If you’re in sales or marketing, you probably ask yourself often, “How do I find more customers?”
I get it. You have a product or service that you believe in. If you could just get more qualified leads, you would grow your sales.
Let me frame something up for you: How many of the following do you think were around 15 years ago?
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, iPhones, Google Maps, the App Store or Google Play Store, Siri, Alexa.
Never miss a local story.
None. Not one of these companies, products or services existed 15 years ago. Many didn’t exist 10 years ago. They weren’t even figments of our imagination.
Today, most of us can’t imagine life without them.
You can now order products on Amazon with just your voice by asking an Amazon Echo, for example, “Alexa, order toothpaste.” And voilà — toothpaste is headed your way.
You can ask your phone for directions by asking, “Hey Siri, how long will it take to get to the Apple store on the Country Club Plaza?” And in two-tenths of a second, Siri will tell you the distance, estimated travel time and the best way to get there.
Technology does so much to improve our lives. It provides us with entertainment, education and an easy way to communicate with people around the world, and — maybe most important — it saves us time. All of this packaged nicely in a pocket-sized computer.
It’s no surprise that smartphones have drastically changed our lives. Most people would surgically attach them to their arms if they could.
Now, put on your sales-and-marketing hat and ask yourself: How has your advertising strategy changed during the past 10 to 15 years? Do you know where your customers are spending their time and how to get their attention?
Let me help you with the last two questions.
According to research by the Pew Research Center, 90 percent of Americans today are online, up from about 50 percent in the early 2000s. That is an 80-percent increase, if you’re keeping score at home.
Where are these Americans spending their time online? Take a look at these statistics, which I find mind-numbing:
▪ There are 1.15 billion daily active Facebook users, and six more user profiles are created every second.
▪ Facebook receives more than 40 billion “likes” each day. For reference, here is that number written out: 40,560,134,400.
▪ Google performs more than 3.2 million searches every minute.
▪ People view nearly 70,000 videos on Snapchat every second.
▪ There are 104 million photos “liked” on Instagram every hour.
Here is where it gets fun. If you know that your customers spend all of their time gazing into their smartphones, with a majority of that time on social media, why does anyone bother to advertise anywhere else — especially when you can advertise to the specific person who fits your ideal customer profile?
On Facebook, for example, you can advertise to women between the ages of 42 and 50, living within a 25-mile radius of where you do business, and who have a four-year college degree. That means every penny of your marketing campaign goes toward advertising to your specific customer.
The point is not to tell you that you necessarily should be advertising on Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn. But if you haven’t noticed, technology changes the way we do everything — and the speed of that change increases every year.
If you are not testing new strategies, new technologies, new apps and new products, you will miss out on any upside and will be left behind.
Find out where your customers are spending their time, create content that they will enjoy or that solves a problem, and you will win. Every single time.
Brad Telker is vice president of commercial sales at cfm Distributors, an employee-owned wholesale distributor of residential and commercial heating, cooling and refrigeration products. He blogs at cfmsalesacademy.com, and you can connect with him on LinkedIn or follow him on Twitter @btelks.