In the 1997 movie “Contact,” starring Jodie Foster, her father’s character says, “Space is a pretty big place.” And, of course, it is. In fact, it boggles the imagination to see just how big it is.
The Internet is a “pretty big place” now as well. It also boggles the imagination…that’s why we call it CyberSpace.
Here are a few statistics, according to Internet World Stats Website:
- World Population 2010: 6,845,609,960 or almost 7 billion
- Internet Users 2000: 360,985,492 or about 361 million
- Internet Users 2010: 1,966,514,816 or about 2 billion
That means that about 28% of the world’s population uses the Internet. Further, the growth over the past 10 years is over 400%. And for you mathematicians out there…they say it is growing exponentially, and that means a lot and fast!
So we have this whole Country or better, World out there where fertile and profitable lands abound. At the same time, all that is true, reaching the potential clients, customers, and consumers in this Brave New World is a bit different from what we were taught as a kid,s Owner Business.
Many of us set up little summer businesses to sell cold drinks to passing motorists and thirsty pedestrians. These were normally set up in minutes and used a table from the garage and beverages we found around the house. As warm as these memories may be for us, it does leave us ill-equipped to tackle the world of Internet Marketing. Even our experience as adults in a “normal brick and mortar” type business offers very little to set us on a proper course to begin marketing to these 2 billion potential clients in this Brave New World.
To the majority of us who wish to join the throng of new Gold Rush Prospectors, panning for Internet Gold, the Internet is a strange and savage land full of Lions and Tigers and Bears wishing to eat us or at least eat up our money and efforts. Let’s see if we can offer a Road Map of sorts to guide the weary Internet Marketing Traveler.
The Internet, like traditional markets, shares many traits:
o They both have clients, customers, and consumers seeking value for their Dollar, Yen, or Drachma.
o Both will share their likes and dislikes… and good and bad experiences with others.
o They all have families and friends like us all, and in a general sense, they all wake up with similar aspirations to our own.
The Internet also has some stark differences:
o A wooden sign stuck in the ground in front of your Kool-Aid stand will not get a single Internet sale.
o An ice-cold beverage would be a difficult sale as it would be challenging and expensive to get it to the client. But the Internet does offer some Powerful and Enormous advantages over our “Brick and Mortar” cousins in the world of marketing:
o The Internet is a remarkable field leveler… look at the career of Justine Bieber, launched from the Internet…essentially for no cost, and now he is a worldwide phenom.
o Billions of potential customers can be reached literally with the touch of a computer key.
o Preparation and construction of Internet Product Launches can be done quickly and inexpensively compared to building construction and outfitting.
So let us take a moment to review Internet Marketing and what are its Parts and Pieces. Many products do not lend themselves to Internet Marketing, but frankly, nothing is off-limits. General Electric still sells locomotives right over the Internet, and I promise you they are cumbersome and costly.
Here is a breakdown of the types of sales happening on the Internet:
o Traditional Products: Millions of traditional products are sold online, from Locomotive and Airplanes to food products and everything else you can imagine.
o Entertainment: You can watch movies, television, and stage presentations on your computer. You can play games such as Scrabble, Poker, and thousands of others. You can put together jigsaw puzzles, play complex simulation games, and battle and strategy games.
The realm of Internet Education is one of the most fertile fields to explore. o Education: You can be educated online, from creating the perfect Peking Duck for dinner to get your PhD in Astrophysics. You can learn Internet Market to Aerial Photography.
E Faxing. o Communication: E-Mail, Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP), and now personal teleconferencing are all there.
O Services: Millions provide all the online support to all of us with Credit Card Processing, Back Office Systems, Auctions sites, and a million more.
Well, you get the idea…but what will you do online. Many of these listed above require a lot of Capital, Facilities, and Personnel. And that is fine if you have all three. Let’s look at possibilities for those of us who want to go Prospecting for Internet Gold but don’t have the funds to buy a Gold Mine!
In this author’s opinion, one of the ripest, most profitable, and least complex Internet endeavors is that of Education of Internet Travelers…those who are seeking that Road Map we discussed earlier in this article.
Many seek the way to an Income Stream themselves, and showing them the way can be extremely rewarding. Finding a reliable, proven system to help fellow entrepreneurs reach their goals can be both personally and financially rewarding to you and your Student Internet Travelers. My recommendation is to offer a program that will take even the rankest beginner and lead them by the hand, step by step as far as they want to go. Being a sort of Internet Safari Guide can take your clients wherever they want to go and provide you with some wonderful adventures along the way.
We will get into more ideas and pathways in our next article.
- David Rodwell
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