Can you remember the days when you automatically reached for a phone book to find a doctor, or called “411” to make dinner reservations? Whatever the case, those were the good ole’ days, and for many of us, those days are long gone. Think about it for a moment, when was the last time you did not utilize the internet in some fashion to retrieve this type of information?
Nowadays, the vast majority utilizes the internet to locate a doctor, as well as make dinner reservations. It is just too simple not to! Even the most non-techincal of searchers knows how to use search engines like Google, Yahoo, MSN, etc. to find exactly what they are looking for. That being said (in most cases) the more savvy the searcher, the more savvy the path to gather the information. Case in point…I recently took a trip to the Outer Banks of North Carolina with some friends. Unfortunately, my friend’s mother was feeling under the weather. I grabbed by blackberry to do an online search for the nearest doctor. Simultaneously, another friend texted Google from her cell phone, while another used her laptop. Last but not least, the patient (AKA my friend’s mom) went straight for the phone book. It was quite comical how we were all trying to beat the other to retrieve the information and it is truly amazing just how much is at our fingertips. At the end of the impromptu “search contest”, we were all able to find what we were looking for, even though the paths to get there differed slightly! That being said, I (of course) won the contest!
This experience reinforces the fact that online marketing today is not only important; it is vital. If you are a marketer and/or retailer and are not found online, you could be missing out on many lucrative opportunities to gain new customers, patients, clients, revenue, etc. In a nutshell, the internet is a huge marketplace and not being seen online is NOT an option!