For a long time I have discussed and argued with key people I value highly regarding online marketing. My simple point:
Online marketing does not create demand.
If you wish to create or accelerate a market, you cannot rely on high cost marketing platforms like online marketing. You have to stick with old-time traditional sales model, throw millions (I mean – MILLIONS) into online search and marketing activities or turn to a managed full-time freemium model. Bear in mind; I do not believe in freemium, there is no such thing as a free launch. My online freemium guru – Drew Houston, Dropbox – took the words out of my mouth in an interview with GIGAOM.COM. I quote;
Search is great for harvesting demand, not creating it
Reality is far more simple – I quote A highly trusted advisor – David Ednie (Sales Channel Europe);
Online marketing is like an eye. 5% of it is looking; 95% of it does not.
If you are a single platform – non cross-platform ISV, vendor or provider – a freemium business model will never live with your business model. A factor of success for freemium is simply cross-platform dependant. And even Dropbox dropped the online marketing act due to cost; it simply did not generate sufficient demand, for the investments made.
Designing a marketing entrance with online services (SaaS etc.) you have to carefully managed your go-2-market game plan. Look at the business model; and understand that you have to deal with numerous channels and strategies over little time to reach the long tale.