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What are the most cost effective ways to promote your business?

Why market your business?

Monopolies are rare in today’s competitive business environment. Most companies need to consistently battle (and win) competition at the local, national and global level. Thanks to the anytime, anywhere availability of the web, competition is growing 24X7 globally.

For example if you are a local store selling books, you have to deal with the ability of global online vendors such as Amazon to offer services round the clock, including reviews about books from people all around the world. Your competitors could also be offering enticing co-branded offers (like music CDs) all shipped free of cost making location of buyer-seller irrelevant to the sales deal.

This changing market landscape means that Australian businesses need to market their offerings and unique business proposition aggressively, consistently in a manner that makes them stand out in the offline-online business clutter. The moment a business slows down on its marketing efforts, the competition quickly grabs a greater share of consumer needs and with passage of time it just gets more difficult to wrestle it back.

Cost effective online marketing

As Internet and broadband usage continues to accelerate across almost all regions and demographic groups across Australia, online marketing is becoming increasingly important. One of the key advantages of online audience is that almost all are educated and enjoy reasonably high levels of disposal income (since they can easily afford web access/usage costs). As the Internet is a subset of IT technology, web users are not conservative in approach and are willing to experiment and adopt new product/service ideas and concepts. This is true because tech-savvy people have to keep up with technical complexities taking them more adaptive to change and new marketing concepts.

Online marketing builds on successful offline advertising concepts and adds some new process innovations to make it more compelling for web users and increasingly cost effective for marketers. For
example offline (print) advertisements enjoy a good reach but suffer from a high disposability (as the media vehicle –newspaper/magazine is rarely read again).

However online advertisements (banner advertisements) remain on the web and are available for web visitors for many days at a stretch and you can even change the content without having to book/pay for new content. As web users often email the advertisement links to their friends to share the details easily you can easily build this functionality into your Internet advertisement), marketers greatly benefit from this viral/referral marketing innovation.

Smart Interactive Marketing

The web is the most cost effective promotional vehicle to reach new customers that allows marketers toinform as well as interact with their target audience. Marketers can deliver customised content to a very targeted audience at specific times of the day, and even based on an individual search level. With acute targeting and close measurement you can significantly reduce any wastage in your online advertising dollar.

For example in a banner advertisement for a car, the web visitor can choose from different colours and model types. He can also have a 3 dimensional view of the vehicle and choose from different options of interior upholstery. Finally prior to making the purchase decision (only possible on online advertising), he can be given the option of viewing comparison sites/blogs to read all the good customer testimonials and reviews which have being written about the product. By leveraging the online medium’s interactivity, marketers can not only build competitive advantage but also achieve new sales at a lower cost that conventional media.

In order to capture the attention of a wider audience, web marketers need to adopt a coordinated marketing approach i.e. use different media and technological options of web marketing to supplement each other: PPC (text) advertisements, banner advertisements, blog postings, web directory listings, SEO enhancements etc. In case businesses are also running offline campaigns in print, TV, radio and outdoor media they should also be synchronised with online advertisements.

Often marketers in Australia struggle to develop integrated interactive advertising campaigns thereby missing out on smart promotional opportunities e.g. an online contest using video streaming technology that makes advertising viewing a rewarding experience by giving away gifts on the visitor’s ability to remember key brand positioning facts. Common mistakes from Australian tv advertisers has been creating a campaign with a unique URL, but when the user types the new website name into Google, the website supporting the TV campaign cannot be found.

The tremendous growth of Internet usage and applications in Australia means the Internet clearly represents the most cost effective means for any business to promote themselves.

If you are looking for a company which can save you money in your overall marketing costs and help you achieve superior returns from the Internet, please contact the friendly team at roi.com.au.