Digital Boot Camp: The New Marketing Model & Common Online Mistakes

Ben Tyson of Google and Jeff Biesman of YP set up the day by explaining the challenges that SMB’s face today.  There’s no question consumers shop differently today as represented by the following:

  • 10.7 – number of average resources consumer researches before purchase;
  • 90% use multiple screens sequentially to accomplish a task over time;
  • 98% move between devices that same day.

This shift has resulted in a need to rethink the traditional 3-step mental model of marketing which consisted of:

  • Stimulus – advertising and brand awareness or product awareness
  • First moment of truth in the store on the shelf – P&G found that on average consumers made a decision in 3-7 seconds
  • Second moment of truth – consumption which affects future purchases

Ben from Google suggested the need for a new, fourth step to the model in response to the growing influence of digital media. He called the step the zero moment of truth (ZMOT) where consumers conduct online research prior to contacting the merchant or service provider.

With the introduction of this new step in the marketing model, it requires many new tactics and strategies to be successful online. They said in an ideal world, all SMBs would be able to invest $250,000 for employees with expertise in mobile, SEO, SEM, social media and websites before any advertising money is spent. Instead, they strongly recommended working with a partner that can help do this.

After all this content on how consumers are behaving, it led nicely to the next session which talked about common mistakes when trying to reach these consumers online. Jim Gibson of ReachLocal and Andrew Shotland of Local SEO Guide spent a lot of time on SEO as there were many questions on this. Overall, here are some of the common mistakes they discussed:

  • Many don’t realize that buying decisions are made more off of your website than on it (social media, search, print, ratings & review sites, mobile, etc.);
  • When it comes to SEO, it is always better to have industry knowledge, but there are a lot of consistencies for SEO that can span industries;
  • Just because you built an app doesn’t mean your business is now “mobile.” The challenge with apps is getting people to download it and use it daily. Without a large advertising budget this can be difficult;
  • While it might be easy to setup Google Analytics, it is very easy to set it up incorrectly which results in capturing poor data and insights
  • Many SMBs feel they can’t compete with major brands and end up not even trying to do so. The truth is, digital allows SMBs to target location and specific niches which can provide a competitive advantage for SMBs;
  • Don’t need to cover all digital marketing outlets, but a good start is SEM, SEO and social media.

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