How many of these do internet marketers apply?

Seth Godin has written an interesting piece about three things that clients and customers want. They are: results, thrills and ego. I though I would have a look at how I perceive the average internet marketer is using these.

As outlined in the original blog post, the results part is all about:

“…offer[ing] a return on investment, an engineering solution, more sales, no tax audits, a cute haircut, the fastest rollercoaster, a pristine beach, reliable insurance payouts at the best price, peace of mind, productive consulting or any other measurable result…”

What would internet marketing be without RESULTS?

internet marketing strategies

What strategies do internet marketers use to grow their business?

To me it is kind of obvious that the result part is the forté of a lot of internet marketers. Particularly in the online marketing niche we are continuously hit with offers that promises more of everything, faster than ever before.

You know the drill. More keywords, backlinks, better conversions etc. In some cases as easy as “the press of a button”. Often the promises prove to be rather exaggerated of course, but they are nonetheless what the average customer/marketer apparently responds well to.

I think the same can be said for a lot if the information products in other niches as well. Generally a problem is identified and a quick and affordable solution (result) is presented as the answer.

This has always been at the core of all forms of marketing I guess.

Are you excited yet?

But how about the other two, thrills and ego, is the average IM-guy blind to these? Or as Seth writes:

“It’s tempting, particularly for a small business, to obsess about the first—results—to spend all its time trying to prove that the ROI is higher, the brownies are tastier and the coaching is more effective.”

He mentions Apple as the prime example of thrills, as the company constantly take big risks in delivering new cutting edge stuff people didn’t even know they needed (like the iPad).

This is of course applied online in the form of various software solutions, that sometimes have cost large amounts of money to develop. This is sometimes pointed out among the list of benefits – “I have invested hundreds of thousands to have this software developed”, “learn from my expensive mistakes” etc.

Come to think of it, I don’t think a day passes without a new “revolutionary” marketing software being launched. And hand on heart – you have purchased things because the thrill of believing that it was really something groundbreaking, haven’t you?

In virtually every niche some people do use the hero (or heroine) approach, telling us a story of how they suffered to come up with a solution we can now have served on a silver plate. In niches like weight loss and dating this could perhaps even be considered the standard approach.

With the help of social media one would perhaps wish that businesses who actually cares will be able to thrive.

Who has the bigger ego?

The final piece of the puzzle, ego, is also appealed to extensively online. Although it is of course difficult to do in the tangible (free glass of wine) sense Seth mentions.

When I first though about this, my initial reaction was that many online marketers seem to be stroking their own ego first and foremost. But in reality, I actually think quite a few people excel at this aspect of marketing.

Think of how many times you have been invited to become a part of an exclusive club, getting something only you and a handful of other people can have, getting personal support and feedback from the person you bought from and so on.

In some ways these are scarcity tactics as well of course. But I don’t think one should underestimate the ego aspect of them either. It is  nice to feel at least a bit imporant.

So in conclusion. When I started writing this post, my original train of though was that many online marketers overuse tactic number one, while perhaps neglecting the other two.

Promising extravagant results is certainly being more or less abused in the online world. But the more I think about it, I do see the other two strategies being applied rather effectively as well.

How much of it is planned strategy or plain hit or miss is another story.

What do you think? I would love to hear some examples of how you think Godin’s three motivators are being – or should be – applied.


Photo credit: ntr23

4 Responses to “How many of these do internet marketers apply?”

  1. Kevin Young says:

    A lot of marketers, especially the new ones, tend to fall into the trap of going for the outside-in. Rather, it should be from the inside-out. Start with vision and the why’s. A lot of times, marketers focus on the results first. This messes up things at the very onset. More often than not, focusing on the results first get tangled very easily with the different desires for different results, hence forgetting about the vision along the way.

  2. James says:

    I see IM’ers use results time and time again. One of the main selling points is to sell results, not procedures, even though alot of times in IM, procedures would be more effective.

    You got it when you said that IMers are always being sold “more” of something, and it’s always quite tempting to go after that “more”

  3. Craig Silver says:


    Great post – I love the concept particularly with the thrills idea, that has my grey matter ticking away now.

    The ego is more of an obvious one, but certainly bears thinking about in terms of marketing businesses and their products better.


  4. floretta says:

    Super like this post! The results, thrills and ego are always there for marketers online. It depends upon the consistency of work they make. There are always results, thrills and ego involve in internet marketing.

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