Using the Long Tail in Business

Today’s online marketing often turns traditional marketing plans on their proverbial head. Niche products often overtake traditional stalwarts and customer relationships become a thing of the moment. So, where am I going with this? The concept of the long tail will force you to rethink your marketing strategy if you want to be successful in today’s business climate and achieve a competitive advantage.

Back in 2006, Chris Anderson wrote a book entitled “The Long Tail.” I read it back then and packed it away. In the last six years, I’ve seen phrases like “long tail keywords” and “long tail strategy,” but never really gave it much thought on how I would leverage the concept at Veracity Technologies.

I think its difficult for any small business to gain a competitive advantage in an environment of abundance. Traditional bottlenecks (delivery times, availability, etc.) that once stood between the consumer and the retailer have all but vanished. Case in point: my husband was looking for a relief valve for our solar hot water system. He could have ordered it from the local plumbing supply and waited a week or so. Instead, he was able to quickly source it online for a fraction of the cost. While the local plumbing supply lost his business, a plumbing supply house 2 counties away got his business through their online store. That’s the business owner who modified his marketing plan to expand into online retail.

Back to my company. I’m in the process of reformulating our marketing plan and looking how to incorporate a long tail strategy into all of our offerings. Our business model is primarily centered around services: web site design and marketing, social media marketing, custom web application development, and custom software development. The majority of our customer relationships are built offline. I look forward to applying the principles of long tail marketing to both our online and offline offerings.

My questions for you are… what are your thoughts regarding long tail marketing and what role do you think this plays in your business planning strategy?

Reform 1745 – Fountain Pen of the Week

It’s been quite a while since I’ve used my fountain pens. This past Sunday evening my eyes gravitated towards one of the Reform 1745’s in my collection. I filled it with Private Reserve Blue Suede ink. Ahh, an acquaintance has been renewed! This German-made pen writes smooth on  a variety of papers.

Fountain Pen Network member Kaweco wrote a nice little post on the history of the Reform pen. Please check it out but note you must be a member to view the attachments.

Private Reserve Ink is based in Zionsville, Indiana. They offer 45 colors, I have four on hand: Blue Suede, Spearmint, Tanzanite, and Orange Crush.

What are you writing with this week?