90% of Your Sales Will be from Word of Mouth or Digital Promotion by 2011
That’s Seth Godin’s prediction, not mine. It’s based on behavioral trends for people who are ready to buy. It might be a bit exaggerated, but let’s suppose only 50% of your sales are from word of mouth or online promotion. What are you doing to prepare for that kind of sales mix?
Here in New Mexico, we understand being ready for conditions we know are coming. Our "monsoon" season is mid- to late-summer, maybe into early fall. Unless we get lucky and get some nice snow in December or January, that’s pretty much it for the year. In the spring, when it’s dry, it’s easy to forget that rain is coming, eventually. But we all have our rain barrels positioned under canales, and we count on the gallons of water we catch during the rainy season (usually more than our rain barrels can hold) to water gardens after the rains are gone. The people with bigger or more rain barrels capture more water (it’s not rocket science), which means they often have nicer, longer-yielding gardens.
But when it comes to taking advantage of the growing trends of local search, social media, and what some people refer to as the ReadWriteWeb, and using the tools to market and grow our businesses, New Mexico is woefully behind. Apparently, we don’t believe the changes that are already happening demand any action on our part, especially if we already have a website. Or maybe we think the trends are part of a fad that will reverse itself, rather than part of a fundamental change in the way people prefer to research and make purchasing decisions. More likely, we’re just not paying attention. Online marketing is not rocket science either, but you have to play to win.
The good news in Mr. Godin’s prediction is that there’s still time to establish your online marketing platform. The bad news is that there’s not a lot of time. It takes several months for most businesses to create a useful online platform. There are mistakes to make and learn from, markets to attract, and strategies to be discovered and honed before you’re ready to take full advantage. If you’re not ready, 50-90% of very little is "not very much."