Does the Internet have you feeling like a small fish in a big pond? Do you
have a great product or service that's being lost within the information
overload of the World Wide Web?
If so, don't forget your often most-fertile marketing territoryyour own
The promise of the Internet is that it can literally bring your product or
service to a global marketplace, quickly and economically. Just think of all
the potential customers you might reach in "cyber" mode versus a traditional
"bricks and mortar" approach. The numbers can be staggering.
We must ask ourselves, however, if the lure and promise of greater reach via
the Internet is "real" or if it's simply "wishful thinking"? Does the
Internet represent reality for our business or just possibility?
In my opinion, for most of us, it's the latter. The Internet makes it
"possible" for us to reach a wider audience, but it does not guarantee we
will. After all, the person on the other end of the cyber pipeline needs to
first know about your product or service. He or she then needs to discover
your Web site, take the initiative to visit your Web site, and then once at
your site, actually buy your product or service.
And just as the Internet might open up the whole world to YOUR product or
service, so too does it open up the world for the products and services of
hundreds (if not thousands) of competitorsmany of whom are likely to have
deeper pockets that can get them noticed more quickly and more effectively
Simply put, when you introduce the Internet into the mix, the pond in which
you swim is suddenly a whole lot bigger!
THE LOCAL APPROACH
To market my recently published novel, CURRENTS-Every Life Leaves an
Imprint, I took a different approachan approach that is starting to pay
some small, yet encouraging dividends.
Sure, I built a Web site (the credibility of any business without a Web site
these days is questionable), got my book on Amazon.com, and entered into
several affiliations designed to bring my book to a wider audience. Granted,
some business has resulted from this more "global" approach, but my
marketing really began to take off when I shifted from a "small fish/big
pond" mentality to a "big fish/small pond" mindset.
First, I divided my marketing "backyard" into geographically distinct
territories based on proximity to me as well as likelihood of interest. Then
I developed a marketing approach for each region, noting that the "selling"
points for my book were likely to be subtly different in each market. I then
researched media and other means of outreach within each territory,
including local newspaper, radio stations, and even retail outlets. Lastly,
I put my plan into operation a little over three weeks ago, starting with
the region containing my former hometown.
The immediate result was a 750-word article and full-color picture on the
back page of the local weekly newspaperan article that included my Web
site URL and publicity for a book-signing at a local retailer. I also
garnered additional publicity for the book-signing in two regional daily
The book signing activity was brisk, sales through my Web site picked up,
and I received a special order from Borders. All-in-all, not too shabby a
result from just one well-targeted press release to a local market.
So, while the Web opens up the whole world, don't lose sight of your
backyard and don't lose sight of more traditional marketing methods to bring
your product or service directly to a specific audience.
As youngsters we first learned to walk by taking tiny stepstiny steps that
soon became confident strides. The same can be said of our marketing: by
starting out as a big fish in a small pond, your "pond" is sure grow as each
tiny "splash" you make sends out yet another concentric ripple.