Why I’m Not an Internet Marketer

I was slouched in a patio chair Saturday afternoon, smoking a reasonably priced (aka cheap) robusto, minding my own beeswax, when Dan Kennedy delivered a vicious whack to the back of my head.

If I’d been in a private eye movie, I’d have spiraled down, down, down into an endless whirlpool of darkness.

But when Dan whacks ya, you always get bright, shining clarity.

If you don’t know Mr. Kennedy, he’s maybe the world’s most highly paid direct sales consultant and copywriter. Dan’s creator of the famous No-B.S. Marketing Newsletter, author of a couple dozen essential business books, and he’s shared speaking platforms with everybody from Zig Ziglar to Colin Powell.

Over the past 15 years, I’ve spent thousands of bucks with Dan. My shelves are stuffed with his books and manuals, and I’ve got his seminar tapes, CDs, and DVDs stacked to the ceiling.

Yeah, I take Dan Kennedy very seriously.

So getting back to Saturday, I was listening to Dean Jackson and Joe Polish interview Dan on one of their “I Love Marketing” podcasts.

And Dan said something I’d somehow missed in my past two years as an internet marketer…

“Internet marketing is not a business, nor is it a profession. It’s a use of media.”

Holy crap!

The light bulb snapped on over my head, like in an old Warner Brothers cartoon.

Calling yourself an internet marketer is like saying you’re a billboard marketer because you advertise on roadside billboards. Or that you’re a Yellow Pages marketer because you run ads in the Yellow Pages.

The medium is not the message, you might say.

“Ultimately,” Dan explained, “we’re in the marketing business. We’re in the money business. We’re in the customer development and nurturing business. We’re in the influence and persuasion business, tied to whatever products and services that are deliverables.”

Dan’s right.

The “internet marketer” label is restrictive. It doesn’t fully define what we do.

We market, we nurture, we influence, we persuade.

That goes waaaaay beyond the limiting IM tag.

Go ahead and keep calling yourself an internet marketer, if that’s a convenient term for you.

But never forget that you’re much more than that.

Thank you, Mr. Kennedy.

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