How annoyed do you get seeing another web site offering you “Internet Marketing Secrets”? How upset do you get opening that email providing you with “Secrets of the Online Gurus”? And how frustrated are you when you read such “secrets” to find they are the same old stuff you already knew?

Let’s get things straight at the outset here: there are no “secrets”. This is especially true in the online world where anyone publishing true “secrets” would soon find their information blasted throughout the Internet within minutes. So here’s my “secret” – ignore anything that says it is a “secret”. After all, why would I tell you an Internet marketing “secret”? Surely, if it were truly a secret I’d keep it to myself so that I could capitalise upon it and other marketers couldn’t benefit. By revealing such “secrets” any marketer would be shooting themselves in the foot.

So what do all these Internet Marketing Secrets really tell us? Well, other than a few technological methods, not a lot that business people didn’t already know. All you have to do to succeed online is find your target audience, build a relationship with them, find out what they want and sell it to them at the highest price they are prepared to pay. That’s it; it’s worked offline for centuries and it now works online very well indeed.

I was reminded of the simplicity of good Internet marketing when I gave a talk on Strategic Internet Marketing in Birmingham yesterday. One member of the audience came up to me afterwards and said they found my speech very interesting as it had helped them realise that all they had to do online was what they had been doing offline successfully for a long time – focus on the audience, rather than the company’s products and services. That’s very true. The best Internet marketers have no secrets; the real secrets come from customers who clearly tell you what works and what doesn’t. We should all listen to our customers more if we wish to continue to thrive.

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