With the prevalence of the internet in all aspects of our lives today, it is easy to forget what a new phenomenon it really is. It wasn’t that long ago that only a few companies bothered to set up websites and until the tech boom of the 1990s many businesses still assumed that the internet was a fad. Now any business without an online presence is doomed, and if you really want to be successful you’re likely to have a separate department to handle your digital marketing and Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
This may actually be your first mistake. Many CEOs and company presidents still don’t really understand the role of SEO in their overall business plan. Far too many businesses have separated their online marketing teams from their overall PR department, marginalizing and isolating what may be one of the most important facets of their campaign. Some have even folded this critical division into their IT departments, which is absolutely not where it belongs.
The result of this division can be minor or devastating, depending on the effectiveness of the SEO professionals involved. In terms of traditional marketing, it is often the equivalent of sending marketing materials only to print media and leaving television and radio entirely out of the campaign. While it may be effective with the people who receive it, you’ve neglected a huge chunk of potential customers, simply by failing to coordinate branding across channels.
Another trap that many businesses fall into comes from the increasingly outdated perception that demographics online are vastly different from those in other media. The idea that your online marketing should be geared specifically toward younger or more technologically savvy customers, while your traditional media stays the same is based on a fallacy. While many sites and platforms are dominated by younger users, the internet is used by people from all walks of life.
This misperception about online and offline customers has led to a school of thought that suggests that your logo and other aesthetics should be different depending on where they’re presented. This strategy can result in a number of problems, and should be avoided at all costs. Thinking that your older customers won’t visit your site can damage your brand by leading you to alienate them when they do. Believing that younger customers will never visit your brick and mortar location can leave them feeling unwelcome there when they decide to come down.
Targeted marketing is a great thing, and can drive significant business your way. This strategy is in no way intended to discourage that. However, Your customers will appreciate the professionalism of a coordinated strategy, and as with all aspects of business, collaboration is nearly always beneficial, and could result in your best and most effective marketing campaign.
About the Author: Chris Garrett is a small business owner and marketing professional who uses freelance writing as an opportunity to share the knowledge he’s picked up over the years. He currently writes for MegaPrint, producer of high quality signage and commercial décor.