A Primer on Advertising for the Internet Marketer

What Is Advertising?
As a budding internet marketer, all of the tips and tricks to marketing online will fail if you don’t have a fundamental understanding of what it means to advertise. Do NOT venture out online just applying SEO tactics and good web design. Always be thinking about who you’re talking to. Read on…

Advertising has so many definitions and interpretations that makes any feeble attempt on my part impossible. But I will try. Advertising is basically sales conducted through a different medium than a sales person (newspaper, magazine, TV, web, etc.) performing the same function as a sales person would do in person. In addition, advertising has a “paving the way” component which sets the stage for the pitch. Effective advertising is suggestive and educational, but typically doesn’t close the sale.

Advertising is a Mind Game
It’s funny, many years ago, The Supreme Court of the United States actually defined advertising like this: “Advertising is mere identification and description, apprising of quality and place. It has no other object than to draw attention to the article to be sold.” But that definition in not completely true. A purely educational advertising campaign trying to create a new need (one that does not already exist) is futile. Also, an advertisement trying to promote something that has many competitors at the same value and that are as easily obtained is meaningless. Advertising requires some level of appeal, tapping into the buyers psychology using visual effect or language to basically seduce the prospect into wanting to buy.

Direct vs. Indirect
Again, advertising is any method, other than through personal agents such as salesmen, to sell products and services. Given that, advertising can be divided into two types: one is direct and the other indirect. Broadcasting one’s goods and services through newspaper or magazine ads, billboards, vehicle signs, is indirect. Using a sales letter to promote a product or service is direct.

How you advertise must always result from an analysis of the product or service in relation to the market’s needs, current and potential. Is there a market for this product? How big is it? What is the product’s unique selling proposition — the thing that gives it a competitive advantage over similar products?

As an Internet Marketer, keep these basic points in mind as you venture out trying to promote your or someone else’s product or service. The Internet is just another medium. Without proper advertising principles, your promotions will not work.

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