Don’t Baffle Me. Talk to Me.

Don’t Baffle Me. Talk to Me.

by: Andrew Eklund

Congratulations, all you Internet marketing people you. You now command a whopping 3% of total advertising and marketing budget. Hey, itกs better than, well…2%. And the number is trending higher. Thatกs good too.
But what if I told you that people spend nearly as much time on the web as they do in front of the television?
Did you know that TV commands almost 40% of all ad spending, while the web gets only 3%? How about newspapers? Businesses spend almost as much on newspaper ads as television, but guess what? Consumers spend less than 10% of their time reading newspapers.
Clearly, if you judge just by the numbers, the web is underfunded. Why?
I have a theory: to most business decisionmakers, the people who sell the web channel are geeks. They talk in web jargon and acronyms. For example, if I was a business owner (which I am) and had an inkling that email marketing might be successful for my business (which I do) and called an Internet marketing consultant to meet with me, hereกs what I might hear:
‘thank you for calling me in. What we provide is an ASP email solution that has easytouse WYSIWYG tools which, in addition to providing you outstanding content management, tracks clickthroughs, white list status, and user conversions in realtime.ก
As a business decisionmaker, I think: What did that geek just say to me?
Or letกs take search marketing: กSir, Iกd like to talk to you about how we can dynamically measure your keyword PPC programs within the Google AdWords or Overture network to, again, track realtime user conversions using stateoftheart web analytics systems, which, by the way, are an ASP model so your IT guys don’t have to get involved. Isn’t that great!?!?!ก
Yeah. Not so great, pal, because YOU’re NOT TALKING TO ME!
And we wonder why web marketing might be underfunded? The fledgling field is so proud of itself for its snazzy lingo and sizzling software that itกs forgotten that this is just marketing only possibly a whole lot better in many ways than traditional marketing.
To get decisionmakers fired up about investing in the Internet marketing channel, strip out the jargon and the acronyms and get down to business. If you do so, then youกve finally got what everyone wants to buy: better marketing. Instead of selling กconversionsก and กASPsก which have no language connections to traditional advertising and marketing talk in real business language. A conversion is a sale or a lead. A user is a customer. Keywords are just words and language. Every Internet t erm has a seasoned business equivalent. Use them.
If we want to justify more than a 3% budget allocation for our web marketing efforts (which we can and should), then we need to talk about business in language that decisionmakers use everyday. And whatever you do, if you say กitกs just marketingก then don’t make it sound like IT.
Until next month,
Andrew Eklund


About The Author

Andrew determines Cicerons strategic direction and leads the team in its ongoing quest for client success on the Internet. His 10 years of experience in Internet marketing provides a perspective that combines visionary creativity with common business sense.
Under Eklunds spirited leadership, Ciceron provides web marketing services to a diverse client roster that includes Best Buy, Jostens, US Bank, Hazelden Bookplace, Minnesota Environmental Partnership, Trend Enterprises, and Coldwell Banker Burnett.

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This article was posted on June 01, 2004

by Andrew Eklund