By Bill Oxford – April 9, 2011
Over the past 15 years, business-to-business advertising and marketing in San Diego and marketing in general, has taken some dramatic and unexpected twists and turns driven mostly by advances in technology focused primarily on the development of the Internet.
From the mid-1990s to about 2005 San Diego advertising agencies offered a common service that most B2B companies desired for marketing their products and services. This consisted of display magazine advertising with media budgets that consumed the majority of the campaigns. Direct mail was widely used but often with dismal results. At least it offered qualitative data regarding effectiveness. Trade show exhibits along with pre-show mailers and magazine ads in show directories often rounded out many campaigns for the majority of the ad agencies in San Diego and much of Southern California – and perhaps the rest of the country.
During this time there was a sub-terrestrial rumble indicating that a potential new form of focused-marketing was about to emerge. It was the dawning of the Internet as a powerful tool for reaching customers or more importantly, allowing them to reach you. The paradigm was about to explode. And it did.
In 1995 the Internet offered Yahoo as the directory of choice until Yahoo selected Google for its search engine results. Then Google, with Yahoo’s blessing, soon ruled the Internet search world. Things would never be the same.
In the late 1990s, The Oxford Group offered website optimization for positioning in the Yahoo directory and within Yahoo’s (Google) search results. We achieved excellent page rank results for our clients because few advertising agencies in San Diego understood or had interest in this new media tool and strategy.
Sometime around 2005 many advertising agencies and public relations firms in San Diego were becoming “dinosaurs” and failed to realize it. The age of digital marketing was upon us. San Diego web designers got in gear and began to dominate the marketing landscape. Reaching target audiences through magazine ads was no longer a part of many marketing plans. Plus, many niche magazines closed their doors taking public relations firms with them. No editors to pitch – no PR firms.
Today, most business-to-business niche companies seek web designers in San Diego for brand creation and Internet marketing or more specifically search engine optimization (SEO). A page-one ranking in Google for relevant keywords is now the holy grail of marketing. Most of my discussions with clients and prospects focus on where they are or want to be found in Google.
Unfortunately, many, if not most, website design firms in San Diego lack critical branding and marketing skills. Often their technical expertise is impressive and overall design is functional, but that is where it ends. The result is digital “brochure-ware.”
Fortunately, there are a few branding companies in San Diego that fully understand B2B marketing, as well as SEO and website design. The Oxford Group is one of them. Contact us to discover how we can effectively utilize current digital technology and proven marketing know-how to craft a response-driven program for your company.