An interesting article this on BBC today.....
"Is the business model of the future one where the customer no longer pays? Already products in the digital marketplace are being given away free, yet companies are still making profits".
The author of a new book on this subject (to be published later this year) is Chris Anderson, he is editor-in-chief of Wired magazine.
His premise is this, in the Google age we are used to getting things free, information, guides, tools, software, games, you name it. We all expect something for nothing and with virtually free distribution possible online, then this perfect world for consumers /customers already works.
Take http://www.companyrescue.co.uk/ it is an example of this model. We kind hearted souls provide over 1,000 pages of FREE information on our websites, we provide free guides, free flowcharts, free case studies, free reports, free case law and free comparisons between options. We download thousands of pages and guides every week to our visitors, FREE.
People have asked me for years how can we do that? Why give away all that "secret" information!!!
Well we work with a tiny percentage of the visitors who come to CompanyRescue website, the fees they pay for hands on advice and turnaround and rescue work, in effect pays for the free advice dispensed to the huge majority who simply visit for that free information.
Our premium customers, if you like, pay for the FREE site.
By working on interesting unique cases all over the country we improve our craft and our experiences; in turn these are fed back into the website and new guides are written, new case studies, sometimes new case law is covered. So the free users get great information and advice paid for in effect by our turnaround clients.
If you are marketing for your business think carefully about the expertise that you have embedded in the business, in the employees and managers heads, you are all experts. You know things that seem trivial and yet, they are little gems for the people who don't know the answers!
So we suggest the following is the best marketing investment you will make this year. Oh and its cheap and easy.
Capture and filter that information that you all have in your heads; put it onto your website and blog, by having lots of information online you will attract Google and the other search engines. The more (regular information you publish the more the search engines will rate your pages as interesting important and RELEVANT to the enquiries being typed in by users. These are called search strings, ensure you review the strings that people are using, make sure that you provide relevant answers and pages. Soon traffic will grow, soon activity will grow.
Try to provide lots of free guides, examples, designs, case studies, ideas and suggestions. KEEP doing it and adding regular updates. Over time the world will see you as an expert in your field and you will build trust. Get some of your friendly staff to offer free answers to people who contact you asking questions, be the expert FREE OF CHARGE.
When and if they want a product or service like yours who are they going to call?