You have probably heard the phrase, “If you build it, they will come” from the movie Field of Dreams. But does that line really apply to businesses today? The short answer – “no”. Field of Dreams is a great baseball movie, but the famous line just isn’t accurate.
If you rely on this as a motto for your business, you are not going to like the outcome.
You have to promote it!
Yes, I know that might seem like a marketing pitch from a marketing agency and it is… but, it also happens to be the truth.
Why Won’t Customers Just Show Up?
In 1994, just 5 years after the Field of Dreams movie was released there were 569,419 US businesses less than one year old. In 2020, there were 804,398 registered businesses less than one year old.
That is a 70% increase in just 26 years!
Starting a business today means that you have that much more competition in winning over your customers and generating sales. And remember, the 70% increase statistic is just the number of businesses that are less than a year old. You still have to compete against the older businesses both big and small.
Businesses today have to be concerned not just with their local retail competitors but also online competitors.
Believe it or not, your small manufacturing business doing $500,000 in revenue is directly competing with modern behemoths like Amazon that did $386 billion in revenue in 2020.
I can order a mattress online today, and have it delivered in a couple of days and maybe even tomorrow. So, how hard do you think it would be to do the same with something smaller – a tool, auto part, or even groceries?
In 2019, ecommerce sales in the US was $598 B (billion) while retail sales were $3,780 B. If you look at 2020 sales that number begins to shift even more toward ecommerce, $861 B compared to $4,040 B.
Granted, we all know 2020 was a terrible year with a lot of forced change. But the habits formed by people shopping online in 2020 will continue to influence their shopping in the future.
So how do I get customers and sales?
The answer is marketing.
You know that you have a good product and service, you just need to make your customers aware of it.
- Search Engine Marketing – Pay-per-click, display, sponsorship
Quick measurable results with near on demand visibility
- Search Engine Optimization
Long term results with continual efforts
- Social – Promoted posts, sponsorship, audience building
Accurate demographic, geographic, and interest targeting
Extremely cost-effective with organically curated (non-purchased) email lists
- Mailings and Handouts
An oldie but still effective for many markets and services
- Word of Mouth & Networking
Develops long-term loyalty within a community
Fortunately, in today’s world, you can implement many of the marketing tools mentioned above yourself. You can spend your own time promoting your business, learning the marketing tools, monitoring the results, and making changes where needed.
But as any business owner knows, everything has a price and your time is valuable.
Whether you decide to take on the marketing efforts yourself or partner with an agency like Fuzzy Duck, you need to promote your business.