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Marketing Tools Are Just the Icing on the Cake

Article by: Alan Pollard
December 9, 2013

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Are you up on the MLM industry’s latest buzz words—web site replication, search engine optimization (SEO), social networking, forums, blogs, web meetings, autoresponders, voice mail systems, email campaigns, telephony systems, etc.?

Several $100 million each year is spent on marketing tools in the MLM industry. When the frenzy and dust settles, though, the real bottom line is whether or not they really work and bring success. And, the big question is, “Has the face of MLM been dramatically changed by these tools and have they effectively replaced face-to-face relationship marketing?”

Getting back to the basics, take a look at how network marketing businesses are built today. What is the foundation principal? The numbers tell the story. If you look at the Direct Selling Association’s (DSA) stats for 2007, 78% of all sales took place one-on-one. The vast majority of those sales occurred at home; second, at a temporary location like a coffee shop; and third, at a place of business.

About 10.4% of new MLM sales are via the Internet. However, the vast majority of automatic orders are processed via the Internet. On the sponsoring side of the business, 20% of recruiting is done via the Internet and 80% person to person. The value is not in replicating websites. It is in facilitating those personal, working relationships. The bottom line is you cannot duplicate a successful recruiting system on the Internet. The Internet is a factor in network marketing success, but not “the” factor as some may believe.

At one MLM company’s conference, the number one guy in sponsoring who ran across the stage was regularly recruiting a hundred people a month via a magic array of marketing tools. What was interesting though, he was nowhere near being a top money earner in the company because the attrition of his new recruits was so high. Easy come, easy go! He was recruiting people as fast as he could, but there was no personal relationship being established with them.

So, from the facts, we have to conclude that given all the myriad of marketing tools and systems, there is not a single one that has dramatically produced growth within this industry! Surprised? The cold, hard truth is the foundation principle of network marketing is still networking with people and fostering personal relationships. That seems to be the key to success in building leadership in the profitable organizations. I guess some things never change! The foundation of a network marketing company, then, is still the networkers.

This is not to say marketing tools aren’t valuable. About 10% of a networking marketing company’s activity is generated by tools. The mistake that many make who are new to network marketing is that they expect them to generate 90% of their activity! The best approach is to think of these tools as the icing on the cake.

Also, it is important to note that sometimes marketing tools or systems can go awry when misused or misguided. In this case, in reality, they become a barrier to building the strong and lasting relationships fundamental to your MLM business. This obviously can hamper long term success.

In conclusion, you just need to steer your MLM business based on the straight facts—the statistics. Building and strengthening relationships still rules as the fundamental principle. It is the meat and potatoes of network marketing and the marketing tools are the icing on the cake!


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