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Using SEM to Build Competitive Advantage in a Down Economy

Larry Stopa
by Larry Stopa on Oct 23, 2008 10:14:00 AM

My first job out of college was at Deltak, a producer of IBM mainframe software training products. Its only competitor was Advanced Systems Inc. (ASI). Both of these companies are now long gone.

This was back in 1978, just as the nation went into an awful recession with double-digit unemployment, double-digit inflation and double-digit mortgage rates. Those were brutal times!

In 1978, Deltak and ASI were running neck and neck. When the recession ended, Deltak had a commanding lead and never looked back. Deltak grew robustly during this period, growing from about $20 million in 1978 to $89 million in 1982, while ASI had minimal growth. The reason was that ASI cut back marketing and production of training products.

Just as the use of computers was growing rapidly in the late 1970s, today the Web is growing rapidly for retail shopping, industrial purchasing and just about every category of B2C and B2B marketing. Traditional print and broadcast advertising do not work as well as they once did. That is because people across demographics are turning to the Web for information and purchasing.

People use search engines to find information for purchasing. According to IT Facts, "The percentage of internet users who use search engines on a typical day has been steadily rising from 33% of all users in 2002, to 49% in 2008." http://www.itfacts.biz/49-of-users-use-search-engines-on-a-typical-day-in-2008/11638

Are you going to Compete or Hunker Down while Your Competitors Take the Lead?

You need to make decisions where to cut back, and where you cannot afford to cut back. Is search engine marketing something to cut, or expand?

You can hang your head that your business is contracting. Or you can grow your business by capturing your potential customers who are moving toward the Web and its search engines. By strengthening your marketing where your market now spends more of its time, you can grow your business in this down economy.

What are you doing to attract your buyers who are using the Web to buy? How do you stack up with your competitors on Google? If you are not addressing search engine marketing, you could end up like ASI as an also-ran.

Search engine marketing will build your market reach and visibility on Google, other search engines and across the Web. The beauty to marketers is that SEM has the tools to measure results and to calculate ROI. You then can use the data to further improve results. No more trying to figure out which half of your advertising budget is wasted. Implement search engine marketing and you will find little wasted budget. In other words, search engine marketing will stretch your advertising budget by making more of it work building business that you can measure.

Are you attracting your fair share of search engine traffic? If your competition is and you are not, then you better engage in effective search engine marketing, or you may not be around when economic expansion returns.

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Larry Stopa
Written by Larry Stopa
Since establishing E-Power Marketing® in 1998, Larry has grown it to become a highly successful business focused on generating the results that impact our clients' bottom line. Larry oversees all client programs, new business initiatives and leads the team to continued growth and ongoing education.

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