The Power of Positioning is Still Strong
The name 'marketing' is somewhat of a misnomer, because traditional marketing and internet marketing have about as much to do with each other as watching a porno and actually doing the deed.
There are, however, some key lessons that internet marketers need to learn from conventional marketing.
Chief among them is how to position their products.
According to the marketing classic "Positioning", every product should aim to have it's own unique 'niche' in the mind of the consumer.
If I say "go get some Kleenex", you know you need to get facial tissue, even if there is no actual Kleenex-brand facial tissue at the store.
But if I say "go get some Kraft", you probably think cheese, but you know I might also mean salad dressing.
And if I say "go get some Scott", you have no idea which if the many Scott-brand products I could be referring to.
That is the essence of positioning.
Kleenex has it right, Scott fails.
The chief rule of positioning is this: be first.
Introduce yourself to your clientele in a way that sets you apart from anything they have ever seen before.
If you're doing something that's a pretty common thing to do (like selling an eBook or ghostwriting web content), package yourself in a way that directly contrasts you to your peers.
7-Up did a great job of this with their eighties slogan "the uncola" -- setting them directly apart from the current dominators of the soft-drink scene, Coca-cola and Pepsi.
The second rule of positioning is simply to be simple.
Overly complex messages get lost in the heads of the consumers.
The recent rise of MGD 64 is a clear example.
You don't know anything about MGD 64 except that its beer, and it's got sixty-four calories.
If you're sharp, you'll catch that it's Miller, but most consumers don't get that far: they get the essential message, and they're done.
Full glass of beer.