Small businesses have always been at a disadvantage when it comes to reaching out and communicating with consumers on a broad scale.
Unless you had a mountain of cash to splash (waste?) on advertising in mainstream media—or you had a story the tabloid press was clamoring after—reaching your audience en masse, on a sustained basis, has been notoriously difficult.
By the way, it still is difficult, but it’s eminently more do-able these days to expand your reach at little cost, within reason, compared to five or so years ago thanks to the power of social technologies.
Traditionally, ‘reach’ has been about targeting as many people as possible and hitting them with a one-way sales message to generate a quick transactional response. Strike, hit, run—give us your money, thanks for playing. No relationship, just a lot of effort invested in a ‘one night stand’.
This strategy used to work reasonably well too—during a time when people were starved of media choices, and the marketplace wasn’t so cluttered. Not today though.
We’re at war with noise. All we want is clarity. We want to deal with companies that are on our wavelength—that show us respect by not interrupting us and encroaching on our precious time. We want to do business with people whom we know, we like and we trust—businesses that add value to our lives in meaningful ways.