By Linda Evenson --
According to a blog on Accolade Scoping entitled “Deceptive Marketing” the author was “shocked” to find out that ISS uses paid internet marketing and implied this was somehow unethical. Contrary to what this instructor believes, these techniques are standard fare for selling anything and everything on line.
I did not know anything about internet marketing when I first had my website redesigned several years ago. The couple from BCP Media (now defunct) were in the business of designing websites, and they were experts in all things internet. I was amazed at what was available to me as a website owner on the Worldwide Web! This is pretty cool stuff! I paid a bundle of money to have everything set up, but I think it was worth it because internet advertising has replaced almost any other kind.
Yes, free introductory courses and emails are the first step in funnel marketing. That’s because it’s a proven internet marketing technique. It gives bits of information to get the attention of prospective students to see if this is something they might be interested in/good at. Is that unethical? Nope. ISS is in business to train and support the best, most professional scopists in the world and, unashamedly, to make money. This is the goal of every business, including ASE. As technology changes, smart business owners change with it.
Smart businesses do advertise all the time. Why not? There is a difference between active and passive marketing, as I’ve taught my students. Either/both can be effective. There is nothing wrong with paid advertising that internet businesses use to get themselves in front of prospective customers. ISS gets tons of word-of-mouth recommendations from grads, reporters, and others, but if someone does an internet search for “home-based businesses,” we want them to consider scoping as a possibility and ISS as a reputable training course. This is what makes businesses successful.
Do you know there are website owners who make their entire living doing paid advertising for businesses? A few years ago, I didn’t know that. I am surprised by how many websites do this, and new ones are joining them all the time. And they are lucrative! Folks doing internet searches often go directly to these gurus of home-based businesses, interior design, artwork -- you name it. They trust that the forum owner researches the information they publish, and it saves them some time searching.
Even ISS did paid online advertising, when we did our taxes last year, we were amazed at how little we had paid! It was less than 1% of the total income of the school. That means that almost all of the new students who came to ISS did it on their own through internet searches, word of mouth, comparative research, or some other means. My thought was, “I wonder how much better we’d do if we could get the affiliates busy advertising for us?” Why not? Good businesses always want to do better and use scrupulous, honest means at their disposal to do so.
Advertising scoping/proofreading as work-at-home jobs is somehow unsavory? That’s one of the best things about them! Smart businesses always advertise. Ads in the JCR, letters, brochures, marketing emails, etc., are pretty much obsolete, even for on-the-ground businesses, so the internet is where you pay to do your advertising.
Advertising is rarely free; I have no problem paying website owners to advertise for ISS. That’s how they make their money and they’re good at it. A business wants to try to use its advertising budget to the best advantage, and these days, the internet is the best bang for your advertising buck. If you look for ISS on line, you can’t help but find us!
Linda Evenson, Instructor