Forgotten Marketing – Who Is The Customer?
I have witnessed a couple of discussions recently, amongst “internet marketers”, that made me recall the real world of offline marketing and how it relates to the world of the internet as it presently stands. Both discussions revolved around Google, which is not unusual; and both led me to believe that many online money seekers, who regard themselves as internet marketers, are a long way from understanding what marketing really is. As is often the case, there were those who saw Google as a great ogre out to stop them making a living, and these people were the ones stimulating a discussion on Google Adsense. Google Adsense – Who Is The Customer here? As far as online advertising goes, Google is a market leader, and deservedly so. Their pioneering approach has always been well ahead of the opposition, although others are trying hard to catch up. However, they have a dual role, as reflected by two products, Adsense and Adwords.
For the purpose of this discussion, I will concentrate on Adsense, as this was where many online “marketers” seem to get confused. For those who do not know about Adsense, this is a partnership product of Google, through which Google and web site owners come to an agreement for the web publisher to show Google ads on their web sites, and share on any income when somebody clicks on the ads. Adsense has given many web site owners the chance to bring in some extra income. What I found so strange about one of the discussions I mentioned in the first paragraph, was that some people who own web sites see themselves as the customer, and Google as the supplier, when it comes to Adsense. Coming from the real world of magazine advertising, I have no problem understanding that it is the publisher who is the supplier, and the advertiser, or their agent, who is the customer.
Those who seek to attract advertising of any form to a magazine know that, as a publisher, they need first to look after their reading customers. To do that, they seek to provide good quality material for the magazine, and present it in an attractive way that will attract and retain readers. Only when they have done that can they expect to attract good advertising customers. Ultimately, those who survive in online publishing in the long term, and who will depend on advertising revenue, will recognize that an advertiser is a customer, and needs to be treated like a customer, not a provider of a service. Google may not be a traditional media buyer, but they are the first of a new wave of media buyers who will yield a lot of power for the long term. For now, though, it appears that many web site owners think Google owes them a living, and that they, the publisher, are the customer. Such people may well benefit from a journey into reality, to a bookstore or magazine stall where they can browse through magazines and see what publishing is about. Why Should Web Site Owners Write Copy? The second discussion was, in a way, related, as it reflected the way many internet marketers do not see themselves as web publishers, but people who have to use the latest tools to trick the search engines. That discussion related to duplicate content, and whether using such content will get publishers banned by Google. It rapidly moved on to public label rights articles, and the degree to which, if any, that they should be rewritten.
Some, like I, argued strongly for rewriting to make a web page competitive. There was no notable disagreement on that, but when one individual took the idea on board, the reaction was: “Ok, what tools do you use?” This reflects a tendency, amongst those trying to make a living online, that the solution to any problem is a tool, a piece of software that does the work for you. That’s all very well for some things, but for writing an article? Would a genuine publisher want software to do an article rewrite? No, of course not. In the long run, it is those businesses that understand their market place which will survive and prosper. Recognizing a customer is not a bad place to start; and understanding that they will expect good quality publishing is another.
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