Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Sources of Information

Where do your potential customers get information about where they should go to shop and dine out?

The Pew Research Center asked that question and the answers they found are online in this report:

The internet is the source that people most rely on for material about the local business scene and search engines are particularly valued. Newspapers and word of mouth also rank high as sources.
I'm glad to see that newspapers - both the printed copies and newspaper websites - are still making it up near the top of the list.

Word of mouth is another important source of information. Social media, for all we hear about it, is way down near the bottom.

Takeaways? Read the report, it's interesting and you'll likely draw some conclusions that apply specifically to your 2012 marketing plan. For my part, I'd say you'd better have a strong, search-engine-optimized presence for your business online.

But that's not news anymore.

I'd also venture that while social media will continue to grow in influence, it's not as big a factor as most of us would think, given how much buzz it engenders. In an interview with one of my favorite consultants this week, he mentions how many clients want to abandon all their traditional advertising for Facebook - and how he counsels against it in many cases.

I remember, more than a decade ago, interviewing some forward-thinking techies about entertainment media They assured me that by the early '00s, we'd all be downloading movies and television to our computers directly and traditional media would be on its way out.

About two months later, the Netflix concept - sending physical DVDs by the old-fashioned postal service model - really caught on. It's only within the past year that streaming has truly become accessible to the masses.

So just keep that in mind: Whenever you hear something's hopelessly old-fashioned and "on its way out," including newspapers, figure you've got at least a decade or more before that really comes true.

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