(Printed with the author’s permission - thanks Don.)
Walk outside on any clear, cloudless night. Count the total number of stars you can see from horizon to horizon. Now take that total number times 100,000. That is, without exaggeration, the number of sites and blogs competing for your client’s attention in an Internet marketing environment. Even if you do everything right, this is like owning a five star restaurant that is located in a back alley off some out-of-the-way street in a universe far away.
The learning necessary to master any part of the subject could take many years; to master the entire subject far longer. This is because, above all else, marketing is a study in human nature. If one really understands human nature, it is possible to be successful.
That being said, everyone should begin by understanding what marketing is and what it is not. McCauley’s Marketing Manifesto, the real time, ever-changing guide to marketing anything in the Internet environment (http://www.tinyurl.
Section A – THE BASICS - DEFINITION OF MARKETING TERMS
1. To effectively market anything, you must first know what the term `marketing’ really means.
a. If the circus is coming to town, and you place a sign and write upon it the words `Circus Coming To Town’, you are engaging in ‘advertising’
b. If you walk down the street and whisper in people’s ears `Pssst . . .the circus is coming to town. Pass it along` you are attempting to create a ‘viral message’.
c. If you hang your circus sign on an elephant and parade it down the street, you are creating good ‘publicity’.
d. If the elephant goes wild and runs through the mayor’s flower garden, forcing you to apologize, buy the mayor new flowers and provide free circus tickets to the mayor and his family for life, you are engaging in ‘public relations’ – or, more specifically a subset of public relations known as `damage control’.
e. If you stand outside the tent with a megaphone in your hand and scream `Circus tonight! Get your tickets here!’ you are engaging in ’selling’.
f. If you sell so many tickets that there is standing room only and you must therefore run out and rent additional chairs so that everyone may sit down, you are engaging in ‘meeting the needs of your client base’.
g If you sell popcorn to the circus attendees and make a profit, you have created an ‘add-on sale’.
h. If instead you hang a sign outside the tent that says ‘Free Popcorn With Every Ticket Sold’, you have created an ‘ethical bribe’
i. If, after the show is over, you stand outside the tent and shake each person’s hand as they are leaving and give them a discount coupon for the show the following night, you are engaging in ‘creating customer loyalty’.
j. And finally, if you set the whole thing up in advance, you are engaging in ‘marketing’.
k. Marketing is putting all of these components together - it is a plan - a recipe. Strategy cannot be too strongly emphasized here. This is putting all the pieces together, in their proper ratios, in the correct order with a specific goal that can be tracked to completion. It is akin to baking a cake. You can buy only the best ingredients and put all the ingredients together but, if you have the wrong ratios or forget to bake the thing, all you’ve created is a nice mess.
l. Be advised that if you miss any of the above points, you will most likely soon be ‘failing’.
What ingredients and ratios will work for you? It depends upon the cake you hope to bake. However, in every case, without fail, a laser sharp strategy, aimed directly at the corner of that universe you hope to influence, is the one key to experiencing success. Walk before trying to run. Many free articles are available at my site.