What comes to mind when one thinks of multi-level marketing schemes (MLMs)? For a lot of people, the immediate thought is a scam operation that tricks people into harassing their friends and family to buy various products over Facebook. At least that is the impression in the mainstream media about MLMs and it has become a punchline of sorts over the internet (there is even a subreddit dedicated to making fun of them).
The truth, however, is that while a number of fraudulent and predatory MLMs have existed in the past, the business model itself has been widely misunderstood. An MLM is a business model that functions through a network of marketers who promote the products to a wider audience and recruit other marketers to join their network. By their very nature, MLMs thrive on community and shared efforts and rewards. They are also very flexible as each participant is allowed the freedom to create their own marketing network around their own time and needs. This explains why many stay at home parents and students are drawn to such a business model. According to Alex Richter, the CEO of Antares, the sector has actually seen a boom in spite of the COVID-19 outbreak.
“For most enterprises, Covid-19 has had a disastrous effect. For us, however, it became the turning point after which Antares promises to become a truly global enterprise. While more and more people are interested in generating sales from MLM, Antares largely benefits from this agiotage and takes its chance to expand operations across the world,” he says.
There is also a great benefit for businesses themselves, as innovative products are able to be pushed into the market in creative ways. At the same time, the traditional MLM system is often inaccessible to startup businesses. Many would need to invest significant funds for recruitment, training, and marketing of sales agents to even begin operations. However, Antares is on their way to changing it. Antares is a firm that specializes in creating and running an incubation service for businesses, leveraging traditional MLM models, with a bulk of the work taken off the hands of the businesses themselves.
Antares makes use of the matrix, stair-step, binary and linear models while creating a unique framework for each client to ensure the most success. According to their CEO, the success of these efforts is highly dependent on accessibility and awareness.
“It may definitely be not easy, especially taking into account the decreased purchasing power of all consumers across the world. However, it should not prevent anyone from trying. I think it is obvious that for a product to be successful, as many people as possible should be aware of it. So awareness is one thing. Second, it is also crucial that the customer can receive the product with relatively no effort – for example, an online purchase. For it, the network of sellers is really important, and that’s what MLM focuses on,” he says.
While these plans are highly ambitious, it is clear that Antares is going against the grain and combating the belief that MLMs are fraudulent. Their CEO has also addressed this controversy within the industry, insisting that customers should inform and protect themselves.
“It is not rare, unfortunately, that the agents get deceived by the deal initiators, and get either a fraction of earnings from what they actually deserve or nothing at all, he says, “Knowledge about such matters can only come with experience. But in order to avoid such unpleasant situations before they take place, it is worth it to make a careful background check on the company and get involved only with a reliable entity. Antares is one of such.”
What’s Next for MLMs and the Wider Market?
Their CEO also touched on what he feels will be the next big product within the market. Many traditional MLMs focused on the sale and promotion of household and personal items like clothing, makeup, perfume, and so on. However, personalized and innovative tech appears to be on the rise, at least according to the Antares CEO.
“I would say, all that have a technological component, be it virtual assistants or small portable bots. Besides, artificial intelligence is a big thing that cannot be ignored. I tend to think that many future applications will be based on it, and it will become an inescapable part of our everyday reality. I would also add that everything that has to do with automation and simplification of routine processes will be in high demand too.”
Given that the virtual assistant market is to be valued at $153 billion by 2025, the MLM market is bound to stand the test of time. Besides this, it is apparent that the MLM market is steadily evolving and growing from its once damaged reputation into a more modern and effective system.