ONLINE MARKETING - By Mike Mintz, Published June 29, 2012
What Does an Internet Marketer Do?
It’s All About Building Influence
thing you will learn about me, I like simple answers. I think the most
complex problems are solved by the easy answer, so here goes. An
Internet Marketer uses the Internet to influence people’s decisions to
Notice I didn’t say “buy stuff.” There’s a reason for
that. If you are an Internet Marketer for a not-for-profit trying to get
awareness of an issue, or an Internet Marketer for a political
candidate trying to get votes, or an Internet Marketer for a company
trying to build brand awareness (the list could go on) you are not
necessarily “selling” a product, rather you are trying to influence
By influencing opinion you can do anything.
Now Wikipedia and other sites will give you laundry lists of the things that Internet Marketers do. If you are interested in that click the link above. At the end of the day, however, Internet Marketing is really about getting people interested in what you are doing online. If you want to know what great marketers do, read on.
What Great Marketers Do
Godin is a great marketer. He has written a dozen best-selling books on
marketing including the bluntly titled “All Marketers Are Liars” (Seth
recently re-released this book with the work “Liars” crossed out, and
the words “Story Tellers” written in). In a 2005 article Seth wrote his
own laundry list of what every good marketer knows. He said things like:
- Anticipated, personal and relevant advertising always does better than unsolicited junk.
- Making promises and keeping them is a great way to build a brand.
- Your best customers are worth far more than your average customers.
of wallet is easier, more profitable and ultimately more effective a
measure than share of market. Marketing begins before the product is
- Advertising is just a symptom, a tactic. Marketing is about far more than that.
- Low price is a great way to sell a commodity. That’s not marketing, though, that’s efficiency
points are just a sample from the list, and Godin gives some very sound
advice. There are three points from his list that should serve as
guideposts for anyone looking to do great marketing, especially in the
realm of social media.
Great Marketing Encourages the Right Sort of Conversations
among the members of your marketplace happen whether you like it or
not. Good marketing encourages the right sort of conversations.”
cannot stop people from talking, especially today. The marketers job is
to listen to these conversations and then encourage a dialogue, not a
monologue (that’s old world marketing). If you can get customers
talking, you can both learn from and influence them.
You do not
want to be the marketer who believes the lie that people will buy what
you are selling because of some intrinsic greatness your product
possesses. People will buy what they want and you are not in charge of
that (another gem from Godin’s list: “your prospects don’t care about
Rather then convincing them and then getting frustrated with a market that just doesn’t “get it” find a way to connect to your customer
by offering that little something “extra” that creates an “emotional
bonus.” This is the magic part of the marketers job, and your best tools
to make it happen are stories.
Good Marketers Tell a Story
all over the world, and of every income level, respond to marketing
that promises and delivers basic human wants. Good marketers tell a
Basic human wants can be broken down into two major
categories: The desire for gain and the desire to avoid loss. All fears
are a manifestation of one of these two desires (fear of not getting or
fear of losing).
1943, behavioral psychologist Abraham Maslow wrote a paper called “A
Theory of Human Motivation” where he proposed a hierarchy of needs that
places human motivation into five-tiers of importance.
motivations can be diagrammed as a pyramid, with the simplest and most
common motivations comprising the base and higher, more esoteric
motivations the top. Here are Maslows hierarchy of needs listed out for
you with number 1 comprising the base of the pyramid and number 5 the
- Physiological – food, water, sleep, breathing, sex, homeostasis
- Safety – security of body, employment, resources, family, health, property, morality
- Love/belonging – friendship, family, sexual intimacy
- Esteem – self esteem, confidence, achievement, respect of others, respect by others
- Self actualization – morality, creativity, spontaneity, problem solving, lack of prejudice, acceptance of facts
theory provides a framework for marketers to do their jobs and tell
stories that matter to their customers. Marketing stories should be
crafted to tap into different levels of the motivational pyramid. The
higher up your message appeals the greater emotional connection you can
create. Tapping into the human wants and needs through great
storytelling moves marketing out of the realm of sleazy convincing and
hustling and into the realm of psychological and emotional engagement.
stories should always be focused telling the customer how their lives
can be better because of what you are marketing, not how great your
product, idea or charity is. Think of it like dating:
you wouldn’t want to go on a second date with someone who sat at dinner
the entire time talking about how great they are. Most of us want to
engage with people who want to know about us, ask questions and listen.
Why should marketing be any different?
marketers know this and spend their time identifying the right audience
for their product, developing a message that will communicate and
resonate with that audience and creating the best experience for people
who choose to pay attention.
A.M.P. Up Your Marketing to Match Your Customers Worldview
“Effective stories match the worldview of the people you are telling the story to.”
spoken about the importance of marketing to your audience and the wants
rather than just proclaiming the greatness of your products. Crafting a
marketing story that matches your customers worldview means going the
extra mile to know and connect with your customer.
Think of ways
to “A.M.P.” up your marketing. When you “amp” anything up it means
putting real power into it – in marketing terms it stands for the
- A – audience. Every marketing effort must start here by identifying, understanding and knowing how to reach the core audience.
– message. Develop marketing messages that will resonate with your
audience based your experience with them and what you know to be true
for them. Here is where great storytelling makes all the difference.
– product. Notice this comes last in the formula. Unfortunately too
many companies put their products first and then try to wedge the
audience in through marketing. The product is the answer to the problems
presented in the story.
You need a great product experience
for the preceding items to have a lasting and repeated effect. Godin
says that “living and breathing an authentic story is the best way to
survive in a conversation-rich world.” That means you should adopt the
out jargon and corporate speak from your marketing materials. Stop
pretending to be the infallible, all knowing, wonderful wizard of Oz (he
was just a lost guy behind a curtain after all). Get to know your
customer and then build a marketing dialogue that feels like a real
relationship (if your company is small enough or savvy enough you should
be building actual relationships!). Just remember, the story always
goes back to your customer and their experience.
customer does not mean lying to them or telling them what they want to
hear. Influence means finding the right customer, the one who can most
benefit from what you have to offer, and making them care deeply about
what you have to offer, so much so they are moved to act.
Bottom line: tell a compelling story and keep it real.