The internet is like a giant Wal-Mart… put your product and service in the store on display and let the consumer buy

The internet is a complex machine that took me two years to figure out, but once you know the principals it’s not that hard to understand. Some of the books I have read are over 500 pages long and there are a lot of them. But to save you some time this is the easiest way to explain internet marketing. 

Imagine walking down the aisle of Wal-Mart and you are looking for something. You walk up and down the isles and see all these products on the shelves and you pick one up because it catches your eye. Now each product on the shelf of this internet Wal-Mart is a website. And each product has information about what is does written on the package, this is your content.

Now these products don’t have a very long time to convince a visitor to put it into the shopping trolley, as another more fancy product may distract you. So the product companies package their products in the best material and each has the best written words they can afford. Also the smart companies try different products in different locations and test the response, which is your conversion rate.

Your visitors are distracted in their daily lives just like the kids you decided to bring along who are pestering you while shopping. You know, push the trolley, let’s go…

So if your potential consumers are distracted and have a short attention span while shopping then you are going to need to leave them a reminder to come back. I’m referring to those little pads and mini tear off cards which only some products have in the store… this is just like your website email marketing system to remind them to come back later when they aren’t distracted.

Meeting people while shopping is the social media Wal-Mart

Now the really funny thing about the internet Wal-Mart is that we meet people and friends who recommend a product or tell us about an experience they had. This is the social media at work, some are in suits and use LinkedIn, some are on My Space but lately everyone seems to be on Facebook or the shoppers iPhone.

Now google and other search engines are the friendly staff in the shop who you ask where a product is and they say isle 9 half way down on the bottom right shelf… Sound familiar? Now the assistant Google recommends you a product that they like and have had heard great things from other shoppers in the past. Then the shop also has some paid sales people and these too are PPC advertising, or directory indexes.

Who is this department store shopper and how do we catch their eye?

You must have a target audience for this to work, as every product that is sold in a department store has a defined target market. A Wal-Mart department store has thousands of products on display, so you better know who you are selling your product to.

There are no sales people in Wal-Mart selling your product specifically unless it is an Xbox, the latest gadget or the Myer makeup sales staff.

You can purchase advertising space in the store to try to get people to notice your product and then look for it. And when they are ready to buy, or your sales copy is so good they will buy. These are the internet pay-per-click marketing.

Internet marketing is really easy to understand and can work for you. But there are a few caveats

  1. You must make the best product you can as there is a lot of competition and good enough just won’t do.
  2. Don’t worry if the wrong person picks up your product puts it back and never buys. They probably just didn’t need it in the first place and accidentally picked it. This is your website bounce rate.
  3. It is not important what people think about your product if it is the best one you can make, it works and it helps people.
  4. Service style business must have a product and service to sell
  5. Test, Test, Test

Not to mention you didn’t wake up one day and say, “Hey I just want to help people with their problems, educate them with a solution, give them the best service I can to help them with their problem” And them give a damn about if people like it or not.

Who cares what anyone thinks about your product, because once they buy they will never look back, they will tell their friends how good it is, like it on Facebook because it worked.

Remember Wal-Mart is filled with thousands of products on shelves, make the best product, sit back and enjoy the ride

How does this help my Real Estate business?

No matter what your product or service is we are all Wal-Mart shoppers and act in very similar ways online and off. We like great content, we like value offers and sales, we don’t need to be told what to buy but if I pick you up and you sound good, I’ll buy. Real Estate websites need to first define what their product is, define their target market and stand proud and tell the customer what they do for them…

Each product in Wal-Mart is a singular product, not a makeup display owned by one company with different colours and styles. Every product needs its own defined space even if part of a larger group like, selling, buying, investing and renting. There must never be any distractions, period.

Treat your real estate website as one product, never try to be something for everyone, be something for me. Put your product there and if it is good enough I will buy.

Let us know in the comments what you think about this cut down version of internet marketing and if it helps you understand this complicated internet beast.

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