Given the media flood with which we are all confronted on a daily basis, it is easy to understand why abbreviated terms are regularly in play. Think about “txting” and you LOL.
Today’s marketing systems are the same. You constantly hear about multi-level marketing or MLM, network marketing and affiliate marketing. Sometimes the terminology is used interchangeably but they do mean different things. Let’s clear up the confusion.
Network marketing and multi-level marketing are frequently confused. The two categories have considerable overlap which may be the source of confusion. In reality, they are not the same although the two can be coordinated as part of a comprehensive marketing program.
Viva La Difference: Network marketing refers to the tools used to promote a business or service online. Examples are pay per click, search engines optimizers (SEOs), widgets or banners. This type of marketing is more a strategy or approach rather than any particular method.
Multi-level marketing, to the contrary, is a specific technique that allows the promoter to brand and identify their business; it builds image recognition.
Multi, obviously, means plural. Multi-level marketing means uses various promotion streams to generate sales or income. Ads can be strategically placed online while websites are concurrently operative. At the same time, blogs contain pointer references about the company business.
The savvy marketer operates under the tutelage of an experienced mentor. The mentor is the pioneer who has scouted the territory, knows the ropes and is building his/her business by training others to be successful as well.
Armed with this experience, the savvy marketing quickly learns what works and what doesn’t. The point here is: Don’t shoot in the dark.
Affiliate Marketing: Most newbies innocently ask: “Which one should I use, multi-level or affiliate marketing?” The question implies that utilizing one method must necessarily eliminate usage of the other. Not true… or smart.
MLM proponents argue that the multi-level approach builds long term residual income, an enduring team and identification and connection with a solid company. Affiliate marketers allege that the internet makes it so easy to hawk other company’s products without having to worry about building a downline or team training and they don’t have to be ties to a single company, business or product.
You don’t have to choose. Perhaps the confusion lies in the learning curve. Most newcomers start by learning the ropes of MLM marketing and this makes sense. Affiliate marketing tends to work best when you know how and where to place or ‘piggyback’ your promotions. Uninformed ad placement has the same odds of winning a lottery.
Once you have tried various places through MLM, adding in your affiliates just seems logical and well strategized.
Bottom Line: Use MLM and affiliate marketing together to build multiple streams of income. It is the same concept as diversification and not putting all the eggs in one nest. Diversification, well targeted, will ignite your business to unexpected levels of success!