rabbit hole“The possibilities are endless.” Such are some company claims who provide online marketing ‘tools”. And if you have endless time to devote to harnessing these tools, you might get somewhere. Maybe. Depends on whose tools you buy into.

There is a formula for promoting online expertise. The usual one consists of posting articles with headlines such as “Five things you need to know to INSERT TOPIC HERE.” “The three best tools to help you INSERT FUNCTION HERE.”

You get the idea.

Don’t get me wrong. There are many companies out there providing relevant tools and expertise for those engaged in online marketing. I know. I use some. Not just for myself but for my clients as well.

Therein lies the challenge. Any marketer, including small businesses, can scour the internet looking to tap resources they don’t have and learn marketing tips from the experts.

Anyone can do it. You do not need a marketing agency, you may not even need a marketing or sales director. If you have the time to pursue and evaluate the resources available to you, you can save considerable money. That is, assuming that your time IS NOT money. That assumes your business runs so smoothly, you can put it on auto pilot while you wrestle the online marketing gorilla to the floor.

Many companies do not have that luxury. Their CEOs or Presidents have larger issues to attend to.  Such as growing their business.

The power of internet marketing gives you the ability to target right down to people who wear brown shoes versus those who wear black; to which way a person’s house faces, be it north, south,east or west and whether they are more or less prone to purchase online or off.

But the real power of the internet is captured when a company’s business goals and objectives are clearly defined and milestones for achievements are clearly marked on the internet road to success.

Almost every B2B business wants to generate leads. To do that, you need to capture emails. We can measure that. To legally get those emails you need to get the visitor to your site to opt in. We can easily measure that, too. Oops. Forgot. First we have to get people to the site in the first place. We can measure that, too. We can measure where they came from, where they went, how long they stayed on your site, whether they set sail to other sites after just visiting your landing page.

We can measure what people search for and if that search relates to our business, we can plant our ads when they visit other sites. There is so much we can measure. The rabbit hole of digital measurement has almost endless burrows.  The one with a dead end sign is the one labelled “Why?”

‘Why’ is one of the most potent questions in any strategic exercise including choosing online tools to help marketing efforts

I love online marketing because of its precision, predictability and accountability. I am an ad guy. I get my kicks from helping clients gain market share, grow awareness or change behaviour. And I love what online communications can do to help me do my job. That’s why most of my work now is online. What I don’t like is seeing intelligent management being lured through the digital looking glass and down the rabbit hole. 

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