Internet Marketing: More than a website.

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The term "internet marketing" has been bandied about between businesspeople mostly without recognizing its true nature.  Most think it means getting a website. Some think that it's search advertising on Google Adwords. In reality, however, it's much more than that. A lot more.

A different perspective....

In conventional marketing, there are target audiences, messages, and media. For example, using mail marketing, there is a list (or post office carrier route), a printed message on a postcard or flyer, and the media is the paper postal system.  For Cable TV ads, there is an audience described by the program or time-slot, a video message, and the media is broadcast cable TV.  With Internet marketing, however, there is one media - the web, there are many ways to deliver a message, and the audience can be sometimes very difficult to define.  

Internet marketing has many dimensions...

In internet marketing, there are many components - none of them are rocket science, exactly, but a good understanding of them is useful. There are three main categories of components: (a) ways to reach your audience, (b) places to bring them to, and (c) the means to measure how (a) and (b) perform.  For the most part, the places to bring prospective clients to, is your website (or a landing page on it).  But the ways to reach your audience, to build traffic to your website is more complicated. Search marketing (e.g. Google Adwords), pay-per-click, email marketing, and social marketing are just a few of the ways to qualify your audience and bring them to your website  Each of these is an entire discussion in itself.

But metrics are what make it work...

The element of internet marketing that makes it so effective, however, is "analytics" - the ability to measure how people were reached, how they reacted, how they behaved when they found your website and how, ultimately, they turned into customers. Without analytics, you internet marketing is almost meaningless.  The ability to know the effectiveness of how you reach prospective customers, evaluate how you "convert" them into web visitors, and the management of how they buy from you, lies at the heart of internet selling.

All this is not to say "it's complicated, so avoid it". On the contrary, it's extremely powerful and every small business in Northumberland (and the big ones, too!) should make a point of boning up on it, and testing it in their business. But remember, a website is often a key part of it, but there's much more to it.