Internet Marketing – Why is it so Difficult?

    May 3, 2007

Old-style marketing wasn’t easy, but at least we knew how to do it. If we wanted to buy TV ads or print ads, we hired some creative people—or even a whole ad agency’s worth. If we wanted to do publicity, we hired a PR person. Whatever kind of marketing you wanted to do, you could just hire an expert.

Times have changed.

One of the things that makes Internet marketing difficult is that you can’t centralize it, but you must control it. You don’t succeed at search marketing by outsourcing it, or by hiring one expert—you must get everyone working on your Web site and on your Internet marketing to learn their piece of the job. Likewise, you’ll never have a blogging department—you need many employees writing their individual blogs to make a dent in your customers’ perceptions.

So, if centralization is out, what’s in? You control Internet marketing by establishing policies, providing training, and monitoring the results. Certainly you need to update your procedures so that employees know what’s to be expected of them. And you need to teach them new skills and approaches. Of course you must pay attention to success metrics.

And that’s the problem. It’s so much easier to centralize or outsource or delegate something to an expert, and so much harder to change your organizational culture to succeed with these new marketing approaches. So if you’ve been struggling to adapt to the new world of marketing, give yourself a break. Accept that it’s not the same as the old days. If you understand the kind of culture change you need, and how to bring it about, you’ll be more accepting of the time it takes to really make it happen. It’s OK to start slow and improve each day.