Slowly the internet has evolved, and almost daily, people are waking up to the enthusiasm I discovered back in the fall of 1994 when I first used a browser called Mosaic (in pre-Explorer or Navigator days) and realized that Gutenberg (his invention of the printing press) about happened all over again.
The internet would be as important as the invention of print, radio, television, fax, or the telegraph. And like the telegraph (that ended the Pony Express and threw thousands of people out of work overnight), we had better be prepared to adapt, change and embrace the new medium. That’s if we want to guarantee ourselves employment and make a lot of money in the future.
In the beginning, internet marketing used to be a simple matter. A few newsgroup announcements, a few classified ads on AOL, a few tricks like the hidden text on your web page, and you would jump to the top of the search engines and the order lines would ring off the hooks. Ahh, those were the days.
The internet was not a crowded place and the big companies treated the world wide web more like a passing fad. They handed off their website design to people who knew nothing about marketing, selling, partnering, or lead generation, and their web sites just sat there like big static brochures. Some literally just scanned in pictures of their brochures.
Then people like me came along and put up interactive sites that boosted the visitor’s confidence, had a clear sales message, a call to action, asked for the order, and actually answered the email. I positioned my clients high in the search engines and their order lines began to ring.
My sites immediately made money for my customers, as well as saved money in customer service and support costs. Slowly people started to realize that good marketing is good marketing, all the old rules of advertising still apply, the internet is just another tool. And those search engines were great, the advertising was FREE if you knew how to play the game. When is internet marketing going to be finished? This question gets asked far too often, even by marketing professionals, and it is clear that a lot of them just don’t get it. Is Toyota or Ford ever finished? Is McDonald’s or Burger King ever finished?
We all know who they are and what you can get from them, but they continue to advertise. Sorry if my question comes across as an obvious rant, but I only point it out because the marketing manager of a major corporation actually asked me, “When is our internet marketing going to be finished?”Well according to the American Retail Council, “Companies that advertise less than the national average have sales less than the national average. Companies that advertise more than the national average have proportionately higher sales”.
What’s important to understand is that your internet marketing is never finished. Search engines change how they operate almost monthly and you will need to adapt and change your pages, fine-tune them or create new ones to keep up. Just like any other form of advertising, your online promotions and internet marketing must be an on-going process to keep your site at the top of the search engines and fresh in the minds of your customers and prospects. Be sure to align yourself with people that understand that they must commit ongoing resources (that’s time and money) to their marketing efforts.
All successful companies advertise. You would be wise not to waste your time with companies or managers, that do not understand this fundamental law of doing business and are not willing to commit full-time resources to the internet.