Organic Marketing: The Most Profitable Business Strategy

What is Organic Marketing?

Organic marketing encompasses word-of-mouth marketing, viral marketing, public relations, social media, network marketing, direct sales and the like. The common denominators of these marketing methods are that they are free, trusted, and vetted. They are earned, as compared to being bought.

People are more receptive to hearing these marketing messages because they are more natural and organic. They’re not paid for and stuffed in their faces through interruption marketing. An indelible experience has intrinsic emotional and psychological value, as people enjoy it. They then feel emotionally compelled to share their experience with others that they have a close relationship with as part of relating, so that they can share in the emotional experience too. This is done through conversation, phone, text, email, Facebook shares, Tweets, and the like.

Organic Marketing Isn’t Strictly Business

Organic marketing is expressed in anything that’s organic and can appeal to people:

  • Highly-nutritious food isn’t manufactured, it’s grown from the ground organically over time;
  • True love isn’t bought, it’s developed over time through experiences that emotionally bond and connect two lovers to each other, and;
  • Attractiveness (the kind that’s available to anyone in their happiest and healthiest state), physical and emotional health, and radiance aren’t bought at a doctor’s office, they’re developed naturally through keeping fit, eating right and feeling good.

The gist of the matter is organic marketing is more effective, beneficial and sustainable than artificial, bought marketing.

An Apples-to-Apples Comparison

Here’s a clear comparison: when you search Google, would you more likely click on and buy from an ad (paid) or the first organic listing (earned), all else being equal?

The stats tell the truth: the top ad spot gets about 2% of clicks (CTR) on average, whereas the top organic spot gets about 20 times that, 40%. Why? Because people trust it more. They trust the Google brand to deliver the most relevant results to their search query. Anyone paying for an ad might be perceived as just trying to hijack that process for a quick buck. It generally takes 3 months to earn the top organic spot with Google (there are exceptions to this), whereas it takes around 3 minutes to place an ad to get the top spot. Society values those who have earned their way to the top in any field, rather than bought their way.

Organic Marketing Appears in Every Industry

There are examples of organic marketing trumping purchased marketing across many industries:

  • Movies: a great movie experience gets people talking about it + public relations (TV show appearances or for example, People naming Gwyneth Paltrow the most beautiful woman in the world when Iron Man 3 came out). Advertising just helps to spark word of mouth. The point is to spark word of mouth, because people don’t often see movies alone. They take their family, friends or a date. Those people will base their decision either purely on their recommendation, or by going online and looking for a preview or reading about it, which is also organic marketing. The difference is this: paid advertising will only get the movie so far; organic marketing is what will multiply sales. Money only buys the ad spot, it doesn’t guarantee a return on that ad; the quality of the ad and the storytelling in it is what makes it effective or not.
  • Search engines: Google vs. Bing. Google was the first search engine that provided better search results and people told others about it so it spread virally and became a verb “Google it”, whereas Bing is trying to buy it’s way into the market, doing ads, deals with Facebook and Yahoo, etc. Most people weren’t asking for a 2nd, “me-too” search engine, the first one solved their search pain and continues to do so, so trust was built and people have remained loyal to it.
  • Network marketing: Network marketing companies have a great business model (for those who own the company), because they only pay their sales people (a.k.a. “independent business owners”) when they make a sale or recruit another person. They only pay on performance. So to sell a bunch of product, the direct sales company really doesn’t go directly to the consumer through TV or magazine ads or similar methods that could easily cost millions; instead they go indirectly through their sales people and only pay for the word of mouth advertising as a commission on a product sale. It’s really savvy business strategy that’s low-risk and high-reward, if it spreads far and fast enough by emotionally exciting the distributors. Distributors are heavily using social media like Facebook, YouTube, blogging and the like to generate sales and grow their network online.

While network marketing companies financially incentivize their distributors to sell their products, just like in affiliate marketing, it’s not just the money that motivates word of mouth and it’s not money alone that will make the sale. It’s got to be a game-changing or life-changing product or service to give people something talk about with positive emotions like excitement and enthusiasm, so that the people they talk to want to be a part of it (and fear being left out). If people believe the company has a lousy product and compensation plan, then people won’t feel motivated to talk about it or have persuasive reasons to tell others to buy into it as well. If people don’t believe in the person or company selling it, the seller won’t generate any sales. This is why brands can charge more and generate billions in value, like these top 10 most valuable brands in the world:

1 $87B
2 $59B
3 $52B
4 $46B
5 $42B
6 $38B
7 $37B
8 $37B
9 $34B
10 $31B

Source: Brand Directory

A strong brand serves peoples’ needs, creates better experiences, and better products and services, than alternatives.

Organic Marketing is Simply Word-of-Mouth

Have you ever:

  • Talked to someone about your cool new computer or cell phone?
  • Told someone to Google something?
  • Been referred to an interesting new book on Amazon?
  • Sung a Coca-Cola jingle or talked about their TV ad?
  • Spoken about being glad or jealous about Verizon’s broader wireless network or faster FIOS internet service?

That’s organic marketing. You marketed for those brands naturally, and they likely didn’t pay you for it. People do that, because people are social: they learn and relate to the world around them through communicating about their experiences.

Information can be a Profitable Competitive Advantage

Those who communicate value, attract others who seek that value in that topic. Those who are in the know, have an edge over those who don’t know, and that’s valuable. It helps people get more of what they want and like, and reduce their risk and negative experiences. In business, it’s profitable to have more of the right information than your competitors ahead of time (as long as it’s done and used legally to avoid fines and reprimands like with insider trading). Having valuable information first means you can make moves and investments before competitors, to buy cheaper and/or sell higher.

Tracking and Rewarding Value

Those who provide the valuable information, which reduces risk and increases reward to those receiving it, are rewarded if what they say is true and creates a good experience. This is law of reciprocity (as mentioned in the book Influence) basically says give to receive, which is a universal truth. This sense of indebtedness, of owing someone, is tracked in our brains and feelings, in most part hidden from society. It can be explicitly tracked and accounted for using technology, like affiliate links. Affiliate links are provided to referrers to refer others to a product or service. When potential buyer completes an action leading to or completing a transaction, the referrer receives an affiliate commission. As simple as that sounds, there are a lot of risks that can happen along the way, such as refunds, frozen funds, and click fraud. xDSpot handles these risks better than any other affiliate tracking system out there, making it the preferred brand for those in the know.

About the Author

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Nick helps create or improve over 100 mostly Wordpress websites per year in a variety of industries. He's worked with top SEO, PPC and Internet marketing companies. He graduated with a business degree from U.C. Berkeley in 2005. Contact him to discuss your online business goals.