Dont Baffle Me - Talk to Me
Congratulations, all you Internet marketing people you. You now command a whopping 3% of total advertising and marketing budget. Hey, it's better than, well...2%. And the number is trending higher. That's good too.
But what if I told you that people spend nearly as much time on the web as they do in front of the television?
Did you know that TV commands almost 40% of all ad spending, while the web gets only 3%? How about newspapers? Businesses spend almost as much on newspaper ads as television, but guess what? Consumers spend less than 10% of their time reading newspapers.
Clearly, if you judge just by the numbers, the web is underfunded. Why?
I have a theory: to most business decision-makers, the people who sell the web channel are geeks. They talk in web jargon and acronyms. For example, if I was a business owner (which I am) and had an inkling that email marketing might be successful for my business (which I do) and called an Internet marketing consultant to meet with me, here's what I might hear:
"Thank you for calling me in. What we provide is an ASP email solution that has easy-to-use WYSIWYG tools which, in addition to providing you outstanding content management, tracks click-throughs, white list status, and user conversions in real-time."
As a business decision-maker, I think: What did that geek just say to me?
Or let's take search marketing: "Sir, I'd like to talk to you about how we can dynamically measure your keyword PPC programs within the Google AdWords or Overture network to, again, track real-time user conversions using state-of-the-art web analytics systems, which, by the way, are an ASP model so your IT guys don't have to get involved. Isn't that great!?!?!"
Yeah. Not so great, pal, because YOU'RE NOT TALKING TO ME!
And we wonder why web marketing might be underfunded? The fledgling field is so proud of itself for its snazzy lingo and sizzling software that it's forgotten that this is just marketing -- only possibly a whole lot better in many ways than traditional marketing.
To get decision-makers fired up about investing in the Internet marketing channel, strip out the jargon and the acronyms and get down to business. If you do so, then you've finally got what everyone wants to buy: better marketing. Instead of selling "conversions" and "ASPs" -- which have no language connections to traditional advertising and marketing -- talk in real business language. A conversion is a sale or a lead. A user is a customer. Keywords are just words and language. Every Internet t erm has a seasoned business equivalent. Use them.
If we want to justify more than a 3% budget allocation for our web marketing efforts (which we can and should), then we need to talk about business in language that decision-makers use everyday. And whatever you do, if you say "it's just marketing" then don't make it sound like IT.
Until next month,
Andrew determines Cicerons strategic direction and leads the team in its ongoing quest for client success on the Internet. His 10 years of experience in Internet marketing provides a perspective that combines visionary creativity with common business sense.