February 2013

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Play It Safe Follow That Customer The Top 4 Internet Marketing Trends of 2013 Savvy tricks for keeping pace with equipment buyers online, wherever and however they're looking By Ed Steenman The way your customers are researching and making choices is a fast-moving paradigm, and as a business owner it is important for you to be aware of the new trends and tools available to you to gain a competitive edge. Technology has gone beyond having a decent website, or even a robust Facebook page. The purpose of this article is to highlight some key Internet marketing trends taking place as well as to provide an overview of the opportunities these trends present for savvy business owners. Key Trend No. 1: Shopping is becoming even less linear. The classic model of a linear purchase "funnel" is no more. Today, your customers are everywhere; using search, reading reviews, connecting through social media, reading articles, viewing video and more. They're bouncing around the Internet like a ping-pong ball at breakneck speed. It's a multiplatform, multidevice world. Opportunity: Since your customers are everywhere, you should be too. Or at least covering some of the most obvious bases, especially since your dealership website has less impact than ever before. Consider using paid search. Studies show those organic and paid searches are largely independent in the customers they attract. Yes, organic gets more clicks, but paidsearch clickers lean more toward immediate buying behavior. For example, with automotive buyers, advertisers using paid and organic search together have found that shoppers are about 16 percent more likely to purchase and 6 percent more likely to remember the brand name. This can be attributed to the fact that shoppers have greater confidence in advertisers when they appear multiple times in a search results page. In addition to boosting your organic listing, paid search (Ad Words, SEM, pay-per-click advertising) provides you multiple and distinct advantages including the ability to target additional, or adjacent geography or products. For example, you may have a dealership that is near a larger metro area that you want to draw business from. Paid search allows you to 'conquest' competitive brands or product lines you'd like customers to also consider. Another advantage is speed and control. You can ramp up a paid search campaign in a matter of days and begin immediately getting behavioral information about what customers are searching for, what they are clicking through, and what is converting into sales opportunities for you. Key Trend No. 2: Media is becoming more intertwined. This 40 | www.cedmag.com | Construction Equipment Distribution | February 2013 40_Internet_Mktg_feature_KP.indd 40 1/30/13 3:13 PM

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