If you’re looking for instant gratification, online marketing, and in fact marketing of ANY kind, is NOT for you.
Many times, I’ve seen business executives begin an online marketing project with unbridled enthusiasm and stars in their eyes.
They salivate over the “millions of people” they will reach for “minimal cost” and fantasize about the thousands of customers they will get “instantly.”
Marketing, whether online or off, is a PROCESS. Instant gratification is RARE. It takes TIME to develop a successful marketing procedure and even longer to perfect it.
The so-called “internet gurus” that you see who have these online marketing “systems” took YEARS to develop and perfect them. They may have spent only months developing their software for the system, but they also spent 20 years learning to write ad copy, 15 years learning marketing, and an equal amount of time learning about their market.
They are also continually modifying, testing and updating these systems to keep them working if at all. This is because the internet is constantly changing. There are more savvy internet users than ever, and they don’t go for the “guru hype” that was so successful just 6 or 7 years ago.
In short – to repeat – marketing is a PROCESS.
Think of it like dating. If you want someone to fall in love with you, you can’t expect that to happen on the first date. Sometimes you may get lucky and it happens. But this is rare.
The reality more often than not is that you have to woo the person. You have to get to know each other. You have to learn each other’s likes and dislikes, how each other responds to different types of communication and environments. You learn how to make each other happy. You learn what NOT to say and who not to invite to their birthday party. You try different approaches. You make mistakes. You make some hits too.
All of this takes TIME. But eventually, through knowledge, trial, experience, and persistence you get it right and perhaps fall madly in love with each other.
And then, AFTER you fall in love, you have to work to MAINTAIN and IMPROVE the relationship. You can’t take anything for granted or you’ll end up DIVORCED.
And so it is with your prospective customers. It is a PROCESS, not for the impatient or the lazy and definitely not for the faint of heart.
When you have a product or service that you want to market online (or offline) there are several things you will need to find out in order to market it successfully:
- What is your product REALLY? – You need to clearly, cleanly and simply know exactly what your product is, what it does and what need(s) it fulfills. These answers should be easy to communicate to anyone in plain English.
- What type of person wants your product and what type of person needs your product? These are not always the same. You also may have many different types of people who want or need your product. Each type of person may need to be marketed to differently as each responds differently to certain types of communication. For example, what appeals to a 19-year-old young man doesn’t necessarily appeal to a 45-year-old woman, yet they both need & use toothpaste. You would nevertheless, market to each differently.
- What do the people who would buy your product or service want from it? What would they expect or require from your product? The answer to this should be known and if it is not known, market research should be done to get the answer. It can be as simple as asking a few people or up to conducting comprehensive market research. Once you know the answer, be sure that any marketing done CLEARLY demonstrates that your product or service delivers “it”.
- What type of promotion will your product’s public respond to? E-mail, banners, pop-ups, TV, radio, contests, word-of-mouth? What image appeals to your public? Conservative, hip & trendy, traditional, wholesome? Different people respond to different types of promotion, styles, and images. Find out the answer and design your marketing campaigns accordingly.
- And last but definitely not least – TEST, TEST, TEST, and RE-TEST. Testing is the key to developing any successful marketing campaign. From the above answers, you will get bright ideas on how to market your product. Try them. Test different wording, different marketing vehicles, different publications, websites, etc. Eventually, something will work. Tweak what works until it works well. Repeat these steps with each tested idea. Eventually, you’ll have a number of things that work and there you have your system!
Sounds simple right? Well for some people it is and for some it isn’t. If you have a knack for marketing and plenty of time, you can do this and succeed relatively easily. If not, you may want to study marketing books and materials or hire professionals to help you.
Whatever you decide, be prepared to invest time and other resources in developing this “relationship” so that it is rewarding, long-lasting and meaningful and not just a one-night stand.