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…
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]