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IT Debate: Changes made by the Internet

By debate ·
Since the advent of the Internet, organizations have changed their marketing strategies, claiming that ?the Internet changes everything.? But how much has it really changed? According to Gartner, when it comes to good old-fashioned marketing, some things are true?regardless of the medium.

Gartner says that most of the time, companies with unsuccessful Web sites failed because of underinvesting?not overinvesting. Do you agree? What other factors do you think lead to the failure of Web-centricenterprises? If you could describe one secret to success, what would it be?

The Web is just one channel among many where companies have contact with customers. Do you think the number of people using this point of contact will grow significantly in the next year? How much has the Internet changed the way your company approaches marketing and customer relationship management?

You can read the related Gartner article, which will be posted 3 A.M. Wednesday, at
http://www.techrepublic.com/article.jhtml?id=r00620010307ggp01.htm

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IT Debate: Changes made by the Internet

by Dan Flak In reply to IT Debate: Changes made b ...

Many companies take an attitude of ?If you build it, they will come? towards web sites. Their expectation is that with the right registration strategy, and the right combination of keywords, people will come from all over just to visit their site.
This approach is only partly true. If a person is looking for something specifically on the web, then being at the top of the search engine is beneficial. These are the same type of people who used Yellow Pages before the internet.

The rest of the market has to be reached in some other way. Television, radio spots, newspaper ads, direct mail, direct call and billboards are still more prominent means of advertising. All have to be used in a combined advertising campaign. The benefit the web has is that it can contain more information in an easier to navigate form than the other media and it can be accessed as a point of sale. Use these other tools to bring attention to your web site.

Companies often hurt themselves in the choice of adomain name, which while it works with other media, is difficult to remember. For example, ?ShureChek? might be a catchy phrase for a check cashing service. However, in a radio advertisement it will come across differently; people will be looking for www.surecheck.com. If I were their competitor, that?s what I would choose for my domain name. Similarly, ?www.bestbuilersinnorthcarolina.com? is very descriptive, but difficult to catch as you drive by the billboard at 55 miles an hour. Besides, nobody wants to type that much.

Web advertising is a little different than traditional advertising, but it can support and be supported by these media.

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IT Debate: Changes made by the Internet

by debate In reply to IT Debate: Changes made b ...

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IT Debate: Changes made by the Internet

Gartner's assumption that the amount of money invested in a website is related to website's level of success is as faulty as arguing that the quality of education is related to the amount of tax dollars spent on education, an assumption that has long since been disproved. Website quality is more a function of how well the business sponsoring the website has integrated Internet technology into a quality business decision making model that justifies business investments on ROI potential. A bad business decision can never be made good by increasing the amount of money spent on it. Likewise the quality of a poorly conceived website that lacks basic business validity (based on traditional business principles)can not be made good by investingmore money on it. The decision on how much money to spend on a website should follow the defining and testing of the business strategy it is intended to support, not before. If the test does not confirm ROI potential make no invetstment and save the company some money. Good business decision making has always been a key to business sucess. The arrival of the Internet has not changed that principle, but only reinforced its importance.

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IT Debate: Changes made by the Internet

by debate In reply to IT Debate: Changes made b ...

Your answer was featured in our IT Debate TechMail. To receive your free subscription to the IT Debate TechMail, sign up at
http://www.techrepublic.com/techmails.jhtml

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IT Debate: Changes made by the Internet

by Shanghai Sam In reply to IT Debate: Changes made b ...

Companies make the mistake that a web site
is the core of their CRM. This is really the wrong approach. CRM should be the core corporate strategy of how they will relate to their customer base, regardless of the
customer access to the company. This may be face-to-face sales/service personnel, call contact centers, mail, or web access with its various version and alternatives (VoIP etc). Along with a CRM strategy comes metrics that are needed to gauge customer satisfaction. Metrics indicate what the customer want and what they don't like. As access to the web continues to grow, and it will, web site "attitude" will emerge as a growing factor, in how customer view the company. Companies that ignore eCRM and don't devote resources to support web site eCRM applications WILL loose customers.

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IT Debate: Changes made by the Internet

by debate In reply to IT Debate: Changes made b ...

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IT Debate: Changes made by the Internet

by Shanghai Sam In reply to IT Debate: Changes made b ...

Companies that succeed using the Internet have answered the conundrum: What business process and information produces the most sales. Specifically for the IT channel the question is: How does the company use the Internet to better enable customersto buy products and/or services and how does the company better enable its employees to use the Internet to sell products and/or services.

If the leaders and managers of the company do not understand how to use IT to serve the enterprise, the danger is for technology to dominate. The secret is to control IT to serve the enterprise by providing the customer with value and employees with functionality.

This is accomplished in two ways. One is a great web site with CRM that includes a database of all there is to know about the customer. The other is an accessible data base of enterprise information used by sales personnel that interface with a customer either electronically or at their place of business. No other medium is as rich and bi-directional (interactive) as the Internet.

There is no other medium that provides this two way and interactive communication capability. The closest mediums of telephone or fax machine are not as real time interactive as the Internet. Because of this rich two way interactive capability the Internet is a significant force not only in marketing and CRM but in terms of sales ordered and entered.

The number of people using the IT channel will continue to grow. To serve both the customer and the company?s purpose IT will gradually become a more personal experience. There will be more of an integration of IT, the enterprise and the customer as the blur between actual and electronic becomes more singular and personal.

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IT Debate: Changes made by the Internet

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