Internet marketing has seen amazing growth over the past few years. Several new Internet methods have proven to be some of the most powerful marketing venues for small- and medium- size businesses. And when comparing online marketing to the more conventional (such as Newspapers, Radio, Billboards, Magazines, and Television), the Internet has demonstrated its value for creating mind-blowing success!
With online marketing…
- Costs are a fraction of conventional advertising methods
- The lead-to-sale conversion cycle is significantly shorter
- ROIs are measurable and quickly accessible
- Market-reach becomes wider; simply because the Internet is worldwide
- Communication between customer and vendor is two-way and real-time
- Strategies can be flexible and allow for quick adaptations during execution
Make Online Marketing a Success
Know your strengths. Take inventory of your company’s competitive advantages and parade them on your website. Internet visitors want to know what makes your product or service different. Additionally, Internet customers have come to expect a completely different experience from the traditional brick-and-mortar conversion. Your website needs to have something new for them. The basic brochure-style website doesn’t fly anymore. Showcase something unique for your industry. Make your company’s online communication shine!
The customer conversion
A properly structured website or landing page has the power to convert Internet visitors into paying customers! Your website may already have traffic; but, do you know how to improve conversions? When visitors experience your online brand for the first time, a competitive advantage or novelty needs to be showcased. Think about how people purchase today. Of course, price points are always a factor and always will be; but what influences customers and makes them want to spend more? Your business needs to stand out. Your products and services need to Pop!
It’s all about ‘Business-tainment’
Three things drive customers to buy (besides price). Quality, customer service and what we call ‘Business-tainment’. We all know good quality and customer service when we see it. Many companies charge a fortune for these two things. And people are willing to pay a premium for it!
“Business-tainment,” on the other hand, is the merging of business and entertainment (or the promise of a lifestyle) that’s dangled like a carrot in front of the customer. More importantly, business-tainment is the intangible that persuades someone to do business with you over your competition when all other things are perceived to be equal. What makes a buyer purchase a BMW over a Mercedes, or vice-versa? Both products are premium. Both provide great customer service. It’s the intangible that does it. And by and large, this intangible has a positive human element to it…
- A captivating company story – Apple, Ford and HP
- The founder is passionate about product – Walt Disney, Facebook and Apple
- The salesman has a great personality – Zig Ziglar, Donald Trump and Bill Mays
- The product’s secondary purpose saves wildlife – Dawn dish soap
Business-tainment makes a resonating connection between the brand, the marketing message, the salesman and the customer. Old-timers call it ‘selling-the-sizzle-not-the-steak’. We ask clients, “What’s the Business-tainment value of your marketing efforts?”
Be a Sentry of Marketing Developments
How does a company have success with Internet marketing? Here are a few key recommendations:
- Set online marketing benchmarks.
- Monitor ‘brick-and-mortar’ trends.
- Watch for opportunities to get the competitive advantage with different online marketing techniques.
- Try to avoid Internet marketing scams by asking for references.
Not every business has the means to execute a comprehensive online marketing strategy all at once. That’s okay. By staggering marketing milestones over time, a company will gain insight and confidence from the medium. Rolling out online marketing goals across a timetable and measuring what’s effective and what isn’t, growth will be solid and controllable. Don’t get overwhelmed with all of the options; stay focused on the ROI for each venue and chew off only what your budget allows.
Believe it or not, many online sales and marketing methods have been adopted from traditional brick-and-mortar strategies. The Sears Catalog was once the gold standard of mail-order, now Amazon.com is. ‘Direct Mail’ marketing has been replaced by email marketing. And, the traditional Yellow Pages Phone Book is slowly being chipped away by ‘Search Engines’ and online maps.
Online Marketing Success
Internet marketing is a powerful Small Business Tool. With proper consideration and planning, the right Internet marketing strategy can ensure success and growth. The potential of Internet marketing is still in its infancy; so take advantage of untapped opportunities before your competitors do!