesses, especially those that typically deal in intangibles (services, rather than products).
Twenty years ago, if you were interested in a three-week European vacation, you would have very likely contacted a local travel agent to handle all your planning needs. In today’s world however, the first thing you do is hop on the Internet, and likely visit sites like Expedia or Priceline. The “travel agent” storefront model is essentially nonexistent as a result.
This is but a small example of the changing face of business, especially for ventures that have typically been successful using a physical “storefront” model. Everything is moving to the internet – which is great for consumers, as we can now shop globally for the best option, but is beginning to present greater and greater challenges to traditional retail business models.
As a result of this shift, how you choose to put yourself in front of your customers is tantamount to your continued success. Creating and online presence for your business is mandatory – you simply can’t continue without it. However, is presence alone all it takes? Certainly not. As the above prospective client is learning (unfortunately the hard way), traffic alone is not the answer. To be successful in your online presence, you need to incorporate “hard” data (i.e. SEO), but also psychological “data” as well (i.e. information that is presented in an easy to understand format, writing that welcomes the client and invites them to explore further, value creation, and ultimately to convince them to reach out to a live person – i.e. you – for additional information), which is where a good copywriter enters the picture.
Just like trying to make a cake without eggs will leave you with flat piece of bread, launching a marketing campaign (whether online or off) without all the necessary ingredients will leave you with a flat ROI. Your product has to been seen (SEO), must look attractive and professional (graphic design), and must also speak, loud and clear, to your prospective customer (copywriting). We call this the trifecta of successful 21st century marketing.
Professional writing is a key ingredient to your business’ marketing success, and should never be overlooked.
What do you think? What are some of your experiences with modern marketing?