Marketing, PR, distribution, sales, human resources: most areas of a company today need employees who are digitally fit. In an interview, Professor Karl Peter Fischer explains how easy it is to continue your education and why online jobs are not just for young people.

Mr Fischer, we live in times of massive upheaval. Pandemic, war and climate change. The advancing digitization is also changing our professional world and the way we do business. The Internet has become indispensable here. What does this mean for people and companies?

Fischer: The pandemic has changed people’s experiences and behavior. We’ve learned that we can work from home and that we don’t necessarily have to go to a physical store to buy certain goods, we can do many of those things online.

And what do these changes mean for companies and their workforce?

Fischer: There is an absolute shortage of employees in this area in most companies these days. The companies are noticing how the topic of online marketing and social media is becoming more and more important to digitization. In the form in which many still conduct their business today, it will not continue in the future.

For companies in any industry, the demand for managers and employees who can move on the new playing field of the Internet is therefore increasing. And for each of us, this means that we need to educate ourselves in this direction in order not to be sidelined. They are now hungry for skilled workers. This is great for young people, but it also affects older workers.

So online marketing isn’t just for young people who grew up with the internet?

Fischer: No, not at all! New applicants as well as career changers and existing workers can all play their part – especially when companies train their employees accordingly. Anyone who works in marketing, distribution or sales and still wants to shape their own professional future needs to update themselves now.

You have developed the Gecko method for such further training. What’s behind it?

Fischer: The main problem isn’t the technology, it’s that many people simply don’t want to change. However, many now understand that the Internet is no longer just going away, and that they must adapt. I thought the gecko was a nice metaphor for that. Geckos have managed to adapt over millions of years of evolution over and over again.

Nowadays it is sold on the internet. This is unfamiliar territory for many employees, although business is hardly any different online than it is off the Internet. In our free webinar on Wednesday, March 18, from 7 p.m., Professor Karl Peter Fischer will present the Gecko method he developed, which will make learning online marketing child’s play. GET YOUR FREE TICKET HERE!

Why are there so many reservations about online marketing?

Fischer: I have been researching and working in this field for more than 20 years now. It’s not all witchcraft. But many keep the topic deliberately nebulous. It should stay that way that only a few know about it. Those who master it can then demand more money. But once you get into it, you quickly realize that in the end it’s just “selling on the internet” and nothing mysterious.

What is the basic idea of ​​the gecko method?

Fischer: Above that is the mantra: “Which events lead to problems for your customers that your offer solves?” That reveals a lot. You shouldn’t think about your core competence, but about what the customers need now.

The gecko is not only your symbol, but also represents the steps of your program as an abbreviation. So G stands for…?

Fischer: Being found and visible. If you have developed a solution for a specific customer problem, it is of no use if you cannot be found with it on the Internet. The solution must be found on the Internet, the jungle of the gecko. To do this, they need a digital home, a base camp from which to start their marketing. It can be a website, an e-shop, a landing page, a blog, it doesn’t matter. But that’s where all your offers must be found. The webinar is about search engines and search systems.

E stands for…

Fischer: Substitute dialogues. Many of my coaching participants have great reservations about online marketing because they think they have nothing to do with the topic. But that’s not true. They have been selling their products or services all their lives – just not on the internet until now.

They can easily transfer all their knowledge. A website, an e-shop, e-mails, newsletters, these are all just substitute dialogues for the classic sales pitch, which work just like they do outside the internet.

Just imagine a prospect coming to your website at 11 p.m. – then the website must be able to conduct this sales pitch digitally. The technology behind it is easy to learn, but someone who has been selling products for 25 years knows how to structure the sales dialogue.

C stands for…

Fischer: Content design on the Internet. This is about the content of the digital offer. Someone who comes to my website through a search engine or an ad is “highly involved”. That means he is already interested in my product or this product group. I have to design the content differently for a searcher than for someone who is “lowly involved”. For example, that would be someone who is not yet interested in my product.

K stands for…

Fischer: Customer problems and unique solution. Whether digital or offline, customers will only listen to sellers if they know their current problems, gaps, bottlenecks or desires and offer a unique solution for them. In this step, I show how to use modern question and research tools to get to the questions of the users and how to evaluate them. Then you create a solution and set up communication in such a way that you give competent answers to these questions.

And finally O for…

Fischer: Online Strategies. There are basically two, a pull strategy and a push strategy for more highly involved, i.e. interested, customers.

Pull means the people interested in my product who, for example. looking for a product on the internet to me on my digital home to do business with them there.

Push strategies are those that are used to actively and specifically address new customers. The push strategy is aimed at customers who are generally interested in a product but are not yet actively looking for it. Today you can use a wide variety of social media channels. First you select the channels and contact points where you can assume that you will meet the desired target persons. Then you place ads there, excite and inspire people about your product, and then channel those interested back to your website to do business there.

People who are not yet interested in a specific product must be activated more. Outside of the Internet, this happens, for example, via road shows or the notorious Tupper parties.

The fourth last strategy is branding, which also works very well on the internet today. Everyone has to become a brand – even if it’s for plumbers in Munich.

How much online marketing should I acquire if I am not self-employed or a manager in a company, but just a simple employee?

Fischer: Today, the topic plays a role in all areas of a company – in marketing, distribution and sales, but also in complaint management, which nowadays often takes place via social media, or in human resources management. They have to filter applicants according to their skills. I think that no matter what position you hold in the company today and what age you are, all employees should acquire a basic understanding of how business is done on the Internet today. This digital fitness prepares us for the new challenges in the workplace. Let’s think of the GECKOS, we too must change, each of us. Age is no excuse. The GECKO method is guaranteed to impart the necessary basic knowledge.

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