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Is your marketing a religion or a business?

I was talking with someone a few days ago (who will remain nameless) who has been investing what (to me) is an enormous amount of money on their Web site. I asked what was prompting such a massive investment, and was told, “We believe that the Web site is driving a lot of business.” Being a smart consultant, I did not let out an audible sign of shock, because that tends to scare clients away. But I did find myself asking when marketing became a religion based on doing what we believe in instead of a business that runs on return on investment.

Nobility / Nobleza

Image by . SantiMB . via Flickr


I know that might sound flip (and I guess it kinda is), but I am trying to bludgeon you over the head with a point. Too many of us treat our Web sites as something that must exist. They exist because everyone has one or because the boss wants one or because a customer asked for one once. And then some of us start pouring money into our Web sites because it looks dated or because a customer complained about it or the boss said it looked embarrassing compared to the competition.
But mostly, we spend money on our Web sites because we believe that they make us money.
And that belief is likely well-founded. But the problem is that we don’t generally know how much money. And if we asked ten different people how much money, they’d probably be all over the map as to how much. Which makes it plenty difficult to know how much money we should invest.
And most of the businesses that fall into this trap do so for an understandable reason. They sell offline. And they have no idea how many people that start out on their Web site end up as paying customers. It’s such a common problem that tomorrow I will explain a few different ways to bridge the gap between online and offline.
In the meantime, think about your business. Are you investing in online marketing because you believe that it makes money? Or do you really know that it does? What could you do to connect the dots? More tomorrow…

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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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