To Inform or Not To Inform? That is the question.

There is an interesting dichotomy on the Web this morning. First I read a fascinating article on William Slawski, well known as a prolific writer on the Web in many circles. One quote from Bill towards the end summarized his philosophy, “When you can reach out and help someone else, it makes a difference. And, when you watch them reach out to help someone else, the world does seem like a prettier place.”

This can be contrasted with a thread in the Cre8asite Forums entitled, “Marketing Success“. This discusses the importance of publishing on the Web as a way to business success. However there is a dissenting voice from one who had found it worked better to publish less. The member, brandboerge from Denmark, made the following comment about the time when he published more and got little work from that, “I guess they thought they could do the work themselves… and maybe they could?”

So what’s the answer? I’m certainly in the publishing camp and believe it has a very positive result. Like so many important questions it comes down to one of those 2 x 2 tables that I’m so fond of. Here’s the appropriate one in this case:

To Inform

Clearly those in the D.I.Y. row, who enjoy doing it all themselves, whether or not they have the budget, will never buy services. However they will appreciate the articles and may create a minor, secondary effect in being part of increased traffic to the website and perhaps clicking on PPC ads, if such there are. As Bill said, they may feel they too should contribute to the exchange of knowledge, so we’re all richer for that.

The upper row is the more interesting from the business perspective. Those in the B% have no money to use for services. So like the D.I.Y.ers, the only benefit if any is a secondary effect.

The interesting cell is that A% of the audience, who have the budget and will use good help. Hopefully what you publish will convince them you can provide that good help.

The $ 24,000 question is how big is the A%. Large enough, I believe, to cover anyone’s business aspirations. There are three major reasons for that:
1. Internet Marketing has a huge potential for creating sales growth in all markets, almost without exception.
2. Internet Marketing can appear easy, but it’s also easy to get it wrong. Good business articles will give you the most important principles to get right. Without these you’re dead in the water. However beyond that, there are many small things to get right. You can learn about these by trial and error but it’s very costly and slow. The Internet is changing and evolving all the time and it is important to stay on top of all important developments. Few business people have the time to invest in this, nor should they.
3. In addition to having extra skilled resources to complement your own team, it’s alway good to have an outside perspective. If an Internet marketing consultant is good, he or she will tell you the tough stuff that your own employees may not have the guts to comment on. More importantly, different viewpoints can promote intense creativity. 2 plus 2 may make 22.

So I’m with Bill Slawski on this one.