Throughout the many marketing course I took in college, the “Five P’s” were drilled into my head. They include Product, Price, Place, Promotion and People. While I have certainly kept the “marketing mix” in mind while conducting business online, I have come to realize that these fundamental marketing principles are certainly applicable on the web. I had initially taken a more relaxed approach to internet business and quickly discovered my mistakes. The internet seems like a random world, but you must follow fundamental business and marketing principles to succeed on a regular basis.
If you own a website and plan to sell advertising, you will need to know the “Five P’s” to succeed. The product is obviously either information on your site or products you plan to sell. These must be well organized and well defined to succeed. Price is a simple one. You need to back up your price. Place and promotion sound like simple ones, but can often be tricky. To succeed with a new business on the internet these days, you must use viral marketing. You must also get involved with social bookmarking sites. Instead of trying a random sampling of sites, you really need to focus on a few small ones. I’d personally suggest reddit for starters. This is a great place to submit links to your own site. You will also need to submit quality links from other sites, or you will be labeled as a spammer. Some people believe marketing is expensive online, but if you have the time, you can go the social bookmarking route and pay for your marketing in time, instead of money.
FInally, you need to pay attention to people. You might be like me and start sites where you aren’t entirely sure who your target demographic is. That’s perfectly ok, but you eventually need to keep track of the people visiting your site. Your in-house stat tracking can be useful, but not very reliable from the stand-point of advertisers. To sell advertising on your site, you will need provide companies with quality demographic statistics. The absolute best free way to do this involved visiting Google Analytics and installing their code on every page of your site. There are other methods of collecting valuable data, but this one is the easiest and best way. Without in-depth statistics tracking like this, you would need to have registered users and collect data directly from them. This is often a turn off, especially when you are starting up a new site.
While many people avoid paying attention to the principles of marketing, many people also fail online. Paying attention to small detals pay off huge in the end. Without a solid marketing plan, very few websites go far…