Yellow Pages Group’s Harness the Power of Online Marketing Seminar Series went in the context of its five-city tour. The event which took place earlier this month in Edmonton, was organized to help local small and medium-sized businesses better understand how they can leverage online marketing to grow and attract new customers.
The attendees came from both new and old, small-and-medium-sized businesses (SMBs), including Independent Jewellers, a 30-year-old company that has managed to dominate the local jewellery industry. As this local success story is looking for continued growth, it sent corporate salesperson Mark Tottle and store manager Cameron Thomas to the seminar to learn how they can help pave their resolution to gain a larger online presence.
“We are thinking of taking our own web site to an e-commerce platform and we’re getting more into social media,” Tottle told one of our staff. He indicated that he considered the seminar as a starting point.
Nicholas Leung, a young businessowner whose computer tech service Geeks On Site is just three years old, was more skeptical going in. “‘The book’ [Yellow Pages] has been good for me. I get a lot of non-referral traffic from print. From what I’m hearing, advertising online is iffy.”
He added, “I’m not sold on it. If your computer goes down, you’re not going to find me anyway!”
But Leung’s tune had changed when we caught up with him after speaker Sean Ballard, YPG Director of Performance Marketing Products, gave SMB attendees tips on digital marketing and emphasized the holistic approach to marketing that is required to maximize their online presence.
After hearing about the rapid growth of mobile ownership amongst Canadians, a number expected to surpass laptop ownership by 2015, Leung admitted, “I never noticed how fast the trend had grown.”
Even though he’s one to use his smartphone, not necessarily his computer, to quickly fish for information, he didn’t realize how common that was. “It really does make sense in general because it’s so simplified, right? Because everyone’s on the go all the time.”
The second speaker, Bill Barnes, VP of Business Development for Mediative, YPG’s new division helping advertisers get results for digital marketing, expanded on the power of SEM and Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
Advertiser Debbie Lewanzick’s company, Monarch Home Improvements, which sells and installs high-end countertops, has tried traditional advertising for years, from books to billboards, but has been sheepish about digital marketing — especially when it comes to social. The YPG seminar was very good timing for Lewanzick. Her company had just updated its website this week, the first time in at least a year. Barnes’s talk had her taking a mental audit of how to optimize and get the most out of her site, to help increase her customer base.
In sum, this digital marketing Seminar Series has been about guiding small and medium-sized businesses in the often intimidating world of digital marketing, and helping them take the first dive, so that they can later swim on their own and take the necessary steps to harness their online marketing potential.