Being in business is always about being one jump ahead of the game. Regardless of if you are a new start up business or you are a market leader in your field or location you are looking to either take market leadership or keep it. Look at the news around you right now – there is a monumental shift in business, its no secret, its in the media almost daily – are you seeing it?
Just look at these tectonic shifts that have happened in the last 2 years.
1. Smart Phones. Just 2 years ago you needed a PC and an internet connection to access the web. Today with the advent of the smart phone (iphone, blackberry and Andriods) 1 in every five Australians is carrying a smart phone in their pocket. They no longer even need a computer or an internet connection to surf the web. In fact in July alone there were over 600,000 smart phones sold in Australia. (Source – IDG Business Network)
2. Yellow Page Advertising. A recent Roy Morgan Poll found that a whoping 63% or 14 million Australian use yellow pages less than once a month or not at all. The stunning thing about that is that Morgans have been polling this since 2002. In 2002 it was just 8 million- that is a 61% decline in just 7 years. (Source Yellow Turning Blue)
3. Website promotion / Online Shopping. Two years ago you did not see TV advertisers promoting their websites. Watch the adds now – what is almost every retailer doing? Watch the ads – they are trying to drive you to their website.
In fact some of this countries largest retailers with huge department stores and hundreds of bricks and mortar stores across the country are running TV ads to urge viewers to shop on line with them:
The above 3 trends are backed up by the explosion of online shopping being seen right now and impacting on traditional retailers:
Executive director of the National Retail Association (NRA), Gary Black quoted across Rupert Murdocks media just 2 days ago:
“Australian retailers who import shipments are paying up to 30 per cent more than a consumer buying online. …. The NRA has made clear to the government that this issue looms as one of the biggest threats that bricks-and-mortar Australian retailers have faced for decades,” he said.
The Harvey Norman empire is being buffeted by the winds of change. Arguably Australia’s greatest retailer Gerry Norman is on the war path against consumers buying goods cheaper online from overseas websites and paying no GST.
“The Harvey Norman co-founder and chief executive told the retail chain’s annual general meeting in Sydney today that Australian retailers were at an “unfair disadvantage” in competing against goods bought from overseas.”
Inside retail reports
Australian consumers are completing their Christmas shopping earlier this year – and they’re doing it online … 67 per cent of online sales being made by women and only 33 % being made by men. People in metropolitan areas are doing more online shopping than those in regional areas, while New South Wales and Queensland are the highest selling states for online shopping.
The moral to this post:
Moral 1. If you are still spending huge amounts of money on Yellow Page ads – Why? Its in terminal decline 61% over the last 7 years and accelerating.
Come on now – lets have a reality check – Ask yourself why would it be declining so dramatically? – the answer is obvious because people are going online to find stuff and today more and more are doing it from their phones.
Here is a task – when someone searches online for the product and or service you sell (not your business name – the stuff you sell) – what do they find? Is it your business website or your competitors – try it for yourself – go on – the above numbers suggest it better be yours.
I hear some of you say – but I’m the market leader in my area or field. I’m OK.
Well you may be … for now, that is until some smart guy comes along with a website that does gets found in the search and sells products online at less than you can buy your product for. Like this young Australian entrepreneur who is taking on Harvey Norman and his business is booming.
- If you are a market leader in your field / area – you had better be the market leader online. If you are not – then your business is vulnerable.
- If you are a start up and want to become the market leader in your field / area a top notch business website and a savvy online marketing program means you can knock off a dozy market leader any day of the week.
The world is changing fast, faster then ever before. We all hate change … right. But if you are in business and want to stay there or maybe even grow your business – the bad news is – you have no choice. You could go ahead and prove me wrong. Prove to the world that you can ignore all of this and still be successful. Good luck with it – you’re up against one of the greatest shifts civilization has ever seen. If you are in business today and don’t have a top notch business website and a savvy online / offline marketing program built around your website …. things are going to get a lot tougher … and real soon.
If you have a website but have not updated it in the last 2 years when so much has changed, then I would guess without seeing it that your site gets no traffic and you believe that your website is a cost and not an essential sales and marketing tool for your business.
An effective business website is today’s businesses greatest sales and marketing tool. The investment is once off (at least it is with A3 Revolution business sites). Having a top notch business site that gets ranked by the search engines is such a small investment compared to the rest of your business investment, its a joke. That relatively small investment is why smaller start ups can beat large established businesses that have not moved first. Right now a great business site is the best sales and marketing tool your business can have.
Having an effective business site and online / off line marketing strategy will generate you an impressive return on your investment year after year after year and today like never before is crucial to your businesses future success and survival.