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Post-Digital Era Online Ads = Interactive Phonebook

Interactive phonebook

For many businesses websites are merely ads in digital phonebooks.

No, I’m not drunk or stoned and by no means am I saying there isn’t a place for digital marketing – it is an absolute must.  What I am saying is that digital, in all its amazing-incredibleness, in many cases, is settling into the marketing mix to be the equivalent of an interactive phonebook.  (Hang with me here.)

The Biggest Advertisers Already Know

Savvy C-suite marketers around the globe are realizing the horrifying phenomena of digital-brand-disappearance.  Here are a few key elements:

  • Huge percentages of marketing dollars concentrated online capturing only one-to-one audiences.
  • Those 1:1 audiences being so highly targeted that advertisers are accidentally narrowing their total available markets.
  • By the time a buyer is shopping online they’re far down the purchase funnel and extraordinarily focused on price.

So if you haven’t introduced yourself to your prospective customers before they hop online you are very unlikely to receive any consideration – unless you are the low-price leader with incredible reviews and super-convenient to do business with.  (Think Amazon.com – but don’t be too quick to compare your enterprise to a juggernaut with a $335B market cap.)

The HUGE Cost Per Click Factor

Even IF you happen to be the low-price leader, have the best-est reviews and are just outside your customers’ front door you’re very likely to have steep competition and therefore are going to be paying a hefty CPC!

Hmmm… you’re starting to get it.

So, take a total lack of consumer awareness and consideration.  Pepper-in bottom of the barrel pricing, the cost of being super-convenient, however you can afford to get all those ultra-great reviews and top it off with a high CPC and what do you have?  A very tough environment to do business.

Digital is TOTALLY Trackable!

But, wait!  With my digital advertising I can track every single impression!

That’s right, you sure can track the heck out of every click, every website visitor, every conversion – and that is truly powerful.  To us marketing geeks it’s exciting – really.  But what about the highly targeted and costly click that you track right off your website?  The one that doesn’t convert.  Sh!t.

And I’m not even addressing the huge click-fraud issue!

The Solution – Say Hello First

Let’s put this in perspective.  You’re single and you walk into a bar.  You spot a person of interest who’s also single.  Is your very first move to grab them by the hand and walk them down the proverbial isle?  Heck no!  You open by saying something – anything.  You have to give the person you’re interested in some idea of who you are and what you’re all about.  (The other option is paying for a ‘click’ but that’s not really the type of business anyone wants for the long-term.)

Warm Up Your Clicks

Savvy marketers are the ones who realize we’ve been in pursuit of the new shiny thing – digital – for about a decade.  And while the 1:1 aspect of digital absolutely has its place – it’s most effective to introduce yourself first and then go for the close in a more intimate 1:1 setting.

How do you warm up a whole bunch of prospective clicks/customers – all at once?  Through a massive reach medium that holds the power of persuasion like no other.  One that is everywhere your prospective buyers are – all the time.  A medium that has powerful social influencers in every market across the country.

If only such a medium were dreamt up and put into existence.  And it would be great if that medium didn’t depend on a strong mobile signal, chew up all your data and deliver a huge bill at the end of the month.

Oh, Wait – It’s What?

We can thank Tesla – not Marconi.  And not Elon Musk, his company’s namesake, Nikola Tesla.

Radio surpassed TV as the largest reach medium in the United States over a year ago.  In fact for 30-years TV audiences have been declining while radio has either held @ 93% US penetration or risen.

Radio, my friends, is in fact exploding.  Broadcast is up 10%, streaming is up 54%, podcasts are up 32% and the #1 selling electronics item in 2015?  Earbuds/headphones.

Radio is the original social media. Radio is the original mobile media.

Radio is the ultimate representation of the power of sound.

Isn’t it ironic that it takes the hot-pursuit of the newest-shiniest latest-greatest technology for us all to realize how light-years ahead of everything Tesla was when he invented radio?  The man gave us a saddle to throw on the power of sound and ride it into the future – not to mention advertising riches.

Marketing Grand Slams

So, what’s a marketer to do?  Get your interactive phonebook ad (website) in tip-top shape.  Create a sound strategy to drive warm clicks/leads to it (insert secret sauce here) and enjoy crushing your competition.

How do you do this?  We can help – with all of it – that’s what we do.  Give me a ring.  That’s my number at the bottom of the page.  And if we decide to work together I’ll share the secret sauce with you too.

Tom Smith

Media & Marketing Innovator at LA Radio Specialist
20+ year marketing and media innovator. Husband, dog lover and passionate griller.