Why Market To The World When You Sell in Your Own Neighborhood?
by Lisa Kryder, NetProfitMarketing.com
Millions of businesses large and small are joining the World Wide Web revolution at the frantic rate of 200,000 Web sites a day. But the big question for many business owners remains, "If I sell my product locally, why would I want a Web site that goes around the world?"
Instead of thinking about where your Web site goes, consider who your Web site reaches. Are prospects in your target market using the Web as a key communications tool? Do they have a presence themselves on the Web? If they physically have offices across the street but look on the Internet for new sources for products or services, you’ll want your business to be on their purchasing menu.
Maybe prospective customers live in another state or country but will soon move within your business boundaries. You can bet they’re looking on the Web for services and products well before they arrive. You may even begin networking with businesses that complement or copy what you do. Through the Web, you could build strategic alliances that build your profitability down the road. When potential customers can take this electronic highway to get to you, doors you never expected will open.
The Web, as part of your marketing strategy, can be more cost-effective than other methods of communication. Wouldn’t you like to decrease your marketing expenses while increasing exposure for your business?
Think about the color brochures you’d like to print and send to clients and prospects. Chances are, you’ve researched the prices and decided to cut back on quantity, the number of photos, even the number of colors you really want, so you can hold down the costs. Printing prices -- plus postage to mail the finished pieces -- add up to a lot of money.
When you have your own Web site, you put out "color brochures" on your products and services. You can even use a full spectrum of colors plus graphics and photographs. In cyberspace, you’re not limited by what you can spend on printing. Once your business has a presence on the Web, your "color brochure" is accessible to prospects 24 hours a day, 7 days a week -- without printing, storing, shipping or mailing, paper.
Check out the cost of Web page development and upgrades with Internet Service Providers to see for yourself how economical marketing on the Web can be.
Marketing works because of repeated exposures of your message to your target audience. When you increase the number of contacts with prospects, your chances of making a sale increase. It takes an average of eight contacts (or exposures) to make a sale, we’re told by marketing gurus. Every time you update your "color brochure" on the Web, you have a reason to encourage your prospects to take a fresh look. It becomes an excuse to contact them and say, "Look for a brand new offer every month on our Web site." Do a good job displaying your offer, and customers look forward to "what’s new" every month. You no longer have to agonize over tossing your inventory of printed pieces; updating your messages on your Web site is much easier than on printed matter. Make changes on-line for faster results.
"Leading Edge" Impression
Consider, too, the impression you make with clients when you don’t stick your toe into the waters of new technology. It says, "You’re not changing with the times. You’re not keeping up with What Is Going On in the business world."
Be proactive and impress them -- invite them to browse your Web site. Encourage them to respond online with their comments and their orders. It’s a form of instant gratification that’s fun and satisfying.
Browsing the Web is a novelty for many people already. For those who are fearful, that hesitation will go away. Do you remember when nobody knew how to operate VCRs? Now they’re standard equipment in every home and almost every business. And with new technologies such as WebTV coming into the marketplace, accessing the Web will become as easy as turning on the television ... or using the VCR. Even if your customers hesitate today, you’ll see a change in attitude soon. You’ll benefit by being ready when they are.
Information Available Day and Night
Like a brochure, a Web site excels when it comes to well-thought-out information. Before people make a buying decision, they want to know more about the product or service. Yet, unlike a brochure, you have few limitations. Words, photos, graphics ... one page or 12 pages, your choices are unlimited.
Your "color brochure" on the Web can be opened day or night, at your customers’ convenience. It makes your business reachable, touchable, and convenient.
Hot Link to Related Businesses
By setting up your Web site with hot links to other related businesses, you can benefit from joint marketing. For example, a company selling tee-shirts can hot-link to designers with experience in creating customized tee-shirt designs. Working with aligned businesses in other communities could increase sales for both of you.
At Your Service ... Continuously
What can grab the attention of your customers, prospects, suppliers, even your employee’s in this age of MTV and hot video graphics? What other companies are open for business all day and all of the night? What "brochure" can your client respond to instantly -- without even picking up the phone?
When you add up the reasons to market through a Web site, be sure to include increased service because you can access information readily. Your customers will appreciate it, and so will you.
� Lisa Kryder, NetProfitMarketing.com. All rights reserved.
Lisa Kryder is known as the "ultimate networker" by an increasing number of people in the Denver area. As owner of NetProfitMarketing.com, she’s putting companies like you on the cyber map! She can be reached in the daytime at 303-286-8342 (office) for the latest marketing information.
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