With the Internet the top influencer in consumers’ buying decisions, the way we do business has changed forever, according to Aaron Kahlow, founder and CEO of Online Marketing Connect. In order to keep SEMA members relevant to such changes in the marketing world, SEMA hosted the webinar, “Social Media: A New Way to Take Your Business to the Top,” presented by Kahlow.
Kahlow discussed a survey completed by InformationWeek, which resulted in the following breakdown of top influences in buying decision:
- Internet: 39%
- TV: 18%
- Radio: 12%
- Magazine: 3%
- Newspaper: 2%
Kahlow stated that marketing is no longer about the brand push or the best product, but is instead about the emotional brand experience and the ease of use and self-ownership. He also commented that the handshake is rarely the first point of contact for the customer today and that online interaction is now the customer’s first touch.
Kahlow revealed how to apply social media to your business by participating in blogs, forums, communities (social networks), video sharing and Wiki’s (a website that allows visitors to add, remove, edit and change content). He provided the following examples of success that you can review:
- Blog: iLounge, HackingNetflix and StarbucksGossip
- Forum: ItToolBox
- Community: LinkedIn
- Video sharing: YouTube.com and vMix.com
- Wiki: Wikipedia
However, Kahlow cautioned that not all of these applications are right for your business. “You have got to find one or two that are most applicable based on your marketing strategy,” he said. Kahlow advised members to ask themselves: “Who is my audience and what do they want?”
Kahlow emphasized the importance of finding the right social media application by presenting findings from a CoreMetrics web study. The study states that 30% of customers who read blogs and posts are more likely to make a purchase than those who do not, and 80% who contribute to blogs and posts are more likely to make a purchase.
For an audio or PDF download of this presentation, click here.
Mark your calendar for these following upcoming SEMA webinars:
"Business Efficiency 101: Using Product Information to Increase Sales, Boost Image and Reduce Costs—Sponsored by SEMA BTC," February 5, 2009, 10:00 a.m.—11:00 a.m. (PST)
"Job Costing Systems That Will Boost Your Cash Flow," February 19, 2009, 10:00 a.m.—11:00 a.m. (PST)