Where are you? What can you do?
One of the biggest steps forward in online advertising was the moment some bright spark said, “Hey, ya know what? Somebody searches for something on our search engine, they’re obviously looking for something. Why don’t we put an advert in the results? We can earn a commission…or better yet, charge people for putting adverts there!”
And thus a revolution in marketing was born, and the moment you enter any information on the internet you are going to get bombarded with adverts. Don’t believe me? Look at your Facebook page. See all those little adverts? You do realize most of them are tailored specifically to you and the things that you like, right? You told Facebook “stuff”, and now they are using that “stuff” against you!
When people started realizing what was happening, there was suddenly a massive outcry over how Facebook was messing with your privacy, and telling advertisers your darkest secrets. Just so we understand, all Facebook did was allow advertisers to show particular adverts to certain people who ticked certain boxes, eg between 25 and 30 years old, lives on their own, drives a car. And really, get a grip – if it’s that much of a secret, why would you put it on Facebook?
Of course, Facebook aren’t the only ‘culprits’. Any time you enter any information on the internet, chances are someone else will see it. Of course this seems to work backwards when you write “the blog post to change the world” – it’s quite possible that no-one will see that at all.
Tin Foil Hats…Ready?
The latest and greatest invasion of privacy/marketing breakthrough has been through the move to using mobile devices – phones, tablets and so on – to access the internet. Even without the use of GPS, most of these devices know where they are geographically (“The government can spy on me!”) which can open up brand new markets – if you go to Google and search for “pizza restaurant” and Google KNOWS you are in London, Google will show you nearby pizza restaurants. Relevance is the key, and Google is aware that showing you a pizza restaurant in Abu Dhabi is unlikely to help you.
This is known as location or proximity marketing – showing you the thing that you want that is nearest to you. This is great for small bricks and mortar businesses without a national or international presence, as you can be found easily by nearby customers.
But do you realize the money making opportunity within?
B2B – is it 4 U?
Imagine a medium sized town, let’s call it “Townsville” – catchy, eh? In Townsville, there are six plumbers. One is brand new, has a website (although not a great website). Four are established and in competition with each other. One has been around forever.
You enter in Google, “plumber in Townsville”, and an assortment of results come up, but not are really actually relevant to the plumbers located in Townsville. What’s an internet marketer to do?
Well, how about buying plumberintownsville.com, putting some general information about plumbing and Townsville on it, adding a “contact us for a quote” form, and promoting it. Do the promotion right and you’ll hit the top spot in the above mentioned Google search…and you’ll start getting enquiries.
“But wait”, you say. “Dammit Jim, I’m a marketer, not a plumber!”
What you now have in your email inbox are leads. Leads that you can sell on to the highest bidder – qualified leads that need work doing, leads that will make a plumber money.
Better still, you can even rent out (or sell!) the website – it gets traffic and leads, which with tracking installed you can prove – choose one plumber to rent the site to, and direct the enquiries to their inbox. Remember, each enquiry could be worth a fair bit of money to a plumber, and has cost you virtually nothing to set up.
You’ve just become the middle man, linking the customer with the service. While your at it, you could even set yourself up with a commission system. Or get all 6 plumbers on board, and send the enquiries to every one of them…for a fee! The customer can then choose the best price, get an excellent service, and you get paid for having a website that sends out 6 emails every now and then.
Is the potential limited though? I mean realistically, how many plumbers are there? Well, lots – and you don’t even have to limit this to “your town”. You could run the same system country-wide…or world-wide. And then, when you run out of plumbers, start on electricians. And painters. And builders. And gardeners. And anyone who provides a service – hairdressers, sweet shops, taxi companies….
The scope is absolutely astounding, and you will be able to find a town and service that no-one else is covering quite easily.
And you thought local marketing was difficult!