Smoke & Mirrors Internet Marketing

As is the case in every industry there is a great deal of misinformation online and off about Internet marketing. We see it on all types of Internet marketing web sites but particularly on competitor sites. Some of what is posted is just old news. Some is just “techno-babble.” Some of it is writers trying to look smarter than they are. And some of it is simply malicious misrepresentation of the facts (smoke & mirrors!) to help make sales. Sure, some of the content you read on Internet marketing is very accurate and well written (like IPG’s). But in balance it would seem the misinformation outweighs the right information.

So what do you do? You own a business and likely not an Internet marketing agency. You know your business well but you know little about marketing online. You need some help and you need to find sources you can trust. You are planning to make a substantial investment in Internet marketing and you are just looking for accurate and credible content to help you make the right decisions. 

  1. Don’t trust a single source… Spend the extra time with content from a variety of companies, marketing associations and Internet marketing publications (online and offline).

  2. Question the credentials… Check on the source’s certifications (Google, SEMPO, etc.), how long the source’s company has been in business and is he/she a specialist with Internet marketing.

  3. Date sensitivity… Internet marketing is a very fluid industry. The “rules” change constantly so any content that is a year or more old is likely outdated to some degree.

  4. Don’t buy it… If the content requires a PhD in marketing from Northwestern or Duke then turn the page! The principles of Internet marketing should be reasonably easy to understand when explained in “people-speak.”

  5. Make some calls… Most good Internet marketers love to discuss their craft. Now we don’t have all day to do so (gotta’ make a living!) but when you feel comfortable in conversation you’ll likely feel good about the client-vendor relationship.

  6. Just the facts… There are a few good and credible sources out there for you to double-check the facts. Of course we think IPG is a good source. You may also want to visit Wilson Web.

One of the reasons Internet marketing gets a bad reputation in some circles, and particularly with website design and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the bad information online and the misinformation dispensed in boardrooms across the country every day. Yet, our profession is noble. We help businesses succeed and a few of us do it ethically and effectively. Read a lot, talk to a few Internet marketing professionals and question everything. When what you hear makes good business sense and you don’t leave the meeting or conversation with a headache you’ve likely found your match with an Internet marketing vendor.