The Internet Under The Surface – The Quiet Explosion of Website Marketing

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Internet Website Marketing

June 8, 2004 – By Jon Burgess

The popular press lost interest following the stock market bust which some believe was lead by over rated Internet stocks. But no one told the users of the Internet. It has continually increased in almost every performance metric, from online users and purchases to the use of email and search.

In a recent USA Today interview of several of the Internet’s most important creators and innovators, moderated by Kevin Maney, it is apparent that innovation is far from dead online—there is more to come.

John Chambers, president of CISCO Systems stated “You haven’t seen anything yet. . . . This is the decade you see the applications, the gaming, the video coming to the home, the health care, the education that will truly change every aspect of our lives. The way people work, live, learn and play.”

The general tone agreed that this decade will be more exciting that the last with more voice applications, video programming and applications delivered online.

“The whole idea of localizing the Internet opens up a lot of new things,” stated Mr. Alexander. “From a personal level, it’s education in the United States, and taking what we see in technology and beginning to apply that to this huge problem.”

Mr. Andreessen, on the fathers of the modern Internet stated, “In the middle of what was a pretty horrific recession we now have 10 times more people on the Internet now than we did five years ago. We’ve got 10 times or a hundred times more broadband. We’ve got Internet advertising, which is a real phenomenon. We have a whole generation of citizens now used to doing business online, used to buying things online, and used to communicating online.”

“On the technology side, we’ve had over that period about a 10 times reduction in price in a lot of components that go into building the Internet and building services on the Internet, like servers and software and networking equipment.”

“All that’s really adding up. The economics of the Internet have undergone something like a thousand-times swing. If you’re going to launch an Internet site or an Internet business today, it’s probably going to cost about a tenth of what it would have cost five years ago, but you’re going to have 10 times more consumers you can address and probably 10 times the advertising revenue. There’s a seriousness and commitment and dedication and effort and investment going into it now that is a lot more interesting and a lot more real than what was happening in the ’90s.”

What does all this mean for the average small business website? Good news. The lower cost of entry for building a website, and the higher general usage means the cost of being online will drop relative to its efficiency or return on investment. But the average business will need to begin to re-think where they spend money, allocating more to their web strategy and potentially less in areas like the Yellow Pages, print and traditional advertising.

The strategy not to eliminate any particular media, but to downsize them and point the action to the web. For instance smaller Yellow Pages ads can “push” prospects to a more comprehensive understanding of a businesses offerings on their website. The same applies to display ads. More post cards might be used instead of full mailers, where a specific concept is used to push interested parties to the specific page with an offer and link to the actual transaction.

Make no mistake, the average budget for successful websites will increase not decrease, but the effectiveness will increase as well.

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