One of the things that bugs the hell out of me as a digital marketer is seeing small town businesses lose customers to larger companies in nearby cities . It might be my rural upbringing or my love of the ” Underdog” but I want to see the little guys win big. We are in strange times right now in many ways a transition is coming . Print media is dyeing out , television and radio as we have always know it will probably not last 10 years. The content will still be around , but the delivery system is changing fast. It is with all that in mind that I approach business owners. Many rural businesses are still in the mindset the the internet is only useful for selling to people far away. I try to show them examples of a local search snack pack. Here in Chilton county Alabama , the top 3 in local searches is frequently from the towns of Birmingham or Montgomery . Both of those towns are around 50 miles away. A lot of the mindset in older business owners is ” everyone knows where I am at ” or ” nobody buys lunch over the internet” . Education is the first step to helping potential clients . The analogy I like to use is the yellow pages. Remember when businesses used to have names like AAA plumbing? The reason for that is something in human nature makes people think the names at the top of the list are the best. Combine that with the fact the people are lazy and you get statistics like this
It is far too easy for companies in larger towns to dominate local rankings in nearby small towns. Here, we are a short drive to Birmingham or Montgomery and consumers will make that drive for the chance to pay more. Yes , it is good for a marketing company when the business owners actually become informed. Informed business owners want digital marketing and seo work. It is still sometimes heartbreaking to see businesses failing and doing an audit to find they have not even claimed citation listings. I have great hope that as the internet slowly kills the big box stores it will also bring back to life main street. Those of on out here in the ” trenches ” of this war we call marketing are sometimes shaping the future more than we realize. Let’s make it a good one for the little guys.
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