Internet Marketing: A Growing Season
An Observation on Website Design and Marketing
As CMO at Real Internet Sales, a Columbia SC based website design and internet marketing firm, I get to observe first hand the genesis of the internet. I am the guy that gets in the trenches with the clients 'to make the marketing' happen. I get to see first hand what they think is important on the evolving stage of marketing products. It is both enlightening and scary!
At the crux of internet marketing is a basic dichotomy that's not always evident but is always present, it is this. Most internet "products" from social media to search engines were not designed to be advertising products. The nature of the "product" is communication---not sales. In fact, Google frowns upon (read that as penalizes) websites whose sole function is to "sell." Accordingly, much of my job as an internet "marketer" is to get our client to look at the marketing less. This is, in fact, much harder than it sounds. Clients have a unique need to look at their return on investment---and, typically, they look for this number to be recovered on some fairly short period of time. But, with the internet, the lifecycle, for better or worse, is very long indeed.
So, as a business person, whats a realistic expectation? How do you judge the success or failure of you're internet marketing program? Try to frame your internet marketing in terms of "gardening." I have used this analogy many times with clients and I think its useful. There is nothing you (or I or any other marketing expert) to make Google discover and rank you #1 immediately. It takes time. So, the first thing you have to do is "plant" the seeds of a good story and content. Over time you must "water" and "fertilize" your website with additional content, linked sources, and media. Keep this in mind, like with fertilizer or water, you can't go and dump all that you will need for an entire growing season on day one to make the process happen faster. You have to conform to the "growing season" here too.
If you can take a deep breath, slow down, plan to spend more money/time before you see a "real return", you will be successful. Its going to take time. Its going to take ongoing effort. Its going to pay off!
If you would like more information on internet marketing or website design, please feel free to contact us!