The Internet Marketing Explosion
Over the last 10 years the Internet has grown like a rocket and internet marketing now takes the lion’s share of many businesses’ marketing budgets. For many small and medium sized organizations it has allowed them to reach customers and markets they could never have dreamed of. But for many the bewildering array of internet marketing approaches and technologies means that they resort to copying other companies producing glossy websites with the ‘hope’ that this will do the trick i.e. they invest in ‘hope marketing’. The ‘Internet Marketing Unpacked’ series of blogs leads readers through the key steps that business leaders need to understand to make the most of the internet in promoting their business and growing sales.
Where to invest?
In October 2012 a bOnline survey in the UK concluded that of the 3 million start-up and micro-businesses with websites, that as many as 2.4 million were ‘not fit for purpose’, that is they do absolutely nothing for the business other than act as an online brochure. This certainly lines up with the experience of many of my ‘company owner’ friends. Very few can say that their investment in a ‘web-presence’ has generated any customers or income. This was my initial experience on setting up my product and service design consultancy some years back. I found the language of the internet unintelligible and bewildering and I felt frustrated and inadequate.
A call from a good friend, Raglan Tribe, helped me out of this trough. We had worked together in the 1990s developing self-steering cars, Raglan as the R&D Director, myself as a programme manager working for the advanced marketing department of a global automotive supplier. In the intervening years he had been working with businesses of all shapes and sizes making sure their internet marketing set them apart from the competition. My ears pricked up as he explained how he and his business partner, a video marketing guru, had set-up WebChemistry to help businesses like mine become effective Guerrilla Marketers. They developed and refined the WebChemistry business approach, digital marketing toolkit and training system based on years of experience of helping business owners like me understand and exploit the internet cost effectively, whilst keeping up to date with new developments, recognizing what WORKS BEST and what DOES NOT work anymore.
Today my business, Online Sales Growth, is helping our customers exploit these internet marketing approaches to grow their customer base and sales whilst shaping their products and services.
A key lesson is that at all stages you have to give value to your customers, even before they are customers. So the Online Sales Growth team are producing this free series of ‘step-by-step’ blogs that unpack the language and methods that all businesses need to understand so they can exploit the internet to grow their business. As an example check out our video blog on ‘Quick Ways of getting to the top of Google’. The series will help organizations of all types avoid getting bewildered and resorting to ‘hope marketing’.
The Internet Marketing Unpacked Series
The series will answer the following questions and give practical steps to help you use internet marketing methods and tools that will grow customer engagement and online sales:
a) ‘What do your perfect customers look like – what is your preferred market?’
b) ‘How do I find visitors and leads?’
c) ‘How do I multiply our leads and customers using social media?’
d) ‘How do I check there is a market before I invest?
e) ‘How do I adjust my internet approach for high value sales versus high volume sales?’
f) ‘How can the internet draw those leads to my business and raise its profile above the crowd?’
g) ‘How do I best reach the growing army of customers who surf the web via smartphones?’
h) ‘How do I keep visitors engaged and keep them coming back?’
i) ‘How do I convert our loyal followers into loyal advocates and customers
j) ‘How do I grow our services and products to generate larger income streams?’
k) ‘What are the most useful internet marketing tools and resources to help me keep growing my business and going forward?’
Our aim throughout this series is to explain these aspects in simple English that does not require an understanding of internet technology, and helps the reader see the link to the basic marketing concepts which underpin internet marketing. We also will help you understand where the technology allows you to do things you could not do previously, or could only do if you had deep pockets and a large team to help.
Throughout I’ll be encouraging readers to question, challenge and comment on the blogs and to share your internet marketing experiences and lessons learned. So please do send your feedback, and if this first step in the ‘Internet Marketing Unpacked’ series has been useful, please do share with friends or colleagues – just hit the Like buttons below.
To be kept up to date with future blogs from the Online Sales Growth team, just drop your name and e-mail address into the box below.