Embrace Change-The History of Marketing
The number one thing the history of marketing has taught us is how important it is to embrace change.
The search for how to market your business can definitely be no less than a daunting task in this day and age to say the very least. The way the marketing landscape has changed over the course of the last 30-40 years is absolutely amazing. When examined from a macro perspective, our first lesson should be a reminder in the form of a big, flashing warning sign. A warning that is screaming to never get comfortable. Always be ready for change because it will inevitably come. And hopefully, it’s coming won’t catch you with your pants down. Sometimes, it can be sweeping, unfathomable change that has the power to turn the entire world on its ear.
This type of change has been happening since the beginning of time and yet it is so easy for us to get comfortable. One of my favorite stories of change reaches back over a hundred years to the days of Henry Ford and his fancy new contraption known as the automobile. It is said that a popular reaction to his new invention was that it would never become popular because it was too loud and would scare the horses. Today, we chuckle at that sentiment. Many didn’t find it so laughable back then. They were serious. They were stuck in their comfort zone.
Don’t get too comfortable
Change is going to happen whether you like it or not. Stay alert, stay alive. Keep your eyes open. It may just be what you need to get a little haircut rather than losing your whole damn head!
In his excellent and very personal book, My Life & 1,000 Houses – Failing Forward to Financial Freedom, author (and friend) Mitch Stephen tells us to create our “mote.” Mitch says we need to figure out what our monthly nut is. How much do you need to pay all of your bills and other expenses comfortably each month? Say your nut is $4,000 per month. Get that coming in, then save a multiple of somewhere between six and twelve months of that. So, that would be a nestegg of $24,000 to $48,000 bucks. Once you have accomplished all of this, you have built your financial mote around your castle (your home). Now, you can focus on creating additional income up and above what you need. That additional income is what you will make calculated investments with. If you win, awesome, you walk away with more kibble in your bag. If you lose, you still have your castle and your loved ones didn’t suffer.
Mitch is extremely intelligent and he is one helluva good guy. Click the link above and go read his book. You’ll be damn glad you did. Don’t take my word for it though. Check out his reviews on Amazon. After all, that tells the whole story of just about anything these days. LOL!
Robert Kiyosaki takes it even a step further. Did you know Robert Kiyosaki was homeless for a period in his life when he was younger? Today, he is worth somewhere just south of $100 million dollars. Not bad sir, not bad at all!
I digress. Kiyosaki is a Porsche collector. When he finds a new one he wants to purchase, he first goes out and finds a cash flowing investment such as a rental house, apartment complex or storage unit complex that spins off enough monthly cash to cover the monthly financed payment for said Porsche investment. He purchases that new investment using OPM (Other Peoples Money) and uses the cash flow from that investment to cover the payment of his new piece to his collection. Eventually, the car will be paid for. Say it’s worth $100,000. That’s an additional hundred grand added to his net worth. And, the investment that covered the payment has more than likely gone up in value as well. It’s a win/win all the way around.
The Internet totally decimated life as we knew it for things like newspapers, yellow pages and real estate.
Let’s take a second to think back and compare the late 80’s/early 90’s to advertising in the 2020’s.
The size of a newspaper today is miniscule in comparison to back then. Back then, everyone advertised in the local newspaper. The carpet company, the massive cigarette manufacturer, the neighborhood liquor store and the little old lady down the street who was having a garage sale. Then, all of the local shopping outlets in the malls, grocery stores and the car lots all paid big bucks to throw in brightly colored “inserts” smack-dab in the middle of that paper. The damn thing weighed five pounds on Sunday morning. The poor delivery boy had to make multiple trips on his bike on Sundays. And, he had to be careful he didn’t knock out a little kid or hurt the family dog when he tried to sling it up onto the front porch as he was pedaling down the sidewalk at lightning speed.
Today, there isn’t a lot of advertising going on in newspapers anymore. They used to have a corner on the market so-to-speak but not any longer. There are still a handful of real estate agents and car lots doing it but I suspect that has a lot to do with two things. One, they are trying to continue to support local businesses and two, they suffer from “Because it’s the way we have always done it.”
I’m all about supporting local businesses but I’m sorry, there isn’t a chance in hell I’m going to just aimlessly throw money out the window to do so.
“Because it’s the way we’ve always done it” is an absolutely horrid excuse lazy and/or dumb people use who shouldn’t have been put in their current job position to begin with. Don’t go anywhere near a person who operates with that mentality. They can’t think for themselves. Enter stage left, the Scarecrow from The Wizard of Oz, obliviously singing If I Only Had a Brain.
I first got my real estate license back in 2005. The Internet had been blazing hot for about a ten year span by then. Zillow, Trulia and RedFin had just popped up the year before in 2004. I remember how bad the oldtimers at my ReMax office were poo-pooing all this new-fangled website bullshit. They were not happy to say the least. Yes, the MLS is still around today but so are the newcomers everyone was talking shit on back then. And they were able to steal a large portion of the power the MLS had wielded back then.
Before the days of the Internet and cell phones, yellow pages advertising was a huge, booming business. Back in the day, selling ads for the yellow pages was similar to shooting fish in a barrel. The salesman called the business and said, “Hey, just calling to put your ad in the upcoming phone book. Do you want to keep the one you had or make it bigger?” Boom! Another sale. It wasn’t until recently those guys finally gave up the ghost. Siri and Hey Google lopped off their heads.
Difference between marketing and advertising
First off, it’s important to break it all down. Oftentimes, the terms marketing and advertising are used interchangeably. While that can be kind of correct. There are distinct differences. Think of it in terms of an umbrella. The entire umbrella encompasses marketing. Advertising is simply one of the support tines that extends out from the center. Some of the other tines that all come together to make up the entire marketing umbrella are your brand, logo, tag-line, mission statement, website design, and many, many others.
Today, we may touch on some of the other tines from time to time, but this post will predominantly address advertising. Don’t worry though, I will do a future, meatier post that encompasses a broader span of marketing as a whole.
The times, they are a changin’
Bob Dylan once said, The Times, They Are A Changin’. And, he was 100% correct.
To begin with, the amount of choices available for your marketing dollars today is absolutely mind-numbing in comparison to what was available to us way back in 1990. Back then, it was relegated to a small handful of options. Many of which are all but extinct in today’s marketing world. When you think about it, it is simply amazing how much change that has actually taken place.
The funny thing is how the cost vs reward landscape has changed. Everything was a shotgun approach. 30+ years ago, you could kind of get into your specific niche by advertising in magazines that catered to your crowd. If your products and services were specific to a certain location, perhaps a newspaper would be a decent choice back then. But overall, you really didn’t know who you were advertising to. Not like you do today, that is for damn sure!
Today, platforms like Facebook enable you to drill down extremely deep. I remember reading a story a few months ago from a digital marketer who was going to speak to a small group of space exploration scientists who were employed by a very secretive agency of the United States Government. Prior to that speech, the speaker did some preliminary research on the scientists and learned they affectionately referred to themselves as “peanuts.” Armed with that information, the speaker then created a fake website and began running facebook response ads directed to a handful of demographics that would only encompass the small area they worked (and possibly lived in) and some of their core interests.
During the presentation, the speaker told the story of what he had done. He told of several responses he had received. One of the security supervisors spoke up and announced those responses had better not have been from anyone in the audience. Guess what? They were. Of course they were. He had drilled down and pinpointed his ads to an extremely specific group. I don’t recall how much was spent on this little ad campaign but I can assure you it wasn’t much. That could have never been accomplished with newspaper advertising.
Facebook marketing is absolutely huge. According to the PEW Research Center, 69% of American adults are on Facebook. That is 227 MILLION Americans you can market to! And, it is totally amazing (and somewhat scary) how much data Facebook has on you, me and everyone else. That being said, the possibility of you going flat broke trying to figure it out on your own is absolutely huge too. Don’t try to reinvent the wheel. Manuel Suarez has done an excellent job of putting a course together that totally breaks it down for us. He calls it the Facebook Masters Course and it can be found here.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is another fantastic way to market your business and attract new eyes from every corner of the earth. If you haven’t deployed the Yoast SEO plugin on your WordPress website yet, you need to do that sooner rather than later. SEO is anything but a “set it and forget it” game though. It takes a lot of work. There is always room for constant improvement. There is a ton to it. And, there are some really smart teachers out there. But anyone who tells you they know everything there is to know about SEO is probably lying. There are some really excellent tools available to help you with your SEO. I use several and there is an excellent chance you landed on this page because of my use of them.
Ubersuggest is totally free and has the ability to give us a ton of great information that can and will attract new members of your tribe. Unfortunately, it has become pretty glitchy lately. Nevertheless, it is still pretty damn cost-effective. It’s FREE!
Long Tail Pro is just what the name implies. Fresh new sites can only dream of ranking for many keywords. Long Tail Pro helps to level the playing field! Perhaps you won’t be able to get your site to rank for one or two keywords but Spencer can help you find the 4, 5, 6 and 7 word keywords you can rank for. Use it to pick the low-hanging fruit the big boys aren’t interested in wasting their time on.
SEM Rush is one of the granddaddy’s of SEO! It is an SEO tool that does your keyword research, tracks the keyword strategy used by your competition, runs an SEO audit of your blog, looks for backlinking opportunities and lots more. SEM rush offers solutions for SEO, PPC, content, social media and competitive research. Trusted by over 4,000,000 marketers worldwide.
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Well gang, I’m going to wrap it up for now. I hope you have enjoyed this one. Your number one takeaway is, don’t get so comfortable that you allow inevitable change to kick your ass.