Tag Archives: online marketing

Social Marketing – the Next Big Thing

A long time ago in University, the Next Big Thing was the Internet.  Among the proclamations was that the Internet was going to render all other forms of advertising irrelevant.  The Internet was going to change everything in marketing.

I hear a lot of the same thing being said of social marketing these days, and I repeat what my Professor had to say to this ‘Hogwash’.

Yes, Social Marketing is important.  Yes, it has altered how we communicate.  Yes, it’s providing some great returns.  Sometimes.   However, it’s worth noting that it is a tool, and should be considered only one of a variety of tools at a marketers disposal.

Here’s an example.  In 2006; I worked for an e-commerce company that generated 80% of its revenue and leads from Search Engine Marketing.  It took me 6 months, but I finally convinced the CEO to allow me to do offline marketing.

We set up a new website and then  I took out a series of print advertisements in a magazine.  In 3 months, we had generated an ROI of 4.  In 12, our monthly ROI was 20.  3 years later, the company generates 50% of it’s revenue from offline advertising.

The fact is, your customers will have diverse viewing habits. Some might only do e-mail.  Others social websites.  Others, just skim the news and some favourite websites.  And even more might just not use the Internet at all except for work.

Your marketing plan must encompass all of these, or else you’ll just be fishing in the same spot repeatedly.  Sooner or late, that spot is going to go bare for new customers.

On Affiliate Programs

So. I just launched an affiliate program on 2nd tier affiliate network. Why 2nd tier? Mostly because a 1st tier network costs a lot of funds to set-up. Of course, the potential advantages are huge tool but dropping $10 – 15,000 on initial set-up is quite, quite expensive for a SME.

Pros of Affiliates

  • The Work is Out-Sourced
  • Initial cost of the marketing is borne by the affiliates
  • Potentially wide network reach
  • Individual affiliates can have multiple, older websites which can provide great link opportunities

Cons of Affiliates

  • No guarantee you’ll get any good affiliates
  • Initial setup cost can be relatively high; with low returns
  • On-going cost of good affiliates can be extremely high as % of sales
  • You lose control of your marketing