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Facebook for Business – Social Media in Your Marketing Mix: What has the Internet Changed?

Filed under Marketing, Sales/Selling, Small Business, Social Media, Strategy, Venture Capital and Start Ups on January 7, 2012

The internet has not changed the fundamentals of marketing. The internet has not created a new “silver bullet” of marketing, but introduced many new considerations and an enormous number of new tools to be employed. All too often people are confusing internet savvy, website design and SEO skills with marketing and it’s not. These skills are important parts of online promotion techniques and campaigns and important elements of most marketers’ tool kits. Marketing, however, needs to be approached at a much higher level than internet tricks.

The objective of marketing is to make money, something that seems to be lost on many “gurus.” We offer means to formulate proper social media objectives and cost effectively implement a social media strategy. In doing so, you can move your company ahead of the competition in connecting to clients and prospects by establishing a community with a common interest.

Company websites, blogs and social media strategy are not ends in themselves, but essential components of the marketing mix that supports an overall company strategy, business plan and marketing plan. The incredible adoption rate by the general population and high level of interest by small and large businesses alike in incorporating social media into their promotional tools is merits a closer look.

Many marketing professionals and particularly the “gurus” ignore the fundamentals and jump straight to improving web page ranking or some other measure of online promotional success without considering what the marketing goal is and how it should be achieved. For that reason, it’s worth starting out an examination of the impact of the internet on marketing with a quick review of what marketing is all about in the first place.

Effectiveness of Online Promotion

We’ll assume the latter so that we may take a closer look at the issue of marketing, specifically Finding efficient ways to advertise and promote your business, particularly in the context of internet business solutions.

Small businesses see internet business solutions as increasingly important. More importantly, 42% see internet business solutions as being “extremely important”, an increase of 9% from the study released only 7 months earlier. Incorporating the appropriate internet tools in a cost effective manner that contributes to profits and profitability is a high value target in small business marketing.

Importance of Internet Business Solutions

Network Solutions, LLC

The proliferation of online promotional tools has tended to obscure the fundamentals of business and marketing management. We feel that if a company gets the fundamentals right, then a well thought out and well executed marketing plan will lead to finding efficient ways to advertise and promote your business and make converting marketing leads into buyers easier and far more profitable.

The marketing objective is to make money. That means that online activity is expected to achieve a rate of return consistent with the strategy and business model. All too often, in a world of “free stuff” on the internet, people ignore the opportunity cost of putting those tools to use. It may seem to be the antithesis of conventional thinking that anything computer related is labor saving, but internet based marketing is anything but labor saving. Marketing in general is a very labor intensive activity and internet marketing is no exception.

The labor saving aspect of internet marketing is the broad reach it has once the message or platform has been setup. The frontend of internet marketing is not particularly scalable, however, once in place it is massively scalable at virtually no incremental cost. The cost of setting up a website is independent of how many people will visit each day and how many page views they will have. If you want a website that has certain functionality a certain number of pages and a defined format, it’s pretty much the same job if regardless of traffic. Once in place, it can be accessed by 1 person per day or 1million per day with little or no incremental cost.

It is the ambiguous nature of both the costs involved and the role of internet marketing that make it so important to understand its role, how it has changed the competitive landscape and keep it in perspective with the fundamentals of business management. We’ll do that by examining the impact of internet marketing on the 4 Ps.

People add Ps all the time, but this is to sell a new addition or an alternative book. Good marketers can’t be bothered with that nonsense and focus in on more value added activities. Again the fundamentals of marketing have not changed. It’s vital to the success of any business to recognize these changes without forgetting the fundamentals and that is one of the great misconceptions of business management today.

This blog is one in a series that will examine the fundamentals of marketing and how social media is being used effectively as a promotional tool in the marketing mix.
Richard Gabel

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