Managing Internet Marketing Expectations

PhotobucketOne of the problems with Internet marketing – including the various flavors, such as SEO, PPC, display advertising, video marketing, social media, etc. – is achieving an understanding with clients regarding campaign expectations.
Not only do the various technologies provide opportunity for misunderstandings in and of themselves, but there is also misinformation propagated from all manner of sources attempting to lure money from hopeful business owners or entrepreneurs based almost entirely on false claims. (Think of various SEO schemes promoting instant #1 Google rankings).
So it becomes a communication challenge to not only educate prospective clients on what various technologies can (and cannot) do, it’s also a matter of unearthing and debunking false information they have picked up over the years (or even that morning).
A routine challenge I contend with is speaking with prospective clients who have new products that may (or may not) be good ideas to begin with, but who are hoping that there is a way that their product can reach the minds of millions of people overnight without a realistic budget (or even without any budget).
I have encountered hopeful entrepreneurs seeking the creation of overnight viral video sensations, or instant social media successes, etc.
At least based upon some of the video examples we can actually see, it sure seems easy enough! For example, how hard was it to produce whatever it is that’s making the viral video rounds this week?
Regardless of the challenge, it does boil down to sincerely listening to what the prospective client is desiring to achieve, offering a potential solution, asking enough questions to flesh out expectations (especially unrealistic ones) and educating them on what can be achieved.
Having said that, there are some expectations that are so fixed that it’s better just to walk away wishing them much success…ideally with a little levity.

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