It is people's behaviour on the web that is the key to web marketing. The web hardware and software doesn't do anything until people start clicking. You can forget about how the web works but you need to know what makes people click.
Web marketing is deeply involved with human psychology, more so than material and demographic marketing. This is because the web presents to us a virtual reality that cannot be verified by itself. We can only read about products and services and see a facsimile. We cannot 'feel' how real it is. This is why brand names can sell on the web and unknown brands are less likely to sell.
A business web site will usually have to do more than list benefits and features of the solution they provide. They need to be quite a bit more informative about their business and services. And if they want to build their business using the web it would be natural to share with their market in meaningful ways. This "sharing" will be unique for every business, but there is no shortage of things to share.
In the Real World, so-to-speak, the choice between two fundamental methods of marketing is not even considered because there has only ever been one choice push marketing. By using demographics and broadcast marketing the marketing industry was always about push marketing, and this worked well for all prior media, but not for the web.
The web is primarily a pull medium as explained on the home page. You can still push your marketing out there at a cost to bring in traffic quickly, or you can pull with little, or no cost, and attract your market.
The most important thing to know about push marketing is that it works best with short term goals. You cannot push just a little. If you don't get the traffic volume you need and convert this to sales then you are wasting time and money. If you fall short then your efforts and costs have given you nothing in return.
The most important thing to know about pull marketing is that it works best with long term goals along with unique, original and innovative products that can be used as keywords. Marketing by attraction requires a deeper understanding of your target market, but it is a natural (thus organic) fit with search engines.
Push marketing requires a constant budget because the moment you stop pushing (Pay Per Click) your sales disappear. This is short term marketing. The advantage is that it brings near instant results, and if there are no instant results you know one of two things:
1.) Your PPC keywords are not working
2.) Your web site is not ready to make sales
On the other hand, pull marketing works slower at first and takes time to build momentum. You will see that pull marketing also has a shrinking budget because your work stays in place for years to come. As your marketing builds up to a critical mass your costs can come down. This is long term marketing.
You will never really get inside your customer's head but you can still know what get's their attention. A psychographic profile of your market gives you a sharp definition that describes your market's interests and shopping habits. Are they impulsive shoppers, or do they look for competitive advantages? Are they traditional by nature with strong family values or do they go for the latest trend?
Once you chose the market segment that is right for you then a few questions will get you thinking like your own market thinks. Instead of telling your market what you want to explain about your products and services you will be sharing with them the information they want. This is what pulls them to your web site.
As much as you want to know what attracts your market you will want to know what your market doesn't want. And chances are your current web site is expressing all the things that your customers don't want to know about.
Look at it this way
You're in the market for a new web site. Do you want to hear about all the amazing feature a web designer can provide? Do you even want to see their design portfolio? They think you do, but what you really want to know is the following:
1.) What is a web design going to do to improve my business?
2.) What choices for marketing do I have?
3.) How will my business web site excite my market and attract them as customers?
A business web site should be built once a market profile is established. If you just want a web site then any kind of page will do, but if you want to do business then you need to know your web market, and your web market does not behave the same as your demographic market.You already have all the information you need in your head, so it's not a huge task, but you do need to look at what you already know a bit differently.
All web users are anonymous. You cannot chase down new prospects within your web market because you don't know who or where they are. On the web even traditional push marketing has to learn how to pull, and it has learned to combine a keyword search phrase with pay per click (ppc) ads.
But, your web marketing guru has no idea of how to describe your overall market from a push mentality they can only guess. In a pull medium you have to work from the inside out. For example, your real world clients or customers are a diverse group and they do not have the same demographics. If you tried pulling them in with multiple descriptions from their occupation (tinker, tailor, soldier, spy) then everyone gets confused.
But, when you find the basic common denominator of a market then you can group them by a single definition of what they value the most regardless of age, gender, income, location or any other demographic.
Just asking who you think your web market is will not provide the description you need. Every web designer you've talked to will ask you that question. They have not thought the process through. You might know who your demographic market is, but your web market doesn't respond to demographics.
Your web market, as a whole, will share similar opinions, beliefs and lifestyles within the market segment. For marketing to consumers they also share a similar interest in their family values and community. When you market to other businesses they will all share similar values that support their community and business. Rotary Club and the Lions are good examples of some of the values many business owners have affinity with.
Your web market is in a different medium - and a web marketing expert should know this medium and should be asking you a different set of questions that work from the inside out. The marketing profile you will uncover is suprisingly closer to home than you might think, and you'll recognize it when you see it.
Let's start with that as the first step in marketing by attraction, let's give your market an accurate profile and then we can attract them to your web site by.
Do you need web consulting services to sort out your real needs?
Save your money by knowing what will work best for your business, after all, trial and error is so expensive and so disappointing.