For over a year now, HitTail has been talking to its audience about one aspect of the future of marketing–the long tail, where smaller more agile companies can live in “niches” left behind by larger competitors. It works perfectly online, because inexpensive “word of mouth” marketing is intensified through the ability to forward links in email and the use of social networks. But marketing hasn’t completely changed. There still are plenty of companies with large budgets, able to shape popular perceptions through saturation TV, print and radio campaigns. These days, those companies are simply adding online banner ads and keyword campaigns to the mix. But it’s all still basically just advertising.
Now, the practice of taking advantage of how Google arbitrates traffic to use it to your natural advantage has evolved into the field of search engine optimization. But it’s a field that continually shifts, just as the search results do. It only comprises a fraction of what we call marketing. Pay-per-click (a.k.a. Google AdWords) makes this process a bit clearer and more accessible to the mainstream, but even with that added in, it only accounts for maybe $10 billion of what is maybe a $500 billion industry. To really divine the future of marketing, you have to look at how a “long-tail” or niche advertising campaign picks up momentum, and how the company intelligently leverages its revenue to go back into more creative marketing, and how the snowball effect can kick in.
HitTail prescribes a particular formula that helps small to medium sized companies master that process of generating consistent, reliable small successes. When enough of these small successes compound on each other, they fund more aggressive and expensive campaigns. It’s very possible, for example, to have completely free natural search produce your first dozen customers, who can fund you to start your first pay-per-click campaign.
Now, if this all sounds very entrepreneurial to you, well then, you got the point. The future of marketing is not about the large, established and complacent organizations. It’s about the little guy with enough creativity, determination and patience to get that snowball rolling… rolling… rolling… straight at that stationary competitor.