There’s a whole breed of gurus who will tell you how to do this. Some of them have great content and convincing methodologies. What you might miss amongst all this noise is that “internet marketing” represents a tiny part of the internet’s marketing function.
Most businesses are not selling product online, and certainly not selling information products. Most businesses are still bricks-and-mortar, flesh-and-blood operations offering physical products or delivering tangible services.
For them “internet marketing” has – or should have – a totally different meaning. The simplest formulation would be “online lead generation.” For the majority of business owners, the internet is one of several tools for attracting potential customers.
Working with clients, I always distinguish between leads (just names and contact information ) and prospects (leads who have raised their hands and expressed an interest). In any business you can think of, the internet is a powerful tool both to generate leads and to transform them into prospects. In most cases, the actual selling will happen offline — in a store, office or home.
The phrase “internet marketing” has been so successfully commandeered by the digital product gurus, we need a new term for the majority who use the internet as a business development tool.
I’m still looking for that phrase. Any ideas?