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This recession provides time for innovation

I am so tired of bad news pertaining to the economy, especially here in metro Detroit. In financially stressed times, innovation is critical.Today, your customers are using different tools to research and purchase everything from books and electronics, to raw materials and machinery.For US retailers and manufacturers it is time to adapt or die.

75% of US adults use the internet. Further, 95% of those with a college degree and household incomes above $75,000 are active users.The percentage of internet users who use search engines on a typical day is now 49% ( number of US adults who use Social Media tools is now 50%. For ages 18-34, usage is higher – 85%.It is also important to note that the popular tools like Facebook, LinkedIn, and MySpace only account for 50% of this usage. Source: Read Write Web

Hitwise, a website usage analyst, reports on over 4,700 social media properties, meaning that there is a lot of activity occurring in niche communities.

Why is this important?The internet is now the number one way to connect with your customers yet budgets for online activities still lag behind traditional sales and marketing channels.Most websites are brochure-type sites and are not optimized for search engine placement.Most sites do not take advantage of web 2.0 tools to engage their audience and develop and maintain relationships.Traditional sales channels don’t work anymore.Customers require trust and service to maintain long term relationships.Social Media tools are critical to establishing this communication.