“Digital marketing” is the same as “internet marketing”, and includes all of the following:
- Email Marketing
- Search Engine Optimization
- Pay-Per-Click Advertising
- Social Networking
- Social Media
In my 12 years in Internet marketing, I’ve noticed a problem that won’t go away. With each new opportunity, the same excuses keep people from getting the biggest profits from new internet marketing channels.
If you know a company that waited too many years to put up a website or begin e-commerce, you know what I mean.
I’ve collected a list of the common objections people have to new opportunities (in the cartoon to the right- click on it to view full-sized), in the hopes that we might all overcome them, adapt to them more quickly, and get more out of them.
Opportunity Decreases When Competition Increases
Many businesses have missed out on the advantages these new marketing channels provide. Google, Yahoo, Bing, Facebook and Twitter have all become more competitive, and it takes more skill, time, and creativity to succeed on them.
Competition means you have to spend more time on AdWords or hire more qualified employees or consultants, and that lowers the profitability of that channel for you. Competitors have glommed onto the most profitable keywords in each niche, so cost per click has increased and profits have decreased. You may be spending less on AdWords because fewer keywords are still profitable.
The companies that benefit the most from a new digital marketing opportunity are the ones that jump in early. How early? Right after there’s some indication it will work for marketing, but before all your competitors jump in.
That time is now for Facebook Advertising, and maybe for Pinterest. Google Plus is worth attention from an SEO perspective.
Disclaimer: It is wise to wait a while, because being too close to the cutting edge means you might get cut… and it’s tough to know when a new marketing channel is promising and established enough to use.
A good bellweather in the past was the real estate industry. You knew once the average realtor was ready to invest in a marketing channel, it was probably at the high point of the bell curve, and your profitability would start to decrease. (The realtors can throw you off a bit though, because they also look for the lowest cost marketing options, so they have been among the deluded who thought that social media would be completely free.)
As time has gone on, technology as accelerated the speed at which we see new opportunities, but also decreased their longevity. The good news is that I’ve seen companies adopting Facebook marketing and advertising a lot quicker than they did previous opportunities. We’re adapting faster, but the problem remains.
That means that everyone needs to get quicker at assessing the value of new marketing opportunities, and deciding to allocate some time and money to testing them out on their business. You may be able to find out in a few weeks with less than a few thousand dollars. If you don’t find out, you may miss out on profits much bigger than that.
In some cases, training is the thing you should invest in. For example, I would say that Facebook marketing and advertising is a proven channel after 2011, but that you need special skills and you need to know the best practices to succeed with them. Google AdWords has been that way for years. Most businesses that spend more than $500 a month on AdWords recognize how much time and experience (probably a good 20 hours of training and 40 hours of experience) it takes to run it profitably. And they also recognize that not everyone has the talents to learn digital marketing and advertising. Right now, one of the biggest talent gaps in the U.S. (and biggest opportunities for people who are graduating college or switching careers), is in the fields of internet marketing, advertising, social media, and web analytics.
But the main point of this post is to help businesses recognize and overcome the objections that keep them from adapting to new opportunities sooner.
Inevitably, I’m only going to create an AHA moment for a segment of people. But if you’re one of them, welcome to a bigger advantage in business!