By Chemory Gunko
Chemory Gunko is the Managing Director and Creative Director of Dsignhaus, a B2B marketing services agency with in-depth and specialist knowledge in the field of digital marketing. Contact Chemory on firstname.lastname@example.org, visit www.dsignhaus.co.za, follow @dsignhaus on Twitter or join the Facebook page on www.facebook.com/Dsignhaus.
For the non-techs and occasional web users out there, you’ve probably never heard of the Rules of the Internet.
Originally coined in the mysterious world of 4chan, the Rules of the Internet cover various ideas and memes, and largely have to do with Anonymous – a loosely associated network of hacktivists.
Anonymous first became known for a series of well-publicized hack attacks on government, religious and corporate websites.
The rules we’re concerned with today though, are Rules 34 & 35.
Rule 34 states: “There is porn of it, no exceptions.”
Rule 35 says: “If no porn exists at the moment, it will be made.”
For the brave among you, I urge you to test the theory out – it doesn’t matter how bizarre or weird you possibly think your search could be, chances are you will find the thing you searched for.
Rules 34, 35 & Digital Marketing – you’re doing it wrong
If you know nothing else about the Internet and digital marketing, then what you need to know is Rules 34 and 35 – you can find practically anything you’re looking for on the Internet.
So flip that on its head and apply it to marketing, and what you realise is that you can find an audience for basically any product you have to sell – if you do it on the Internet, and you do it right.
Obviously, and this is important, there has to be some value to your product or service offering.
While there will probably be a demand for kitty-ear fur brushes or even shoes for hamsters, chances are that market will be limited; even then though, you will still find some buyers in the crazy online world.
Time and again, I hear people say that they don’t believe in marketing, and that it doesn’t return results. If you are marketing digitally and it doesn’t return results, then my only comment is you’re doing it wrong.
There is always an audience on the Internet; you just have to know how to reach them and how to set up your digital marketing so that your customers can find you when they’re searching for what it is you have to offer.
Push & Pull
There are 2 main streams within digital or Internet-based marketing – pull marketing and push marketing.
Pull marketing is all about how people find you when they’re searching for what you have to offer online. This stream covers elements like your website, which sits there doing nothing until someone stumbles on it. Also bundled into this package are Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Social Media pages and platforms.
Push marketing, on the other hand, is how about how you push traffic towards your website.
So, this incorporates anything you distribute on the Internet and can range from banners on other sites to digital PR distribution and emailers. Push marketing even covers the posts you do to your Social Media followers (which will hopefully achieve the holy grail of digital marketing – going viral).
Target Markets and LSMs
In the way it’s already changed so many areas of our lives, the Internet is also changing the way we target our messages and the audiences we aim them at.
If you’re sitting on the receiving end of email marketing responses, one of the things you notice over time is that responses will often come from people you hardly expect.
The reason for this is pretty simple really: although marketers will always do their level best to get your messaging into a publication or space that is most appropriate to the target market, what we cannot ever do is know who, on an individual level, is actually actively seeking that product or service right now.
One of the ways you can test this is by going to look at who has actually liked your Social Media pages. Very often, the large majority of people that have liked your page, and identify with your business, fall outside of the target market you think you should be aiming at.
So, in this regard, digital marketing actually becomes a spray-and-pray approach, largely because you’ll often get better results that way.
Reporting & Analytics
Similarly, with analytics and reporting, responses will come in years and years after you’ve actually sent the emailer.
So where and when should your reporting and analytics measurement for a send or campaign actually end?
Because it’s so easy to work with, email is one of those mediums that gets filed into a “later, when I can afford it” folder. This means you may literally receive responses up to five years after the emailer itself was sent.
However the pervasiveness of the Internet, and the ease with which you can categorise your results and access reporting and trends, has skewed the view of marketing results.
Where previously results were measured by how well a business did financially, now most Marketing Managers only seem to be driven by numbers – and if you don’t have a high enough number count, then the campaign is seen as a failure.
However, there really are two kinds of responses when it comes to digital marketing, and they depend on how you present your product or service in the first place.
If, for example, you choose to omit pricing from your marketing, you’re going to have one of the following two reactions:
1. You may generate a higher number of enquiries to find out pricing, but few actual sales, or
2. You’ll have whole streams of people who may very well be interested in what you’re offering, but won’t contact you because they believe you left the pricing off because it is so expensive.
On the flip side, clearly stating your pricing will dramatically reduce your enquiries, but the enquiries that do come through will almost invariably turn into signed business, because people are contacting you because they’re interested – and because they know they can already afford it.
If you are one of those (many) people who think that digital marketing, or even marketing in general, doesn’t work, then you are doing it wrong – or at least the agency that did it for you is doing it wrong.
Properly executed digital campaigns will always return results in one way or another – and excellently executed digital campaigns will quite quickly turn into legitimate business enquiries, and signed deals.
It simply boils down to how well your chosen agency knows how to use the Internet.