When I speak, teach and train various web marketing subjects, I often start sessions by defining the true meaning of web marketing. Since “web marketing” is a phrase that means many things to many people, I wanted to set the record straight to help you apply one of the best forms of marketing correctly to your organization.
Let’s start first by defining the true definition of marketing. Marketing is correctly defined as “maximizing exchanges”. Exchanges can be various things like: leads, calls, online inquiry form completions, email newsletter signups, downloads, inquiries, networking, sales, and repeat sales. Marketing is not about tools (like websites, email technology, blogs, social media, TV, magazine ads, Public Relations, etc) is is about HOW the breadth and depth of marketing tools are used to build relationships.
Remember that marketing means making relationships, keeping relationships, cultivating relationships and re-kindling relationships.
Web tools and technologies are simply support mechanisms to help support organizations build relationships.
If I had a penny for every time I was asked for the Top Ten Ways To Make Money by Using Web Marketing online, I would be rich. Instead, I find myself re-training brains to understand the real meaning of marketing first (to educate from the right foundation) and then teaching the way the web can work to support the five ways marketing works for organizations.
The Five Ways Marketing Must Work for Your Organization and What it Can Do:
1. Marketing can build awareness. You can have the best products or services in the world, but if nobody knows, what’s the point? Awareness can come from many ways including: advertising, search optimization, referrals, online marketing, traditional marketing (TV, radio), social media, word of mouth marketing (and in these online days “word of mouse” marketing).
2, Marketing communicates. Getting our message in front of current and prospective customers is key to success. Communication can serve as information distribution (pricing, value, competitive value, distinction, product/service information, etc.) Communication can also serve as a way to help educate a current or prospective customer so they understand what your product/service provides and why it is something they want or need. Communication is critical with marketing.
3. Marketing connects. Meaningful marketing makes relationships. Successful marketing helps build the “know, like and trust” factors (so people know you/your organization, like you/your organization, and trust you/your organization.” We connect through our stories, expertise, passion, content, video and much more.
4. Marketing serves. Marketing is about serving before selling. Remember:
“Good leaders must first become good servants”
– Robert Greenleaf
Customer Service is part of marketing. We can drive all the customers in the world to our businesses or organizations, but if we can’t or don’t serve them well (and repeatedly serve them well) then there is a serious flaw in the marketing puzzle. Marketing needs to be a customer service tool, whether you are selling product or providing a service (for or non-profit).
5. Marketing sells. Yes, marketing does need to support sales and drive sales. To achieve this, all the points above must also be a part of the marketing puzzle.
Defining web marketing:
Web Marketing (also defined as online marketing internet Marketing and eMarketing) is simply defined (thank you Wikipedia) as “using the web to market products or services”. Web marketing can include a number of options, including:
– New Website/Web Redesign/Website Optimization
– Search Engine Marketing (Natural Search, Paid Search, Local Search)
– Online Advertising
– Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, YouTube, Wikipedia, Podcasting)
– Affiliate Marketing
– Website Analytics to Measure Performance
– Viral Marketing
– Mobile Marketing
– Article Marketing to eZines, etc
It is not online tools (see above) that make web marketing matter, it is how we use the tools that make marketing matter.
The old rules of marketing was about a “one to many” approach, where now, new rules technologies allow organizations (large and small) to have “one to one” direct relationships all through a simple internet connection!
To make marketing matter, a clear business model needs to be defined and strategy needs to be set. Web marketing, like any other marketing, needs to have a clear strategy and purpose.
Web Marketing is a Revolution and an Evolution.
The classics that make marketing matter (see steps 1-5 above) will always apply, however, the revolution of web marketing and it’s continual evolution make it critical to never stop learning about the options that we have at our fingertips. We create new ideas by learning, we execute them when the idea seems like a good one, then we monitor our results…then create, execute and monitor all over again. 🙂
Web marketing can brand, build and boost business in ways we never imagined (and for a fraction of the cost, on flexible terms and in a fun way!)
If you want to learn how to use the web to brand, build and boost business (for profit and non-profit) then you are at the right blog!