Em­brace the highs and lows


Jen­nifer Tur­nage and Me­gan Sum­rell, au­thors of Honey, You Got This!, tell us why tech­nol­ogy and net­work mar­ket­ing should work abreast.

Gary Vayn­er­chuk, a best­selling au­thor, quotes, “The skill sets it takes to be a suc­cess­ful en­tre­pre­neur, a suc­cess­ful mar­keter, or a rel­e­vant celebrity is a dif­fer­ent skill set than you needed ten years ago, even though that was the skill set that mat­tered for decades.” In this age of rapid dig­i­ti­za­tion, net­work mar­keters are re­quired to keep up with tech­nol­ogy, more so, so­cial me­dia. Build­ing the right re­la­tion­ships or net­work­ing is crit­i­cal as the con­nec­tions cre­ated largely de­ter­mine the op­por­tu­ni­ties avail­able. Jen­nifer Tur­nage and Me­gan Sum­rell, au­thors of Honey, You Got This! Tech­nol­ogy

Made Easy for Net­work Mar­keters make known the trend­ing con­cept of net­work mar­ket­ing and how work­ing smarter and not harder is made pos­si­ble with tech­nol­ogy.

How has the out­burst of dig­i­tal tech­nol­ogy al­tered mar­ket­ing?

Mar­keters now have the abil­ity to de­liver per­son­al­ized ad­ver­tis­ing to in­cred­i­bly tar­geted au­di­ences over an ever-present dis­tri­bu­tion net­work, the mo­bile phone. They now have ac­cess to nearly real-time in­for­ma­tion about the ac­tions and en­gage­ment of their tar­get au­di­ence and can con­tin­u­ously mod­ify their mes­sage

and au­di­ence pa­ram­e­ters. De­vel­op­ments in tech­nol­ogy have also cre­ated ex­po­nen­tial growth in the num­ber of ad­ver­tis­ing plat­forms and cus­tomer ac­qui­si­tion chan­nels. This new dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing world places new data re­quire­ments on an or­ga­ni­za­tion and has cre­ated a new gen­er­a­tion of data-driven mar­keters with an­a­lyt­i­cal skills. It de­mands fast re­ac­tion and re­sponse times from creative teams. Or­ga­ni­za­tions and in­di­vid­ual dig­i­tal mar­keters have

be­come in­creas­ingly spe­cial­ized in spe­cific on­line cus­tomer ac­qui­si­tion chan­nels. For en­trepreneurs, this en­vi­ron­ment may lead to feel­ings of over­whelm, FOMO (fear of miss­ing out), and dis­trac­tion.

The con­cept of net­work mar­ket­ing and its scope...

Net­work mar­ket­ing is also known as di­rect sales, and rep­re­sents in­de­pen­dent dis­trib­u­tors who sell prod­ucts on be­half of a brand in re­turn for a sales com­mis­sion. Net­work mar­keters may also earn com­mis­sions on prod­uct sales of dis­trib­u­tors they re­cruit, re­ferred to as their ‘down­line’ or team.

Peo­ple are at­tracted to net­work mar­ket­ing busi­ness for the low-risk op­por­tu­nity to be­come an en­tre­pre­neur, the abil­ity to work full or part-time from home, the abil­ity to have a flex­i­ble work sched­ule, and the de­sire to build both a present and long-term in­come stream. Over 21 com­pa­nies are mem­bers of the In­dian Di­rect Sell­ing As­so­ci­a­tion in­clud­ing well-known brands such as Al­tos, Amway, Avon, Her­bal­ife, Je­unesse, Ori­flame, Tup­per­ware, Unic­ity, and Ves­tige.

Ac­cord­ing to the Di­rect Sell­ing As­so­ci­a­tion, there are more than 103 mil­lion net­work mar­keters glob­ally, and it is es­ti­mated that the vast ma­jor­ity of th­ese peo­ple are women. An ar­ti­cle on www.self­growth.com es­ti­mates that one mil­lion peo­ple in In­dia are in­volved in net­work mar­ket­ing.

Do tra­di­tional meth­ods of mar­ket­ing still hold value in to­day’s con­nected world?

To­day’s con­nected world of­fers a way to mar­ket well be­yond the tra­di­tional ad­ver­tis­ing chan­nels of print, broad­cast, tele­mar­ket­ing, and di­rect mail. The prin­ci­ples be­hind tra­di­tional mar­ket­ing re­main ex­tremely rel­e­vant in to­day’s con­nected world, while the chan­nels to share that mes­sage con­tinue to ex­pand. The 4Ps—prod­uct, price, pro­mo­tion and place­ment—are a core prin­ci­ple of tra­di­tional mar­ket­ing, and re­main rel­e­vant re­gard­less of the chan­nel.

It re­mains crit­i­cally im­por­tant to know your cus­tomer and tar­get mar­ket, com­mu­ni­cate the ben­e­fits of your prod­uct in a way that of­fers a so­lu­tion to the cus­tomer’s

need, es­tab­lish and main­tain re­la­tion­ships with your cus­tomers, and in­clude a clear call to ac­tion (CTA) in all mar­ket­ing mes­sages. Given low at­ten­tion spans on so­cial me­dia, busi­nesses must also en­sure that their mes­sage is suc­cinct, vis­ual, and mem­o­rable.

“There are more than 103 mil­lion net­work mar­keters glob­ally, and it is es­ti­mated that the vast ma­jor­ity of th­ese peo­ple are women.”

You be­lieve us­ing so­cial me­dia to ac­com­plish per­sonal or busi­ness goals is a highly com­pli­cated blend of art and science. Why?

Ef­fec­tive so­cial me­dia cap­tures the el­e­ments of a brand and con­nects with peo­ple at an emo­tional level. So­cial me­dia is a highly vis­ual ex­pe­ri­ence, and in­creas­ingly in­cludes sound. Com­mu­ni­cat­ing ef­fec­tively in a vis­ual and au­di­tory form re­quires a strong fo­cus on de­sign, which we con­sider art. Un­der­stand­ing how the mes­sage is con­nect­ing with your au­di­ence and which mes­sages and im­ages are most ef­fec­tive re­quires data anal­y­sis, which is where the science comes into play.

Face­book ad­ver­tis­ing is a good ex­am­ple of the blend of art and science in so­cial me­dia. Cre­at­ing the im­ages to gen­er­ate en­gage­ment on the post re­quires great de­sign. Un­der­stand­ing the ef­fec­tive­ness of the post at driv­ing the de­sired be­hav­ior re­quires data anal­y­sis. The re­sults drive a re­cur­ring loop to re­fine the post and au­di­ence to max­i­mize re­sults.

So­cial me­dia is all about mar­ket­ing and build­ing an au­di­ence, not im­me­di­ate sales. Why?

Ef­fec­tive so­cial me­dia serves one of three pur­poses: ed­u­cate, en­ter­tain, or en­gage. For the most part, peo­ple do not open their fa­vorite so­cial me­dia app to shop. When

peo­ple are ready to pur­chase, they pre­fer to do busi­ness with those they know, like, and trust. Us­ing so­cial me­dia to grow a busi­ness re­quires time to de­velop the know, like, and trust el­e­ments of a re­la­tion­ship with a grow­ing au­di­ence or fol­low­ing. Only once the re­la­tion­ship has a firm foun­da­tion will so­cial me­dia fol­low­ers be open to the oc­ca­sional prod­uct of­fer or pro­mo­tion. One of my fa­vorite ex­perts on this sub­ject is Gary Vayn­er­chuk, and I rec­om­mend his book, Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy So­cial World, to learn more about this topic. It is a fact that so­cial me­dia in­flu­ences pur­chas­ing de­ci­sions. How can busi­nesses em­ploy this to their ad­van­tage?

To­day’s con­sumers place in­creas­ing im­por­tance on the opin­ion of fam­ily, friends, and in­de­pen­dent re­views when mak­ing pur­chase de­ci­sions. They also de­pend on user­gen­er­ated con­tent as op­posed to cor­po­rate-gen­er­ated mar­ket­ing ma­te­rial.

As re­tail sales shift from bricks and mor­tar stores to on­line, con­sumers may be­come frus­trated when they can­not see, taste, touch, try on, or sam­ple an item. Per­sonal rec­om­men­da­tions, re­views and tes­ti­mo­ni­als on so­cial me­dia may help bridge this gap. Four steps to in­crease so­cial me­dia ex­po­sure and drive spe­cific be­hav­iors are: fun con­tests and prizes to en­cour­age cus­tomers to post im­ages and videos of them­selves vis­it­ing the busi­ness, us­ing the prod­uct, or be­fore and af­ter pic­tures of prod­uct re­sults. lever­age unique hash­tags for your busi­ness and prod­ucts. rec­og­nize and thank cus­tomers for so­cial me­dia posts. mon­i­tor and en­gage in all so­cial me­dia posts about your busi­ness or its prod­ucts.

Do you think net­work mar­ket­ing events can cre­ate an en­riched or­ga­ni­za­tional cul­ture apart from busi­ness pro­mo­tion?

Net­work mar­ket­ing is of­ten de­scribed as per­sonal de­vel­op­ment with a pay­check. Per­sonal de­vel­op­ment in­cludes tech­ni­cal or job-re­lated skills, in­ter­per­sonal skills, lead­er­ship skills and com­mu­ni­ca­tion skills. Out­comes in­clude greater self-aware­ness, knowl­edge, and con­fi­dence. Net­work mar­ket­ing events al­low in­di­vid­u­als to ex­pe­ri­ence this de­vel­op­ment in a sup­port­ive com­mu­nity of peo­ple who share a com­mon in­ter­est, but dif­fer­ent back­grounds, ex­pe­ri­ence, life­styles, and goals. The di­ver­sity of back­grounds with a shared com­mon in­ter­est al­lows par­tic­i­pants to learn from the sto­ries of oth­ers. Com­pany cul­ture is built upon shared ex­pe­ri­ences and sto­ry­telling. Cul­ture is taught, ex­pe­ri­enced, mod­eled, and re­warded. In-per­son in­ter­ac­tion is a vi­tal part of this de­vel­op­ment.

Ac­cord­ing to Eric Worre, au­thor, Go Pro: 7 Steps to Be­com­ing a Net­work Mar­ket­ing Pro­fes­sional, net­work mar­keters should at­tend their com­pany con­ven­tion to re­con­nect with their dream, find rea­sons to move for­ward, be a part of a com­mu­nity, and [ex­pe­ri­ence] pos­i­tive peer pres­sure.

Although tech­nol­ogy has de­vel­oped dras­ti­cally, the way of work­ing in net­work mar­ket­ing has not changed a lot and there are many who do not un­der­stand how such tech­nol­ogy works. How can th­ese two dif­fer­ent ar­eas work to­gether ef­fec­tively?

There are sev­eral lay­ers to the tech­nol­ogy gap for peo­ple work­ing in the field in di­rect sales or net­work mar­ket­ing. Most brands of­fer great tools for cre­at­ing a web­site, en­ter­ing or­ders, pay­ment pro­cess­ing, and track­ing sales. Many net­work mar­ket­ing com­pa­nies of­fer back-end

“Net­work mar­keters should at­tend their com­pany con­ven­tion to re­con­nect with their dream, find rea­sons to move for­ward, be a part of a com­mu­nity, and [ex­pe­ri­ence] pos­i­tive peer pres­sure.”

sys­tems to man­age cus­tomers, but very few of them fo­cus on the prospect­ing stage. Many ex­ist­ing sys­tems are not mo­bile-friendly.

In other words, there are very few tools avail­able to man­age prospects, 1:1 con­ver­sa­tions, and fol­low-up steps. It is crit­i­cal that th­ese tools are easy to use from a mo­bile phone. Mo­bile de­vices are the one com­mon­al­ity in con­nect­ing with peo­ple to­day. Our mo­bile phones are with us wher­ever we go and are al­ways on.

As cre­ators of soft­ware, we be­lieve the se­cret to bridg­ing the tech­nol­ogy gap is sim­plic­ity. Mak­ing things sim­ple is not easy. That is where the magic hap­pens.

Many mar­keters to­day con­sider net­work mar­ket­ing as a getwealthy scheme. Many en­trepreneurs do not pull off the domino ef­fect be­cause of their lack of fa­mil­iar­ity and knowl­edge. Also, they be­come pes­simistic about net­work mar­ket­ing, thereby dam­ag­ing its stand­ing. Why does the prob­lem oc­cur in this cul­ture?

As with many things in life, strengths can also be weak­nesses. The at­trac­tive­ness of work­ing for your­self, set­ting your own sched­ule and be­ing your own boss may re­sult in a lack of con­sis­tent busi­ness ef­fort. The low cost of start­ing a net­work mar­ket­ing busi­ness may trans­late into a lack of fi­nan­cial com­mit­ment. A de­sire for im­me­di­ate fi­nan­cial gain may cause un­re­al­is­tic com­mit­ments to be made, or short­cuts to be taken.

The mo­ti­va­tion to com­mit to a net­work mar­ket­ing busi­ness, learn the in­dus­try and the prod­ucts, and work hard must come from within the in­di­vid­ual. Net­work mar­ket­ing should not be viewed as a get-richquick scheme. Build­ing a solid busi­ness and team takes years of ef­fort. All en­trepreneurial jour­neys are a cy­cle of ups and downs, highs and lows, op­ti­mism and pes­simism. Suc­cess­ful net­work mar­keters em­brace this cy­cle, and never quit.

Net­work mar­ket­ing has all the nuts and bolts to be­come the most ex­ten­sively used mar­ket­ing sys­tem in the world and the largely favoured line of at­tack for pur­chas­ing prod­ucts and ser­vices. What would be the big­gest chal­lenges?

De­spite the fact that many of the best-known con­sumer brands in the world are net­work mar­ket­ing com­pa­nies, and the fact that many global busi­ness lead­ers em­brace and sup­port the net­work mar­ket­ing busi­ness model, there are plenty of skep­tics and haters. Many peo­ple have sto­ries to tell about a neg­a­tive en­counter with an overly en­thu­si­as­tic dis­trib­u­tor. The neg­a­tive sto­ries are shared so much more of­ten than the pos­i­tive, which dam­ages the per­cep­tion of the in­dus­try.

Shar­ing sto­ries of suc­cess from both the prod­ucts and the busi­nesses and lead­ing by ex­am­ple are the keys to re­plac­ing neg­a­tive per­cep­tions. For­tu­nately, en­trepreneurs are used to tak­ing the road less trav­eled and make their own de­ci­sions. By help­ing oth­ers be suc­cess­ful, we will achieve our own suc­cess. ■

“Net­work mar­ket­ing should not be viewed as a get-rich-quick scheme. Build­ing a solid busi­ness and team takes years of ef­fort.”

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