Where to Turn for Help in Creating an E-Business (1,393 words)
According to Armstrong, the rules vary from search engine to search engine on how you can get represented. Consistently getting a good listing is tricky and time-consuming, and can change daily. The general public takes the convenience of search engines for granted; as a successful marketer, you must recognize them as businesses.
"It's probably worth considering what a smaller search engine ranking service can do for you," he suggests. Even if you defer to an expert, stay on top of the situation.
"You shouldn't pay a vendor and consider the issue taken care of— you need to constantly monitor results to establish which engines are referring visitors to your site. There's a whole art and craft to search engine registrations, and some companies are better than others," says Armstrong.
Armstrong also strongly suggests newcomers begin developing an online database of customers as early as possible. The database allows marketers to tailor their Web site to individual visitors and send targeted permission-based e-mail promotions and newsletters. "This can be integrated with direct mail," he suggests, stressing the importance of a parallel off-line campaign.
One good example of a successful niche venture that exploits its target audience is hothothot.com, a specialty hot sauce boutique, says Armstrong. "They probably have an active list of buyers that they continually market to based on preferences," he says. The company's strong suit is creating personalized content that keeps its customers coming back.
A meaningful distinction to consider before outsourcing database services is the size of your company. Armstrong says that vendors offer very sophisticated customer relationship management and database packages designed for larger and mid-sized companies that could be overkill for a small company.
As everyone who reads the papers knows, consumer privacy online is of great concern to the general public. Deirdre Girard, principle and co-founder of PreVision Marketing, says one of the simplest solutions is the most effective.