Why Technical Know-How Is Now Mandatory in Online Marketing

What’s your technical IQ when it comes to e-Commerce marketing? It had better be high, or you’re unlikely to achieve success, or at least the kind of success you probably dream of. These days, the field of e-Commerce technology is developing so rapidly that you can’t really sell your products effectively without constant re-education.

It’s a challenge even to keep up with the names and acronyms of all the newly evolving phenomena, and Googling a list of acronyms may not help unless the one you find has been posted within the past year, or more likely within the past few months.

The field of e-Commerce technology is changing so rapidly that you must update constantly.

How does SEO fit into Online Marketing?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) used to be enough to drive website traffic, but now the wide range of techniques under the umbrella of online marketing is required, including Analytics (monitoring the hits you get, and also the “click throughs,” and the “conversions” or sales), social media, and even proper server hosting.

Keywords must be not only placed in your meta tags, but must also populate your site strategically for the search engines to take notice of your site. Saturation (the number of pages at your site that are cataloged by a search engine) and backlinks are crucial for driving traffic. Fortunately, a host of SEM agencies can take care of these complicated details for you.

How is this affecting marketing strategies? First, it is narrowing the range of e-Commerce entrepreneurs. Individuals without the technical skill or knowledge to take advantage of commercial opportunities on the web are simply being left out when it come to the rewards of those opportunities. Along with that comes the growth of the burgeoning industry of SEM agencies.

A few decades ago, the Internet seemed a wonderland where everyone could expand personal opportunities almost without limit. Now limitations have appeared and they are technical in nature. Learn or die has become the normative rule in e-Commerce.

Fortunately, a host of learning programs have appeared, of course. This is e-Commerce, after all, so a demand results in someone showing up to supply it. Adam Smith was right, even in a cyber world context. Are you ready to take advantage of the most up to date changes in the world of web marketing? Well, if not, it’s easy enough to change that!

Understanding The Technical Intricacies of Social Media

Of course, the biggest change in the past few years has been the growth in importance of social media marketing as a tool for selling online and driving website traffic, while also building your brand. Most major sellers have networking sites, and hire professionals to spend time directing and managing that side of their marketing efforts.

social-media-cloudFacebook is the largest, so of course at this stage it has the highest volume of users. But it does not offer live help. In fact, it’s rather difficult to get answers from Facebook. One has to sift through page after page of “Knowledge bases,” or wait an eternity for a submitted question to be answered. You may never get an answer.

Some of the other sites may have live help of a chat room or phone variety, but those sites are more likely to charge a fee for your site (as opposed to Facebook, where it’s free), since it’s expensive to staff a help desk in real time, or even an e-mail response capability. Furthermore, those other sites don’t have the gargantuan customer base that Facebook possesses. So most folks go with Facebook, despite the frustrations of using it.

Twitter is becoming an essential tool for the e-Commerce marketer, and it’s easier to use. The site is exceptionally user friendly, and all you really need to know is how to make a tiny URL, and you should also learn how to distill your message to 140 characters. A challenge, but hey, brevity is the soul of wit, so maybe it’s worth it.

Other sites abound, Pinterest, for instance, and with its more business-oriented clientele, LinkedIn. Sometimes it seems that a new social networking site appears every month or so. But these sites are technically easy. They don’t pose the challenges so widespread on the technological side of the e-Commerce field generally.

The appearance of the Smart Phone several years ago has had a tremendous impact on e-Commerce. At this point, a significant proportion of online customers are accessing e-Commerce sites not on their computers, but through mobile devices. This makes a big difference, and a marketer who is not up to date on smart phone technology stands at a great disadvantage.

The profusion of “apps” in recent years has added to the complexity of the field. It is possible to enhance yourΒ  sales potential with the introduction of an app, but it involves some savvy about the world of apps, or else some financial outlay to hire experts on the matter.

Other essentials include online transaction processing and electronic funds transfer, both now essentials for e-Commerce success.

Another obvious process is internationalization. In a word, China. The Chinese have gotten into the act during the past decade or so, perhaps belatedly, but with genuine force. Chinese marketers are not to be ignored in the equations of the future, not just in terms of corporate entities, but in terms of workers willing to free lance for low remuneration levels.

The same is true of India, which is flooding the markets for technological services with cheap labor. It is now essential, not just to understand technologies, but to understand the technological workforce, in all of its current changes.

Technology is a two-edged sword. It offers tremendous benefits, but only for those with the expertise to understand and employ those benefits. Technology today, more than ever before, is changing rapidly, at a pace that is daunting even for the most energetic of entrepreneurs. Are you up to the task? If you are, the rewards can be superlative!

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22 thoughts on “Why Technical Know-How Is Now Mandatory in Online Marketing”

  1. Jason James says:

    I disagree a lot with this post. You don’t need to be a techny to run a successful e-commerce business.

    Just look at all the people closing thousands of dollars worth of check with empower network.

    1. I know several people making a killing with Empower and I can tell you now, it’s because they have a decent knowledge of SEO, list building, traffic generation, sales pages, opt-in pages etc etc. Try explaining that to a complete newbie in one sitting.

      Yes, you don’t need to be a ‘techy’ but you still need a hell of a lot more training and knowledge than the average web browser.

      Go into the supermarket, find a 50 year old housewife and ask her what Google Analytics is. Ask her what a landing page is. She’ll look at you like you’re mental.

  2. Mark says:

    agree with this post. The speed at which the internet and technology is changing and growing requires you to be constantly learning. I think as it starts to expand and grow, those not willing to put the work into understanding the changes and rolling with them will fall away from the online space.

  3. There are clearly varying levels of just how technical you need to be to succeed online but I totally agree that you need a decent knowledge.

    When I first started out, the biggest mistake I made was listening to my first ‘mentor’ (he was useless) when he said “People think you need to be some computer whizz kid to make money online but ANYBODY can do it. I know a 72 year old Grandad with NO previous computer experience making money!”

    Looking back, I should’ve known it was complete BS. The technical stuff I’ve had to learn could fill a bloody encyclopedia and I can’t tell you about the stuff I still don’t know!

  4. Chris says:

    Another crappy post. Keywords in meta tags? Are you LOLing me right now? I’ve ran numerous regression analysis’ across multiple domains and actually found a negative correlation to rankings from their use.

    1. Thanks Chris. Your comment proved my point with ease. “Numerous regression analysis, multiple domains, negative correlation to rankings….”

      Of course you need technical knowledge. πŸ™‚

  5. Yasmine says:

    I agree with this post. Internet Entrepreneurs need to have at least a certain knowledge of the ‘techie’ stuff. I mean, we are talking about Squeeze Pages and adding buy now buttons, which is usually done by copy/paste some html code.
    And then there is Chris’ input: well said! SEO is constantly changing which again makes it clear that Internet Entrepreneurs have to keep up and learn. On top of all this, there are the endless abbreviations which might as well fill another encyclopedia…
    A great post if you ask me and a great discussion!

  6. Hi Anna! I found your article to be well-written and informative! Thank you!

  7. Bob Straub says:

    Great post Anna!

    I don’t agree that it’s mandatory to have the know-how. You can succeed online without all of it. It’s just more difficult. The more technical know-how you have and use should speed up those results.

    The key isn’t to have the know-how, but to actually use it once you’ve learned it.

    Thanks again!

  8. I. C. Daniel says:

    Nice to read you Anna, hope to see you more often here.

    Best regards from I. C. Daniel

  9. Edson Hale says:

    I think still basic technical knowledge is required for online marketing and you need not to be tech pro for this. For example you need not to learn web programming nor any web language just the basic terms of SEO and a little blog development that purely depends upon handling the control panel of your blot and that’s all

  10. Social Beat says:

    I hope ecommerce have unlimited future of online marekting at anywhere in globally πŸ™‚

  11. zubin kutar says:

    Blogging is awesome ..I started blogging with zero technical knowledge and learnt the process over time…I can say that now I am kindda technical in the online marketing space πŸ™‚

  12. faisal says:

    Not really, you dont need to know the technicals at the start.

    1. Yes, you do. I challenge anybody to create a video or write a blog to prove to me HOW they made money with ZERO technical knowledge.

      Why don’t you begin, Faisal?

  13. yogesh says:

    You make a point Gareth, a really important one and one that is ignored often.

    Knowledge is everything. More so when its about making money online. Its evolve or perish. With internet getting populated with more websites every day, it is mandatory to know how to create a space for a business here.

    Once we understand the technicalities, it is important to use it properly. Adapting techniques that other businesses are adapting is not legit all the time.

    1. Thanks Yogesh. It’s all very well for the ‘gurus’ to tell you “this is so easy, anybody can do it” but when you find out they have a technical background, it puts a different spin on the matter.

      Look at John’s own situation about 7 years ago when Google penalised his sites and stopped ranking them. All of his traffic was lost, sales were lost and he looked down and out. If it wasn’t for his huge list of subscribers being driven back to his sites, he would’ve faded into obscurity. Would a newbie or even intermediate marketer with zero knowledge have handled this in the same way?

      You definitely need some type of technical knowledge.

  14. Caleb says:

    Once you start you will soon need some type of technical know how because if you are anything like I was you will get tired of waiting on forum answers, support tickets, and expensive fees from 3rd party techies…

    The only option I was left with was to learn things myself and it is quite awesome to see how much I now know which has put me in a position to help others.

    Take the time to learn and you will be rewarded in more ways than just monetary πŸ˜‰

    1. Caleb, so true. There’s nothing worse than waiting for support to get back to you. I’m three years in and still don’t understand a hell of a lot of stuff but every time I receive an answer from support about whatever issue, I make a note of it.

      Thankfully I’ve never needed help with the same issue twice but like you said, it’s all down to learning the technical know how.

  15. LOL at everyone who says technical knowledge isn’t required at the start. That’s the difference maker between the ones who go on to make a fortune and those who only manage to earn a couple of hundreds.

    Nothing is easy and technical know how is of utmost importance. Like Gareth point’s out, John Chow himself got penalized and if he didn’t have the technical know how, there would be no money making Chinese American guru you would be discovering today.

    P.S: It’s a great post

    1. Thanks Melissa. You’re right, that extra technical knowledge makes the difference from a moderate success to a massive success. All the gurus claim to be idiots at tech stuff but you best believe they pay all the right guys to do the dirty work for them!

  16. Ola says:

    I started out by learning how to install and use websites back in 2006. I can easy install, config and administer both blogs, forums, webshops and other CMSes. These days I learn how to SEO, write good content and building backlinks.

    If I would outsource something it would be building backlinks and writing content. The rest I don’t like others to do for me.

    We have generally 2 groups the business minded and the tech minded. If you have both you are quite lucky.

    I like to say if you can beat them, join them. And that working as a team the first year where everyone doing their own part and later can split into their own businesses is always a option.

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