Should You Think Like a Print Marketer for Internet Marketing Success?

I remember taking a marketing class at UNH and one of the questions on a test was:

You need to place an ad for a new golf ball your company has created and brought to market. Where should you place your print advertisement?

a) Women’s Day Magazine
b) Golf Magazine
c) National Geographic Magazine
d) None of the above

I did not walk out of the class. I did get an A on the test and in the class. For years though that question has haunted me. Perhaps the fact that the question was a question is what haunts me.

Of course you want to have your expensive ad be in front of the people who are most passionate about your products or services. Traditional and print marketers used to take such great care at what publications they put their ads in.

Quality and Care for Internet Marketing

Now we are faced with the same dilemma – getting our products and services in front of the people that need them. With internet marketing it seems people take less care with who they are reaching. It feels like the wild west and people are just tossing up ads, blogs and content all over the place, regardless of who is seeing it. They are more focused on impressions, retweets, likes and clickthroughs but not on who took the action.

It doesn’t matter how many followers you have on Twitter, unless they are people who care what you have to say.
It doesn’t matter how many impressions your web banner got if it was on a video gaming site and you sell hanging tomato planters and people bought them.
It doesn’t matter how many views your YouTube video got unless those viewers turn into customers.

With the Internet Comes Tracking


Photo credit: Andrew Turner

One of the coolest things about internet marketing is you can track so much information. You should start by finding out who your best customers are and determine some patterns about them:

What cell phone do they use?
What browser do they use?
What search engine do they prefer?
What websites do they come from to get to yours?
What social media sites are they active on?
What news sites do they look at?
Do they make purchases online?
Do they read blogs?
Do they subscribe to email newsletters?
What time of day do they interact with content online?
What day of the week?
What are some of their favorite sites?

You can find, or make an educated guess, with some data on all of these questions. Once you know where your best customers and potential customers are hanging out, you should be spending time and money being seen in those places. Stop measuring impressions and measure engagement, website conversions and sales.