We all remember that old saying “it’s not the size that counts, but how you use it”. Well, in business that hasn’t always been the case… until now.
The advent of e-commerce has resulted in a relatively even playing field for businesses. It seems that now, even as a small business, you have the same chance of grabbing the customer’s dollar as your larger competitor does.
One thing that’s misunderstood about online marketing, is that you don’t need to have the most flashy, graphics-driven site on the web. What you do need though is great content, and to distribute it through the right channels.
A recent article by eMarketer talks about how online marketing is resulting in massive changes in tourist research and buying behaviour. Specifically they mention how niche travel sites are overtaking the (often larger) online travel agencies in traffic and bookings.
More than ever, travellers are looking to RSS feeds, e-newsletters and blog postings (all tools that are well within reach of even the smallest business operation) to help them make their purchase decisions. That is, they are looking for information and stories from other travellers and the small businesses that are close to the action, not the large corporations with their flashy posters and catchy phrases.
This quote from eMarketer Senior Analyst Jeffret Grau sums it up nicely (and can be applied to all industries).
“Lower industry entry barriers have paved the way for new online travel business models. In this dynamic environment, current industry players must stay alert, otherwise they risk being blindsided by new competitors that fall off their radar screens.”