Marketing That Works

Even though it does little good to run ads on other sites, there are many ways in which the Web can be used fruitfully in marketing.

Most important are corporate websites where an entire site can be devoted to promote a company's products.

Such sites should not be sales-driven but should focus on customer support and service, including detailed product specs and supporting information to facilitate the buying process.

In other words: help customers buy; don't try a hard sell.

Banner ads are useful to the extent that they drive qualified users to such corporate sites, but there are many other ways of attracting traffic: a survey of people who had actually bought things on the Web discovered that only 12% of buying customers had arrived at the vendor's site from an advertisement , 88% of the shoppers had navigated there in other ways.

Search engines and hypertext links are the most important mechanisms: offer content-rich pages, and other sites will link to you.

You can encourage such linking by including appropriate URLs in your press releases and other PR efforts.

Always include a URL in your print advertising (and remember to link to a pay-off page that follows up on the message in the ad; never link to your home page).

Finally, classified advertising works better on the Web than in printed newspapers, so I predict a successful future for Web-based classifieds: the one kind of ads that is a perfect match for the Web.

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