The Internet Marketing Mix...

One of the more common speeches that I give focuses on the overall internet marketing mix. Taken in bite size chunks, it is easy to read up on and master any particular piece of the puzzle. Want to become an email marketing expert? No problem. Need to start a pay-per-click advertising campaign? Easy. Looking to create a cool microsite for a new product? Done.

When you start pulling all of the pieces together things tend to get complicated. How do you make sure that all of your efforts are working in concert and that your overall spend is being put to good use? I use a pyramid analogy to demonstrate the basic building blocks required to successfully execute on an internet marketing plan.

Lets look at each one of the pieces and how they all stack up together: 1. Compelling Websites -- This one is not really about internet marketing as much as it is about common sense. If you do not have a website...a *compelling* website...than you are wasting your time. Whether you are promoting a product or selling a service, the rules are the same. Having an engaging site that pulls people in and makes them want to stay is Internet Marketing 101. You would be surprised at how many organizations miss this (especially in the B2B world) so it's not as obvious a point as one might think.

2. Search Engine Marketing -- Once you have your house in order then it makes sense to start promoting it. This building block of the internet marketing mix breaks down into search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. By focusing on Google first, Yahoo second and Microsoft third, you will be able to drive both organic and paid traffic to your...ahem...compelling site.

3. Email Marketing -- Still the most effective way to engage in a conversation with customers and prospects, this is one of the keys to your internet marketing mix. Whether or not you operate in a B2B or a B2C environment, the people on your house list have ASKED to be there. These people expect to receive information from you and it would be a shame to let them down.

4. Social Media -- This is the most fluid area today based on the constantly changing landscape of services coupled with finicky consumers. The point always remains the same, however. You can choose to ignore them but communities are forming everyday around your brand. Choosing to participate in these communities is equivalent to choosing to support your brand and its reputation. Choosing not to participate is the equivalent of choosing to operate at a competitive disadvantage. It's your choice.

5. Analytics -- You can explicitly measure everything online. Everything. That's the best part of the internet marketing mix. Your analytics can be used to gain insight into trends from real time data which then allows you to adjust your strategies. The results are nothing short of beautiful when your analytics are in place and well understood.

If you understand and execute on these five points you will be well ahead of your competition with few exceptions. Good luck and feel free to contact me if you would like to discuss a speaking opportunity or want more information about some of the details.