As I was breaking up boxes from numerous kids toys received by my kids this Christmas, I was reflecting on our gift buying this holiday. I couldn’t recall one gift that was not researched or purchased online. Granted, my wife and I are heavy Internet users, but this is not unusual anymore. We spent time on forums and product review posts looking for toys and gifts for relatives that had gotten good reviews and had high quality ratings. We found gift ideas and learned what others had luck with and what they recommended we avoid.
A recent article in Entrepreneur Magazine focused on online marketing going high-tech. The article, by Catherine Seda, discusses a study done that measured what technologies are being used by Internet users to talk and shop. The article suggested that we’re not in the minority for how we go about shopping and researching:
“This study suggests that heavy internet users aren’t sitting back, waiting to receive information. They’re chatting with colleagues. They’re creating content and conversations”
So, what does this have to do with marketing for small business? Plenty. As marketers, the rules are changing for us each day and how we reach our audience is a moving target. Social interaction online is becoming a norm and the use of high-tech media for marketing is now mainstream. As you look at your 2007 marketing strategy take a step back and make sure you’re giving your target market the interaction they need to analyze and purchase your product or service.