Many business owners and managers might be familiar with the term Mobilegeddon. For some this is interpreted as being the potential end for their small and medium businesses. Others might have pictured swarms of Millenials, smartphones in hand, trampling down their businesses as they stampede to what they can find (and only what they can find) on their devices. The real Mobilegeddon, however, isn’t businesses failing because of trends in mobile-friendly marketing, rather the collapse of traditional media in maintaining relevance and effectiveness.

Unfortunately, some businesses have become comfortable with traditional marketing media and have forgotten to keep their eyes on the effectiveness of marketing efforts. “My father used yellow pages, the newspaper, TV and radio to advertise, and by-golly so will I.” Problem with holding to routine in marketing is, marketing isn’t about tradition. It’s about results.
“The real Mobilegeddon isn’t businesses failing because of trends in mobile-friendly marketing, rather the collapse of traditional media in maintaining relevance and effectiveness.”

Being aware of mobile-friendly marketing isn’t any different than what businesses used to need to be aware of historically in making decisions in spending their marketing dollars. It’s just newer and evolving rapidly. For businesses who have become quite comfortable with their monthly visits with the radio and TV reps or advertising agency reps, and annual visits with the phone book rep, the shift in consumer behavior has become quite the disruptor. These consultants they’ve come to rely on have either been completely disconnected from the evolution of digital standards, or have been extremely slow in adapting in order to adequately consult for them. Because digital has become so comprehensive – especially due to upward growth in smartphone usage, it provides a huge challenge to someone who has only thought about selling phone book ads or radio ads or TV ads or Newspaper ads for the last 30 years. Making a real effort online requires more than just a myopic approach.

YouTube and other online streaming options are quickly surpassing traditional TV viewership. If a business isn’t complementing every ad run on television with a video posted to YouTube and promoted via Social Media or in a video ad network, they are absolutely missing out on a significant portion of their ideal target audience. Promoting videos online is a fraction of the cost of airing on cable or local TV and is a great way of even strengthening the effectiveness of the TV ads. For the audience that does still watch TV, seeing your ad online later bolsters your marketing efforts.

Radio is being challenged with iTunes, Pandora, Spotify and myriad other alternatives. It’s still a great form of push marketing towards those commuters or persons sitting in a office where radio stations are used as the background music. But, an increasing segment of the population streams their music online or playing their own playlist. Technology has become even a greater challenge to radio advertising because its convenience today is far greater than cassettes or CDs ever were. Spotify and Pandora ads can still be quite costly to most businesses, but simply being aware of your demographic and their preferences for listening to music will influence how much you should set aside for radio advertising to maintain top of mind awareness.

The immediacy made available through social media, apps, and subscriptions for online news sources has created a steep decline in print newspaper subscriptions. The cost of advertising on many local news websites for a month can – in some cases – cost less than advertising for a week in the newspaper. Advantages of digital display ads on local news websites and other sites include:

  • Brand Awareness – having your brand and its messaging out where others are consuming information ads credibility to your business and grows trust. People start to identify and become familiar with your brand.
  • Targeted Marketing – ability to submit your ads to websites with topics your ideal customer base might be attracted to and/or putting ads in front of people based on their interests or search history.
  • Retargeting – keeping your brand awareness high for those who have been to your website already.
  • Linking – All these ads are directed to a page on your website where you can inform them and invite them to convert/buy/call in ways that no print ads are able to accomplish.

Fingers don’t walk any more… they scroll. Online search results are the easy replacement for phone books. Having worked in the yellow pages industry, I know their online alternatives operate on two flaws: they believe a significant number of website visits still come from seeing the URL on an ad in the phone book and they believe in optimizing their own website categories over promoting your business in search results on it’s own merits. Now, Google and other search engines do reference these online directories from phone book companies and other sources as a means to validate the relevance and locality of your business in their results, but these online directories are showing up less and less – especially when businesses in related to that key word have done their jobs in building even a semi decent web presence. Not having a solid plan for online citations (name, address, phone number, URL, etc) can create obstacles in your business succeed in desktop and mobile searches.

It’s important to realize, with Mobilegeddon, traditional marketing is going to struggle and suffer. As a business, strategies of becoming mobile-friendly in terms of website design and ability to be found in mobile search will bouy a business to success as it starts cutting back print, TV, and radio ads to take its marketing to where the customers are looking. With a digital marketing strategy, businesses also become empowered with a wealth of information about the effectiveness of individual online marketing efforts beyond anything available with traditional media.

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