Friday, December 23, 2005

Folk Remedies and Internet Marketing

Folk Remedies and Internet Marketing
A while ago, I read Honey, Mud, Maggots, and Other Medical Marvels, a fascinating book that details how some folk remedies actually work. One of the points it makes is that remedies that cross cultures and withstand the test of time are often quite effective.

I'm curious about how this principle applies to Internet marketing. If you're like me, you've probably run across what I call the cheezy Internet marketing guru newsletter sites--Web sites that consist of a single, extremely long Web page, full of bold-faced type, different colors, and lots of exclamation marks.

I've always looked at those sites and just shaken my head.

But if we apply the folk remedy analogy, maybe there is something to them. After all, the same thing applies to stuff like spam, porn, and telemarketing. If it didn't work, why would people do it?

So here's my challenge to you: Is there any way that "legitimate" Silicon Valley marketers can learn something from the newsletter/ebook crowd?


David said...

The gift of internet marketers that you call the ebook/newsletter crowd, is their ability to: (a) market to the lowest common denominator and (b) acquire customers for the lowest possible price. If you are a new company, focused on the consumer (think of any of the 1232 buzzord compliant consumer internet companies), and you want to impress a venture investor, nothing will work better than to have proven (a), you can market to the masses even if only in a limited way (number of users); (b) your messaging and techniques acquires those customers cheaply. My experience digging into this world of emarketers tells me that these are exactly the kind of test/prototype marketers that can help any young company test, refine, retest their consumer value propositions. The best of these use affiliate marketing effectively, they use email marketing effectively, they have SEO'd their sites effectively, including link exchanges, and, they probably have optimized their paid search effectively. If you have ever known some of these folks, you know that they don't want to help SV, they make a ton of money and can do it repeately across new concepts, and frankly, have very little time or willingness to share their skills with anyone else. That's unfortunate, because they could take a lot of the market risk away from many concepts we'd certainly like to explore!

David said...

Just to clarify, Chris....the comment applies to legitimate ebook/newsletter marketers or optimizers, not so called "black hat" spammers who use dubious short-term focused tactics to make a ton of money in the shortest period of time.

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