Top-down Internet marketing

I guess a pretty cool article to go with this headline would be about SEO, paid search and social media happening while you are zipping down PCH (Pacific Coast Highway for the uninitiated) in a convertible with your top down. That would be cool. This “top down,” however, refers to an organizational approach to Internet marketing that needs to be more the norm. Imagine the company that has an E-suite that actually understood the Internet. Oh the places you’ll go ….

black and white and top down

Image by emdot via Flickr

Most Internet marketing occurs below the Executive Committee, E-suite, or Board Room level. These concepts and ideas around search and social media are tossed up the food chain, but often without the appropriate vision being explained to those who are “making the decision.” This is where the small and medium enterprise has a distinct advantage over the big boys, in my humble opinion. (Question: When someone writes IMHO are they really being humble or kinda arrogant in a sideways manner? Just wondering.)
What if the C-level leadership of these more flexible and agile organizations actually studied and learned the potential for these techniques and drove the initiatives from the top down? I suspect we would see the following:

  • Larger budget percentage for online marketing opportunities. While these budget numbers increase year over year, with online gaining more and more of its share of the budget pie, it still seems as if many relegate the Internet portion of their marketing spend to the smaller side. Not to say that all marketing dollars spent on things that have “always worked” should be redirected. That’s not smart. I will say though that most companies have sold themselves short on the opportunities that the Internet affords their business.
  • More thought leadership. I love how folks on the Internet can go from working in their bathrobes to thought leaders. The Internet is a great enabler and equalizer all at once. What if more C-level folks got out of their country clubs and onto the thought leadership track? If they thought they wielded influence before, imagine the impact if they would just realize that “being online” is nothing to fear, but rather a tool to embrace?
  • Stronger bottom lines. Many companies and their leaders are grousing about the economy and its impact on the bottom line. Here’s my take on that. If they have not fully utilized the Internet in their marketing efforts then they need to simply shut up. Stop making excuses, Mr. Company Owner. I know that seems rude, but we don’t like to hear complaining from people who have not given it their best shot, do we? If many of these businesses that have been set back on their heels by this economy would have embraced Internet marketing five years ago, they might have a completely different set of stronger clients from a larger geography. Heck, they may not even look like they do now, due to the opportunity that was opened to them on the net. They didn’t take advantage, in many cases, because of short-sighted C-level folks asleep at the wheel. Casting a wider net on the net will help prepare companies to survive this downturn and future downturns as well. This happens from the top down.

This list could go on ad infinitum. I would love to hear some other areas that strong top-level understanding of Internet marketing could impact businesses of all sizes from our readers. Thanks for checking in and we look forward to your thoughts.

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