When we read about the new edition of a book modestly titled Marketing in the Moment: The Digital Marketing Guide to Generating More Sales and Reaching Your Customers, we had to see for ourselves if there was anything new to learn.
With all the noise now about social media, blogging and sales funnels, and converting friends, followers, and prospects of all types into customers, we wondered what new advice author Michael Tasner had.
Marketing should be the focus of every business … '[I found] if I nailed the marketing, everything else fell into place'
What makes marketing so important?
Tasner wisely saw at the ripe age of 15 that more companies wanted websites than there were people to create them. (This was in 2000.) So he bought a rudimentary Web creation software package, Microsoft FrontPage, on eBay, and he was off and running.
Tasner knew nothing about programming. "Though I couldn't really 'code' a website and still can't to this day, I very quickly learned the concept of supply and demand," he recalls.
He started his first company, a web design firm called MST Designs. Smart kid.
But the way business was being done on the Web was moving fast. While he kept changing the way his company did business, even starting with "digital marketing" while still in college, he "could no longer get away with using his program's outdated templates."
That's when he went into digital marketing full throttle, immersing himself in "every course and every product on the market," he says. What he learned was simple but important: Marketing should be the focus of every business. Tasner tested his theory six other times with six other companies, in each case making marketing the focus.
"If I nailed the marketing, everything else fell into place," he says.
Along the way, Tasner worked with Jay Levinson who wrote Guerrilla Marketing, one of the best-selling books ever on marketing, and became chief marketing officer of Levinson's company.
In Part 1 of our interview, Tasner discusses what's hot since the first edition of his book was published in 2010, he gives suggestions for driving Web traffic to your site, and he shares the No. 1 mistakes marketers make.
Good marketing takes time to work effectively
Changes and mistakes in online marketing
Schepp: This is the second edition of your book. What's changed regarding marketing on the Internet?
Tasner: The biggest things that have changed are the places consumers (and businesses) can go to find information, hundreds of thousands of new forums and various social networks. The other massive change has been the crazy expansion of mobile. Everyone is essentially a paparazzi with their mobile phones.
No one is communicating anymore. They are tweeting, texting and snap chatting.
Schepp: What's the No. 1 mistake marketers make online?
Tasner: While there are many, the biggest one I see is premature abandonment. They try something for a week, don't see results and say, "Well, it stinks. I'll try something else." Google PPC, or Facebook ads is a good example. They throw $200 at Facebook ads, don't get a sale and say, "Well, Facebook traffic is garbage. Now what?"
Good marketing takes time to work effectively.
Market your business the right way
Schepp: If I'm trying to drive people to my site to make a purchase, what can I do via Internet marketing?
Tasner: You must have an automated marketing/sales funnel designed and ready to go. The more specific to the type of customer you are driving, the better. Give them something free of value, ask for a small purchase immediately thereafter. If they don't take you up on that, keep building rapport via email and go in for the ask again. The objective is to convert list subscribers to customers.
Schepp: Several social media platforms have really taken off since the first edition of your book. Of all the newer sites, which one is most important?
Tasner: There is a huge challenge when it comes to social media: time. I advise nailing one platform, before even considering any other platforms.
While I've touted a Facebook revolt at some point (I still think that day is coming), I suggest focusing on Facebook first. Build a fan base, leverage Facebook ads to drive sales and then consider adding a second platform.
For products, focus on Pinterest and Instagram. If you are able to do videos, I'd put more of my eggs in the YouTube basket
For products, focus on Pinterest and Instagram. If you are able to do videos, I'd put more of my eggs in the YouTube basket. Entrepreneur Magazine said 2015 will be the year of the video. I don't disagree, although I think they are a bit late to the party.
One big thing, though, that must never come out of your mouth is: "I don't think my target market is there," or "maybe I should focus on reaching the biggest social network versus a smaller one."
Focus on reaching your customers on the most targeted platform that makes sense for your business.
Schepp: Tell us what people who sell on eBay and related sites can do to take full advantage of mobile marketing.
Tasner: I'm shocked by the lack of businesses using mobile marketing. Ask for mobile phone numbers from everyone. Then surprise and delight them.
Yes, you can make offers to them, but give them some free things of value. Send a video message, send a message on their birthday using MMS (picture messages). The simple key is to ask for numbers and then actually use the numbers. If you want to let people know of a huge auction you are running, blast the list.
Segment the list into the type of product(s) they are interested in and keep them up to date. Two sites that I like here are Trumpia.com, and MobileStorm.com.
Schepp: Thanks, Michael.
In the next part of interview with Tasner, he talks about "amazing content," why it's so important to your marketing plan, how to market to mobile customers and more.