Online Marketing Mess

How can the average person tell if online marketing services are worth paying for? The answer is not so straightforward. When looking at ways to improve your website, be it performance in search or social, or starting an email newsletter, there are two basic elements that you usually pay for: expertise and access to technology.  The difficulty lies in valuing the combination of expertise + technology relative to how much it would cost to learn to do it and find the right technology (or build it) yourself.

The easiest way to figure this out is to think about what you are trying to accomplish in terms of the goal for your business.  


Example: Starting a newsletter 

Business Goal: An email newsletter will grow revenue from existing customers and educate potential customers.

Pretty straightforward, right?  

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This works for most internet marketing or advertising products.  Here are some other examples of business goals:

  1. Updating our website so that it works well on most mobile phones will attract more potential customers and make it easier for current customers to find our business online.
  2. Advertising a coupon will increase sales from new customers and may bring back some customers that have left.

Always try to frame the online marketing idea in real business terms.  This sounds elementary, but too often businesses purchase Internet marketing products or services without a clear understanding of the expectations.  Without a clear goal, how will you know if it is working?  Finally, if you cannot identify a goal, then it is probably not something you need to do yet.  As the way we use technology keeps evolving, it is a good idea to keep a list of the ideas that are not going to help today and review them every so often.

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