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Business & Finance

5 Enduring Myths of Online Marketing


By Jay Owen Owner, Design Extensions

o much has been written and said about finding customers over the Internet in the last few years that I sometimes wonder if it has become our national sport. No matter where you go, or what industry you look at, you’ll find men and women combing the web, looking through statistics, and otherwise trying to gain a leg up on the competition. There’s good reason for this: the right Internet marketing mix can bring you a steady flow of new buyers day and night – a bottom line benefit that’s hard to match in any other part of your business. That doesn’t mean it’s as easy as some people would have you think, however; there is a lot of bad advice that continues to hang around and forces otherwise smart business owners to make bad decisions. Here are five enduring myths in online marketing: 1. That you need a website, not a brand. It seems sometimes like there is a software package for everything these days. Not only can business owners keep their own books, do their own taxes, and draft simple legal documents using a simple PC, but there are titles that can teach you to play the guitar, design a house, and even edit movies. Is it any wonder, then, that the do-it-yourself trend has started to include websites? Plugging some simple text and images into a small business website template isn’t usually the great idea it seems, though. That’s because the point isn’t to just have a site for your company, but to have one that attracts new business. Over time, a customized layout can make an enormous

“The right Internet marketing mix can bring you a steady flow of new buyers day and night – a bottom line benefit that’s hard to match in any other part of your business. That doesn’t mean it’s as easy as some people would have you think.” difference in the percentage of visitors you’re able to turn into buyers. 2. It’s all about spending money. This is probably the biggest myth, and one I hear repeated in various forms all the time. If you want to make profits online, some suggest, or reach the top spot on a major search engine, then be ready to write a big check. Fortunately, nothing could be further from the truth. The web is full of examples of companies that found profits by being smart and efficient, not pouring cash into their programs. Don’t be pressured into making a huge investment that you can afford – spending big is not the only blueprint for success. 3. You should be making sales in minutes. Online marketing can work quickly, especially with tools like pay per click advertising. More often than not, though, it takes time to develop a customer base, online brand recognition, and even a search engine profile to bring you new customers. None of these is easy, and none of them is going to happen overnight. Have a little patience and plan on building your company’s Internet presence one step at a time. It requires a little more perseverance, but it’s also the best way to position yourself for long-term success.

of companies that have done well over the Internet, imagine warehouses full of merchandise at rock-bottom prices. In other words, they assume that online customers will always go for the lowest cost option, and that there’s no room for quality in their industry. But just as some customers will always look for the smallest price tag, online or off, others are seeking a certain kind of product, satisfaction guarantees, better shipping times, or just higher quality. Don’t be dissuaded if you cost more than your competitors – just be sure buyers can see why and let them make the smart choice. 5. It’s only for big companies and “Internet” businesses. This myth is ironic, since it’s usually small, specialized companies that have the most to gain from online marketing. That’s because they tend to be unique; if buyers can’t find what they offer on the Internet, they aren’t likely to find anywhere else, either. The distinctions between an “online” business and one that has a brick-andmortar storefront are blurring every day. If part of your business plan is finding new customers, then having some sort of Internet marketing plan is a good idea. The web is constantly changing, and so there are probably always going to be myths and misunderstandings about how to find customers online. Pay attention and stay informed, however, and you won’t have to fall for any of them.

1998 ▶ Custom Design, Content Management System, Video Storage, Database “Having worked with Jay at Design Extensions for over 11 years now, I would say they are one of the best in providing creative design, quality work with on-time delivery for their web design services. I would highly recommend them to any business of any size for simple to complex web projects.” – Tom Morrison, CEO

Design Extensions was founded by Jay Owen in St. Johns County over 15 years ago. He and his team at Design Extensions design and develop websites for clients all over the country. His passion is for developing high quality web sites and graphic design work that help his clients businesses grow. When not working on websites, he is usually spending time with his wife, Claire, and four children.


4. It’s all about low prices. A lot of business owners, when they think

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San Jose Woman's Journal - June/July 2014  
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