The leader of an internet marketing project distributed a survey recently. I did not feel it was appropriate to dump on this poor guy. But, nevertheless, I felt obligated to write down some of my thoughts. He made the mistake of providing a text box for my free-form comments, and an invitation to provide my comments in answer to this question:
“Feel free to leave any comment on what you feel is the ideal online business.”
- Honest, trustworthy leadership.
- Stable, predictable programs with proven track record.
- Full disclosure UP FRONT. No upsells, OTO’s or other deceptive marketing practices. Small business and Internet Marketing don’t get it.
This is how it is done by professional consultants in Fortune 500 companies (a typical engagement):
For 6 years I did “consultative selling” to multi-million dollar enterprise accounts. Our sales people would get appointments for me (leading the consulting team). The client assigned a core team to work with my team, I led a team that conducted a “current state” assessment for whatever business area the client was trying to improve. I designed many times 1, 2, 3, or more potential “future state” scenarios, worked with the client to select and initiate a limited pilot and “proof of concept”. We (the client core team and my team) jointly determined the best scenario(s), and I developed a proposal with full disclosure and ROI that was presented to C-level decision makers in the company. If the proposal was accepted (94% of the time), I handed my sales team a complete Bill of Materials and timeline that extends to the full length of the contract (typically 5 years), from which orders were placed. I turned the implementation plan over to a deployment team.
Some of my clients: Sanofi-Aventis Pharmaceuticals, ADT Payroll Services, US Air Force Reserves HQ, US Air Force, Library of Congress, US Army Corps of Engineers, US Dept of Corrections, St. Lukes Medical System, Buffalo Medical Systems, NSA, PA Dept of Human Services, PennDOT. I was a team leader for Boeing Defense Systems, Kaiser Permanente Medical System, UPMC Medical Systems, Philadelphia School District, Bank of America, IRS, US Army, UBS Financial
Compare this to Internet Marketing. Details are rarely revealed of the program before the sales pitch is delivered. Buyers or affiliates are at the mercy of deceptive advertising (or fraudulent by way of omission). False promises of earnings, couched with so many “earnings disclosure” exceptions are the only information provided. It is all about the sale, and NO consideration to support, integration, and future upgrade paths. Without knowing all the moving parts, including upsells, add-ons, or blatantly missing components, small businesses cannot possibly do a feasibility study or ROI estimation because the sum total of all necessary components is not revealed until that buyer has invested sufficient time, energy, resources, and funds to prohibit reversal of the project.
So my ideal Internet Marketing program would be modeled after the proven Fortune 500 consulting methodologies that ensure a reasonable return on investment. Fortune 500 companies MUST do it this way because those companies have stockholders to answer to. In Internet Marketing, the only ones accountable are the inexperienced fools who blindly invest into these poorly structured, hyped programs, going on incomplete and inaccurate information.
Sorry you asked?