Marketing is the lifeblood of any business. Marketing builds awareness. Awareness lets potential customers find out about your product or service. Just as with a bricks and mortar business, marketing is essential in order to let people know your business offer exists.
Although the World Wide Web can be thought of as a media channel where prospects will see your copy day after day, the truth is that unless you attract those prospects to your website first then your efforts are in vain.
The term 'World Wide Web' should really have a fourth word, 'Wilderness', because that's where any website begins and stays if no efforts are made to attract visitors.
Any business that builds a store, for example, must make efforts to attract custom in order to succeed. The very same principle applies online and just as in the offline world, the amount of benefits reaped is proportional to the amount of effort put in.
In order to maintain any kind of competitive advantage, sustained efforts must be made with a long term plan in mind.
Compared to traditional offline methods of marketing, one of the distinct advantages of marketing online is the speed at which new marketing strategies can be put to test. For example, a pay per click campaign could be launched and the results analysed all in a single day. Such campaigns can promote the smallest businesses amongst the largest industry relevant websites viewed by thousands of qualified prospects.
One of the greatest Internet marketing fallacies is those services offering automated submission to hundreds of search engines as an effective means of search engine promotion. When 80% of all search engine usage is carried out using the three largest search engines (Google, Yahoo! and MSN), the only others worth being included in are those that are highly relevant and/or localised. This means that automated submission services such as these can offer limited benefit and then only to those websites that don't already appear in a search engine's listings.
The effectiveness of these types of automated and unspecific services quickly becomes diluted when they are made readily available to all.
For an effective Internet marketing that delivers significant and measurable results, there is no substitute for a well-structured, customised approach making the best possible use of the technologies available.
Building a successful Internet business starts with building a website and continues with effective marketing.