Did you get the memo? No? Neither did I. The rules of marketing changed just in the last few years, and no one told me. All the stuff that everyone used to do to market themselves stopped working, and I’ve just recently found out about it. David Meerman Scott wrote a terrific book published late last year, The New Rules of Marketing and PR (©2009, published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.) that all business owners must read.

Gone Are The Days…

It used to be that if you wanted your customers to find out about you, you advertised to them. You needed to get your message out to your target audience through traditional “interrupt” and passive media such as:

  • TV and radio commercials
  • Yellow phone book listings and ads
  • Flyers and door hangers
  • Coupon books
  • Classified ads

Some of these media have moved online of course, but it’s really just a reformulation of the same old thing.

The truth is that we all get inundated with, some say, 4000 advertisements every day! How do you as a business owner get above the noise? How do you get past all the huge corporations that have huge, multi-million dollar budgets to do an blanket campaign? Most of us just can’t.

Enter the New Rules of Marketing and PR

The new rules of marketing involve what some of us know as “social media” to engage our buying audience. The idea is that people really only want to hear about our stuff, when they’re ready to buy our stuff. Most of us can’t afford to get our message out to the masses in any effective, budget-conscious way. Instead we have to attract those who have a direct interest in our products or services, when they are ready to buy. The Internet affords us a terrific way to do so, and guess what? Most of it’s free.

This is a vastly different model than was true just a few years ago, and most business people haven’t caught on to that fact, even though they too are part of that same buying audience!

I tell my clients and students that “People will buy into you, before they will buy from you.” In other words, your customers and clients have to have some sort of way to get to know who they’re buying from before they’re willing to whip out their wallets.

Mr. Scott has put all this very succinctly into a book that describes exactly why the rules have shifted, and what we as business owners, must do to embrace the “new rules”. Most of the new rules and new media are vaguely familiar to some of us, but it’s hard for us to know exactly where to start or how to employ them to our advantage.

Mr. Scott’s book does a very good job of laying it all out for us, why it matters to us as business owners, and some strategies we can each take to get the word out to the people who actually care about our business, products and services. But everything he teaches in his book helps us to understand that “people buy into us before they buy from us”.

I Like This Book So Much…

I actually buy several copies of the book at a time, and give them out at my seminars and workshops. I’d encourage you to get a copy for yourself, your employees and others who influence the way you market your business. It truly doesn’t matter if you’re a for-profit, a non-profit, mom and pop, or large corporation. The message is the same. You must get your message out to people through the new media, and abandon the old rules. Mr. Scott’s book is easy to read, and lays it all out for you.

So what are you waiting for? Go get the book!