The Marketing Revolution Small Businesses are Missing

Posted by Joanna Conti on December 20, 2014 in Content Marketing


As I re-entered the business world after five years in politics, I was shocked to learn that marketing had changed completely while I was gone.  As I shared my excitement with friends running small- to mid-sized companies, I learned that not only had I missed hearing about the incredibly-effective marketing tools that had been introduced since 2009, but most of them had too.

Marketers today can personalize our offerings and build relationships with potential customers in ways we couldn’t have even imagined 10 years ago, including:

  • Tracking what web pages a potential customer visits so you know exactly what interests them
  • Alerting your sales team when customers appear to be getting ready to buy
  • Reaching out to customers who started to purchase your product and then abandoned their cart

But along with these new capabilities comes the shocking realization that what potential customers expect from you has changed completely too.  Gone are the days when customers would search for an “Annapolis accountant”, look at your website telling them how great you are, and pick up the phone.  Brochure-style websites simply don’t work very well today.

What does?  If you think about what you do when you start to research something new, you probably already know.  If you’re like the vast majority of people, your first step is to search in Google for information, perhaps by asking a question like one of these:

  • How much does a hot tub cost?
  • How do I apply for college loans?
  • What does it mean when the IRS says your return is under review?

Since very few companies have created website content that takes advantage of this sea change in consumer behavior, those who answer these questions will attract a lot more potential customers to their websites while positioning themselves as a thought leader in their industry.

But just because a customer comes to your website does not mean they are willing to talk to you yet.  They’re in the early information-gathering stage, and it might take weeks, months or even years for them to narrow their search down to the few companies they think are worth talking to.  So how do you make sure your company makes it on the list?  

The secret is to use today’s marketing automation tools to periodically send prospective customers high-quality written, audio or video content that answers the questions they’re asking themselves at the stage they’re on in their buyer’s journey.  

With their ability to communicate the right information at the right time to potential customers, marketing automation systems have revolutionized the world of marketing.  Despite studies showing that almost all companies who implement marketing automation see revenue growth as a result, few small- to mid-sized companies are taking advantage of this tool.  A recent industry overview found that while 60% of companies with annual revenues above $500 million use marketing automation tools, only 3% - 5% of companies with revenues below $20 million do so.

Wondering if you could benefit from updating your marketing approach?  Take the quick marketing quiz at and find out.

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