Failure To Commit, Or Why Companies Fail With Internet Marketing

What you will learn: How to achieve tangible, meaningful results from your Internet marketing campaigns.

Who should read this article: Company and marketing leadership.

The Three Types of Commitment Necessary for Success

Even though all companies know “it takes money to make money,” they easily fall into the trap of expecting a “free lunch.” Nowhere is this more true than in Internet marketing.

When companies launch a PPC campaign on a shoestring budget, or produce half-baked content for an off-site SEO campaign, or put out an email newsletter for a few months and then call it quits, they fail because they fail to commit.

  1. In the case of PPC, they fail to commit money.
  2. In the case of SEO, they fail to commit effort.
  3. In the case of email, they fail to commit time.

To succeed in Internet marketing, no matter what kind you do, you must commit money, effort and time. Come up short on any one of them, and your Internet marketing campaign will flounder, at best — and sink like a rock, at worst.

1. Committing Money

A certain volume of activity is needed to produce a critical mass of conversions for any SEO, PPC or email marketing campaign. With too small a budget, a company can’t generate enough clicks to produce enough leads. Thus, a well-strategized, well-executed campaign fails — simply because it was never given enough funds to succeed.

What constitutes enough of an investment? It depends on campaign goals, the competitive environment, and nature of the product/service and market, but as a general guideline $2,000 a month is a reasonable benchmark.

2. Committing Effort

For any SEO, PPC or email campaign to succeed, the agency (or internal marketing team) must understand the company’s strategies, value propositions, and product/service features and benefits — in detail. Further, if content creation is involved — and it usually is — the company must provide thematic direction and factual input; otherwise, the content will be unpersuasive, unread and unable to generate leads.

A “hands-off” policy may have worked at one time for Internet marketing campaigns, but no more. B2B and B2C customers have become quite sophisticated, and tune out inauthentic, cookie-cutter campaigns immediately. No matter how much you spend, you will never overcome this big, big negative.

3. Committing Time

Success also hinges on sustaining a campaign for an adequate time. For SEO, it can take months or longer for results to kick in; Google does not reward on-site or off-site activity immediately, but rather waits to see if the company is seriously committed to providing quality content over time. Jumping in and jumping out of SEO, with flurries of activity interrupted by long periods of inactivity or going through the motions, can actually do more SEO harm than good.

Similarly, email marketing campaigns require steady effort for six months or longer. Email subscribers, like Google, may not react to an email campaign immediately, but rather wait to see if the sender is for real, or until something that really catches their interest pops into their inbox.

PPC campaigns can be turned on and off immediately, but even here it will take at least a few months of testing and refinement for almost any PPC campaign to hit stride.

No matter how much money you spend, and no matter how much effort you put in, giving up too quickly will lead to failure.

See Commitment in Action

To see what committing all of the necessary resources can accomplish, check out this case study of a client in a highly competitive industry that started with a full commitment and kept it going.

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