The Old Market Mindset (and why it doesn’t work)

Are you tired of trying different marketing methods that don't work? Do you feel like you spend a lot of time and effort working and working just to end up right back where you started? In this article we examine a number of old-school marketing "tricks" that no longer work and should be retired along with all the old-school companies that keep trying to push them off on us.

If you feel like everything you've done has failed - Trust me, there's nothing wrong with you - it's the marketing rules that the old-school companies have been telling you "if you do it like this you'll succeed"

Old-school marketing doesn't work any more in today's marketplace. Take a look around. Companies are changing drastically all around us. Video stores that used to be lined with racks and racks of VHS tapes faded out - all the mom-n-pop video stores got replaced by Blockbuster and Hollywood Video. And now those big video guys are all drying up as places like Netflix take over the market.

And you can already see the end of Netflix coming. Not only do we have on-demand cable and satellite now, but soon we'll have on-demand Internet viewing. The TV will be replaced with (or used as) a large computer monitor. And all your shows will be viewed right over the Internet. And if big companies like Netflix don't keep up with the changing times, they'll soon be going out of business just like the big-boy video companies they are putting out of business today.

You can look all around and see the entire landscape changing very quickly. Just 15 years ago, right before I got married, my phone bill to my soon-to-be wife was $400 every month because she lived in a town 20 miles away and the phone company didn't yet have "area calling" at the time. Today you can video chat with a friend on the other side of the world - all for free. Phone services are no longer restricted to copper wires ran to your house, now many people receive telephone service either through VOIP or cell. We don't even have a conventional phone in our house - even though we wired it for one just 8 years ago when we built it!

"WAIT!" I can hear you yell at me - "What does this have to do with marketing and getting traffic to my site?"


Everything in the world, my friend, everything in the world.

The entire market has changed and so have all the rules that used to make businesses successful. In the "good old" days (about 15 - 20 years ago) you could just build brick-and-mortar business and your customers would flock to you. Back then the customer didn't have many choices for how to shop - they had to travel to the "market".

In today's economy the market travels to the customer, and any business that doesn't interact directly with it's customer base right where they are - they will go out of business within the next 10 years.

One thing I've learned with trying to teach people the new marketing principles is that if we first don't deal with the "old school" methods that don't work, people will keep thinking the "old school" way while trying to learn the new market principles and they really have a hard time getting it. It's like packing up for a trip, if your suitcase was used for "storage" you first have to take all the old things out of it before you can put your new clothes in it.

So in this article we'll discuss old-market ideas that don't work (and why). Look for the next article to come out to start working on the new mindset - we'll go one category at a time down through the last article (Where Do I Start?) until we've covered it all!

  1. Build a building and put up a sign and you'll get business. A lot of people come from the old-market and think "All I have to do is put up a website and I'll start making money." And then after a couple years they can't understand what's wrong - they did nothing but lose money! Being successful in Internet marketing is more than just putting up a web site. There's one key in old-market buildings that you'll hear in real estate. They say the success of a business comes down to three thing: location, location, and location. Well, in the new market it's targeted traffic, targeted traffic, and targeted traffic. The more targeted traffic you have coming to your site, the more successful you'll be. You can't just put up a pretty website - you have to get the right traffic to come to it.
  2. Give them a brochure, or demo the product and they'll buy. Look, that may have worked for Amway for the first 20 years, but it doesn't work any more. As soon as your friend whips out the "latest and greatest new product that you just have to have!", what happens? You leave! Well, the same thing happens online too. Think about it - you're doing a google search looking for something. Let's say you want to learn about fishing. So you search "fishing" on google and the first site you come to is a catalog of a gazillion rods and lures. Of course you know you need a rod - but you don't know what to buy because you don't know anything about fishing, so you leave the catalog site and look around for an educational site. (Keep that in mind, it's a valuable point!)Well, you find this educational site that has a couple free PDFs to read and videos for you to watch that show you all about how to fish for the very fish you were looking to catch - that big-mouth bass! Well, you notice the lure and reel the guy in the video is using - and right next to the video is a "kit" that has the exact gear the guy in the video is using, tackle box, vest, and all! Guess what - you're going to click that little "add to shopping cart" button and go pay for it right now! Why? Because you got educated first. Catalogs don't sell - Education does! Think about your site. If people coming to a site come to a sales page - if they don't know what they want to buy yet because they want to learn a little more first, or they think that maybe the guy on this website doesn't know what he's talking about because all they see is this "Hey buy now or tomorrow the price goes up" sales-hype, they aren't buying from that site. The reason you'll buy the fishing kit is because it's obvious to you that the guy in the video knows what he's doing - he just caught this huge bass! So you're buying the same thing he was using - it obviously works!
  3. You don't need to take down your customer's information - they know where your business is and when they're ready to buy they'll be back. Well, you saw right through that one while you were reading it. In a little town with just one car dealer that might work for the car salesman. But in a metro with car lots on every other corner that will never work. And with the Internet - even more so! If you're not collecting customer information so that you can continue to interact with them, you've lost them to the guy who did get their info.
  4. You only need to sell Company "X" products - they have it all. I've been working in and around marketing for years, I've seen them all come and go. A good friend of mine who makes his living off of MLMs and I were talking a couple weeks back. I asked him "How many MLMs have you been in?" He said "About 50." I asked "How many are still around?" He said "Less than 5."That's a sad truth. Most MLM companies will sink. "Oh, but I"m not in an MLM." - Good! The problem is still the same. See if this story sounds familiar:A marketer sends all his prospects to product X. If they don't like it, they move on. And he's lost them for good. Later when product X is replaced by some newer fad or technology, or Company X goes under because they don't know how to market in today's economy, well, all those people that he put into that company - he just lost them all, along with all his income. And all those that didn't want that product? Well, he never had them to begin with - he wasted your time and/or money by getting them to the product site.
  5. Here, sell this vacuum, you'll get $2,000 per unit you sell. Well, after that poor soul has visited all his friends and family (the ones that let him come over, they still remember that silly 8-track-of-the-month club he tried to get them to buy into and that crazy snake-oil the time before that), well, after he's visited them his list just ran dry. And he only got 1 unit sold. Now he's cold-calling people and none of the people he calls is interested. If you are stuck making one-time sales for each commission check, you'll always have to work harder to make more.

Well, I know some of these examples are a little comical. One thing about them, they don't even cover the new principles that don't even relate to old-world marketing. One last nail in the old-world coffin and then we'll examine just one of the principles that you have to have in order to succeed in todays new-world marketplace.

I'll tell you a little-known secret in the marketing industry. It's one of those secrets that it's so obvious, yet you usually don't "know" it unless someone points it out - Really you knew it all along but you just never quite thought about it this way.

Here's the marketing secret, and then I'll prove it's 100% true to you: Most marketing companies don't know how to sell on the Internet! I could probably change that to: No marketing company knows how to sell on the Internet! and be just as true, but I'll give them some a benefit of the doubt and say "Most".

Here's the proof:

  • As an insider I worked with corporate teams extensively. I got to ask any question that came to mind. I never saw myself as a marketer and thought for sure those guys could teach me a thing or two - and some of them did. But for the most part, they knew a lot of theory but they never put it in practice. All of their "tricks" were just that - "tricks" to get people to push more product and make more sales. It's like they could see the "real" way to market but because they were too caught up in trying to make a quick buck that they never got to implement the real methods for selling online. That's one "problem" with Internet marketing - slow and steady gets the job done, but a lot of people want to see if they can take a lot of shortcuts and make it work faster - all that does is make you work every day just as hard for the same buck. When you do Internet marketing the right way, you'll work less and less as you make more and more.
  • If they really knew how to sell online, why weren't they doing it? Oh, they have a website up, and they've got a lot of catchy "look over here", "no, now look over here" flashing lights on the site. But the bottom line is, if they could market online so well, why did they need a sales team? Successful Internet marketers don't have more and more sales people as they become more and more successful - they keep all the money to themselves. Don't you think if a corporate group could get away with paying less in commissions so they could keep more of the profit for themselves that they would do it? Don't you think if they could sell without having to pay anyone anything that they would do it? Of course they would - that's why they started the company, to make themselves money. You're not fooled, you know they weren't in it so you'd make money.
  • If MLMs really knew how to sell in today's market why do so many of them go out of business? There's plenty of money to be made on the Internet - it's growing all the time, so why should they go out of business? It's because they don't know what they're doing when it comes to selling in today's market.
  • Most MLMs do have a website, and they do have product pages and a "back office" online. But all the social interaction still takes place face-to-face. In today's new-market, social interaction has to happen online. When you have to interact face-to-face, there's only so many people you can talk to at a time. But online, you can reach thousands instantly. Consider this very article you're reading. When I first release it, several thousand people will read it within the first few days. After several months there's no telling how many hundreds of thousands of people will have read this very article.

UPDATE: I had just released this article to the public and my social network tools automatically published it to all my social networks - within a few seconds someone on facebook had "liked" this article!! That's the power of having your own website and doing your marketing yourself - you won't get this type of exposure using the corporate website!!!

With your own website you're a sales force of "one" - and a FORCE TO BE RECKONED WITH!

OK, let me "recap" the new-marketing mindset ideas that I touched on above - I don't want you to just remember all the old-school ideas that don't work:

  • You have to interact with your customer where they are, you can't just expect them to come find you or even remember where you are.
  • It takes targeted traffic to make your website successful. "Targeted" means your visitors are targeted for whatever product or service you are offering.
  • Education Sells! If you give your future clients free information this works in your favor across many different levels:
    1. They feel like you are on their side - you're not out for a quick buck.
    2. They view you as the expert. You may know just a little more than them, but from their perspective, you're the one with all the knowledge.
    3. They take your recommendation on what to purchase. When we purchase, we like to get the advice of people we trust so we feel we are making the best decision.
  • You need to capture your visitor's information - that way you can follow up with them and continue to give them the information they need in order to purchase from you. Most companies today don't know what type of information to send to a prospect in order to sell them - they just keep sending more sales material instead of educational material.
  • You should market more than one company and more than one product. Products fade away and companies go under. You can't afford to put your financial future in the hands of things that are so fleeting.
  • Most companies don't know how to market online - if they did they wouldn't need a sales force at all.
  • You need your own website. The company website won't educate your prospects in a way that will help you sell, their mindset is "put the product in their mouth" (you'll know that phrase if you were ever in a health-and-wellness company) instead of "put the product in their mind". When you get the product in their mind, don't worry, they'll be "putting it in their mouth". Your website will educate your visitors, capture their information, and give them an informative and interactive place to come back time and again until they decide to purchase.
  • You need a product that is a repeat sale - once you've convinced someone to buy, your monthly income permanently goes up by that amount. You never get suckered in to making a lot of one-time sales even if they are high in commissions.

I hope in this article some of the new-market principles were more clear to you and you can see how the old-school way just wont work any more. Keep in mind, it's not you that has been unsuccessful, it's the old-school methods that don't work in this new market - when you start doing the new-market principles, you'll start seeing your own success.

In the next article we'll dig into all the advantages to having your own website, and all the things you can do with your own website. I'll even have a case study or two of things to not do with your website, and some things you absolutely have to do.

Until then, here's to your success!

Filed under: Beginner, List Building, Mindset, Online Business Practices, Social Networking, Traffic

3 Responses to “The Old Market Mindset (and why it doesn’t work)”

  1. Hi, I have a problem with learning social networking because in my mind, it is very time-consuming. I have only so much time, and I am working on my blog, spending time learning, doing ad-swaps, and usually there are things I don’t even get to, say, article writing in one day, so I have trouble seeing how to work in the social networking aspect.

  2. Hi Cheryl,

    I’m finding that the best way to use social marketing is with automated mechanisms – you write a post and it’s updated to facebook, twitter, etc without you doing anything. It does help drive traffic to your site.

    I think the best return on your time is list-building, but even with that there are some people who will follow you on twitter and respond to you there before they would ever read your emails.

    So I recommend that you establish list-building activities and find ways to integrate social media into those activities.

  3. Your blog is definitely full of fantastic advice and also is actually quite pleasing to scan through.Well done:)…