February 24th, 2018

Leverage Your Influence

              Position Paper: Leveraging the Power to Influence Your Audience Online


Don't Know How Well It Got People's Attention "Back When"
... But It's Sure a "Conversation Piece" Today!

Interruption Marketing... Why Websites Fail to Gain Traction on the 'Net

It is called "One - Way Interruption Marketing". That was yesterday's method of advertising. We grew up with it. There was no Internet. The primary method of reaching people, in what author and marketing expert Seth Godin has called the "TV – Industrial Complex"1 is "interruption". You know the type of advertising we are talking about...

Creative ad agency professionals sit in "hip" offices conjuring up ways to interrupt people's attention, diverting attention from what's in front of them so they pay attention to a "one-way ad" they didn't ask to see... hear ... or read. (Tired of reading? Click here.)

The trick has always been to catch you while you're watching or listening to your favorite show and craft a commercial that gets you to pay attention while listening to the radio or watching the TV. The same approach holds true with magazine and newsprint advertising:  divert people's attention from reading the articles and jolt them with an "on page ad".

The object of any interruption type ads is to grab you when you really would rather be doing something else... like watching the TV show... or getting ready for the next quarter of the football game.

Product-Focused One-Way Spin

Not only is "interruption marketing" messages and methods of the past completely dependent upon "interrupting your focus", they have yet another, even greater disadvantage...

People know instinctively they are product focused, "one-way spin". In fact, somewhere along the way some genius coined the term "spin"  to describe how people felt after reading them... "spun".

Somebody was smart enough to coin the term  because that's exactly what we're all tempted to think when presented with these interruptions to our TV program, radio talk show or magazine article.

We Tend NOT to Trust Them!

At the very least, we're slightly annoyed and often more than slightly cynical. We know that whatever they're saying IS INTENDED TO SELL. The natural conclusion - certainly the most tempting one to believe - is that what's being said in the ad is selectively biased... In other words, we're not sure we're getting the truth about what's in front of us!

Think about it… A hundred years ago, did they really walk up to their wives and say I want some "Savory Piscatorial Tidbits"? The ad (at top) from "back when" was designed to elicit a "mouthwatering" response. They really were hoping to create a gusher in your mouth so you just had to run out and buy their "dainty game" and... oh yes of course... "Nutritious meats". 

Have no fear, you'll hear it again somewhere in the interruption advertising/marketing world because, as we've all experienced, ad agencies simply exhaust themselves running out of new ideas. So they come up with old ideas dressed up in new savory piscatorial tidbits. (Don't want to read more...Go here...) 

I'll grant you... The "Savory Piscatorial Tidbits" does get our attention... today. That is due to the fact that we are accustomed to the avalanche of glitz, banter and wit compressed in a century's worth of slogans, eye-popping sensations, graphic wonders and offers that make almost supernatural claims for the benefits and services they offer.

Websites Most Often Depend Upon "Interruption Marketing"

When we were consulted by the newspaper industry back in May 2007, quite frankly we were amazed. Our amazement was simple: the newspaper industry had quite literally, billions of dollars in resources to spend on getting YOUR ATTENTION.

But what we knew was that Internet marketing was replacing the newspaper industry's source of revenues and doing it through small businesses, budget-tight organizations and even hobbyist sized entrepreneurial marketers. Newspapers were still doing interruption marketing in their ads, and wee-little Internet marketers were beating them up with our ability to get people's attention WITHOUT INTERRUPTING people's focus from elsewhere. (Want to see if this is for you, Click here.)

The newspaper industry was, frankly, mesmerized by our comparatively small presence... and the online "wallop" we were able to create. I think it was just fascination mixed with Horror, as they saw a century and a half of BIG NEWS POWER, melt into the lap of home and coffee shop marketers. Indeed,  I can look you straight in the face and tell you, for about $10 bucks, HOW to access 50 million people...legally, morally, and effectively. But don't try Google AdwordsTM IF you don't know what you are doing. (We do. Ask us.).

However, a new phenomenon set in. The vast majority of people and businesses rushed to the Internet without understanding "why" the Internet came into being in the first place (and continues to thrive in popularity!)

The Net morphs almost daily, for an entirely different set of reasons than other off-line media ever dreamed possible. Understanding those reasons is what makes a website powerful in its "reach" into pools of interested clients... and persuasive when they get there. [Notice that you've gone this far into this article. Must be something keeping you here! Right?]
Is this approach for you? Find out here...
The "Long Tail" ... Don't Build a Website Without It!

Where else can you spend $10 bucks and gain access to about 50 million people? But, we are getting ahead of things here. If you knew how that was done... you would know something about the "Long Tail". See this Bell Curve below:

Millions...indeed the majority of online websites try to market to the thick concentrations of people in the top 68% of the online traffic.



Because most of that "traffic" (represented by key word searching) is comprised of people more casually inquiring into the Net with their searching. AND... with so many sellers/information offers attempting to attract THAT 68%, the cost of attracting them goes UP...phenomenally! It's your old demand and supply. More sellers and information offerers vying for the attention of that 68% ... the more the expense to do so.

But... look at the "tails" extending out at either end of the Bell Curve. The figure above is very limited compared to the reality on the Net. Those tails represent millions of keywords...

Normally in a particular market, there are millions of keywords and keyword phrases. But, each represents small pools of people... small percentages, granted, but HUGE numbers of such pools, accessed by different methods online. Those millions of "pools" are found in the Long Tail. Find out if this is for your organization. Click here...

The difference is this: the people in the Long Tail usually represent VERY COMMITTED potential buyers and/or seekers of information... People ready to pounce upon what you are offering in information; People ready to open their wallets for your products or services.


In the large 68% group, you may have a person who types in "car" in his search box. Ok, but the word "car" is very general, it does not suggest a deep commitment. It does suggest someone who is "generally" interested in "car". But that word can represent anything "car"...antiques, Fords, model car, Chryslers, toy car, train car, car repair...the list is endless. The person typing in "car" is "fishing" - not buying - in the Net.

He MAY be looking for something specific but this keyword needs others to be more helpful IF he wants greater help. Now, if your website is "SEO'd" - not for "car" which is VERY EXPENSIVE and VERY COMPETITIVE - but for something like the keyword phrase "car repair in West Bend Wisconsin"... THEN you will be getting those who are looking for "car repair in West Bend" and are VERY COMMITTED in their detailed search keywording!

Now... your car repair shop in West Bend should be SEO'd for all kinds of keyword search combinations that make sense for this industry.  These and the myriads of related search words we will show you (or train you or your personnel) can produce literally millions of search combinations. Call us.

  Other Website Mistakes

Millions of people, attracted by false claims and a sort of "guilt" that they "must be online", because they "should be", hastened to the 'Net believing these false promises...

"The Internet is free." [NOTE: Nothing in life is Free. That is a lesson people refuse   too often to learn].

"Get on Front Page Google and you will have the ultimate advertising leverage." [NOTE: Why is ONE Front Page GoogleTM position so valuable? What does that even mean?]

"Put up a great looking website and you will get an flood of people who will  see your site, and click to it. Doesn't this sound like people are "subconsciously" likening websites to the more familiar experience of "billboards" by the side of a road? Putting up a website...NEEDS analytic s work done FIRST...Without that work, the website will join millions of others in the Internet website "graveyard." Has that already happened to your site? Click here...

Websites are Not Online Versions of Billboards
Note this observation: "A website is more akin to a folder in a filing cabinet... Not a billboard!" - but learning what that means is crucial to your understanding of websites and why they fail.

Let's reverse the imagery:

Imagine stuffing 50 billion huge billboards into some version of a gigantic non-alphabetized filing cabinet, arranged in what appears to be a randomized array extending all over the surface area of the globe. NOW... reach into that filing cabinet and try to find one store address you're looking for among all those billboards. Can't do it?... Then don't design a website UNTIL you learn HOW websites are "found"...with specificity, not just "generally".

Internet Goldrush?

But people continued to believe that the Internet was the next gold rush (They were... and are... right, but not for the reasons they think.) Businesses continued to believe the old saw that says "If you build a better mousetrap the world will beat a path to your door."

But they rarely beat a path to the website "door" (a website isn't a "door" either). It's always been a question of finding the "path" to your door FIRST... It's axiomatic: If there is no path clearly marked, no door will ever be found by your "Target market".

But like the California gold miners of '49, the Internet goldrush was "on"... And almost no one understood it. Millions of people rushed to put up websites - very often real beauties with all the flash and glitter imaginable... But again, just like the "49ers" of  mid-19th century California, very few became gold millionaires. Most settled down to do something else other than gold and glitter, and learned to make a living - farming, fishing, lumber, politics.

Websites by the millions are following the same route: they figure that savory images, fancy headlines, and the "better mousetrap" will get them an avalanche of interested, drooling crowds of people. (Interruption type marketing again.)

But... as the ole' farmer once said, "Tain't so."

Call us...

The Internet, in addition to being one of the most exciting places to find pools of interested attendees to your website, is also the largest information graveyard of the world.

Millions of websites are left unattended, not having been worked on for years. Put bluntly, people got tired working for free... uh, working for nothing.

At best, without learning the NOT SO VERY INTUITIVE science of Internet marketing, your website – as expensive as they can be – usually becomes only a referral... or a fancy business card:

So we've gone from the idea that the Internet will provide "an avalanche of information of starved crowds just drooling for  what we have to offer"... to ...  almost begging someone to go look at our website. What happened to the "avalanche"... the "flood"... the "crowds"...???  Find out what you need to do to get that avalanche!

The "Old Rules" of Marketing are Gone

So what are the old rules of marketing?

According to David Meerman Scott, in his best seller The New Rules of Marketing & PR (John Wiley & Sons, Inc. p.6), put it best when he said...

"The web has opened a tremendous opportunity to reach niche buyers directly with targeted information that costs a fraction of what big-budget advertising costs." (emphasis and link added herein)

Again, according to the same author, the old rules of marketing that are gone include the following:

Marketing simply meant advertising and branding.

Advertising needed to appeal to the masses.

Advertising was one way: company to consumer.               

Advertising was exclusively about selling products.

Advertising was based on campaigns and had a limited life.

Creativity was deemed the most important component of advertising.

It was more important for the ad agency to win advertising awards than for the client to win new    customers.

Advertising and PR were separate disciplines run by different people with separate goals, strategies, and measurement criteria.

"None of this is true anymore. The web has transformed the rules, and you must transform your marketing to make the most of the web enabled marketplace of ideas." - David M. Scott (p.8)

Leveraging Influence: The Power to Attract and Move Niche Markets

Some time ago, I remember going online to look at car prices, as millions of others do. Just keeping up with what's out there. I went to the standard Big Name car manufacturers such as FordTM and in ChryslerTM.When I visited their websites what I found was a barrage of... advertising. Headlines seem to scream at me "new model clearance 0% financing!" I went over to GM and found... advertising: "72 hours sale!" 

But I was not anywhere near that stage of interest. I wasn't ready to buy a car RIGHT NOW. I actually just wanted to learn now for a potential future purchase.

But they didn't seem to be interested in the myriads of customers like me who were looking for the RIGHT INFORMATION...for later on down the future road. I was at the top of the interest / buying funnel. The people they were trying to attract where the bottom of the buying funnel… Those comparatively few people who were ready with wallets open.

Therefore, the vast majority of people coming to those websites were not serviced in a manner they were looking for.  That is the reason alternative websites for car buying have become attractive. They have learned to attract people to the places where their clients find the greatest interest. They get people hooked on the information for now ... AND later in the buying process. They KNOW a reader now...may later buy. Start courting him/her NOW with powerful content.

It used to be the case that PR (Press Releases) were for the few organizations and corporations that could afford expensive advertising campaigns. They were the ones that got the reporter's and editor's ink back in the old days.

But, that's all changed too. Find out why.

New Rules of Marketing
In contrast, the online world has changed the entire approach to getting noticed. These are SOME of the New Rules of Marketing and PR (as summarized by Scott - See above reference, p. 56):

Marketing is more than just advertising.

PR is for more than just the mainstream media audience.

You are what you publish.

People want participation, not spin or propaganda.

Marketing is delivering helpful content at the moment your audience reaches into the Net.

PR is not about your boss seeing you on TV. It's about your buyers seeing you on the web.

Marketing is not about your agency winning awards. It's about your organization winning  business or your audience finding your information! Not spin...helpful, encouraging content.

Blogs, video, e-books, news releases, AdwordsTM, SEO, social media let organizations communicate directly with their audience in a form they appreciate.

On the web, the lines between marketing and PR have blurred.

And here's the most important of all the New Rules: the new science of Analytics makes it possible to "train" your website so pages cease to be "merely content".

In your hands website pages become 24 – 7 – 365 trained "information professionals" and skilled, persuasive "sales teams." Yes, you read that correctly. Your web pages are developed as if they were trained professionals attracting the interest of your audience! Is this for you or your organization? Click here...
We repeat: if your organization learns the HOW of attracting people to your site, then your organization can also implement a series of strategies that will cause your webpages to be found by people all over the world. And those people who come to your site pages will often find it difficult to leave your site.

When both of those things happen, you've got a website that is a 24- 7 - 365 "trained salesforce".

After all, who wants their website to sit online and "savor" only ...

... Tidbits!

Of course the trick is knowing HOW to implement the New Rules.

Ask us. That's why we're here...

...and let the avalanche begin!

Respectfully submitted,

Wayne C. Sedlak, Internet Marketing Specialist
ICHR (Institute for Christian Heritage Research)