Bob Myhal’s “New” Fundamentals of Web Marketing By Ted Guthers

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In an age increasingly dominated by business-speak and jargon, Web Marketing Guru Bob Myhal believes that the ability of web marketers to convey their message in clear, no-nonsense language has become essential.

Bob Myhal's mantra is that the best marketing is the simplest marketing. The web marketing guru believes that most of the marketing done on the web is created under the mistaken assumption that customers and prospects care about who you are and care about your company and product. Bob assures us that they do not.

“Customers don’t want to hear about you or your company. They want to hear about themselves. They want to know “what’s in it for me?” If you can’t answer that question, and answer it right away, then you’re wasting your money and your prospect’s time.”

The problem facing most web marketers is really one of focus. They get “stuck” on their product or service and cannot step out of their own shoes and see things from their customer’s perspective.

“I call it myopic marketing,” Bob quips, “and I see it over and over again. People trying to market products and services on the web make the mistake of being so in love with their own company and their own products that they forget about the customer. As a potential customer I don’t want to hear about your company or your products. I want to hear about what you, your company, or your product can do for me. That’s the basic truth of all marketing.”

The problem seems particularly pervasive on the Web. “You have a lot of newcomers on the web,” according to Mr. Myhal, “they mean well but they don’t understand marketing fundamentals. The results are often devastating.”

Bob suggests that business owners and managers who are not willing to accept a customer-centric reality and fully design their marketing material with it in mind, need to step aside and find a marketing manager who will.

Let’s suppose you’re selling a book online. Most marketers make the mistake of focusing on the book, and the author of the book. They’ll say things like “The best book on widgets ever written” or “author John Smith has years of experience working with widgets.” “Ineffective fluff,” according to Bob. “It’s all well-and-good, but who really cares? I mean I certainly don’t.”

To make people care—to truly get them vested in your book—you need to shift the message from the product to the customer. What specific problems will this book solve for me as the customer? Will it increase my income? Will it improve my love life? Reduce my stress? Make me happier? What in the world is in it for me?

When used properly, the web is the very best vehicle for delivering customer-focused marketing messages.

As an online marketer you have to understand that the web requires active participation between the visitor and your web site. It’s not like television is this regard. With TV, the viewer just sites there passively and is fed information and marketing material. There’s no interchange involved.

On the web, the prospect is actively engaged in your site. To go to a new page, to place an order, even to leave your site, requires the prospect to take action. This is great news for a web marketer. “You have your visitor’s attention—even if only for a few seconds—the key is not to loose it,” says Bob. “And the way you keep it is by focusing your message on the one thing that your prospects are interested in the most: themselves.”

The key to remember is that it all comes down to basics. You have to give your web visitor a reason to stay. And you have to give it to them fast. Bob Myhal thinks the best way to do this is still through a well-crafted headline prominently placed on your page and easy to read.

“Forget the fancy fonts!” This is one of the biggest mistakes Bob sees web marketers make. They take the time to write a decent headline and then make it virtually unreadable by using some fancy font or unusual color. Basic fonts, black text on a white background, have proven time and time again to be the best conveyer of language.

“Well-constructed words are powerful,” is Bob’s final lesson. The job of a web designer is to get out of the way of the customer-focused message. Give the customers what they want through your marketing message, and you will be rewarded in-kind.

About Bob Myhal:

Bob Myhal is the Co-founder and President of ApolloCommerce.com and WholesaleSupplementStore.com. He has written extensively on web marketing and numerous other topics.

About Ted Guthers:

Ted Gutners is a freelance writer working out of Albany, NY. He is currently collecting material for an upcoming book on Internet Marketing.

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