MLM Or Network Marketing Is Not An Industry?

MLM Or Network Marketing Is Not An Industry?

According to a fierce discussion on Facebook under well known network marketing professionals:

Fred Stege stated:

Network marketing is not an industry. Direct selling is not an industry. MLM, multilevel marketing is not an industry.

It’s a philosophy and method of marketing and distribution. That’s all it is.

It’s a marketing strategy through a, in case of MLM, multi-tier layer of distribution. It’s also a growth strategy just like Franchising…

And what is marketing? Marketing is a certain strategy you use to get the customer’s attention so that he eventually ends up buying your product. That is all marketing is.

So companies that market products and services directly to consumers through an independent, entrepreneurial sales force use direct selling or MLM as a METHOD OF DISTRIBUTION & MARKETING. What’s left is the product or service, for instance; travel, nutrition, skincare, insurance etc. That’s the factual “industry” you’re in.

DSA states “industry” on their website. I dare to differ…

An Industry is any general business activity or commercial enterprise that can be isolated from others.

If you remove all the noise… It’s the *product* that determines the industry you’re in. (…) And if it’s not about the product, be careful…

Troy Dooly stated:

Well stated Fred! I’ve been yelling this for years.

The channel is made up of companies who themselves are in many different industries!

However my friend, tell a lie long enough and people start to believe it!

Most independent professionals in the field are not distributors… heck I’m trying to think of one company where reps might still fit the bill, and the only ones would be companies where they allow the reps to buy products and retail it at for markets and retail stores… those are few and far between.

Mel Atwood stated:

Amen… I would like to say that MLM itself is not a Method of Distribution.

It’s only a method of Marketing. Where Direct Sales may include a method of Distribution.

Larry Cantrell N AmberLynn stated:

I agree! We are an “Economy” not an industry. (An entire network of producers, distributors, and consumers of goods and services in a local, regional, or national community). Great point!


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Comments (26)

    1. Every business consists of multi levels to bring a product or service from manufacturer to end-user consumer. You’re most likely working in the same business model… Unfortunately you were programmed to call it a job. If you deny this fact and reality then you’re just ignorant? This type of marketing and distribution generates over $185B a year. You’ll most likely disappear before this business model does. GW

  1. I agree but it helps people to create their individual organisations to help earn money and freedom of time and health. Amway is best. Doing and creating history in the feild of Direct Selling industry

    1. Croire que MLM n’est pas une industrie relève de l’ignorance. Approchez les professionnels dans le domaine et informée vous. Ça vous fera du bien, vous et votre entourage immédiat.

    1. Direct selling is the best option in MLM industry.Everyone can earn money through this industry & helps to creating health & time of freedom. ‘Milifestylemarketing global pvt Ltd’ is no.1 company in all over india.Doing & creating history is best way in the field of direct selling through this company.middle class people’s make their life & to become rich through this industry.

  2. Every business consists of multi levels to bring a product or service from manufacturer to end-user consumer. You’re most likely working in the same business model… Unfortunately you were programmed to call it a job. If you deny this fact and reality then you’re just ignorant! This type of marketing and distribution generates over $185B a year. You’ll most likely disappear before this business model does. GW

  3. What makes Amway the best? Amway is not about selling products. It’s about using products and implementing a structure to make money at the same time. Moreover Amway has a powerful ” continuing educatiin system”. Some people ignore the last point.

    1. I don’t believe they ignore it, I feel they point to it as a means of brainwashing people into a committment to use a product out if fear for using other “inferior” products in the industry. This fear then blossoms into concern for others and wanting to share this amazing opportunity with others.

  4. First a fall what is industry ?
    Networking is a pattern of working or we said system of working, which help individual to enhence their time, energy and working capacity.
    And also gives plateform to serveral people…
    I think planet dewsoft is the best networking organization in the world.

  5. My biggest win from Rx India is understanding how to create a business that is custom-tailored for me and that allows me to work in my genius zone and reach the people. Because it such a client based income plan everything is person to person. Rx India really caters to the individual need. Rxindia giving me step by step guidance on how to grow business and make more money having with ZERO INVESTMENT BUSINESS PLAN.

  6. In discussing the matter related to the article, although as pointed out, it is an error to call this an industry as such, this distribution method that operates across countless industries is still not very well understood. A model that duplicates burdens across a growing number of agents who are employed in a sector, and are misled to believe they are running their own business with limiting restrictions needs proper analysis. In america where these organizations began, all that regulates them is federal case law. The broader economic implications of this distribution method has not been analyzed fully. There are reasons to be concerned about this industry and given the number of lawsuits, significant (although manageable) financial losses of the majority of sellers and the wealth of other inefficiencies or worse created by this approach.

    Losing the label of industry, it is still important that these businesses that exist across different industries are still very much connected through their incentive structures.

  7. Every business is an MLM . The fact is other businesses are coming out publicly and calling themselves MLM, while others opt to advert on TV…it all boils down to one desired outcome: “Getting more people to use your products “.

    Am with Longrich Bioscience and it has produced many millionaires in Africa, Asia, Europe, etc….and it’s growing strong. Use the product and get others to use it…that’s all.

    1. Happy, not every business is an MLM. In fact most are not. Most businesses don’t rely on a growing base of individuals committed to buying a monthly volume of product. With this committment some make millions indeed (but that’s purely on the basis of sustaining the structure of the business and continual expansion) but it’s done in a zero-sum closed market economy where there is a constant churn of losers often stuck at the bottom due to area network saturation. With many of these schemes beginning in america, millionaires are made richer as they expand to new markets.

  8. Good after noon sir mlm market is 21sati grate portunity our India is make the guide line ishu so indai market is very run and nasesurry market

  9. I clearly understand what Fred is saying however I don’t agree with all of it. Sales & Marketing is indeed an Industry, in fact it’s a very large Global Industry and while I agree that MLM and Networking are strategies and not an Industry I do believe that our Industry falls into two Industries…the first as Fred mentioned is related to the specific product you are selling (Wellness, IT, Energy, Travel etc…) but the second is clearly the SALES & MARKETING Industry!!!

  10. Overall compensation plans are in a paradigm shift as regulators scrutinize more.
    Sometimes less is more. When products are overpriced to accommodate extravagant profit margins, the incentive is money driven more so than product driven.
    When products are reasonably and competitively priced the opportunity to reach a larger client base can constitute stability and longevity.
    While some companies relate their competitive ability on compensation plan payout, others will relate their competitive edge on uniqueness and quality of product offering.
    Both are important in my opinion. However the largest, long term sustaining companies have a business model which has balanced both.
    It also depends highly on the product, costs, marketability, supply, demand, and market share.
    In the MLM space there is also an additional factor regarding culture. Culture plays a role in how people think but more importantly how they feel about their involvement in a company.
    There is no magic in all this. Percentages vary based on profit margins and multiples. Some companies are more generous than others. Some products cost more to produce compared to what they can be marketed for and have less profit margins.

  11. I’ve always referred to the corporate, manufacturing, fulfillment, operations side more defined as aligning with industry standards of Company genre.
    The independent sales force (distributors, reps, members, etc) I’ve categorized as being a profession.
    Direct Sales, Network Marketing, MLM, are terminologies which define the business model. (Generally speaking).
    There has to be a definitive separation between each. However with many P&Ps and T&Cs many companies place themselves at risk bundling the profession and the industry within their definitions, terminology and legal wording.
    But even more so the way some companies have placed undo requirements, demands, exclusivities, upon their “independent” distribution field, it has posed a potential legal liability.
    If a group of distributors which are unmercifully terminated (under specific reasons) for reasons which place requirements on “independent” distributors it breaches the term “independent.”
    The risk is for an attorney to file a class action suit determining in a court of law that the company has treated their field of distributor as employees instead of being independent.
    If this happens the company could then be subject to paying all back pay for matching Social Security and Unemployment benefits, as well as other benefits awarded their employees.
    I’ve heard more than several owners, and legal counsel bring this subject of concern up.
    In the last ten years or so many of the P&Ps and T&Cs have been written more adequately to protect both the company and distributors regarding this subject of separation. However the actions of the companies have not always inherently matched with their own docs.
    It only takes one group of savvy distributors and a sharp legal team to implement such a class action which would change the overall definitive separation between the two, and would potentially place agency demands upon the company to implement back pay to all its distributors as if they are employees instead of being independent.
    The companies are a portion of the sales industry. The field (if treated as independent) are the profession.
    This subject is much more comprehensive than this. It would take a long time to detail the details to list the many ways companies place themselves at risk in how they manage their relationship with the field.

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