Internet Promotion – Advantages and Disadvantages

The emergence of globalise trade, increase in foreign investment and cross-border transactions have put many small businesses under pressure to find innovative ways to continue to market their products and services. This is especially difficult given that they often operate on tight marketing budgets.

In the quest for cheap marketing alternatives, these small businesses continue to use conventional marketing tools such as newspaper, magazine, radio and television advertisements, unaware of the advantages that Internet Promotion offers. All too often, these entrepreneurs focus on the disadvantages of Internet Promotion and fail to adequately take advantage of the opportunities that it presents. Moreover, their preoccupation with conventional marketing strategies is driven by a misconception that these are cheaper than Internet Promotion.

To most small business entrepreneurs, marketing or promoting their products or services via the Internet can be a daunting task. However, with adequate information small businesses can benefit significantly from Internet Promotion while minimising the disadvantages that it presents. In fact, it may prove to be the marketing strategy that generates the highest return on investment.

The Advantages

Cost Effective and Enduring Marketing Strategies

The Internet has become the information superhighway for the buying public. Most persons prefer the hassle free transactions that Internet shopping can offer. As a result, the Internet has become the most powerful selling tool. Internet Promotion offers cost effective ways for small businesses to enhance their product or service distribution networks. For example, the use of portals can help create new marketing channels and logistics, or provide better or faster product access for customers.

In comparison to other forms of marketing, Internet Promotion presents the advantage of reduced budget and storage costs, when compared with printing brochures, producing television or radio advertisements or managing a call centre. It presents a fast and cost effective option for penetrating new markets.

Market Penetration

With millions of person using the Internet to search for products and services, small businesses can penetrate other markets at a fraction of the cost of traditional marketing methods.

Websites act as virtual storefronts, allowing businesses to stay open 24/7. Internet Promotion gives a business greater visibility, thereby creating more opportunities for increasing its customers at relatively low cost. Never before has it been easier for an upstart business to be able to reach out to literally millions of potential customers and to position themselves for success, without the need for costly infrastructure and overwhelming marketing costs. Thanks to the Internet, new businesses can become popular almost overnight.

Low Cost, Instant Communication

Email makes business communications instant, whether the customer or business affiliate is across the street or across the globe. It makes it easier for customers to maintain contact and readily facilitates repeat purchasing. An effective online strategy can therefore turn a small web business into a virtual cost saver and income-generating machine. The net result is that the small business can gain significant competitive advantage in a given market.

Many online businesses have therefore resorted to the use of ezines, blogs, pop-up ads and other online marketing tools to let customers know about new products or services as well as provide information relevant to their respective industry. The benefits of this strategy are two fold. Marketers can effectively heighten brand awareness for relatively new products on the market whilst strengthening customer relationships, with shorter time frames.

Content is Timeless

Internet Promotion also provides the advantage of being enduring. Whereas participation at a trade fair or conference loses sales impact, once it is over, and an advertisement in a newspaper or business magazine may quickly lose its sales generating value within a day or two or as soon as the next issue is released; Internet Promotion is often timeless. Apart from the dates and sometimes prices, much of your website content remains valid years after.

Real Time Statistics For Measuring Success of Promotion Campaign

One of the most significant advantages of Internet Promotion is that its success is measurable. Marketers can use tools that provide real time statistics, on unique visitors, repeat visitors, click through rates (CTR) on advertisements, thereby allowing them to evaluate the effectiveness of a promotion campaign. This enables marketers to determine what works for their particular market and to make timely changes in their marketing strategies.

Time Saving

Another important advantage of Internet Promotion is that it saves time since it generally does away with counselling on product uses and benefits, service information and sales administration. Visitors can access “frequently asked questions” to help themselves, and can buy online, without the involvement of staff. This saves time and money. So, whether 10 or 10,000 visitors visit the site, the increased cost is marginal whilst the savings can be immense.

But like any business approach, Internet Promotion is not without its risks and weaknesses.


Difficulty in Attracting Customers

Small business may not have the resources to pay for paid directory inclusion, pay per click inclusions and often have to rely solely on search engine optimisation or word of mouth to drive traffic to their sites. With millions of businesses selling the same product and services, competing with more established businesses can be frustrating and costly venture for small business.

On the other hand, larger companies can offer promotions, pay for directory inclusions, implement pay per click campaigns as well as employ the “who is who” in internet marketing to develop campaigns that generate traffic and leads.

Difficulty in Evaluating Legitimacy of Transaction

Another notable disadvantage of doing promoting businesses online is that it may be difficult for the businesspersons and consumers to thoroughly evaluate the legitimacy of a transaction. Small businesses are particularly vulnerable to thieves using stolen credit cards and stolen information to do online transaction.

With Internet credit card and identity fraud on the rise, small businesses are forced to finance costly security measures to reduce their vulnerability to fraudulent transactions.

Salespersons and Customers are Isolated

Another disadvantage of promotion via the Internet is that the customers and businesspersons are isolated. There is little personal contact between customer and salesperson prior to and after the sales is closed. Thus, the prospect for repeat sales may thus be diminished. Entrepreneurs are therefore compelled to adopt marketing strategies to drive online users back to their site.

From all indications, it appears that the advantages of Internet promotion, far exceed the disadvantages. With adequate knowledge, entrepreneur can benefit significantly from Internet promotion, especially small business owners.

More and more, the growth and outreach of the Internet’s, its ease and accessibility for customers is becoming inevitable. Small business would therefore be well advised to start their web advertising function in order to improve their competitiveness online.

How the Internet Affects Traditional Media

Traditional Publishing, REST IN PEACE

This is the headline that greets you when you land on a web page identified as a memorial to commemorate the decline of Traditional Media. A photograph of a man who seems to be in distress and who's possibly just lost his job companies this headline. If this does not paint a bleak picture, go on to read the 548 headlines that all sing to the same tune as the following:

  • Bad Times: NYT Says Revenue Fell 13.9% Last Month –
  • Men's monthly magazine Arena to cease printing after 22 years –
  • Cosmopolitan UK publisher to cut 100 jobs –

There's even a website entitled Newspaper Death Watch that chronicles all the publishing and newspaper houses that close down. All rather morbid would not you say?

The Deadly Spell

Let's take a quick look at Traditional Media and how the Internet cast it's deadly spell.

Back in the old days, we're talking 500 years ago; Gutenberg revolutionized the printing industry by inventing the printing press. This meant bibles could be produced at a fraction the time it used to. This also mean more copies in a shorter time and the Word of God got further reach in a shorter time. Newspaper houses and Magazine publishers still use a printing press today (well thank you captain obvious) .

Much later, shortly after the advent of electricity, the world was blessed with another few media breakthroughs, rarely radio then a few years later, television. Marketers and Advertising agencies had it all figured out as they devised Integrated Marketing Campaigns with astronomical budgets. Ah, the good old days. Well, much to the dismay of many of these agencies, this media landscape started to change.

Behold! Enter The WWW

At first a website was seen as a cute way to put your company brochure online and on top of that the disastrous dot bomb era created skepticism that labeled the Internet as a bad media and business channel.

Fortunately, since then the Internet has matured. Now, in countries where broadband has achieved high levels of household penetration, the web has become the consumer medium of choice.

Why? Because people can do research, shop online, watch videos and connect with friends all in the comfort of their own homes. People can choose what media they want to consume, where and when they choose too, especially with mobile connectivity. Marketers can no longer dictate what advertising messages people get subjected too.

Social Media, The New Black

Then there is the phenomenon of Social Media. It changed the media landscape forever. Social Media websites have allowed consumers to connect with friends, family, colleges and peers in ways that were never imaginable a few decades ago.

Technology has empowered the consumer to become the prosumer. Prosumers are consumers who produce content like videos, photos and blogs that can be instantly distributed and shared among millions of people via social media platforms. This is also known as user-generated content or UCG.

Here is an interesting bit of trivia about the reach of Traditional Media vs. The Internet and Social Media.

Years it took to reach a market audience of 50 Million:

  • Radio – 38 Years
  • TV – 13 Years
  • The Internet – 4 Years
  • The iPod – 3 Years
  • Facebook – 2 Years

So How Does The Internet Affect Traditional Media?

The Internet has reduced the need for traditional media because it enabled consumers to join social communities within their neighbors, across their countries and internationally. It has empowered them to converse at their leisure, 24/7, with friends.

Considering all that's been said, the demise of Traditional Media can seriously be attributed to the following factors:

  1. Decline in readership: The distribution of free news and information on the web has led to the decline in readership for traditional publications.
  2. Decline in revenues: The decline in readership advertisers advertisers will spend their money elsewhere and this leads to a decline in ad revenue.
  3. Real-time updates: Traditional Media can not compete with immediately updated user-generated content that's immediately available for the world to see.
  4. The rise of UGC websites: People have the freedom of unlimited real time commentary on content while Traditional Media is static and is a one-way communication tool.
  5. Online Audio / Video channels: People can choose what they want to watch and listen, when they want to and where without advertising interrupting their experience.

Simply put. The Internet has revolutionized the way things get done today. It has revolutionized the way we do business, the way we communicate and has broken down the walls of Traditional Media.

A recent example is the decision by Unilever UK to fire Lowe , their Ad agency of 15 years, in favor of crowdsourcing – which means it has thrown the brand creative pitch open to agencies and basically any person who can think of an idea, worldwide. This is done on the Internet of course.

Traditional Media will still be around for a while, but the Internet is getting more and more integrated into our daily lives.

Think about this. You could do without the Mail & Guardian or the MensHealth Mag for quite some time, sometimes live quite happily without it? But you just dare cut that ADSL connection …

Car Charity Donations: How To Go About Them Seamlessly

Every once in a while, the need for a new car arises, and when it does, many people are often at a loss on what to do with their current or old car. The options most of them have in mind include delivering the old car to a junk yard, selling it, or possibly relinquishing ownership to a friend or relative. Yet, car charity donates provide a fourth and better option, which is totally hassle-free.

First things first, car charity donation reiterates the transfer of ownership of an automobile one no longer needs to a charitable organization. People do this for various reasons including tax relief, but before one jumps onto the bandwagon of car donation, they need to know the basics of how car charity contributions work.

People have been told that the process of donating a car to a charitable organization is as easy as calling them to come and drive or haul it away. Well, this is true, but like everything else in life, one has to prepare their car for donation to avoid unnecessary complications that may come afterward.

Since the donation process involves a complete transfer of ownership, it is advisable to capture clear images of the inside and outside of the car, if possible, with dates. This is necessitated by the fact that once the car leaves the custody of the donor, so does its official documentation including proof of ownership documents. Some unscrupulous individuals or organizations are likely to take advantage of this loophole to defraud otherwise good-intentioned citizens of their cars for selfish gain. Having clear images of the car just before the donation can help with the recovery process should the need arise.

Another element of preparation worthy considering prior to donating a car to charity involves keeping track of repair and maintenance records. This applies to cases where the car needs to be fixed before before donation. The service and spare part receipts increase the value of the car when dealing with the taxman.

Once these preliminary preparations have been completed successfully, it is time to call the charity organization to come for the car or drive it there. Most people tend to focus only on this step to show how easy it is to donate a car to charity. It is, but for the individual who seeks to draw the full benefits of donating a car to charity, the outstanding preparations are inevitable. When a representative from the organization finally comes for the car (they normally do), it is critical to ensure that they leave behind a document showing the full details of the organization in question, the car, as well as the time and reason for pickup . This should be some sort of receipt acknowledging the donation.

The above step concludes the donation process. What follows is beyond the donor's influence. All they can do from this point onwards is to wait until the car has been sold. Typically, the charity organization notifies the car donor of a sale within a span of one month after the sale is made. If they fail to do so, the donor has the right to make an inquiry about the same. When the organization sells the car, they are obliged to supply the donor with a written acknowledgment of the sale.

The donor can then proceed to claim a tax relief from the IRS using the donation documents and any other relevant documents. Also, of critical importance is that the donor may be required to inform the relevant authority about the change of ownership depending on the state in which they benefit. This serves to protect the donor from bearing the burden of tickets and other car-related costs, which should be paid for by the next owner of the car.

The Hotwife Lifestyle – 3 Secrets to Make It Work!

For many couples the Hotwife lifestyle is a marriage saver – something you might find counterintuitive considering the pain, anguish and trouble infidelity typically causes in a marriage. But the …

Hotwife Lifestyle

Is NOT the same as ordinary infidelity.

Let me explain – when someone has an 'affair', it usually means they're doing it behind the other's back. And that means there's something very wrong between them for that to happen.

But a woman being a hotwife is different – because it's done not only with her husband's consent and full knowledge … but usually she's doing it with his approval and urgent!

Now, to many men and women, that's going to make them throw their arms up in horror. And that's OK – because no one is suggesting anyone does anything they do not want to do.

But the fact is, having a hotwife is many a man's hottest fantasy – and his real problem is often stated that: " how can I get my wife to sleep with other men without her thinking I'm strange, kinky, or plain not In love with her any more? ".

And it's a good question because the kneejerk reaction from many women is a feeling of loss and almost abandonment; Indeed, many of them think the man is asking her to do it so he can then take another partner – but the truth is most men do not want this at all. What they want is their wives to include them in the hotwiving, to the extent they might want to watch, listen, hear all about it or even join in.

Yet, it's still not without its potential problems, especially in the early days. So, with that in mind, drawing on my own experience as a husband to my own hotwife these past 7 years, here are three tips to help make things go more smoothly:

  1. Always put your partner at the # 1 position . By this I mean it's vital you see a clear distinction between a sexual partner and a relationship . If there is ever any pressure from her lover to exclude the man in any way, then the ground-rules must clearly and unambiguously see the marriage as the most important thing. In other words, the lover has to go!
  2. Do not expect the "same stuff" . As a man, there's no mileage in worrying about what she might be doing for or with him that she does not do for or with you. It's not a competition and everyone's got different likes and dislikes, and every couple's sexual dynamic is also different. The thing to focus on is are you getting what you need, and forget what the other guy is getting.
  3. Either of you must be able to say 'stop' . Things change, and so do people. So it's important that either one of you has the power of veto, both over an individual man as a potential lover, a situation or event, or even the whole hotwife lifestyle. It's a recipe for disaster to have a situation when the man feels uncomfortable about the guy she's taken as a lover, and she, in effect, tells him that's "hard luck".

If you can follow these three simple guidelines, then the hotwife lifestyle might be right for you. But, be careful about your sources of information. It IS a potential minefield, and it pays to tread carefully. My wife, Josselyn, and I have been in the lifestyle for the past 7 years and apart from a few hiccoughs it's been a lot of fun.