On April 20th I was a guest on Westchester Eye On The Radio, which is hosted by Peter Moses and John Churan of WVOX. Below is the third installment of that conversation and key points that were discussed.
The state of marketing and specifically marketing right here in Westchester County, NY was our focus and this third segment included discussion about internet trends and leveraging social media to connect with your customers.
Key Points from the show
Q: On break we were talking and you described Westchester marketing is like the Wild West.
A: The reason I said that is because it is changing so much. The industry is changing and we are all trying to figure it out and how to make it work for our own business and for our clients business. The internet has leveled the playing field. Because it is accessible to everybody. Media is essentially the same for a mom and pop shop as it is for Coke or Pepsi. Their goals may be different but the tools are still accessible and cost effective. The entry point is the same for everyone. Obviously what corporations are putting into it will be massively different than what a small shop would be putting into it because their goals are different. The look can be the same clean look because the tools will be there. It's a matter of how much time you are going to invest, whether you do it on your own, or empower someone on your staff to do it. Ideally you would have a team, not necessarily a marketing team, all your employees can be considered as your marketing team. Everybody that works for you represents your brand. When they are out on social media, interacting with the public, you can leverage that to your advantage.
Q: You mentioned the challenge of spotting growing trends or developing trends. My background is the auto industry and everyone still looks to the West Coast for developments that go nationwide after a year or two. Is there a specific area where someone should look to follow internet trends?
A: I think it is more industry specific than geographically specific. If your business is very visual, such as interior design, they may be on Houzz.com, Pinterest, Instagram and use visual media frequently. Somebody that is more information oriented might do better on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn which is more business focused.
Q: A trend we have seen in the last decade is a decline in words and an increase in visuals. How do you see that developing and how does it apply here in Westchester.
A: It's interesting, it goes to the technology. Everyone is walking around with a camera and a video recording device in their pockets. That makes it very easy to share relevant information. A small shop owner can take advantage of this. Regular customers stop by and business owners take photos with them and post a shout out about it. A little pat on the back for someone that comes in regularly. If you have a visual business, as we were discussing before, you could take pictures of before and after and share those stories. We are very visual by nature, so being able to share images and moving images is a compelling way to share our story.
Q: I was looking at a website today, a restaurant website, and the entire screen was taken up by a picture of of toast. Then you have to scroll down and everything was big and blown up. Maybe 20 words on the home page and the first link. It used to be a little picture and several hundred words. But today it doesn't work because people's interest level is immediate or non existent.
A: I would be interested in seeing the analytics behind that website. I have seen a trend towards big visuals, but that isn't necessarily sharing relevant information to your readers. You can go too far in the other way, where several years ago it was all copy. It was difficult to share visual assets and with smart phones rolling out, that was easy for customers to get to you. I think we may have gone too far the other way, where it's all visual.