The latest and greatest online buzz marketing tool seems to be Twitter. It's all the rage. Business guys like me are wondering though, will it stick? Obviously, no one really know - so a better question is this: Does it matter to your business?
In today's economy - especially in sectors like Real Estate, Mortgage Banking, or Health Care - transition, uncertainty and economic challenges facing the future of said sectors make business models look more like a Rorschach Test than a Harvard MBA based case study.
So what are businesses doing? Spinning around all of the "buzz" and spending on Google AdWords at rates that make the coffers of one the behemoth burst and Google's stock prices soar. That's good for those of us that bought Google at $275 - but it doesn't do much to answer the impending marketing question - "Is Google all there is? If not, how do I use the other avenues?"
Here are some answers to both of these very relevant questions:
To the former question, I answer a resounding NO. Google is not all there is. The bottom line is Google has the best interface and was smart in bringing Google analytics to the market (to be sure, they are smart about a lot of things...), but Google doesn't have all of the answers; either for business or in search engine marketing (SEM). If they did, Facebook, MySpace, MSN, Bing, AOL, Yahoo and Twitter wouldn't have exploded such as they have.
The reality is Google has a good business model and a better search technology engine. But their business model of auctioning off AdWords and content placements is under serious attack - and for good reason. It's EXPENSIVE! And the more competition that gets on with the model, the more money Google makes. This is all great for Google, but bad for you advertisers out there. Why? Because, your costs rise, which takes away from your ability to get visibility and make profits (and that is just basic MBA stuff).
Now with Facebook gaining mainstream acceptance - I was in San Francisco this weekend at a dinner party of 40-somethings - all talking about who they were finding on Facebook. And when I got home, I mentioned to my 19 year old daughter this trend. She said, "Uh... yeah, Dad. Your generation is the only one that's not on there yet." She then proceeded to direct me to myparentsjoinedfacebook.com ... OH CRAP! Again, good for us parents and marketers - bad for the kids. (Hmm... If you parents out there are running "Facebook" what do you do? This is a site where the kids used it to "converse" - to do what kids do - and now Mom and Dad can virtually "listen in?" Beyond my point for now).
So, how do you use Facebook to market? We'll there's a way to place ads there too - as well as on about 5 other major engines! So, today, you'll need to go back to the basics and get out of the Rorschach mentality where it's black and white on Google, but you can't quite tell what the picture is going to get you. Other than increasing advertising spend, of course.
Today, the Connected Market SpaceTM is moving at lightning pace. Unless you are an expert in SEM and internet placements, you'll need tools and services that drive you across platforms. It is the only way you'll be able to truly pinpoint where your customers are. Remember Google only provides broad-based search. What are those people that make up your market looking for? The answer is pretty simple - you don't know But, they will tell you if where they are building their Connections. So, are you there, where your customers, prospects and buyers are building their "connections"?
If you are stuck just on Google AdWords, you're getting, at best, a 1-in-7 chance (not to mention the international options for engines you've not even heard about) of being seen. What if, for the same budget, you could connect across all engines? That's what we've been building for the last five years of our ten year history with the Connected Market Space.
So Twitter, and Facebook, and Google and Bing away! Ever notice when a company name becomes a "verb" it is where the market is at?
In the next two weeks we'll launch our broad-based Connected Market Space tools that extend Google to reach across all the existing and evolving platforms. These are confusing and exciting times but the picture of where things are headed is pretty clear.
Google is an inkblot on the overall canvas of the internet. And there are many versions of "what you see and what your market of customers, prospects and buyers see..." there is no one version, there is no one engine - there are, instead, many connections. Businesses in any sector that connect to this picture of new media marketing using SEM are the next success stories in the making.