Many established companies have enjoyed years, and even decades, of steady work and top of mind placement with their clients with very little effort. As the digital age has taken hold, the cost of doing business has decreased while the avenues for quickly gaining market visibility have increased. This fact is one that many new up and comers have capitalized on, achieving tremendous market share in a very short period of time.
At first the industry stalwarts didn’t notice. But now that the old decision makers at their client organizations are beginning to retire, new decision makers are taking their place -- and bringing new service providers in with them. As a result, those companies who enjoyed a protected place at the top are finally feeling the aftereffects of ignoring the demands of marketing and technology. The exact reasons why each company loses market share can vary, based on their unique competitive environment. However, we have seen several common trends emerge.
You Have No Digital Footprint
If you’ve managed to resist the demands of the internet or are skirting by with the bare minimum brochure website, you are being surpassed and drowned out by those who have mastered digital marketing and are investing in all of the essential pieces of a sound SEO strategy. It is near impossible to get found these days without some sort of digital marketing initiative, and even harder still to be heard above the din of competitors entering the market at breakneck speed.
You Haven’t Showcased Your Thought Leadership
Now more than ever, customers want to be educated. They want resources to make their lives better. They crave content and will flock in numbers to the sources providing the most valuable (and mostly free) resources. Blogs, white papers, webinars, workshops, seminars, and articles all help demonstrate the thought leadership and value of your firm while giving prospects the information they desire.
The Sales Cycle Has Increased
Another byproduct of the digital age is that consumers have become savvier and more conscientious buyers. As a result, they spend more time doing research, weighing options, and making purchasing decisions. As the sales cycle has increased, companies have gotten bogged down with managing leads, often at the expense of visibility raising efforts such as networking, speaking, blogging, and other “one-to-many” activities. This is compounded by reasons number one and two, as a digital footprint that highlights your knowledge and expertise is paramount to moving the buyer through the sales process.
You’re Ignoring Pieces of the Customer Journey
It’s easy and common to slip into the habit of viewing the world only through the lens of the company’s needs and the services it provides. In the process, you overlook the customer’s experience and the full scope of their journey, which often begins long before they even need you and extends to long after they’ve made their initial purchase. The companies who win at attracting and retaining loyal customers are the ones who truly empathize with the customer and seek to be of service at every possible step in the journey.
You’re Not Investing in Marketing
Even with all of the evidence to support the value of marketing, there are still many companies who are not making consistent investments in marketing initiatives. But even sales-based organizations rely on the pipeline of leads that marketing not only generates but also nurtures. It’s time to stop viewing marketing as pure overhead or a luxury expense. It is a requirement of doing business, especially as it is predicted that we are entering into a recession. Multiple studies have shown that companies who continued to invest in marketing during a recession were not only able to survive the recession but also tended to outgrow their competitors by leaps and bounds when the economy perked back up.
Bottom line, if you don’t invest in visibility raising activities, you will, overtime, disappear from view. The key is to invest in the right channels for your target audience and leverage technology to get the right message to the right client at the right time. To help you get started, we developed this free white paper on how to improve brand visibility and start gaining back market share.