Categorized | Internet Marketing

Customer Impact on Internet Marketing

A recent debate about the future of Internet marketing in Tampa revealed a distinct division of opinion about who was best equipped to handle the marketing of businesses on the Web. One side argued that marketing was marketing, and as long as you had creative people with cutting edge advertising concepts, you were fine. A more vocal group argued that all of the traditional marketing know-how in the world wouldn’t help a Web site grow unless the marketers understood the unique complexities of the Internet and search engine optimization. The marketing gurus argued that many SEO specialists knew nothing about marketing, and knowing about keywords and Google rank was pointless if you didn’t know how to use them to entice customers.

Internet Marketing’s Blend of Old and New

The truth is, Internet marketing requires both traditional marketing ability and a real grasp of how search engines work and the distinctly different way people respond to a message on the Internet. What makes Internet marketing so different from more traditional media marketing such as television, radio and print? For one thing, the customers and even casual observers have far more immediate influence on the outcome of any Internet marketing campaign than they have ever had over more traditional forms of marketing.

Public opinion has occasionally swayed the success or failure of a particular ad campaign in the past, usually through disapproval or protest. If a marketing campaign was considered offensive, some consumers might write letters or make a phone call to protest, but that was about as much influence as an individual had.

The Impact of the Individual on Internet Marketing

With Internet marketing, individual Internet users can have a profound impact on a campaign both good and bad. Every individual who sees an Internet ad campaign or reads a content article that is part of a marketing ploy has the opportunity to comment on it, forward it or link it to another site. They can write a blog post that ridicules a particular marketing campaign, write an article praising it or link their own site to the original site to encourage others to check it out and judge for themselves. In short, Web sites to some degree lose control of an Internet marketing campaign as soon as it hits the Web.

This loss of control isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In fact, many companies hope and pray for this kind of uncontrolled proliferation of comments, links and appraisals. Every unsolicited comment and link reinforces the notion that the company has something worth talking about or seeing. It’s the kind of publicity that wasn’t easily gained in the old days of direct mail marketing. How many times have you passed a direct mail flyer on to someone else? Now how many times have you forwarded an e-mail or sent someone the link to a great marketing page? If you’re like most people, you’re much more likely to forward via e-mail than you are to share some print mail.

It’s this immediacy that requires a balance of skills. Classic marketing skills can create a really great campaign, but understanding the immediacy and ever-changing face of the Internet helps you control your campaign to a greater extent. Being aware of the possibilities of human response on the Internet can help you tailor a campaign that will garner the kinds of links and comments you’re looking for instead of being blind-sided by a rush of unexpected publicity.

So what should you look for in an Internet Marketing team – a balance of traditional marketing skills and contemporary search engine optimizing talent. In Tampa, Internet marketing that balances these skills perfectly is offered by Webhead Interactive, a Florida based Internet Marketing firm specializing in bringing top notch advertising to the web.

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