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Marketing on the Internet is not really a choice anymore, but has almost become a necessity in today's marketplace. No company can afford to ignore the fact that online marketing is now a multi-billion-dollar business. Those businesses without an online presence are missing out on a goldmine of potential customers.
Like anything, there are exceptions to the rule and marketing on the Internet may not suit absolutely every business. However, claiming to be the exception is often a disguise for making excuses.
Reality is; that some businesses fail to appreciate the revenue potential of Internet marketing. Others simply fear change, or put Internet marketing in the too hard basket and hope that it will go away. Unfortunately for them, Internet marketing is growing every day. There will come a time when they will lose business, simply because they lack an Internet presence. For many businesses, that day has already arrived.
Here are 12 reasons why businesses without an online presence are missing out on a goldmine of potential customers:
1. Technology To Compete - In bygone days, a small business usually lacked the resources of their larger competitors. Now even a small business can access much of the same technology as the giant corporations. They too can use auto-responders, accept online payments and even deliver products over the Internet.
2. Niche Markets Abound – The Internet has opened up all sorts of niche marketing opportunities that either never existed before, or were too expensive to tap into.
3. Lifting The Profile – With a professionally designed web site, it’s now easy for a small business on the Internet to have the appearance and credibility of being a large corporation.
4. Low Cost - Compared to other media, the Internet enables a business to advertise at considerably lower prices. It may not be a replacement for other marketing, but the Internet is generally cheaper than advertising on television, radio, or in newspapers, magazines and even by direct mail.
As an example; posting out a mailing to customers will probably cost around $1.50 a pop (allowing for printing, postage etc), whereas to email the same message to customers costs next to nothing!
5. Open 24/7 - By automating a web site, a business can be open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. No extra staff costs and no overtime rates to pay!
6. Serving The Local Area – Not everyone wants to take the time to drive all over town to shop. It is a fast moving world and it seems that we all want things to be quick and easy. Using the Internet is a quick and easy way for people to access information about products and services from the comfort, convenience and privacy of their own home. No fuel costs, no traffic jams … no time wasted.
Locally based businesses can usually get a free website listing in their local Internet directories.
7. Reaching A Global Audience - More countries are getting on the Net each year. The Internet breaks down geographical boundaries and limitation. With the help of search engines, people can now locate and buy products and services from every corner of the world.
8. Customer Feedback Made Easy – The Internet makes it possible to capture visitor information. Keeping in touch (via email) helps to cultivate long-term relationships. Also, the widespread use of discussion forums is a popular way to get quick, low-cost customer feedback.
9. Frequently Asked Questions - Questions that may normally be answered by phone can be answered on the Internet. A website can list the answers to the most frequently asked product or service related questions. This can save on phone bills and free up a lot of time and maybe an extra employee.
10. Interactivity – The Internet is much more dynamic than a few years ago. Some examples of this include:
- Automatic product updates through the use of databases. - Automatic web site content and image changing. - The increasingly common use of live video and audio streaming.
These and other Internet service can save money and increase business efficiency. They can also open the door to exciting new marketing opportunities.
11. Test Marketing New Products – The Internet offers quick and easy ways to conduct low-cost market research. A questionnaire on a web site, or by email, can test very quickly and inexpensively whether a product gets a good response. What’s more, different offers or marketing approaches can be tested using different pages on the same website.
12. Use of Time Sensitive Promotions – It is easy to quickly change promotions or offers on the Internet. Emails can be sent out or a website offer changed almost instantly. Time sensitive promotions such as running contests, or product specials can be a good way to attract traffic and sales to an online business.
For those who haven't developed a web site for their business yet, now could be a good time to start. Local competitors may already have one. And remember; it’s now much easier for almost any business to tap into almost any market, from almost any geographical location.
That’s why I say - Marketing on the Internet is not really a choice anymore. It has almost become a necessity in today's marketplace.
Noel Peebles has bought, developed and sold several of his own businesses. He has fifteen years of 'hands on' experience, directing his own highly successful retail businesses. Noel now runs his own internet company, supplying marketing solutions for small businesses. He also has his own public self-storage complex. Noel has traveled extensively to over forty countries.