Real Methods For A Virtual Approach
Neil Bromage has run his own small business and is a freelance business writer working on a range of newspapers including The Times, Sunday Times, Telegraph and Financial Mail on Sunday. This book is based on a wide range of columns and Q&As written and answered by Neil for Business Link over a number of years. He is based near Preston, Lancs.
It’s easy to get online but whether there is any real benefit to your business is another matter. What, for instance, would a website do for your customers – how would they benefit from it? The answer for some businesses is negative, and they need to beware of Internet hysteria.
For many the Internet is a must, but whilst it may seem like a fabulous new toy fundamental business principles must still be applied. A website alone is not going to transform your business or sales. You may even ruin other marketing efforts by over-promoting your website.
One business sent out a mailshot split in three ways:
- 1.Not mentioning the website – generated 170 paid orders.
- 2.Identical, but web address mentioned – generated 110 orders.
- 3.Invited people to save 25% of their time and order through the website – 2200 visits but only 7 orders.
The web address distracted people from ordering immediately. This shows the importance of websites being an integral part of the business plan and an addition to the marketing mix, but one underpinned with traditional marketing methods.
Websites are often treated as just another company brochure, which risks missing out on the chance of improving the way business is done. Being just a click away from your competitors, the Internet creates the opportunity to innovate and gain increased competitor advantage.
Promoting your website is vital, but traditional methods of doing this should not be ignored. Dotcoms have used traditional marketing methods to promote sites. Do this as often as possible but always remember to give people a reason for visiting.