Fast forward fifty years. The internet has changed everything. Technology and social trends have converged to create a unique opportunity for network marketers to target their niche market inexpensively and efficiently using the internet. However, most Amway distributors are still being taught to use word of mouth “advertising”. WHY?
The “marketing” in network marketing is usually completely overlooked. Marketing is a dynamic, ever-changing challenge; an art. (BTW, handing out your business card with your website on it is not “marketing”!) One of the keys to effective marketing is to position your message where your customers are. More customers are online because of trends like high speed connections, lower prices, mobile devices, and social networking.
The internet has made targeting your market much easier than was ever possible using “traditional” mass media. You can use search engine optimization to help ensure that potential customers and prospects will find you while searching for information. Google AdWords can place your electronic ad on very specifically targeted websites so that the very people most likely to be interested in your opportunity or products will see it. And social sites like Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter help get the word out.
Internet Attraction MarketingThe internet, even in its most social form, is still somewhat anonymous and impersonal. People have a basic social need to connect with others. Internet attraction marketing is a relatively new model in which the first connection in made online, a relationship is initiated and mutual trust is built, and gradually the relationship grows to a more personal level using the phone, email, etc. Eventually the relationship may result in a face-to-face meeting. Does this sound like a courtship to you? That’s because it is!
Taking the courtship concept one step further, there’s a certain amount of finesse required to use the power of the internet to your advantage. The key is to avoid using the same old prospecting techniques that don’t work very well, and just moving them online. As a network marketer, you will reap huge benefits by courting your customers, not marrying them on the first date!
Is Word of Mouth Advertising Dead?There is a general backlash against “spamming”, evidenced by the Do Not Call registry, avoidance of commercial interruptions on TV and radio, and blockage of spam email. Word of mouth advertising is oftentimes just spamming done in person. Online spamming is, unfortunately, prevalent on social sites like Twitter. Sometimes called “spray and pray”, this marketing “technique” sounds like a skunk, and is about as appealing!
That said, word of mouth advertising still works - sometimes. However, we consumers prefer information on our terms and on our timeline, not when and where it’s convenient for a zealous network marketer who wants to sell something. I believe it’s a result of information overload, a natural response to TMI (too much information). Not only is the internet an highly effective medium for network marketers, it’s also an efficient way for consumers to find the products and business opportunities they’re looking for, especially when attraction marketing techniques are used.