SMX East – Internet Marketing Going Bust?

SMX East 2010 – Jacob Javits Center – New York City

SMX East

SMX East

SMX East was worth the trip for me. I also live an hour away, so it wasn’t much of a “trip”. It was my first time at the show and wasn’t sure what to expect. The Jacob Javits center always provides a great location for any show, especially the International Auto Show.

Internet Marketing Today

Internet marketing is always changing and we need to keep up with new services, software and technology or else it is easy to fall behind very fast. When I was in the web hosting industry, it was the same way… services and technology changed so fast, you really had to be aware of these changes to keep up with the competition.

After I entered the show, I started walking through to see the exhibitors. Of course the big guys were there, Google and Bing… but there were companies I either haven’t heard of or didn’t know much about.

After checking out most of them, it was interesting to see where the industry is going. I noticed there are more software companies than service companies. The software-as-a-service companies have great software… but you can tell the whole market is in the infancy stage. All the companies are battling it out, hoping to be bought out one day, and most of their software overlap one way or another.

One thing I noticed is, the software companies sales pitch is… their software will either eliminate the need to hire an Internet marketing expert or you are able to hire a “less expensive” employee. This is hard to believe. I have met many hiring managers who know nothing about SEO or Internet marketing and they need to find someone who knows everything. I cannot see these individuals using any software or saying to themselves, I will combine software and an entry level employee for all of our Internet marketing needs.

As long as a company needs to make money online, there will always be a need for an individual to do the job.

Internet Marketing Tomorrow

It is only a matter of time, over the next few years, that the weeding process will begin. In the web hosting market most of the action happened from 2001 (when it was booming with tons of new companies coming out of the woodwork) to around 2004-2006 (when most of the consolidation happened). Now hosting is a commodity service ran by large companies. I can see this being duplicated in Internet marketing.

On the services side, there are many individual consultants working from their home providing services mainly to local clients. There are some decently large companies providing services nationwide, or even worldwide. On the software side, the largest company I have seen has about $4MM in annual revenue (not saying this is the largest company out there)… not very large in the grand scheme of things.

Individual consultants will most likely keep doing what they are doing for a while. Some will probably take a job for a larger company, as they increase in-house SEO and Internet marketing personnel. After the industry gets consolidated it will be hard to compete with larger companies. This is similar to the small web hosting shops or web hosting resellers trying to compete… in order to they had to sell their services at a loss. The consultants that will last are the ones that have decent pricing, plus have built up a great reputation and relationship with their clients.

Either way, Internet marketing is here to stay… it just might look different.

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