Of course the basic principles of Internet Marketing never change. But the techniques, methods and consumer behaviors in relation to them is constantly changing. That’s why the term “Adapt or Die” is more relevant now than ever. There’s many new normals quietly taking place in I.M, but here is my top seven. Are you adapting? Here’s some examples…
#1. Free Isn’t What It Used To Be – There was a time when the word ‘Free’ would get instant attention for attracting email sign-ups, orders and goodwill. Now the bar has raised on the Free gift strategy. Now the gift has to be more relevant, targeted and unique than ever. Otherwise the best you’ll get is a yawn and an eye-roll.Those cheap “Free Gifts” that’s been passed around more than a cheap floozy on a Saturday night is dead.
#2. Not Building Relationships… Could Sink Your Ship – Successful marketers of today constantly look for and use tools to help them build stronger relationships and communities that encourage two-way communication NOT just “old school” one-way push-marketing strategies.
#3. Build a Brand not Just a Business – In the past the word “Brand” was mostly associated with Fortune 500 companies. But more small internet marketers are discovering the competitive advantage and long term benefit of building a brand… not just a business, or worse only a money making (scheme) opportunity.
#4. Selling is Out, ‘Positioning’ is In – In the past selling was what quote “sold” products and services, now it’s positioning. Positioning yourself as the expert, authority, adviser, or dependable/trusted referral who can recommend the ‘best’ product or service – after they’ve first listened to and analyzed the prospects problem. Not just someone who shoves an ad or sales presentation down their throat!
#5. Service “After-The-Sale”… Sells! – In the past buying a product signaled the end of the sales transaction. But now more consumers are looking for service after-the-sale. That means anything from free consultation, tech support, free updates, or just an email address where they can contact you if they have problems or questions. The ‘Hi and Buy’ form of selling is going the way of the dial up modem.
#6. It’s Getting Harder To Fake-it – The word “fake-it-til you make it” was synonymous with internet marketing, but now it’s a little harder to pull off… for long! More seasoned consumers are aware of this fake-it-til you make it tradition (in fact they may be doing it or have done it in the past). Plus, more tools are at their disposal to cross-check and verify a marketer or businesses reputation, track record and even site stats and more.
#7. You’re Guilty til’ Proven Innocent – “Any” advertising, marketing message, or promotional push is suspect now more than ever, when it comes to today’s more informed and skeptical consumer. They’re more quick to assume you’re either exaggerating, embellishing or straight out lying unless you can prove it, guarantee it, demonstrate it and “they” can verify it. Plus, with the many verification tools (and growing) at their disposal they no longer have to just take your word for it.
Have you noticed any new normals with any of those 7? Have noticed any other “new normals” in addition to those?
As always, I invite your comments, agreements or disagreements.