Three Things you need to Start Online Marketing

It is easy to get overwhelmed when you are starting out with Online Marketing.

Where do you start?

Should I start with adwords or email marketing? What about conversion optimization? and what about “free traffic” from social media?

There are hundreds of things we can do in online marketing. Where do we start?

You need a structured approach to marketing. But how do we choose the structure? Which model to follow?

A good model which we can use to guide us…


British statistician, George Box rightly said. “All models are wrong, but some are useful.” –  

George Box revealed a common error in our desire to categorize and organize the world. We create models once and then later we confuse models with reality.

When I started with eCommerce, I was working on the marketing of my eCommerce store orniza.com along with selling the same products on marketplaces like Amazon and Flipkart.

Everyday I used to read about new tactic and implement it, thinking this new tactic will increase my traffic. If those tactics did not work then I would focus on other operational tasks like improving listings on amazon and stop working on own website marketing.

Such type of unfocused approach rarely works in business. What I needed was a model which can be used predictably in most situations.

But marketing is so complex and intimidating. How do you make sense of such a complex subject?

Then one day, I came across a definition of marketing that simplified everything for me.

This definition was by Dan Kennedy. He explained, “MARKETING is simply making the right presentation of the right message to the right people.”

This definition is simple and useful.

It simplifies this complex topic and gives a usable structure to follow.

We need three things to get started in marketing.

The Three Things are: Message, Market & Media

Message a.k.a. Unique Selling Proposition(USP):

We should always give a reason to customers to buy from us.

What message are you sending to your target people?

Why should they choose you over your competitors?

What do you want them to know about you?

Do you have a powerful, persuasive, compelling and interesting message, that differentiates you in the mind of your target customer?


Who should your message be for?

Is it for males or females, single or married, working or retired, for people living in Pune or Hyderabad, for people who value craftsmanship or for those who value novelty…. and so on

Are you for anybody & everybody – then effectively you are for nobody!

You need to define who your target market is, then you can concentrate your efforts, so those right people listen to your message.


What is most appropriate media for delivery of your Message to your Target Market?

Should you use Adwords, Google PLAs, Remarketing ads or should you use TV, newspaper or magazine ads.

Or should you be Exhibiting at Trade Shows to generate leads or should you distribute Flyers house-to-house or business-to-business

Each media has its pros and cons. All depends on message format and whom do you want to reach.

You can then think how a particular media fits into your plan to deliver your message to your customer.

That’s it. We need these three things to get started

Once we have a message, market, and media, then we can compare each marketing activity from cost and effort point of view.

We can evaluate all marketing efforts and see our past errors and do a better job of marketing in the future.

For example, if Alibaba approaches you to get listed on their portal for lakhs of rupees, you can quickly use the model of message, media and market to make a quick evaluation.

Alibaba is the portal (the media) which has access to certain B2B customers (the market) which you will be able to reach and display your profile/store (the message)

You can then evaluate Alibaba’s proposal:

Do you want to reach the market that uses Alibaba to discover products (B2B)? Are they your target market?

Can you showcase your marketing message through your Alibaba profile/store, in a way that serves your marketing purpose? Do you need gold or higher profile status to signal the right message?

What is the cost of using Alibaba compared to other media channels available to spread your message to your market?

What are the advantages of Alibaba compared to other available channels?

I find this message, market and media model useful to make sense of marketing efforts.

I will get deep into each element in future articles. Sign up to receive notification when I publish.

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