Brick and mortar businesses are feeling the internet squeeze, the shrinking of the bottom line due to an increased cost of marketing (due to the perceived need to be “on the internet”) combined with a reduced effectiveness of the sales force. Perhaps you are seeing this as well.
Most companies know they need to step-up their internet marketing plans, but where exactly does the budget allow for increased spending for what has proven for most to be a drain on two key resources … time and money? How exactly does a company find resources for an online marketing budget?
The answer to this question lies in the vision of the company’s decision making team. In a blog post I wrote a while ago called Brick And Mortar Businesses: Evolve or Die, I urged traditional companies to re-envision the way their companies would go about their entire conduct of business. From marketing and sales all the way through product/service delivery and customer satisfaction, I think companies must start figuring out how they are going to implement a new book of best practices that heavily relies on the internet as their new place of business.
In doing so, companies will be able to reduce spending on traditional marketing mediums and move these budgets to their internet marketing plan. The important thing to recognize is that the market has moved, and brick and mortar companies need to move to where the customers are flocking.
Brick And Mortar Businesses Must Envision A New Business Model
The move for a traditional brick and mortar business to a model which relies heavily on the internet is really no different than a small business moving from a tiny location to a larger, more prominent one in the heart of the business district. It takes a vision for how the business will operate in its new environment, and this vision will have a large effect on planning, budgeting, and training.
The sales force needs to be trained on new selling techniques that are geared to the buying cycles of online consumers. Traditional selling methods are becoming far less effective as more consumers would like to be reached at their leisure, using email, chat, texting, social media, and other forms of internet based communication.
The training and management of the sales force is no small matter, as inefficient selling methods are a significant reason why the internet squeeze effect exists. Fortunately, a re-training of the sales force and the implementation of a powerful online marketing plan means any business can reverse the squeeze and start to see significant improvements in the profitability of the company.
The online marketing budget for a brick and mortar business can be fully funded through the savings gained by eliminating much of the traditional marketing budget, combined with the increase in revenues from online sales that occur with a freshly trained sales force. The evolution to an online operating plan is no small task, but the results will be felt for years to come.