Yes I am having a rant!
Very simply, it really frustrates me to see “Internet Marketing” being touted as the answer to a small business’s marketing dreams. I come across so many instances of pure marketing being substituted with Internet marketing that I wonder if anyone who reads that information will ever move beyond the IM holy grail of building a list, selling online products and holding teleseminars and workshops (oh and don’t forget the flagship product of exclusive one-to-one coaching.)
So yes I am having a rant about how Internet marketing is portrayed and then perceived by its intended audience. What do I mean?
OK – I’ll be blunt. It drives me to distraction when I come across articles such as “10 steps to a Great Marketing Plan”, that has been written by an Internet Marketer. Why? Because Internet marketing is a subset of marketing. It isn’t all there is to marketing. Ok so, Internet marketing aims for very specific outcomes and doesn’t address marketing strategy in general. It has its own agenda and calls on very defined tactics. But these tactics cannot be broadly applied to all marketing.
My first thought? What do they really know about putting together a strategic and comprehensive marketing plan that doesn’t involve building a list, marketing to that list, selling to that list, producing online products, doing teleseminars and running workshops? Probably a great deal, but they probably haven’t provided their extended marketing knowledge as a service to clients and put it into practice as a business offering.
Using comprehensive marketing strategies for your business
So, what I’m saying is if you want to write a marketing plan that shows you how to start an online business and learn how to be an Internet marketer then you should follow their advice. However, if you are running a business that doesn’t revolve around having residual income streams through selling online products such as ebooks and audio courses, running teleseminars and workshops – then you really need to think before you listen.
Why? Because the majority of Internet marketers have no commercial experience of what I will call pure marketing. Many have never had a job in the world of marketing; have never helped a business market themselves in anyway but the aforementioned and they only know what they know because more than likely they learned it off someone else who was selling the same information!
And this really frustrates me.
Passion for business
Most, heck ALL, small businesses need a marketing plan that involves more than building a list and producing online products. I get annoyed when I see people advising others that the only way they can have a successful business is by leveraging their knowledge and information and creating passive income streams without having to lift a finger.
It should be obvious that most people who start their own small businesses do so out of sheer passion for what they do. A desire to achieve and deliver real results for their clients – whether that be through products or services.
Those who want a formulaic business system that runs on autopilot aren’t really what I would call entrepreneurs – they are, well, Internet marketers. They don’t really have an original product or service (although it usually sounds like they do), they are just themselves following established systems which they learned from someone else and teaching their clients who to do the same with their own list. Nothing new, nothing original, just the same old advice time after time, new client after new client.
So what would I do? Well, I would do what it is that I DO do. Huh?
Yes this would, and does, include the skills and tactics of Internet marketing but I would never advise people that the only way they can have a successful business is to create an entry level product to give away, capture people on a list, sell to them until they buy the next step up and then sell to them until they buy the next step up. (Did I repeat myself? No, the premise of Internet marketing does that for me!)
But (olive branch) I do believe that Internet marketing is a skill and can be a way to generate a great online business. But despite that, it is not what I classify as (pure) marketing. Yes, Internet marketers can tell you how to put together a marketing plan very well but, you must note, it’s going to be an Internet marketing plan. NOT a comprehensive, strategic small business marketing plan. And there is a big difference.
Despite originally starting Just Too Busy, after the birth of my first child, as a part-time business venture taking advantage of my skills and experience as a PA – I actually have a solid marketing, media and communication background. I have not just started a small business and decided to learn it all myself and then tell others what I have learned.
From my solid career foundation in both marketing and the media, being a certified Guerilla Marketer and running my own businesses for 9 years, I am able to help my clients to effectively and professionally market their businesses in the right way that involves a variety of different techniques.
I help passionate small business owners market and promote their business so they can create, establish and develop a worthwhile brand and profile and show them how to actually take that brand and business to the right markets.
One is a lonely number
I wouldn’t advise any small business owner to rely solely on Internet marketing as a strategy. Internet marketers simply don’t distinguish between that and the broader applications of marketing. Indeed in many cases they try to convince others that Internet marketing can be substituted for all applications of marketing, which is a flawed and misleading approach.
I believe it is crucial to understand and consistently employ a range of marketing and promotion strategies for your business and that if you do this, you will achieve better results than just going the Internet marketing route alone – or for that mater employing any marketing strategy in isolation.
Yes, I may do a teleseminar here or there or run a workshop – but it is not to get you on my list to sell, sell, sell – until you buy – it is to provide real information, real advice and real insight into marketing your small business.
Ok, Ok rant over. However, I would stress to anyone who has come across Internet marketing to consider carefully whether it is suitable as the main strategy for your business or whether you really need to look at creating and implementing something a little more varied.
As always feel free to get in touch if you have any questions about this post or anything else.
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