Internet Marketing (or marketing more specifically) isn’t as complicated as it may seem. Of course there are multiple techniques, mediums and disciplines that come under the marketing umbrella that may seem a foreign language to most of us, however these are essentially just different applications of the same thing: Effective communication between you and your consumers.

Now before I begin explaining this statement, I’d first like to credit Simon Sinek’s book Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action. This book is an excellent source for companies and individuals in changing their perceptions of how they market themselves. Chapter 3 specifically elaborates on what I will do my best to convey now.

Effective, long-lasting (Internet) Marketing essentially boils down to one question:

“Why do you do what you do?

Now this may seem an incredibly simplistic question. But it is harder to grasp than you (or most companies) might think.

Manipulations

A lot of people class manipulations as marketing, without really knowing that they’re even doing it. Manipulations are ways in which companies can create a ‘quick fix’ to their consumers. Offers, new products and loyalty schemes are all examples of manipulations. And in regards to making money, they work. However, the effects of these manipulations don’t last too long – and soon enough companies end up chasing the next offer, aiming to reap the next batch of rewards. Unsurprisingly, this can have a detrimental effect long term on the integrity and profitability of the company as a whole.

The Golden Circle

Inspired by the Golden Ratio, the Golden Circle is a concept which aims to bring structure to the dynamic and ever changing world around us. Essentially, it gives us an illustration of the priority of questions we must ask ourselves and our company.

Golden Circle
The above diagram looks at the three questions a consumer subliminally tries to answer, when presented with a marketing message. Most marketing material aims to answer these questions, and often do. But in the wrong order. Most of them start with what, and not why.

Take this difference in approach between two well known airlines. The first, from British Airways – tells us what they do. They fly planes. And they do it well.

British Airways

The second, from Virgin Atlantic, tell us a bit more. We know that Virgin Atlantic fly planes. But they also tell us the bigger picture of why they do it.

Virgin Atlantic

At a time when airlines were dominated by a corporate majority, Virgin Atlantic came into the picture and made quite an impact with their difference in approach. They set out to break up the stuffy status quo and encourage a more vibrant, forward thinking mindset to the industry. This was why Virgin came into the aeronautics industry. And people bought into it.

“People don’t buy what you do, it’s why you do it.”

How this relates to Internet Marketing

Good marketing is universal and consistent throughout all mediums – internet or otherwise. The first port of call is a company’s brand. The brand needs to incorporate this mantra of why, and it needs to be clear to all employees what that reasoning is. You’ll find that once you get this association of why with your brand, the conviction in conveying this message becomes more apparent. You’ll gather a renewed sense of direction with your goals as a company, and as a result your marketing will adopt more personality and integrity. You will become a company on a mission, and marketing will be the catalyst to you reaching that goal.

We’d love to hear your thoughts and tips on how you tackle your business’ internet marketing strategy!