consultingIt is not surprising that the generally-recognized percentage of small business owners who act as their own marketing departments is well above 50%.

After all, these are men and women who have the guts  and courage to stake their own claim and compete against much bigger, more established players.

So if they think they are better and smarter than the big boys, they have no problem making the leap to assume they are better and smarter than any marketing consultant.

But, as we all know, the game has changed and the old ways of doing things are going to have to change with them.

Advertising is broken and there is no chance of it being put together again.

And the push marketing of print and TV does not translate online in spite of it being a $25 billion business.

Yet I see all the usual suspects of  our local economy advertising the same old ways they always have.

Old habits die hard.

But what will die easily is any hope for increased revenue as a result of traditional advertising.

The best example I have as to how much the game has changed is anecdotal.  The editor of well-known national newspaper had his son over for dinner with a number of his law school buddies.  There were ten young men and women in total all under the age of 30. When he asked them to tell him which print publications they subscribed to, they all had the same answer.

Zero.

And they use the internet just as we all do.

As a place to research and find information on things we already like.

Not to be advertised to.

Not to be interrupted.

To be informed, engaged, entertained.  All with the expectation that these things will be delivered for free.

If you are a small business, now is the time to consider things like content advertising and embedded placements.

There is nothing wrong with joining the conversations on places like Twitter and Facebook to promote your wares as well.  Just be sure to check the etiquette before you begin or find someone who knows a thing or two and can help you get started.

You can still do a lot more with lists you already have such as your email database.  I guarantee you are not doing enough to engage your best customers there.

This is not easy work and you are going to need help.

But first you have to get past the fact that the old ways don’t work.

Embrace the new.

It’s now or never.