Internet Marketing Success Requires a Plan (Part I)

The days when you could just slap up a Website and wait for the money to roll in are long gone. Success today depends on knowing your target audience and having an effective strategy to reach them. Upfront planning is what separates winning Internet marketing endeavors from failures.

Some people approach Internet marketing as a dynamic exercise. They have an idea and then immediately create a Website to market their product or service, figuring they can tweak it as they go along to see what works and what doesn't. Visions of wealth or freedom from a dreary day job fuel their dreams, and they are eager to get the show on the road.

This is what I call the "ever decreasing concentric circle strategy to success?or failure." And most of the time, it is failure that is reaped. This troubled road to discovery gets to be very expensive when Websites must be redone, pay-per-click advertising doesn't yield the expected results, or sales just never seem to materialize at anticipated levels. These eager "short cutters" may also discover that the market is already saturated, or that the marketing window for their "novel idea" has been gobbled up by someone more focused.

Upfront planning, on the other hand, helps to avoid costly pitfalls and allows new Internet marketers to focus their monies and energies on activities that are more likely to lead to success. It also provides a cooling-off period while a "great idea" undergoes a reality test.

Planning reduces risk by identifying requirements and developing a winning strategy before investing in online marketing. In short, if your idea proves feasible, you can get there quicker and spend a lot less money by doing proper research beforehand.

For an in-depth look at what an Internet business plan should contain, see Part II of this article, "Internet Success Requires a Business Plan."

About the Author

Al Kernek is an Internet marketing consultant and the author of "Put Your Business Online," a step-by-step guide for successfully creating and promoting a low-cost Website.

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