An old friend called to check up on me today. We used to work together in old-fashioned sales. We were selling the hottest technologies at the time, but we were doing it the old way. That included cold calling, appointment setting, meetings, presentations, proposals, closes, etc. Those golden old days were just three years ago. In the old days, salesmen used to take their product to people, and try to convince them they wanted to buy it. Internet marketing today is a complete opposite of that tack. Now, marketers use the internet to find buyers who already want to buy what they sell. They don’t convince anyone to become a buyer. They just strive to locate willing buyers who already exist and want the product.
Now, more than ever, new companies have a chance to compete with the establishment. They have a chance to grow incredibly quickly on the web. Previous sales teams that employed dozens or hundreds of sales reps, may today have only a few marketers serving the same customer base with automated marketing campaigns.
Companies should be aware of their Alexa rank. It is possible to go from obscurity to notoriety in just a matter of months. Companies should also understand where Alexa ranks their competition. With attention and intent, it can be possible to surpass established competitors who may be complacent.
Google Page Rank is another important metric to understand. Google’s ranking is not as granular as Alexa, assigning ranks on a simple scale of 1 to 10. Page Rank is Google’s view of the importance of a web page. A poor ranking means a site will get poor organic search results. Inbound links from poorly ranked sites could also hurt a site’s score.
Yahoo Search Advertising owns about 15% of the search audience, and Microsoft AdCenter for Bing claims about 11% market share. However, Google search is the king with about 74% of the market. Google also provides marketers with more tool including Google AdWords, Google AdSense, Google Merchant Center, Google Webmaster Tools, Google Optimizer, Google Sitemap, Google Docs, Google Products, Google Analytics, Google Checkout, and Google Reader.
Email marketers drive traffic with tools that include Outlook, SalesForce, Jigsaw, and Genius. A new strong player is the collaboration tool Basecamp.
There are some popular and effective manuals for mastering internet marketing. They can be found on sites like Amazon by searching for the phrases “Google ad words” and “search engine optimization”.
Disintermediation is happening in sales and marketing. Salesmen used to make outbound calls to try to reach buyers. Now marketers work on getting inbound calls from buyers who want to reach them. This new sales model is so different from the norm just three or five years ago. Change is happening, and it is accelerating.
Understanding the incredible accelerating pace of change is a frequent theme of essays by futurist David Houle. He points out that in 1950 there were 60 computers, no internet, and no cell phone users in the world. As of 2005 (just 45 years later) there were 822,150,000 computers, 1+ billion internet users, and 2+ billion cell phone users. What technologies will we employ in the next 45 years?
How are you selling today? Write to me, and share what you are doing.
P.S. The number of Chinese Internet users surpassed the US for the first time – just 2 weeks ago.
Added: by Technology Solutions