Not that many years ago if sales needed boosting you called your ad agency and they got to work on a bigger ad, new brochure, re-designed trade show booth, whatever.  THEY did the work.  It was “on THEM.”

Today it’s on you.  A firm like mine can (and should) help.  But the world has changed.  Online search takes a larger role in virtually every purchase decision process, and will continue to grow.  This makes search marketing and how effectively your website converts visitors into leads or sales the two most important things you need to do.  You.  Not someone outside your company.  You.

Someone from the outside will need to teach you and in the teaching get things working.  But you or someone inside your company needs to carry on the work every week.

Ditto with any presence you hope to have via social media.

The good news is this new model or new reality is generally cheaper than traditional marketing.  The bad news is you are replacing much of the cost with someone’s time (probably yours).

That’s the reality of marketing in May of 2011 for small business owners.