OK, maybe I should have said CHANGING, but at least now I have your attention!

Think about it: how hard is it nowadays to get your product or service noticed? Traditional marketing methods definitely have less pulling power than ever before, not because the various media themselves are no longer effective, but because consumers have changed.

They switch off as soon as they detect something that even remotely resembles a sales pitch – but it goes much deeper than that.

We’re all social after all.

While there is no disputing that everybody from new mothers to retirees planning holidays are increasingly researching online, as a business we have to ask WHY have consumers embraced the online world so eagerly.

To succeed in the future and exploit online effectively, you have to understand why consumers have taken to the social aspect of the web. Primarily it is because communicating makes people happy –  it’s what we do. We are social beings. We started by carving pictures on rocks, then sending smoke signals, followed by the invention of ink. Next we took to the telephone like ducks to water and now email and Facebook answer our need to connect.

We have now entered an era in which developing strong consumer relationships is pivotal to a brand or company’s success. Business needs to stop interrupting the conversation and understand that intruding on prospects’ lives doesn’t work anymore.

So what should business do?

Well, firstly, managers, CEOs and marketers who think they can use social networking sites to spread their message the same way as they use traditional platforms will need to get a far greater understanding of the ongoing commitment that social media requires.

Secondly, to attract new customers and convert them to leads, a greater understanding of inbound marketing techniques is essential as it can work hand in hand with social media and complete your marketing efforts.

Social media is not just media and it is certainly not a platform. It is a massive cultural shift that has forever changed the way society uses the internet.

So before you jump into committing your business to the world of online make sure you get sound advice, do your research and think very carefully before you begin to engage.

You will need to move your marketing approach from one of:

• Interruption Marketing to Permission Marketing
• Outbound Marketing to Inbound Marketing
• Intrusion Marketing to Relationship Marketing
• Push Marketing to Pull Marketing

To do this you need to work on making it a lot easier and convenient for your prospects to find you online when they need the solutions you offer. For more information download our latest ePaper ‘a guide to inbound marketing – essentials for business’