What is Internet Marketing?

by Travis Ketchum · 4 comments

this is internet marketing

It’s not uncommon for people to reach out to me and say things like “Internet marketing doesn’t work” or “it’s all a bunch of snake oil.. what gives?”. This is primarily because the term “marketing” has been so watered down by people who can’t articulate well (or don’t want to articulate well) what marketing is because it gives them a perceived upper hand in their relationship with clients.

I absolutely loathe that stance and want to help you cut through the crap.

Marketing, simply put, is the ability to find people who are genuinely interested in your product (because they have a need or an interest) and your product or service solves that need or inner desire.

Seriously folks, it’s that simple to understand.. If you walked into a room and asked everyone “who’s hungry?”, the people who raised there hands would be your interested individuals. If you were then able to either provide actual food, or at least link them to someone who could make the food and fulfill their core need then you were just an effective marketer.

Seems pretty easy right? Now what’s different with internet marketing and why it has such a bad reputation…

What’s Different

Internet marketing is slightly different because the value chain feels less tangible to a lot of people than a traditional business. What I mean by this is that, for many people, understanding the process of acquiring leads and creating customers in a virtual space is daunting, foreign and hard to conceptualize at first. But here are the key differences that should help you relate traditional business models to internet ones:

1. Just like brick and mortar, you need leads to make your business work.

What’s different: Leads come in the form of Names, Emails and/or Phone Numbers instead of literally walking through your door

2. You need something to sell your customer a product or service to make money

What’s different: Customers online have a much lower attention span, as a result of this you need to have a stack of continually higher margin items to offer them immediately after they purchase to maximize your revenue. This is known as an up-sell, or moving them “through the funnel”.

3. Customers want and need information from you to stay interested in being your customer.

What’s different: A brick and mortar business has to try and hire in-person sales people who try and be helpful to your customers while practicing ABC (Always Be Closing). Online you can use different ways of tracking and automated content strategies to tailor the experience of every customer in a way that you can test. This means you can have a known close rate and give your customers a consistently high level of value.

Why It’s Seen As Snake Oil

I’ve worked with some of the biggest names in the Internet Marketing space who have claimed huge numbers and it became apparent pretty quickly that most people at the top stretch their numbers to fit what they think people want to hear.

The messed up part? It works – as a self-fulfilling prophecy.

You see, these types of people typically succeed by selling the dream instead of solving any actual problems. They will talk your ear off about how much “value” their customers see in their offerings, but once you understand the industry it doesn’t take long to see that the average customer is more of an info product junkie than a true entrepreneur.

It’s no wonder so many real businesses are turned off by Internet Marketing when that is the lay of the land.

Have you had any poor experiences with Internet Marketing? Let me know – I’d be happy to point you in a quality direction or help answer your questions.

[Photo Credit]

About Travis Ketchum
A smart ass marketer who doesn't take no for an answer and always questions the status quo. Connect with me on Google+. Convinced yet? Get more tips and great content 100% free.

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Building a sustainable business is all about how well you can gather and maintain an audience. An email list is still one of the most viable ways to do just that.

We wanted to find a way to build an email incredibly fast, in a way that people actually find interesting, engaging and well - cool. It took a lot of testing to weed-whack through all the hype and find something that really worked.

The result? We ended up building our own solution, focused around the idea of contests and rewarding people for taking the actions that ultimately led to more leads on our email list. Everyone wins (and some literally do!), because as it turns out people love contests regardless of their market place.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

BM August 22, 2011 at 8:14 AM

Actually, I have a disagreement with #1. People actually do come walking through your door, unless you count search engines and every form of advertising lead-gathering. But, then you’d have to consider brick-and-mortar stores as an advertisement in and of themselves . Sometimes, people just find your website and wander inside.


Travis Ketchum August 23, 2011 at 2:48 PM

Thanks for stopping by, #1 was more meant to convey that you deal with customers in a spread sheet instead of face-to-face. Does that give it more clarity?


Breyton Benjamin May 15, 2012 at 6:16 AM

Hi there travis, I need some advise regards to starting at the right point on making it in this trade, I am a Financial Advisor and have access to all components Eg: Programmers, web developers friends with marketing degrees, business owners and investors to help make this work, I need for you to lead me in the right direction, I do have over 2000 leads to start off with. im from South Africa.


Travis Ketchum May 16, 2012 at 12:07 PM

Use the contact form to shoot me an email with more information.



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