Does new marketing really work in Istanbul, too?

Posted by David Meerman Scott 04:24 AM on March 01, 2009

Last week, I was in Istanbul for the launch of The New Rules of Marketing & PR in Turkish. Of the 22 languages the book is being published in, I like the Turkish cover art the best. Thanks to my Turkish publishers MediaCat and to the book designer Kimac Cabuker for great work.

While in Istanbul, I delivered a presentation for 250 executives.

As some of you may know, when I begin a keynote, I always ask a series of questions to gauge the level of Web use compared to how people use mainstream media to research products and services and answer questions.

Many people just don't believe me when I say that people all over the world are using the Web in high numbers to research products and services.

So I pulled out my flip video camera and recorded the Q&A in Istanbul. Since I am recording myself while speaking it is a little jerky. And some audience members are listening to the simultaneous translation in Turkish. But the conclusion is clear.

Over the course of a year in front of more than 20,000 people from dozens of groups all over the world—including such diverse groups as college students, marketing professionals, and executives at Fortune 500 companies—the answers are surprisingly consistent. Between 5 and 20 percent of people answer "yes" to the first three questions, which means the ways that so many companies try to reach people today (direct mail, advertising, mainstream media) are only effective in reaching a small portion of potential customers. However, between 80 and 100 percent raise their hands for the last two questions.

Clearly, providing great stuff on the Web is critical for any business.

Rather than trying to convince buyers to pay attention to your products and services by dreaming up messages and ad campaigns, offering great Web content delivers interested people, from all over the world, right to your company's virtual doorstep.

This is a marketer's dream come true!

David Meerman Scott

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