Back in 1986 I became interested in marketing and advertising quite by accident. I was employed by a major communications company and teaching computer classes. When a new product for analyzing the effectiveness of various advertising campaigns was installed, I was expected to learn the product and then teach the marketing gurus how to use it. I was fascinated with demographics and how campaigns were deployed. I considered changing my career and going back to school but got side tracked with a cross-country move. Let’s look at what I was considering then compared to what the market looks like now.
My company was spending millions on advertising campaigns that were done on TV, in direct mail, flyers on door handles, inserts into the monthly bill, etc. All of these were the traditional form of advertising in the 1980’s. From what I saw of these advertising campaigns, there were more losers than there were successes. However, when the successes are huge, it masks the losses. Customers today are more savvy and are just plain tired of all the junk mail whether it paper or electronic.
Online marketing, also called Internet Marketing, still uses demographics as well as several other factors to target the consumer. A major difference here can be in the dollar amount spent on these campaigns. In the early 1990s many businesses were creating commercial web sites that were simply online brochures and product catalogues. Customers would check out what they wanted but many were afraid to give credit card information online so they just placed the call instead. Because of the new encryption technology, customers feel more confident with online purchases. The number of internet users today is 1018 million or 15.7% of the world population. Compare that to August of 2001 when it was 513 million, 8.6% of the world population. That means it almost doubled in just a little over 4 years! If you like statistics (and I do) consider that Sweden has the highest percentage (73.6%) of their people on the internet and the United States is at 68.5%. If this does not get you excited about online marketing, I’m not sure what would.
Online marketing has a completely different set of tools it uses for marketing. Search engine marketing, joint ventures, opt-in emails, newsletters, etc. Each type of campaign can reach a different type of prospective client depending on how you decide to run the particular campaign. We will cover each of these in detail in our next article.
Many of the pioneers of online marketing who saw this potential are now exceedingly wealthy. If you check online, you’ll see that several of them are producing eBooks and eCourses that detail the “secrets of internet success.” Quite often these books and courses are distributed via download for free. With this kind of information available, there has never been a better time to start an online business. Here’s to your future success.