I have found that there is so much confusion around when it comes to developing and executing an effective internet marketing strategy. I use the word strategy deliberately as in discussion with various business leaders in London who have interfaced with many of those offering social media [with no experience working in marketing & developing marketing strategies] & internet marketing services; there seems to be a notion floating around that putting up a few facebook pages, twitter account and linkedin pages constitutes an internet strategy.
Having worked with and consulted for organizations such as Swatch Group China, Black & Decker, Iveco Trucks & Genworth Financial our business discussions centre defining markets, segmentation, branding, products, services and utimately revenue generation. Where the internet comes into play is how being used as a channel to market – that is either to :-
- be used for communicating the message of the company
- be used for delivering the product / service to the end user client
… of course, depending on the product or service offering the internet may be used for both of the above. If you are selling lathes or ball bearings then the internet will fit into your strategy for the purpose of promotion and communication of your message.
The internet is a very ‘big place’ and potential clients can be found
- in forums
- in vertical directories
- via white papers
- via podcasting
- through organic search
- via paid search
- through video content
- social media
… and the list could go on and on !! The question to be answered is – where do we find your potential clients on the internet – and how do we best service them in terms of delivering quality, relevant content [as opposed to spamming people after you've gotten them to "like" your Facebook page !!]. I say this tongue in cheek but, the point still remains that many organizations are doing themselves a misservice by relegating the internet marketing activities [in some cases] to those who have the most technical understanding.
To further drive the point home – the industrial purchaser looking for specifications on sopecific building materials, lubricating liquids, ball bearings, metals or such product – where do they have to go to find out about your products ?? If you are expecting them to visit your website then maybe you need to revisit your internet strategy as the internet is a bit bigger than your website !! Revisit the list above and determine whether or not they will find you in these internet locations.
I say – bring internet marketing into the boardroom, executive level managers – this is not just about social media. When you are looking to hire someone to assist with your internet strategies, have a business level strategy discussion that does not include the internet. As about
- market segmentation
- business to business marketing
- branding fundamentals
- new product introduction
- price elasticity
- channel marketing
… and if your [potential] consultant can engage with you at this level, and she has a firm grasp of the internet, she will most likely be able to assist you in using the internet in your business.
If you would like to discuss internet marketing consulting in your organization – feel free to get in touch.
To your internet marketing strategy success.
-Stephen C Campbell