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Internet marketing > just plain marketing now

December 9, 2003

Browsing my local bookstore Sunday afternoon I discovered that the Internet is now fully intgetrated into the fabric of our society. That’s important to understand when marketing your law firm.

Most of the time I browse for books at Amazon. But Sunday I decided it would be mentally healthy to get away from my computer and the Internet for the afternoon. I took the ferry over to Seattle and relaxed by hitting the two bookstores, Elliot Bay Books in Pioneer Square, the historic area of downtown and Borders, in the upbeat shopping area around Nordstrom’s. Of course, I could not get too far removed from the Internet, I hit the computer section where I could find books about blogging, writing for the net and Internet marketing.

In the computer section of the first store I found none of the books I thought would be there (remember I am a man so I am too stupid and stuborn to ask anyone for help). Thought maybe with the dotcom crash here in Seattle, stores were no longer stocking such books. I was pretty disappointed. When I moved to Seattle from the Upper Mississippi River Valley four years, I loved spending time in the bookstores here as they were full of books about the Internet.

When I hit Borders, I realized bookstores no longer kept books about Internet marketing and writing for the net in the computer section. Such books were now integrated into the general subject area. If you want a book on Internet marketing you look in ‘marketing’ by author. If you want a book about writing on the net you look in ‘writing’ by author.

The books about ‘guerilla marketing online,’ ’email newsletters’ and ‘public relations via the Internet’ are now spread all over. When you look for books about writing for the Internet, you find them along side books about writing for magazines, writing fiction, writing for television etc. When you look for books on Internet marketing, you find them along side books about branding, direct mail, yellow page advertising, television advertising, tradeshows etc.

No longer are such books thrown onto the computer shelves. In the computer section you find books about coding and development – all the stuff I don’t understand.

I think this is pretty amazing. It’s only taken about six years for the Internet to become woven into the fabric of our society. It’s not new anymore. When we look for information we go to the Internet. When we communicate with others we use the Internet.

What’s the point?

Internet marketing is just marketing now. It’s part of everything we do when we market our law firm. It’s not over on the side left for ‘those folks’ who are into that computer and tech stuff.

No longer can a firm say we have our ‘homepage’ or Web site up so we are doing that Internet marketing stuff. No longer can a firm say Internet marketing is for the Webmaster or IT person.

For lawyers to effectively market their firms they need to understand the Internet and use the Internet to communicate with prospective and current clients. Lawyers need to integrate their Internet marketing with all other marketing efforts. Because of its reach and minimal cost compared to other marketing tools, Internet marketing for some firms should even be the lead method of marketing with all other marketing efforts revolving around it.

Amazing what browsing a bookstore can make one think of. Wonder if years ago someone else had similar thoughts when they noticed books on yellow page advertising were no longer shelved in the telephone section at their bookstore.

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