To quote a Wall Street Journal article, “online shopping in Southeast Asia only accounts for 0.2% of all recent retail sales. If it rises to 5%, the market could be worth some $21.8 billion.” By comparison, e-commerce accounts for 8% of retail sales in China – essentially attesting the fact that e-commerce is set to boom. With a relatively low barrier of entry, there are plenty of opportunities for smaller e-commerce players and startups to enter the market and make money online – exploring all available channels is the key to success – testing & measuring different options in order to determine what performs best for your business.

In this article, myths and facts about the right online marketing mix are cleared and discussed to see how startups can kick off their growth by taking the plunge.

Myth 1: Google AdWords is the only way to grow fast

Fact: Google may be dominating the online advertising space because it functions as a bidding auction platform where when advertisers pay more, their ad will be pinned to the top for a given search. But it is a misconception that investing in Google AdWords is the only source of growth.

One other way for businesses to explore is ExactSeek Traffic Program, Facebook Ads, and Clicksor. Driving organic traffic via Search Engine Optimization (so-called word of the century, SEO) to your site is another possibility, and businesses that ignore it might face huge risks without having a proper strategy in place.

Myth 2: Banner ads are good enough

Fact: Banner ads are a good source of traffic if you are looking to create awareness about your product or services. However, banners are turning out to be one of the worst performing online marketing campaigns. This is because customers nowadays are getting increasingly blind to banners and their online usage path is getting significantly more complex than just the news site>banner>purchase path.

According to Digiday and Adobe, banner ad blocking by internet users have grown by more than 400% in the past two years because they either click on it by accident or they find it extremely intolerable. Adding to this, mentions 54% internet users do not click on banner ads because they do not trust it.

Banners still may work, but it is important to frequently monitor the conversions that you get from this type of advertisements and evaluate frequently the payback, just like the agency “Converted” shows in their blog with a very extensive explanation that any marketer no matter how experience he is, can understand.

Myth 3: Setting up affiliate marketing is complex and is not for startups with less manpower

Fact: Marketing affiliate is a profitable and effective strategy in attracting the right customers for your business.

Affiliate marketing is perceived as suitable only for established businesses with great resources and manpower. This was true 10 years back when affiliate marketing was catching up, but given the advancements, the field has undergone, there are plenty of SAAS tools like that help make integration processes much easier and faster. “We have successfully integrated companies like in Vietnam within a day,” says Sandeep Raj, Vice President of Business Development in

According to eMarketer, 46% of marketers consider affiliate marketing to be “very cost effective” as it relates to customer acquisition, second only to email. It is advisable to engage with a marketing affiliate organization to boost the growth of your business. There is not harm in experimenting to get the best result.

Myth 4: Social Media marketing is all about getting likes on your Facebook page

Fact: If you play it right social media marketing could be a great tool to understand and engage with your audience.

It is a bad idea to buy fans or likes on your Facebook brand page as it has much more negative effects than positives because of the recent changes Facebook did to its algorithm for showing your updates to your fan base. When it comes to businesses or organizations, you want the people who like your page to be true supporters of your brand, product or company to add credibility. Instead, you should focus on creating engaging content and regularly connect with your social media audience. This way is easier for you to earn internet users trust and once they are comfortable they convert as your customers.

Myth 5: The right online marketing mix is 50% Google Ads, 25% affiliate marketing, and 25% SEO/Social

Fact: There is no one size fits all when it comes to the right online marketing mix. The good news is that unlike traditional marketing methods, online strategies can be measured easily.

The best suggestion is to keep on trying and measuring the performance, and then adjust accordingly. “For some niche market players, Google Adwords could be a great and valuable source of traffic. While for others, typically in the more competitive spaces, reliance on alternative sources of traffic is a must,” shares David Chmelar, CEO of iprice Group.

From all of the above, there are two key points to keep in mind. Firstly, be aware that there are more options besides Google Adwords which every startup should consider. Secondly, always have a quality mix of marketing channels, measure the performance of each of the mix and constantly reevaluate it to find the best option for your business.