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Feb 25, 2008
Advertising often holds the key to successful marketing in any business. Doing business without advertising is like kissing in the dark you know what you are doing but nobody else does.

Network marketing is a powerful method of generating sales. At its birth just a few decades ago it was touted by renowned university professors to be the most effective method of marketing. In fact, it will replace more than half of the world commerce to bring products to the consumer. Even though this prediction did not really seem to materialize it is still a proven effective way of marketing a company product. Amway is one of the pioneers. It is still the most quoted success story in network marketing. Today hundreds of companies swear by network marketing selling products from health supplements to cosmetics, from timesharing to even credit cards.

Up till now nobody has thought of marrying these two very powerful ways of doing business, that is, advertising and network marketing. Why not?

Admittedly there are a lot of obstacles to overcome. But these are mostly problems of preconceptions. For example, when we talk about advertising, media is the first thing that comes to our mind. Shall we advertise on TV? Or shall we use the radio, or newspapers, or magazines. What about billboards? Word of mouth is usually not considered as one of the media. At least it is not the preferred media. In fact why we advertise is that spreading by word of mouth is considered too slow.

However, we know that word of mouth could be one of the most effective ways to promote a product or service. In fact, to use the internet marketing term, word of mouth is viral. And it usually works very well, negatively. Think of the many marketing campaigns where millions of dollars are splurged. Then, when the customers give the advertised product a try they feel disillusioned and disappointed. They then spread the word like wild fire. And the poor guys sometimes do not know what hit them after spending tons of money their product remains on the shelf. And they thought their advertising campaign did not work. It did, actually. The customers went to give their products a try.

So, we do not usually consider word of mouth as legitimate advertising.

Coming back to network marketing one question arises. If network marketing is really such a good way of doing business then why is not succeeding the way it should be? Want to know the answer? Ask anyone who have done network marketing before and failed. They will probably tell you all the disadvantages of this system of marketing. Do not be surprised if you get vehement opinions even equating network marketing to pyramid scams. The following are common feedback received.

Before that, let me first point out that network marketing, MLM and direct selling are terms that are used interchangeably. They mean the same thing. The system started off by calling itself direct selling. Soon, it became a bad word. Die hard fans scrambled for another term to describe their way of doing business. They found MLM, or multilevel marketing. Soon, it, too, became a bad word. Today the official term is called network marketing. Now, let us run through the common comments.

1. MLM is scam it gives people a dreamland whereby they will awake to find everything is still a dream.
2. What do they mean by mutual cooperation to achieve our goals it is simply a sucker looking for a victim?
3. Products are overpriced. That is because they have to give a lot of commissions to so call down lines.
4. A leading MLM company conned me into attending their meeting they refused to say it was MLM and told me it was a great business opportunity. These guys are so unprofessional.
5. Building a network is too tough it is very difficult to get people to attend meetings.
6. Unlike what my up line said, this business has a lot of hidden costs, petrol, toll, parking, traffic jams, stationery, snacks, etc.
7. I hate maintenance I am forced to buy hundreds of dollars of products each month.
8. I have stock stacked up to my ceiling trying to earn a higher level of commissions.
9. What MLM? Just say it is a pyramid scam.

Many countries including Singapore have banned MLM for many years. China has outlawed MLM since 1998. Amway functions as retail outlets in China. Despite Chinas strict rules on direct selling Americans are still eying this big cake of a population and are hopeful for the China government to have a change of heart sometime soon.

With the above outlined, one might not be surprised to find that no one has ever thought of marrying advertising and network marketing. The odds seem insurmountable.

But wait. Let us examine the core values of advertising and we mean word of mouth advertising, to be specific and network marketing.

Well, we have already seen how effective word of mouth advertising is. Or, how damaging it could be. As for network marketing, its success is past the experimental stage. You may be surprised if I tell you that all of us have done network marketing before, unknowingly. If you came across a good movie or a great meal at a reasonably priced restaurant would you not tell your friends? See, there you have it. That is network marketing in its most basic form. Ask yourself, is there anything wrong with telling your friends and loved ones about a wonderful product you have come across. Be it some health supplements that have worked for you, or a financial package that has helped you save a lot of money.

Why network marketing is not working the way it should be is the subject of another discussion. Right now let us give some thought on how to combine these two powerful forces in the marketing world. We may create a business system that is revolutionary and rake in profits that make traditional businessmen jealous.
About the Author
Francis Suggest Malaysia Advertising Directory. i1Ad.com is the No.1 Malaysia's Advertising Directory. The leading business
advertising website in Malaysia. Visit http://www.i1ad.com
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