The Who, Where, What, How, Why and When of Internet Marketing

A new semester had begun. This was the first day of his class on Internet marketing. Dr. J. R. Wiggins, professor of marketing, at One Fine University crashed through the door of his class room at the sound of the bell. He shouted, “Good Morning Class.”

SIX Important Things You Need to Know About Marketing…The Who, Where, What, How, Why and When – SIMPLE!

The students would soon learn to expect the professor’s “good morning” to be followed by what sounded like a headline. He meant it to jump start the sleepiest student’s brain and gather everyone onto the same page. His excitement excited his students, his bursting enthusiasm inspired them. They found him compelling because he seemed to care about every student’s potential and success.

The professor continued.

The “Five Ws” (and one H) were memorialized by Rudyard Kipling in his “Just So Stories” (1902), in which a poem accompanying the tale of “The Elephant’s Child” opens with:

I keep six honest serving-men
(They taught me all I knew);
Their names are What and Why and When
And How and Where and Who.

Gather around mentally. Today we will use the “Kipling Method’ to develop an overview of  our subject–Internet Marketing. We commence with WHO.

The WHO of Your Marketing Initiatives 

He poked his meter stick in the gut of a kid on the front row and with a quick glance at his seating chart,

Mr. Cantor, your marketing “WHO” includes five distinct people groups. You have already taken Marketing 101. You know who your target audience is. But there are five different general segments of this specific population. Can you name one?

A startled Mr. Cantor, a kid everyone called “Can” lived up to his name, rapidly recovering from Wiggins Shock, he said, “How about people you haven’t met yet?”

Wiggins whirled around and put both hands in the air, meter stick in one, seating chart in the other and celebrated, “You are going to be my best class ever!” YES Mr. Cantor. People you haven’t met yet form an extremely important part of your target audience. Not only have you not met them, they don’t even know your business exists and don’t care about that right now. They are not looking for you or anyone else who does what you do. However, there is the huge possibility that one day soon, they will be.

That’s just one of the people groups in your target market. There are four more. There always have been and there always will be. Before, during and after these days when the Internet connects the world, these five people groups always populate your target audience. Don’t you think that’s IMPORTANT to know, think about, and DO something about?

We will spend an entire class discussing the WHO. We may even have a little music! That got a few smiles. As I said, there are five distinct people groups in your marketing WHO. The important message here: Each group represents a marketing opportunity that you don’t want to miss. I can’t wait for us to talk about that.

The WHERE of Marketing

Mr. Cantor, I have another question for you.
Can braced himself and nodded.
These people in your target audience who you have yet to meet, WHERE are they? If they were birds, where do they fly, where do they nest. If they were fish, where do they swim?

Can, thinking out loud says, “Well, my target audience obviously is human. People live at addresses, drive on streets, work in offices. And they access all sorts of media via broadcast and ON THE INTERNET!

Mr. Cantor, THAT WAS BRILLIANT. There’s a lot of wisdom in that young head of yours. You covered all the bases. What you just said would be true these days about all five segments in your target audience.

Because this is true there are many traditional marketing channels that still work. Bill boards, for example, because people drive the roads. Direct mail still works because people still live at addresses and they at least look at their mail. Radio, TV…for sure. But since this class is about Internet marketing we are talking about how to market to people who use the Internet to either search for information or connect with people. So the Where of Internet marketing is quite obviously…He paused and let the class fill in the blank…

They shouted “The Internet!”

Excellent! Brilliance in abundance. Go CLASS!

We want to talk about the WHERE of your Internet marketing effort a great deal more, and we will, because marketing your business on the internet is what THIS class is all about. But for now, we will stay at the 10,000 foot level. Let’s move on the HOW of Internet marketing.

The HOW of Internet Marketing

There are Three Major Components in the “HOW.” Four for businesses that operate in a local geography.

Wiggins had already spotted the pretty bright eyed young woman on the fourth row over by the windows. Ms Saunders can you name one of the Major Components in the HOW of Internet marketing?

Her friends called her Sandy, she looked up from her note taking and said the obvious, “The Website.”

The answer please Wiggins.  Absolutely Ms Saunders, absolutely. The website is certainly one of the major components of the HOW of Internet marking. As we will see going forward, your website is the hub of your entire marketing system. HOWEVER, There are three other crucial components. Local listings or directories, Social Media and the electronic newsletter. (Obviously, there are hundreds of other “moving parts” used in the process of marketing on the Internet, but these four central components pretty much provide either the destination or the launching pad for all of them.)

Everyone knows about the importance of the website. Most know little about local listings. Many business owners view Social Media as important, though they use it poorly. But the third component, the electronic newsletter: It remains the least understood, least expensive, remarkably powerful and often ignored component. I hope you will see the potential and importance of this third component.

We will dig into all of this later on. That takes care of the Who and the How. Thank you Ms Saunders and Mr Cantor.

Now, who wants to take a crack at the next question of the morning.

The WHAT of All Marketing

Wally Waters an affable kid on the back row shot his hand into the air. After a micro second glance at his seating chart, Professor Wiggins said, Ok Mr Waters …the big WHAT of marketing. Three effects make up your marketing WHAT. Said another way, you want to cause three effects. Can you name one of those?

It just popped into his head. Wally grinned and opened his hands like he was presenting a present and said, “You Make the Sale!”

Wiggins did a little jig and said, “PERFECT!” the SALE! Making sales is what marketing is all about, right. Some people call it the close. More sophisticated thinkers call it conversion. Thank you Mr. Waters. An important effect you want to cause with your marketing is conversion, making the sale. But as we will see, there are two other important effects, prior to the sale: First, Visibility and secondly, Engagement.

I call them the three pillars of marketing. Like a three legged stool. All legs ESSENTIAL!!! Always has been and always will be. Like the five people groups of your WHO, this is an AHBAWB (always has been always will be thing.) Always be wondering three things about each piece of your internet system. Is there something I must do to make this visible to more people. How can I make it more engaging to the people who do see it. And finally, what exactly do I want them to do about it, and how do I get them to act. (conversion)

You may be wondering, what’s the big deal? Well, I’ll tell you. If you are working with websites, you achive visibility, engagement and conversion in very different ways than, for instance, when you are working with Social Media. But you need all three pillars just the same. That’s the big deal. You must cause visibility, engagement and conversion, but you must know that, depending on the channel, how you get there is different. When it comes to Social Media, most people concentrate on the engagement effect. But what about visibility. How do you increase visibility? What about conversion. Can you create the conversion effect with Social Media? If you master this way of thinking, and apply it to everything you do, when you do marketing, you will be on your way to brilliance! You master this and you will master Internet marketing.

Wisdom is the ability to detect difference when the difference is important. That’s the kind of wisdom you need here.

The WHY of All Marketing

That takes care of the WHAT, but what about the WHY of everything you do that has anything to do with marketing. By the way as a side note, put this book on your must read list: Start With Why by Simon Sinek. A Ground breaking read that looks at the power of a well defined “why.” The book isn’t about the why of marketing specifically, it’s about why your business exists in the first place. I found it a very thought provoking volume.

But today, we consider the why of your marketing. I don’t do this often, but I want to speak from my heart about this. Buy definition, any discussion of “why” involves the philosophical. Many business persons jump to the conclusion that profit is the why of marketing, but I suggest a higher why.

Gather around mentally. I believe you will achieve your highest success if you make people the why of your marketing. And not just any people, but people who are more like you.

I have a dentist friend who has built his practice buying the practices of retiring dentists. He told me that one dentist whose practice he bought was a bit of a jerk. He went on to say that most of that dentist’s patients were jerks. Another time he bought a practice from a dentist he considered a kind good man. He observed that most of this man’s patients were kind and good people. Thus proving the ancient proverb about how birds of a feather flock together. Wiggins smiled for a second. Sometimes he realized that he had only amused himself.

Your ideal client is a unique sort of individual. You are a unique sort of individual yourself. The best marketing promotes the difference about how you solve a particular problem because of who you are, what you believe and what’s important to you. Tell your story. That helps people detect the difference between you and your competitor. That shows “your people” the difference that matters to them. You are the ideal provider for many many customers. I suggest that you are the ideal provider, truly, for more customers than you could ever get around to. Those people are the WHY of your marketing efforts.

Discover and show your important difference. It’s more than your location or some piece of equipment, by the way. Discover how to do that and you will attract the people you were born to serve.

The class was quiet. That always made Wiggins a little uncomfortable, but he figured he had given them something important to think about.

He glanced at the clock…OH MY…time is about up.

The When of Marketing

One more thing…the WHEN! What is the WHEN of Marketing? Back to you Mr. Walters, uh I mean Waters. Can you nail the WHEN of marketing? Wally, with that affable smile said, AWAYS? YES Mr. Waters, Always. IN GOOD TIMES AND BAD! MARKET NOW! ALWAYS BE MARKETING.

The bell rang. With the wave of his hand Wiggins said, all the best to all of you till Wednesday. The class, most of them, rushed out the door to the next event in their busy lives.

Wiggins didn’t rush out. He always rushed in at the start of class. But he never rushed out at the end. He stayed to talk with the students who wanted more. When he didn’t have another class to teach at the moment, he would often wander down to the courtyard and engage in long conversations with those two or three kids who couldn’t seem to get enough.

About Johnny Wyatt J3

As they say, one is known best by priorities he pursues. For me: Christ Follower first. Second, the people who call me Honey, Daddy, and Poppi at home. Third, the amazing folks who call me Boss at The J3 Effect. Finally my friends: my buds, clients and competitors. I collect friends, some of mine, the best a man could ever have. I love to learn and almost as much to write. I dig a mountain hike, with camera at the ready. Also high on the list, I enjoy a warm conversation, especially at some nearby coffee shack.