|Why the Internet?|
2. Stand-Alone Advertising: Accepting the above, one should not underestimate the power of the Internet as a stand-alone advertising medium to sell their products or services or promote their organization or ideas. The World Wide Web is experiencing explosive growth. With over 40 million worldwide customers, and growing every day, it is not unreasonable to expect the majority of US households to have access within the next two years. Even small mom 'n' pop companies with local walk-in traffic have a legitimate place on the Internet. The growth of local Internet "malls" is moving the concept of shopping in a new direction. People now have the ability to place grocery orders, print coupons, and check out products, services, special offers, features, advantages, locations, hours, prices and more in the comfort of their homes using their personal computers. Don't wait for your competition to get ahead of you. Call TC Concepts and get on the 'Net today!
3. Image: Internet advertising shows your potential customers that you are a legitimate operation that takes its business seriously. Even if they never see your website, an address on the World Wide Web stands out in other literature as testimony of your commitment to your business, your product or service, and your reputation, and shows that you care enough to reach all markets and keep your customers informed.
4. Cost: Advertising on the Internet is the most cost-effective form of advertising available. Because of its electronic nature, there are virtually no costs associated with paper, ink, printing, postage, or delivery (as in print media), code compliance, construction materials or laborers (as in display), or antennas, repeaters and satellites (as in broadcast). What costs there are (personnel, equipment, office space, etc.) are shared by the other media as well. In short, the overhead is greatly reduced and Internet Presence Providers like TC Concepts generally pass on this savings to their customers. In these times of rising paper costs and tight budgets, Internet advertising provides a sensible way to build a marketing plan that is versatile, expandable and interactive (see below). In a cost comparison with direct mail, display, broadcast and print media, Internet advertising wins hands-down, giving you the most bang for the buck of any promotional endeavor. For a fraction of the cost of a small classified ad in a local paper, you can run a "full page" color display ad to a worldwide audience on the Internet.
5. Versatile and Interactive: To change your ad in a newspaper you will have to wait at least until the next issue comes out before the change will take effect. For a billboard or magazine, it'll take a month. And for the phone book you will have to wait an entire year. On the other hand, Internet changes can be made almost instantaneously through the file transfer protocol (ftp) used by Internet Presence Providers like TC Concepts. Also, you cannot integrate text, graphics, sound, video, mail and customer response forms into the same promotion with any other form of advertising . . . period. The Internet is the first medium that is truly interactive and allows your customers to become participants in the promotion. Anyone who understands sales dynamics knows that the more you can get your prospects involved, the better.
6. Expandable: In planning for the future, a presence on the Internet now provides the natural stepping stone to other Internet promotions. Imagine you ran a classified ad in a local paper that told potential customers to check out your billboard on I-45. Now imagine that the billboard tells a prospect to be in his car around 7:30 am and tune the radio to a certain station. Your radio spot comes on and tells him that a new catalog is being created, that it will probably be ready in about two weeks, and that it can be picked up at a number of specific locations. When he gets the catalog, he discovers he can order your product by mail by filling out and sending in the enclosed form, or that he can call for more information and wait while you mail him some literature. The literature arrives and provides your prospect with ample information about your product, but because prices are in a state of flux, he should check your display ad on page 3 of the local paper to stay abreast of the latest developments. Now, obviously this little scenario is a bit impractical. But with hyperlinks (the Internet protocol that makes it possible to hop from one "page" to another) all of this kind of information (prices, features, changes, updates, etc.) can be accessed in a matter of seconds, without all the hassles. And perhaps even more important is the fact that the businessman can build this advertising program at his own pace and within his own budget. A small website now that lists general information, hours and location may be the jumping off point to a full web presence in the future that includes online ordering forms and product call-ups from a searchable database. A coupon in a local Internet "mall" could lead to new customers who, by the way, know about the Internet and aren't afraid to use it.
7. Accessibility: With Internet advertising, customers can do their comparison or interest shopping when they want to, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. That's right. Your advertising will be working for you all the time; while you work and while you sleep. And your customers can bookmark your site for future returns. Even your classified or display ad on a local Internet "mall" will allow your customers to access your information at their own convenience and make purchasing plans accordingly. Finally, a last minute search for information before buying is only a couple of keystrokes away. Try that with a TV spot.
8. Targeted Marketing: The majority of computer users are white males between the ages of 25 and 45 with above average incomes. While the numbers are changing to reflect more diverse demographics with regard to gender and race, the fact remains that most people with money have computers, and most people with computers have money. Obviously, this is a pretty generalized statement, but so are most other forms of targeted marketing. And as the market broadens, look to see the same tell-tale indicator. Women…with money. Minorities…with money. And so on. Obviously, those with expendable income will be the ones more likely to purchase luxury items and "non-necessities". But it is also true that they purchase "necessities" more freely. A marketing approach that targets expendable income is therefore always going to be a major component of any serious ad campaign.
9. Market Testing: Not sure about a certain promotion? Want to know if the market will support a new product or service? With Internet advertising you can now test those markets with very little risk or investment. Do a survey. Announce a special. Run a contest. Place a response card. All of the benefits of the Internet's versatility, combined with the incredibly low pricing, allow even modest budgets to include market testing in the overall promotional strategy.
10. Competitive Marketing: If your competition is already on the Internet, you need to be there, too. If they are not, you need to get there first, because soon almost everyone will be looking to the Web for information on the products and services they need and use everyday. Get ahead of the game. Get on the Web today by calling TC Concepts at (936) 756-2292 or in Houston, call (936) 441-4872.
Copyright 1997 TC Concepts.