I recently read an article pertaining to some of the recent conversation on the board about shifting marketing dollars from offline (print, newspapers, YP) to online.
The article has some good information and useful facts. One of the most interesting facts I noticed was this:
Two-thirds of marketers are planning to increase investments in social media even though less than one-fifth can effectively measure ROI.
This is huge, even for the storage industry. Because social media marketing is so important, yet so new to everyone, major companies are increasing their budgets and throwing more money at it. Even though the companies are throwing money at social media, LESS THAN 20% CAN TRACK and MEASURE IT EFFECTIVELY. I think this shows the importance of social media and how businesses collectively think the internet will move. Until a company can come out and track how social media effects the bottom line, social media will be something we need to do even though it is unclear if there is any money to be made off of it.
Self Storage Finders has been using social media ever since the launch of our company and I know many other facilities and directories do as well. Derek Naylor did a great webinar a few weeks back about social media and talks extensively about how to use it. The information and use of social media is all around even if we do not know the effect yet.
First, the gov would have some serious opposition to any internet regulation they want to do. My prediction is it goes the way of "Free" Healthcare.
Now the meat. Terrific article. These are the specific numbers I was suspecting, and they highlight a serious trend. Companies are realizing that the new way to get customers is through the internet, and specifically through a select number of search engines (1) google, and (2) yahoo.
Storage facilities are different than other products for a variety of obvious reasons, and it will be interesting to see how we go about promoting ourselves through social media. Is someone really going to rent a unit from me because their friend is connected with me on facebook? Maybe, but rather, I would suggest some old time marketing classics where you give a bonus for referrals, which can easily be done online, or set up affiliate programs with your tenants so they can get $x for a successful referral. I used to see these done a while ago, but not recently. Anyone still do this?
My company is working on some solutions to online marketing challenges, so if you're interested then please contact me and I'll keep you posted on our progress.