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Why is Internet marketing so challenging?

Old-style marketing wasn’t easy, but at least we knew how to do it. If we wanted to buy TV ads or print ads, we hired some creative people—or even a whole ad agency’s worth. If we wanted to do publicity, we hired a PR person. Whatever kind of marketing you wanted to do, you could just hire an expert.


Times have changed.
One of the things that makes Internet marketing difficult is that you can’t centralize it, but you must control it. You don’t succeed at search marketing by outsourcing it, or by hiring one expert—you must get everyone working on your Web site and on your Internet marketing to learn their piece of the job. Likewise, you’ll never have a blogging department—you need many employees writing their individual blogs to make a dent in your customers’ perceptions.
So, if centralization is out, what’s in? You control Internet marketing by establishing policies, providing training, and monitoring the results. Certainly you need to update your procedures so that employees know what’s to be expected of them. And you need to teach them new skills and approaches. Of course you must pay attention to success metrics.
And that’s the problem. It’s so much easier to centralize or outsource or delegate something to an expert, and so much harder to change your organizational culture to succeed with these new marketing approaches. So if you’ve been struggling to adapt to the new world of marketing, give yourself a break. Accept that it’s not the same as the old days. If you understand the kind of culture change you need, and how to bring it about, you’ll be more accepting of the time it takes to really make it happen. It’s OK to start slow and improve each day.

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Mike Moran

Mike Moran is an expert in digital marketing, search technology, social media, text analytics, web personalization, and web metrics, who, as a Certified Speaking Professional, regularly makes speaking appearances. Mike’s previous appearances include keynote speaking appearances worldwide. Mike serves as a senior strategist for Converseon, an AI powered consumer intelligence technology and consulting firm. He is also a senior strategist for SoloSegment, a marketing automation software solutions and services firm. Mike also serves as a member of the Board of Directors of SEMPO. Mike spent 30 years at IBM, rising to Distinguished Engineer, an executive-level technical position. Mike held various roles in his IBM career, including eight years at IBM’s customer-facing website, ibm.com, most recently as the Manager of ibm.com Web Experience, where he led 65 information architects, web designers, webmasters, programmers, and technical architects around the world. Mike's newest book is Outside-In Marketing with world-renowned author James Mathewson. He is co-author of the best-selling Search Engine Marketing, Inc. (with fellow search marketing expert Bill Hunt), now in its Third Edition. Mike is also the author of the acclaimed internet marketing book, Do It Wrong Quickly: How the Web Changes the Old Marketing Rules, named one of best business books of 2007 by the Miami Herald. Mike founded and writes for Biznology® and writes regularly for other blogs. In addition to Mike’s broad technical background, he holds an Advanced Certificate in Market Management Practice from the Royal UK Charter Institute of Marketing and is a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. He also teaches at Rutgers Business School. He is a Senior Fellow at the Society for New Communications Research. Mike worked at ibm.com from 1998 through 2006, pioneering IBM’s successful search marketing program. IBM’s website of over two million pages was a classic “big company” website that has traditionally been difficult to optimize for search marketing. Mike, working with Bill Hunt, developed a strategy for search engine marketing that works for any business, large or small. Moran and Hunt spearheaded IBM’s content improvement that has resulted in dramatic gains in traffic from Google and other internet portals.

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