The Internet Marketing Check List, unlike the infamous
bucket list, things to check off before we die, is not a list to say you
something, but is a list of different marketing options that may or may
your company's requirements. Therefore, do not just say you did
make sure it fits your business and marketing strategy and if it does,
it with passion and focus.
I recently attended a seminar where the underlying theme was
not to have your company's strategy be "keeping up with the Jones," or if they
are doing something then I need to do it. Unfortunately, it is all too true
that some companies run their Internet Marketing strategy as a direct reaction
to their competitor's strategy or in a reactive move because everyone else is
doing it (i.e. Twitter, Facebook, and Social Networks). The side note to the
seminar that I attended in 2010 was that when I attended the same seminar in
2008, the main theme was about who was doing the most with Web2.0 and Social
Networks, sorry Twitter but your tweet was not yet hatched in 2008. The
discussion in 2008 did not revolve around any return-on-investment (ROI) or
return-on-objective (ROO); it was all about how many impressions a process drew
or how cool the process was perceived. What a difference two years makes.
There is a standing statement used with regards to fashion
"It may be in fashion, but it may not be your fashion." Just like fashion,
Internet marketing is not a one-size fits all; and more so, just because it is the
"in thing" does not mean it will fit your style or business strategy.
Case in point, I met a CEO of a medium size company ($30-40
million in sales a year) who was all excited that they were going to be using
Twitter and had contracted with a company to generate the tweets. He was
gushing about being progressive and embracing the new avenues. I asked him what
the plan was for the tweets, what event were they planning to use Twitter at,
and what the overall theme and message they were trying to convey. The response
was that he was not aware of any plans or procedures for the Twitter project; he
thought Twitter was free flowing and that the value would come from telling prospective
customers and clients that his company was using Twitter. I understand that the
company no longer embraces Twitter, which may be a mistake for them as they
hold some very interesting dynamic events. The use of Twitter at this type of
event, if the customer framed their message and set up a relationship through
Twitter with clients and customers who could not attend the event, could be a
very powerful tool for them.
I remember when Blogging first became all the rage; it
seemed that every Internet Marketing strategy that I reviewed had a line item
stating that the company was going to blog. I hardly every saw a definition of
what was acceptable blogging, how often were they to blog, and who was to be
part of the blog team. We all know what happened to companies who did not set
up guidelines and rules for internal company blogging.
Though, I still meet with prospective clients and hear how
their new website has to have a blog attached, which means that they are just
responding to an Internet Marketing Check List versus understanding what this
really means. Overall, blogging is still an option, but it has to be embraced
by those who know that blogging requires timely and relevant material while
creating a following, otherwise you are just writing for yourself.
Like any online activity, if you go into it half-hearted then
the result will be weak, and a weak online activity could be picked apart by
those who are true supporters of the process (i.e. avid bloggers, tweeters,
etc.). In addition, prospective customers or clients may look at your attempt
as an unfocused ploy to just be a part of something, which in the online world
means that you may be just a click away from losing a potential opportunity.
Therefore, an Internet Marketing Check List is not something
you post up on the wall and then tick off your participation in each one. I
tell clients that they are not setting up an Internet Marketing strategy, but
that they have an overall Marketing Strategy and one of the components is how
they will use the Internet to market their products or services, how they will
connect with customers and build relationships, as well as initiate a dialogue
to learn more about their product or service from the customer while learning
what the client or customer wants.
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