One of the most prominent and community involved business owners in Las Vegas is Shaundell Newsome of Sumnu Marketing. Our Marketing Manager, Brian Mell interviewed Shaundell recently to get his insight on developing a successful website presence and online marketing program for a small business.
How has the Internet changed or evolved marketing over the past five years?
The Internet has helped small businesses compete with larger companies by expanding their reach. However, it has also deceived small business owners who believe that any message delivered is the right one. Content and messaging is still very important in the world of communications. The instantaneous media has caused many to grow and others to fold. If the Internet is used properly, it can be a powerful tool for businesses of all sizes.
Do you consider any of the changes or innovations associated with the Internet to have caused some challenges in trying to successfully promote a business?
Yes. Social media has been a blessing and a curse for business owners. In my opinion, Social Media should be used like any other marketing tool to build a relationship with a target audience. It’s not really a place for immediate sales. Also, I know that websites are becoming more prominent with the Internet innovations. A website is more than an online brochure. In the past it was just good to have a website. Now, the website serves as a vital part of your business in marketing, communications and sales. In most cases, it’s the only interaction you will have with a client.
Where should a company start when taking their first step in building a successful presence online?
Everything starts with a strategy. I always use the analogy of baking a cake. Before you get ingredients to bake a cake, you first need to know a few things. Who is going to be eating the cake? Where is the cake going to be served? What is the purpose of the cake? (Wedding, birthday, etc.) This holds true for building a successful web presence. Most people think that the web presence is all about them. WRONG! It’s about the intended viewer of the information. You don’t want to bake the wrong cake for the wrong situation.
How can (or should) a website and/or website platform play a part in growing a company’s business?
The website should be as important as the operations itself. Recently, I worked with a client who did not know that his website confused his viewers. He continued to talk about his company and how great it is. Have you ever been on a date where somebody just talks about themselves. Well, that’s what most companies do! Who cares? The website will make or break your company’s relationship with a customer faster than you might want to know. In most cases, the website is the first and only interaction with your customer. A first impression is important, but a lasting impression makes a better long term customer relationship.
"Everything starts with a strategy. I always use the analogy of baking a cake. Before you get ingredients to bake a cake, you first need to know a few things. Who is going to be eating the cake? Where is the cake going to be served? What is the purpose of the cake? (Wedding, birthday, etc.) This holds true for building a successful web presence."
When developing online marketing campaigns, what do you feel is the responsibility or role of a company receiving the marketing services?
The company has to be honest. They must be true to the service delivery to the customer. Secondly, they have to understand the “What’s In It For Me?” (WIFM). Why is my content and messaging important to the potential customer? A perceived benefit to a customer can go a long way. The company owner or executive has to buy into the marketing campaign. Whether you are online or in person, your passion for the product or service will show.
How important is the concept of mobile (devices and/or apps) in the success of marketing a business?
It really depends on the business. Many companies can survive without an app. The target audience will determine if you need to have an easy to use app or mobile feature. Restaurants, retail outlets and primarily consumer product based companies are using apps and mobile features. This gives them the ability to “live” on a customer’s iPad/tablet or cell phone.
Lastly, what do you see happening in the next year or two in the marketing industry, whether good or bad?
I believe that we will continue to see innovations in electronic communications. The visuals will become more realistic because people have fallen in love with reality television. I would like to see companies give consumers a sneak peek into the character of their company utilizing technology. Pawn Stars television show characters have become embedded in the fabric of the United States. People believe that they have a relationship with the group. That’s branding at its best. I like it. It’s definitely SUMNU!
As Founder & Visionary for Sumnu Marketing, Shaundell Newsome has been committed to educating and developing thousands of small business owners on the basic marketing process. “Marketing tools will change. The marketing process remains the same.” Newsome advises. He is currently a Small Business Development Center Nx Level for Entrepreneurs Instructor, a SCORE volunteer for the Small Business Administration and a national activist for Small Businesses with several groups.
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