MLM (network marketing, affiliate marketing, the distribution business model..call it what you will) needs a major overhaul in 2011.
For crying out loud there are still marketers out there who ask you to dinner, “magically” meet up with a business contact and then ambush you about how you need to join!
It is 2011, people, and there has got to be some work done to the MLM’s who survive and thrive from here on out.
- The company has to have a GREAT WEBSITE that MUST WORK. Period. If you send me to your MLM and it looks like an old Angelfire homepage then you’ve probably got bigger problems (i.e. funding)
- The company’s owner and leadership team MUST be featured. The field should KNOW who these people are and why they are qualified to be leaders.
- STOP SHOWING LIFESTYLE SLIDES IN PRESENTATIONS! Nobody believes anymore that in 3 years they will be dancing on a beach every day or stepping off their private plane. This was big in the 90’s but in 2011 people just want realistic income that can help pay their bills. Now when the economy is better as a whole, sure- go back to showing pictures of fast cars and big houses but GET REAL for right now!
- You MUST have a reasonable start up cost. Owning a franchise should never be free because that just seems hokey to me. If you don’t pay anything for it then WHY is it worth anything? The value just isn’t there. Then again an MLM should never be over $700 to enroll in. You’re buying into an independent distributorship and it takes money to make money but in this economy anything over $700 is totally unreasonable.
- Have a product that is actually useful and cost effective to the end consumer. For instance, The Trump Network really dropped the ball on choosing an expensive health product when the average American consumers can barely afford the generic vitamins at Wal-Mart.
- Have effective and consistent communication with customers and the independent distributors in the field. Nothing raises a red flag more than when a company stops sending out communications. And on the flip side it generally takes 3 marketing outreaches to a consumer to get their attention which engages them and often leads to more sales (or customer referrals) so consistent contact just makes sense.
- It is always a good idea to do a marketing piece that features happy customers AND happy distributors. People are skeptical of online companies these days-especially those who are never seen in the public eye of tv or social networking and they need regular customers and successful distributors to relate to.
What do you guys think? Did I leave anything out? This post was from the top of my head so feel free to chime in.