Internet businesses should cut down online promotion

People who own or run an online business tend to focus all their energies into online promotion. They look at Pay Per Click advertising, banner ads, social network marketing and article marketing. Then they consider online PR, affiliate marketing and online joint ventures. Rarely do online businesses focus their attention elsewhere.

True, many online companies use offline methods of promotion – but frequently this is merely the use of a web site address in adverts, or on company literature. Very few businesses use offline marketing as a means of selling specific online services and products.

Yet new research suggests that’s precisely what companies should be doing. The Pew Internet organisation has shown in it’s latest report on Consumer Choice that a mere 12% of people are convinced to buy online music products from online marketing. A whopping 51% of people claim that online marketing has no impact on their online music buying decisions. And other sectors were only a little better – only 27% of mobile phone purchasers, for instance, were affected by online marketing.

These are significant figures; vast sums of money are being spent on online marketing. Indeed, Google would not exist without the billions of dollars spent in online advertising. Yet it appears it’s all to no avail; online businesses are throwing good money after bad. They are spending it in the wrong place.

This new study shows that in spite of the fact that online advertising is set to top TV advertising as the biggest form of marketing, it has little impact on sales. If you run an online business it seems that your greatest impact comes from offline marketing.

Take a lesson from Google. Their success can be largely put down to the huge amount of offline marketing they do. There is, in fact, only a little online marketing done by Google. Yet you will find tons of offline marketing in the form of exhibitions, conferences, advertising, PR. The world’s most successful online business has got there almost entirely by offline marketing. There is a lesson in that for every Internet business, which is backed by this week’s research from Pew Internet.

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