Marketing Truth #2 – The Three PILLARS OF MARKETING

With the sound of the bell, Professor Wiggins launched the day’s discussion about The Three Pillars of Marketing. This particular subject seems to be his favorite, not because it’s more fun, but because he considers it bedrock foundational. He has a lot of ground to cover, so he hits the ground running.

As usual, He shouts the headline of the day! “The THREE PILLARS OF MARKETING, What do YOU think they are? Class, I need you to gather around mentally. The AHB AWB marketing truth we discuss today is important because it will give you a clear perspective about this complicated subject, internet marketing. You will need that clarity when you get down to market your business. The Three Pillars of Marketing–what are they? They are Visibility Engagement, Conversion.

Three Pillars of Marketing

Columns of Sagrada Familia,Barcelona

If you get nothing else from this entire semester. Lock this truth away in a place where you’ll never forget it. I think you will see, with me, it’s foundational. Think about it, these three components: visibility, engagement and conversion have supported marketing for as long as merchants have needed to market. You might think of these three pillars of marketing as legs of a stool.

Charlie’s grandfather owned a stool making shop. One day the boy came over to help his grandfather make stools. The young boy looked around and said, “I see that you make stools with four legs and some with three.

His Grandfather jumped up, pointed his index finger at the boy and with a bright smile said, “Stay right there.” He ducked into the storage room at the end of his neatly organized work bench and returned with a one legged stool. A comfortable seat with one leg attached. He put the stool on the floor and sat down, grinning, hands turned up he said, “I also make one legged stools!”

The boy, caught up in the moment said, “Can I try that?”


But the stool was too tall. Disappointment covered Charlie’s face. Paw paw wanted no part of that.

“Wait a minute,” he said.

He grabbed the stool, locked it in his vice, picked up his hand saw and lopped off some stool leg, just the right amount.

“Try that.”

The boy perched himself on his new one-legged stool.

Grand dad exclaimed, “Now that’s more like it. What do you think, Charlie?


Grandfather sensed a teachable moment and said, “When you think about it, your stool actually has three legs.”

At first the boy didn’t see what his grandfather was saying. Then it dawned on him…his own two legs, gave the stool three legs.

Then Grandfather observed, “To keep a one legged stool standing, you’ve got a full time job. That’s why I make most of my stools with at least three legs.”

Charlie, when you build something, build it so it will stand on its own. When you do that, you will have room in your life to build something else. Over time you can build many things and still have time to take care of everything you build. (Charlie would remember that thought years later and realize that his wise granddad had in mind things bigger than stools.)

You could see students jotting down that interesting note of wisdom.

Wiggins went on.
Today, we are talking about Visibility, Engagement, and Conversion…“The Three Legs of your Marketing Stool.” You must have all three legs if you want your marketing stool to stand. This may sound like so much professorial profundity, but its truth. If you consistently address these three issues, intentionally and specifically, in every aspect of your marketing, your marketing will make you money.

Marketing Pillar #1 VISIBILITY

Let’s talk about each of these “Pillars”. First, visibility!

Do whatever you have to do to make your message visible to the audience you want to reach.

There’s different kinds of visibility. In one instance, you want to stay visible. Stay visible with people who already know you, your customers and other connections. On the other hand, you want to get visible. Get visible to new people when they Google-search for what you do.

In order to stay visible with your clients and social connections, show consistent activity in the Social Media space. Publish a periodic newsletter. In order to get visible to people who don’t know you. Make yourself search engine friendly.

Let’s talk about how You GET VISIBLE to people who search for what you do?

There are two things. I think you should do both. 1) Buy ads on the internet. 2) Optimize your online presence to be found by search engines for free.

First let’s talk about paid visibility. The saying I’ve heard all my life is still true. It pays to Advertise.

Paid Visibility…You can advertise through Search Engines. You can advertise through your Social Media nets.  There are three cool things about paid advertising on the internet. One, you can control the amount of your spend precisely. The second, you can accurately target your ads to people who are most likely to be interested. Third, you can easily track and measure your results to determine the return on your investment. That’s powerful. And it WORKS!.

Non Paid Visibility…The technical term: “Search Engine Optimization” or SEO. People use search engines to search for your service or product, right? Since Search Engines are programed to look for web pages that meet certain criteria, make your website look like what search engines look for. There are many steps in this process, but something that few people seem to realize is this: the key component in Search Engine optimization is fresh content built around carefully selected keywords.

There you have it. There are both paid and unpaid means of making yourself visible on the internet. As I said, I believe you should do both.

Now that you have made yourself visible, you must engage your audience. You must capture and keep their attention. So, let’s talk about that.

Marketing Pillar #2 ENGAGEMENT

No matter how visible you make your message, if no one pays attention, no one gets your help and you make no money.” People engage when they care about what you say. We must sound interesting! When we do, people tune in.

Many years ago John Burroughs, a naturalist, one summer evening was walking through a crowded park. Above the sounds of city life he heard the song of a bird. He stopped and listened! Those with him had not heard it. He looked around. No one else had noticed it.

It bothered him that everyone should miss something so beautiful.
He took a coin from his pocket and flipped it into the air. It struck the pavement with a ring, no louder than the song of the bird. Everyone turned; they could hear that!

Wiggins grinned and said, “There is of course a non-marketing lesson here. It is important that you and I tune the ears of our hearts so we don’t miss the soft, beautiful and important sounds in our lives.” But there’s this profound marketing lesson as well.

The marketing lesson? As marketers, we must say things that have the sound of something our target audience values, and say it in a way that draws them in. There are certain things that tend to catch the attention of most human beings. For example, when you answer questions people are asking, people listen. When you inspire people…say something that kicks them out of their rut and gets them moving again, they lean in. That’s two of several things I consider to be the basics of engagement. We can talk more about this later.

Now that we have captured our reader’s attention we must help them  take action. So, let’s talk about conversion.

Marketing Pillar #3 CONVERSION

What is conversion? Conversion is something that happens when people convert their money into a product or service you provide. Another way to think of it–your prospects take the action you want them to take. They make a buy. You make a sale. That’s conversion.

I’m sure you would agree that conversion makes your marketplace world go round. This has always been true and it ALWAYS will be true. It’s an AHB AWB thing for sure.

The ultimate “conversion” you seek is the sale. Obviously! But don’t stop there. There are other types of conversion you want if you should market successfully via the internet in the 21st century…You might call these conversions, pre-conversion. There are three that stand out:

1) You want people to give you their email address.
2) You want them to “Connect” with you “like you” and “follow” you on Social Media.
3) You want people to give you their “reviews.”

We want these ”Pre Conversions”, because they fill our sales pipeline with future sales. Now you may be asking, “Professor Wiggins, is there something I can do that will get me these conversions?” Well, I’m SO GLAD you asked!

Listen, every marketer learns, one way or the other, that just knowing what you want people to do, doesn’t result in having them do it. Conversion is THE finish line. Most of the time we have to help people get across that finish line.

As an internet marketer, you need two powerful things. I call it the one-two punch of getting conversions:

First you need the Call to Action and
Second, you need the Landing Page.

With these two things in place, your prospects are more likely to cross that finish line. When you get them to do that, you know it will make their world a better place and it makes your world go round.

Finally this. At the top of this discussion, I mentioned the issue of clarity. Speaking for myself, when I first started studying about and working in the field of internet marketing, I was overwhelmed. It was difficult for me to see how it all fits together. There are so many moving parts. It can be down right confusing.

Then one day I realized that every one of these moving parts relates to one of these three pillars of marketing whether is some action you take or tool you use. Let’s say you are writing a blog post. You need all three pillars. Visibility: That’s where key words and how you use them come into play. Engagement: That’s where you need to write a great headline that leads into a relevant topic. Conversion: You want a call to action on every page that takes your reader to a carefully crafted landing page.  Your Social Media: You  must address all three pillars. Newsletter? Again effectiveness comes when you take care of the visibility, engagement and conversion.

Virtually very plugin, tool, and marketing service out there is designed to help you accomplish  one of these three things. For example, let’s say you use HootSuite to manage Social Media Posting. That’s about visibility. Perhaps you use Animoto to build quick cool videos that’s primarily about visibility as well. When you use tools like feedly or buzzmo you are seeking engagement. Perhaps you use a tools like UnBounce or LeadPages. Now we’re talking conversion.

When you feel a touch of confusion, ask yourself, about the tactic or the tool you are dealing with, “Is this a visibility thing, or am I dealing with engagement or on the other hand, is this about conversion? Almost everything in the internet marketing world will fall primarily under one of these three headings. When you recognize the specific thrust of the thing you are working on, you gain clarity. It provides perspective. It creates context. It gives you go.

Be relentless. With your ads, your web pages, your social media, your newsletter…in every part of everything you do…address the “Three Pillars of Marketing” 1) make your message visible. 2) capture and keep the attention of your audience and 3) motivate them to take action. The effect you get: Internet Marketing that works.

If he was anything, Professor Wiggins was punctual. With the last word spoken the bell rang, declaring end of class. Computers snapped shut, backpacks zipped up, students streamed out the door. The exuberant Professor smiled. Happy that he gets to do what he does.

Are you interested in Internet Marketing that works? J3 can help.   Let’s get Started