“Hope” is not a Marketing Strategy

Filed in Small Biz Marketing by Matt McGee on December 11, 2006 0 Comments

Having now spoken at a whopping two SES conferences, here’s something I’ve learned: Although I spend maybe 80% of the prep time putting the presentation together in Powerpoint and only 20% practicing it, I come up with the best material during that 20% practice time.

For example, in my presentation on the “Big Ideas for Small Sites & Small Budgets” session, I spend about half of my allotted time discussing Participation Marketing, a subject I’ve written about quite often here on SBS. But before I get into the meat of what participation marketing is and how it can benefit small businesses, I set the table with some comments that I stumbled upon while practicing my presentation. It goes something like this…

Here’s the problem with traditional SEO and SEM: Whether you’re focused on organic rankings or PPC, it’s a passive marketing strategy. You optimize your web site, or write your ad, and then you sit back and wait.

Hopefully, the searcher uses your keyword.

Hopefully, your site shows up in the SERPs.

Hopefully, the searcher clicks on your listing.

I don’t know about you, but for the small businesses I’ve worked with, “hopefully” isn’t a marketing strategy.

And at that point, I go on to suggest a more active tact: Participation Marketing; i.e. – going out and finding your customers where they are, rather than waiting for them to come to you.

I have a feeling that riff on “hopefully” was the smartest and most well-received thing I said in either session I did last week. It sure felt that way. I get the impression that businesses of all sizes are starting to grasp that they can’t stop with traditional SEO and SEM; true success demands something more than hope.

[tags]seo, sem, participation marketing[/tags]

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