I've had an interesting few days as I start up my new consulting business. I've been talking to a lot of local business people about marketing. And the interesting thing is that every businesses needs are different (go figure!).
Yesterday I was talking to someone in the health services field. As we talked, I figured out that he doesn't need a website to acquire new customers. Most of his customer base is local, and they wouldn't think to go on line to figure out which practitioner to use. It may be that some more traditional forms of marketing might be a better answer to reach a small, concentrated population in a small town.
The critical thing was to really think about his potential customer base, what he is trying to do (get new customers? Get lapsed customers to come back?), and then think of the best way to initiate a conversation with those customers. Whether marketing online or offline, the basics of marketing (who it the target, what is your objective, what do you want to communicate, how are you positioned and what benefits do you offer) all still play into how you choose to entice customers to buy, buy more often or buy more at one time.