Stop Being Romantic

Stop-Being-RomanticHow often do you hear the phrase “things were different in my day”, or “things were much better in the good old days”.

Yes, things were much different.

For many years I ran a portrait and commercial photography studio. I loved working with film and being in the darkroom. But photography has changed, and is now (for the most part) a digital medium. Not only do we have outstanding DSLR cameras on the market, but we can take incredibly good photos on our phones.

When I first started coding websites, everything was created in basic HTML in a text editor. But, as with photography, times have changed, and we now develop websites in a very different way.

We no longer have phones on the wall in the kitchen. We don’t have to look for a phone booth in order to call someone when we are out. We don’t send our rolls of film off to get processed. We don’t unfold a road map in our car to find out how to get somewhere. And there is an app for almost anything you can think of.

When I park, I don’t go fishing for quarters – I use an app. When I want to find out about a business, I don’t open a phone book – I go to the company’s website. When I want to send a “letter”, well, I don’t. I send an email or a text message.

iTunes changed the music industry forever. Whether you believe it was for the better or not, the fact remains that record sales dropped by over 75{f6f7d31e87099d0d6b7ac3a4bf513410b4bc7fc64f9a286f558d07e02807de3e} between 2000 and 2010.

Things have changed.

And yes, before you pounce on me, I do realize that there is still a small market for photographic film, vinyl records, and countless other items from our past.

My point is, companies can no longer do business the way we’ve always done it. Yes, I know, “if was good enough for my grandfather, it’s good enough for me”. Well, sorry, but no, it’s not.

“The quickest way to go out of business is to be romantic about the way you make money” – Gary Vaynerchuk

If you don’t have a website, I don’t know you exist. If you’re not on Social Media, I’m not interacting online with you. If you’re not on Facebook, I’m not able to share your information.

We have to get over the fact that people are glued to their phones, that newspaper ad revenue is at an all-time low, or that cable subscriptions are down and Netflix subscriptions are on the rise.

We have to get over the fact that customers are using their phones to check prices or product reviews while they are in your store.

We have to get over the fact that almost any piece of information that our customers want is in their pocket.

Successful businesses have a strong online presence. They have a website that is designed to give sales. They are active on Social Media. They are blogging on a regular basis. They are in the game.

Let me be clear. Quality is not the issue here. If you’re in business, you need to offer a quality product. What you can’t do however, is rely on the traditional types of marketing and advertising.

It’s a new game, and to be successful, we need to play by new rules.

Mark Pridham

Mark Pridham is the owner of The Pridham Group, a digital agency based in Saint John, New Brunswick. A life long resident of Saint John, Mark is passionate about design, entrepreneurship, and supporting and promoting local businesses.

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