The CEO Guide to Internet Marketing
Takeaway notes from an AMA sponsored webinar. By Aliza Bornstein, copywriter, Melissa Data

Who moved my chustomers?
No, that’s not a typo. It’s a rip on “Who moved my cheese?” There’s a lot of changes going on in the way people shop and learn today, and marketers need to match the way they market with the way people now shop and learn.

There are a couple of big changes going on that are really impacting CEO’s and marketers. The first big change is that fundamentally, outbound marketing is dead. People are sick of being marketed to and have gotten really good at blocking spam in their email, screening phone calls with caller ID, using Tivo/DVRs to skip TV commercials, etc.

The second big change is the fundamental way people shop and learn seems to be shifting. They spend more and more time on Google, Yahoo!, Twitter, Facebook, TechCrunch, etc. They are also turning to bloggers and their favorite knit industries instead of traditional outbound marketing. Therefore, marketers need to turn their Web sites into a magnet to pull prospects in with inbound marketing. 99 percent of marketers haven’t made this adjustment—and the earlier they do it, the better off they will be.

So, lesson number one is to really think deeply about your product and make sure it’s remarkable (and unique) so that other people are remarking about it.

Step-by-step new marketing

Step 1: Create a remarkable product
Your product must be unique and interesting. Leverage and pull people in by creating lots and lots of content—Blogs; podcasts; videos; webinars; presentations; eBooks; news releases. Think like a publisher and crank out the content.

Step 2: Optimize the content you created
Write very catchy titles and keywords (like marketing tips) that are relevant to your business so that it’s found in Google and by your readers. You also need to optimize your content for social media.

Step 3: Once you’ve optimized the content, you have to promote it
If your content is great, other people will spread it for you, but you have to start by planting the content on social media sites to be picked up—YouTube; Twitter; LinkedIn, Blogs; Facebook Fan pages; StumbleUpon. By syndicating your content on all these channels, you are leveraging your platform to get viral growth for your interesting content.

Step 4: Once you’ve got them, give them something
Once you have people at your Web site, you need to give them a valuable call-to-action. A VEPA (Valuable; Easy; Prominent; Action Oriented) call-to-action should be visibly centered on your homepage for your prospects. It can be anything from a free white paper to download, to a free 15 minute consultation about your business, to a free software download. It must be something valuable that’s going to convert people that land on your Web site or blog so you can turn them into qualified leads.

Step 5: Measure the results
Look at each campaign and test to see what the shape of your funnel is six months into your campaign. Mix in your blog, Web site, and social media marketing. Measure outbound and inbound marketing side by side, double down on what’s converting into customers, and divest in what’s not working.

The new marketing team
The profile of a new marketing team can be identified as DARC (Digital Natives; Analytical; Reach; Content Creator).

Digital Natives: People who grew up with high-speed Internet access work and interact very differently than people who didn’t grow up with high-speed Internet access. They are much faster with the Internet and curious in general. Digital natives love all things Internet related, have their own blog, subscribe to RSS feeds, etc.

Analytical: There is so much data to analyze, and so much to look at, that you want someone analytical on your marketing team who can look for counter-intuitive insights in the data and help make better decisions as a marketer.

Reach: Hire someone who has a strong Twitter following and a blog presence—someone with reach. When you hire someone with a lot of contacts, you pull in their entire network as well.

Content Creator: Think half marketer, half publisher. As you’re looking at a new marketing canvas you want to have a content creator on your team.

Internet economics for CEO’s
On the Internet, no one knows who you are. The Internet is great for CEO’s and other people trying to start a business. If you’re smart and creative, it’s a great time to start your business and spread ideas. 10 years ago, if you were trying to start up a company, you had to spend a lot of money on PR and advertising to spread your word. Today, it’s very different. You don’t have to spend a bunch of money—you have the Internet at your finger tips and all of social media at your disposal! Your idea or service will spread by word of mouth—but only if it’s remarkable! If you’re smart and creative, it’s a great time to start your business and spread ideas.

As a marketer, at the end of the day your job is to spread ideas—and there’s never been a better time to spread ideas.

---Source: American Marketing Association webinar on Jan. 26, 2010 ( Keynote speaker Brian Halligan is CEO of HubSpot. Reach him at

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