Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Why the “Junk Web” is Getting the Action

If you are looking for action, the “junk web” is hot right now. Your humble blogger was stuck the other night, listening to Justin Levy, of New Marketing Labs (Chris Brogan et al.) at the similarities between the action-oriented online marketing practices Levy was advocating and the action-oriented direct-mail marketing practices in their heyday.
The Mail Table at Your Humble Blogger's Home

It’s not the media but human nature that shapes marketing principles. That’s why so much of the current web environment feels like  “junk mail,” a medium developed by tracking response.

“So what’s the difference between the ‘junk web’ and ‘junk mail’?” your humble blogger asked. “Junk,” in this context, your humble blogger had to explain, is a term of endearment. “Junk mail” was many a marketer’s dear friend for years and still works for quite a few products and services.

The difference according to Levy, boils down to cost, although he resisted your blogger’s use of the term “junk web.” “Nothing I ever put up on the web was junk,” he protested. Nothing your humble blogger ever mailed was junk either (some lists were junk). But once we cleared the “junk” hurdle, Levy focused on the low cost, especially of social media.

Social media is not free,” he explained, “but it is sweat equity. You're investing time, not postage and production expense.” You might argue that there is always an “opportunity cost.” And obviously when you are paying somebody for any form of marketing activity there is an out-of-pocket actual cost. But you can’t argue with the cost advantages of distributing action-stimulus electronically vs. print on paper.

The other big advantage online is on the response side – it is technically more feasible through the online medium to isolate and offer value to people most likely to react favorably. Inquiries (“inbound”) can be stimulated by the right kinds of web and social media presence. Interaction can be automatically and almost instantly simulated at low cost. Recency, frequency, interest, buying capacity and other well known response factors can be tracked at the individual level and grouped at will.

The result is a low cost-per-action. Response rates can be very low, Levy explained, and still be worth the effort, when the cost of soliciting the action is minimal. Using his own Inbound Marketing Summit promotion as an example, he described how a single registration from a particular marketing effort seemed to pay-off. As your humble blogger has reported in a prior post, event registration numbers attributed to social media have gotten to a significant level in some markets.

Low costs also allow you to push for “the close” more gently. You are less likely to turn-off potential future prospects. People are still hungry to be sold, but you can afford more action steps before a sale in an online marketing environment.

Bottom line: The “junk web” is winning marketing dollars because it is often cheaper, online, to get the actions that lead to sales. But hurry, because the best opportunities will be available for a limited time only.

Call us today at (866) 271-9450 if you want to MAKE GOOD INFORMATION INTO GOOD BUSINESS!

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