It’s simple right?

You need to be seen when your buyers are searching. But your competitors are seen too so you better dominate the search results page. And it doesn’t help if they don’t recognize your brand name so you better build some brand recognition in advance so that when they search for your product they will recognize you.
Oh, by the way, if they search on a mobile device your web site is optimized for mobile right? It’s not? Well the search engine may not display your brand if your web site isn’t optimized for that smart phone. By the way, you registered for the 60 plus directories that the search engines crawl and you made sure that the brand names locations and contact info are correct across all right? Because if not the search algorithm will penalize you for inconsistent information.

You have been posting on social media right? The algorithm gives and takes away credit for that too. And reviews, video, blogs, native content, email marketing you’re doing that right?

It’s simple right?

Oh, I forgot. Do you have a mobile app?

The problem for many business operators is that the natural complexity of the digital ecosystem creates an approach / avoidance barrier. The complexity creates a natural barrier in trying to decide what to do. Add, a deluge of calls from digital marketing firms, free downloads from content marketing companies, email, push notifications and business operators build a wall of defense around themselves.

Below is one of several graphics by Lumascape depicting the digital marketing eco system? Luma produces a separate one for social networks, mobile, display advertising and so on.

Lumascape marketing technology ecosystem

Lumascape marketing technology ecosystem

In order to deal with this complexity of digital offerings a business operator needs to always keep the fundamentals in mind. Getting the phone to ring and customers in the door is the most important thing for all business. Placing yourself in the shoes of the customer and understanding how they find your business will help you to sort out that complexity in the digital eco system.
There is an online and mobile solution to reach every type of client no matter which stage of the buying process they are currently in. The following is a schematic to illustrate this point:

Consumer Decision Process

Consumer Decision Process

Awareness – Passive media editorial and advertising TV, Radio, Print Display and Online Display Ads
Opinion – Reviews, editorial articles, consumer reports, Online Review boards (Yelp), comparison sites
Consideration – Begin active research Google, Yelp, Bing, sign up for email and notifications, display, email, push notifications targeted to likely buyers.
Preference – Digest results of research, info pushed from above, pricing and quality tradeoffs.
Shopping – Product Price Place: ZMOT (Zero Moment of Truth)
Purchase – The method and venue preferred by your target client and as frictionless as possible. In Store? Ecommerce? Customer location?

It’s not rocket science. However, it does take some thought, attention and coordination. Every business will have a slightly different answer. A retail store or restaurant that pays higher rent for a high traffic area will deploy a different strategy than a retailer, eTailer or food delivery service that either is off the beaten path or does not have a walk in location at all. Certainly, most contractors and services businesses like painters, plumbers and locksmiths fall into the latter category.
Our next post will boil this down to the essential things that need to be done by local business operators to be found online.