Internet Advertising Solution
by Dr. John Luton
Elizabeth City State University
Sales Slumping? Get an Internet Advertising Solution
You know, there’s one thing I’ve never heard a business owner say:
“I’m so tired of all these sales. I wish business would slow down and give us a break!”
Can you imagine anyone saying something like that – someone whose livelihood depends on a steady stream of customers spending lots of money in their store? Pretty crazy, huh?
Yet, when you look at some of the marketing plans out there (or, in many cases, the lack of a plan), you’d think some of the businesses were actually designed to fail. Actually, they’re just lacking a good Internet Advertising solution.
There’s an old saying that runs along those same lines:
Most people don’t plan to fail; they just fail to plan
Last year, USA Today reported that almost 70 % of small businesses are dodging the Web. With more than 605 million people online, including almost 185 million in the U. S. and Canada, how many of those people are going to be looking for your ad in the Yellow Pages? They need an Internet Advertising solution!
Yellow Pages – R. I. P.
While I don’t have anything personally against the Yellow Pages – besides the fact that they look like a hodge-podge of business cards with an ugly yellow background -- I really can’t remember the last time I used the Yellow Pages for anything. Except as a protective wrapping for glasses the last time we moved.
Okay, so if the Yellow Pages are not the way to draw customers, then what’s so great about an Internet advertising solution? What is the main advantage of advertising online? It’s really simple. In fact, it’s so simple that millions of business owners are missing out – maybe to their peril. Here it is in a nutshell:
An Internet Advertising solution will provide access to a global market.
Can the Yellow Pages, or any other advertising medium, bring your product to a whole world of customers? I don’t think so. In fact, no other medium is able to reach so many customers in an interactive way. It’s troubling that so many businesses -- the driving force behind the U. S. economy -- are actually avoiding the Web!
If Global Insight is correct, by 2006 Web advertising will generate about $285 billion in ad revenues. Businesses who understand how the Internet works, and go through the necessary steps to achieve a Web presence, will have an opportunity to market their products in a global economy. Those businesses that cling perilously, and exclusively, to advertising vehicles that do not offer immediate interaction will lose ground, and finally die. Again, they must have an Internet Advertising solution!
What should be done?
Part of an effective Internet Advertising solution is a good company Web site.
While it sounds so basic, this is the critical step. The Web site doesn’t have to be especially fancy, but it should present the image that will enable your company to market its products. If you’re new to the Internet, you might want to experiment with a free Web site from Geocities.com. Even if you hire a professional later, you will establish your basic idea in a very cost effective way. With either approach, you’re on your way to an Internet Advertising solution that can get you going!
A free Geocities.com site, which almost any student could help you set up, is exactly what it claims to be – it is completely free. If you want something a little more professional, Geocities.com has a few other options available in the form of upgrades. Why not visit the site and see for yourself?
If you’re a technophobe, grab that student again. He or she might really appreciate a part-time job creating online information brochures and doing site updates for your business. You can even get a free counter so you can see the number of people visiting your Web site. Something as simple as that can breathe new excitement into your business.
Sounds Good --Your Internet Advertising solution is starting to take shape! Keep going!
The most important thing to consider? Make sure your customers will be able to purchase and order your product by clicking on a link, or by sending you an e-mail. That way your store never closes. If you’re like most business owners, you’ll want all the patronage you can get. You never need to turn away any prospective buyer.
It’s sad to say – and quite frankly, it’s unbelievable -- but a number of businesses close their doors at 5 pm and, when you call after that time, all you here is the phone ringing. I know everyone has experienced this same baffling phenomenon. I tell my students that a phone ringing off the hook, with no one in the store, is the sound of a business dying.
Maybe those businesses aren’t planning to fail, but they might as well be. With a Web page as a part of your Internet advertising solution, you’ll be ahead of the game.
Welcome to the world!
For more information about establishing an Internet Advertising solution for your business, visit the following Web sites:
TowerWebSites.com – An Internet Advertising solution to get you jump-started
The Ice Storm Network
Growing up in northeastern North Carolina,
John Luton marveled as his father told stories about his
childhood and World War II adventures. Bluebird
in Belgium relates those wonderful stories.
Dr. Luton teaches world literature and
mass communication at Elizabeth City State University.
The Lutons have three grown children.