Why Put your Company Name online?
Here are a few reasons.
1. To Establish A Presence
Approximately 750 million people (1998) worldwide have access to the World Wide Web (WWW). No matter what your business is, you can't ignore 750 million people. To be a part of that community and show that you are interested in serving them, you need to be on the WWW for them. You know your competitors will.
2. To Make Business Information Available
What is basic business information? Think of a Yellow Pages ad. What are your hours? What do you do? How can someone contact you? What methods of payment do you take? Where are you located at? Now think of a Yellow Pages ad where you have instant communication. What is today's special? Today's interest rate? Next week's parking lot sale information? If you could keep your customer informed of every reason why they should do business with you, don't you think you could do more business? You can on the WWW.
3. To Serve Your Customers
Making business information available is one of the most important ways to serve your customers. But if you look at serving the customer, you'll find even more ways to use WWW technology. How about making forms available to pre-qualify for loans, or have your staff do a search for that classic jazz record your customer is looking for, without tying up your staff on the phone to take down the information? Allow your customer to punch in sizes and check it against a database that tells him what color of jacket is available in your store? All this can be done, simply and quickly, on the WWW.
4. To Release Time Sensitive Materials
What if your materials need to be released no earlier than midnight? The quarterly earnings statement, the grand prize winner, the press kit for the much anticipated film, the merger news? Well, you sent out the materials to the press with "The-do-not-release-before-such-and-such-time" statement and hope for the best. Now the information can be made available at midnight or any time you specify, with all related materials such as photographs, bios, etc. released at exactly the same time. Imagine the anticipation of "All materials will be made available on our Web site at 12:01 AM". The scoop goes to those that wait for the information to be posted, not the one who releases your information early.
5. To Sell Things
Many people think that this is the number 1 thing to do with the World Wide Web, but we made it number seven to make it clear that we think you should consider selling things on the Internet and the World Wide Web after you have done all the things above and maybe even after doing quite a few more things from this list. Why? Well, the answer is complex but the best way to put it is, do you consider the telephone the best place to sell things? Probably not. You probably consider the telephone a tool that allows you to communicate with your customer, which in turn helps you sell things. Well, that's how we think you should consider the WWW. The technology is different, of course, but before people decide to become customers, they want to know about you, what you do and what you can do for them. Which you can do easily and inexpensively on the WWW. Then you might be able to turn them into customers.
6. To Answer Frequently Asked questions
Whoever answers the phones in your organization can tell you, their time is usually spent answering the same questions over and over again. These are the questions customers and potential customers want to know the answer to before they deal with you. Post them on a WWW page and you will have removed another barrier to doing business with you and freed up some time for that harried phone operator.
7. To Create a 24 Hour Service
If you've ever remembered too late or too early to call the opposite coast, you know the hassle. We're not all on the same schedule. Business is worldwide but your office hours aren't. Trying to reach Asia or Europe is even more frustrating. But Web pages serve the client, customer and partner 24 hours a day, seven days a week. No overtime either. It can customize information to match needs and collect important information that will put you ahead of the competition, even before they get into the office.
8. To Make Changing Information Available Quickly
Sometimes, information changes before it gets off the press. Now you have a pile of expensive, worthless paper. Electronic publishing changes with your needs. No paper, no ink, no printers bill. You can even attach your web page to a database which customizes the page's output to a database you can change as many times in a day as you need. No printed piece can match that flexibility.
9. To Allow Feedback From Customers
You pass out the brochure, the catalog, the booklet. But it doesn't work. No sales, no calls, no leads. What went wrong? Wrong color, wrong price, wrong market? Keep testing, the marketing books say, and you'll eventually find out what went wrong. That's great for the big boys with deep pockets, but who is paying the bills? You are and you don't have the time nor the money to wait for the answer. With a Web page, you can ask for feedback and get it instantaneously with no extra cost. An instant e-mail response can be built into Web pages and can get the answer while its fresh in your customers mind, without the cost and lack of response of business reply mail.
10. To Serve Your Local Market
We've talked about the power to serve the world with a Web page. How about your neighborhood? If you are located in San Francisco Bay Area, the Raleigh NC area, Boston or New York, there is probably enough local customers with Web access to make it worth your while to consider Web marketing. A local Palo Alto, CA restaurant even takes lunch orders through the Internet! But no matter where you are, if the big client has Web access, you should be there too.