The overcrowded and highly competitive Internet marketplace demands that marketers and entrepreneurs approach online marketing seriously and arm themselves with essential knowledge of people, marketing principles, and communication, as well as have a solid plan of attack.

Online marketers and entrepreneurs must not only stay current with the ever-changing online technologies but also be strong marketers and savvy businesspeople. (Article updated in Sept. 2021.)

Mastering online marketing is a book in itself with chapters for getting and converting traffic, direct response copywriting, website development, multimedia, and much, much more.

But for now let’s keep simple it and answer two questions:

  1. What is marketing?
  2. Why should your prospects buy from you over your competitors?

Marketing Concepts: What Is Marketing?

"The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself." —Peter Drucker

Although often misunderstood, marketing concepts are straightforward, and they are relevant to every part of your company.

Marketing is essentially the art and science of getting and keeping profitable and valuable customers, and it's the hub of every business. That requires you as a marketer to fully understand the problems and concerns of your market and be able to clearly explain how you can help them solve those problems.

In addition, it is crucial to understand that marketing is an ongoing process that applies to every contact with your target market.

Jay Conrad Levinson, the father of guerrilla marketing, states it this way: "Marketing is everything you do to promote your business, from the moment you conceive of it, to the point at which customers buy your product or service and begin to patronize your business on a regular basis. The key words to remember are 'everything' and 'regular basis.'"

The good news is that great marketers are not born, they are made. Marketing concepts are teachable and can be easily learned with some time, practice, and dedication.

6 Reasons Your Prospects Will Choose to Become Your Customers

1. Their experiences with you

Your prospects will judge your worthiness based on how you make them feel. That includes how well you communicate, your content depth, your website's quality, etc.

Your prospects will also be more likely to engage in conversations with you when you allow them to interact in ways they prefer (e.g., some people may relate to a blog post while others are more engaged by video or audio content).

And always remember you are marketing to people first, so build the human bond by remembering personal details and listening carefully.

2. Your product or service benefits

There are two basic reasons people purchase anything: to increase pleasure (e.g., glowing health, freedom, popularity) and to decrease pain (e.g., stress, financial problems, poor health).

Focus on your product or service's most compelling benefits as you communicate with your target audience—then, make sure you deliver on your promises. Be specific.

3. Your trustworthiness and reputation

Protect your good name, and do everything in your power to ensure that your customers, prospects, friends, employees, and colleagues view you as a person of value.

Your credibility, plausibility, and truthfulness will also win you far more customers than exaggerated claims and over-the-top promises.

4. The value they receive

Although most consumers are price-conscious, the vast majority do not consider price alone when making their buying decisions. Rather, they consider value: the difference between what something costs and its worth to the buyer.

What does value look like in the social media world, and in online marketing generally? Answer: great content, expert advice, and personal connections.

5. Make transactions easy, safe, and secure

People are more likely to hand over their money when they perceive the risk as minimal. It's best to reassure potential customers with robust guarantees, a solid privacy policy, and secure payment procedures.

6. How well you articulate their most pressing concerns

To market effectively, you must get into your prospects' heads.

Listen carefully to your target audiences' expressed opinions and feelings—particularly as they relate to your products or services—and address them directly. (Social media forums and blogs make dling so easy.)

Research the marketplace to discover new trends and golden opportunities you can leverage to benefit your business.

* * *

Most importantly, especially in marketing, online and offline marketing success happens when marketers and entrepreneurs are willing to put themselves out there and build genuine human connections.

And it's not about quantity; it's about quality. It is not just about long lists of followers. It begins with a sincere desire to grow and nourish genuine relationships and doing whatever it takes to ensure they happen.

Do that, and the money will follow.

This article is adapted from Success Secrets Of The Social Media Marketing Superstars by Mitch Meyerson and 22 other top social media marketers, including MarketingProfs' own Ann Handley.

Mitch Meyerson is the author of nine books, including Mastering Online Marketing and Guerrilla Marketing on the Internet. He has been a featured expert on The Oprah Winfrey Show and has trained and certified hundreds of guerrilla marketing coaches. To read his blog, visit

More Resources on Marketing Concepts

Drive Business Success With a Winning Marketing Concept

Results-Driven Marketing Creative in Four Steps, Part 2: Building a Creative Concept

Marketing Challenge: Traditional vs. New Marketing

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6 Reasons Why People Will Buy From You, Not Your Competitors

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Veronica Jarski is managing editor at Agorapulse and a former editor and senior writer at MarketingProfs.

Twitter: @Veronica_Jarski

LinkedIn: Veronica Jarski