The Internet as equalizer

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Internet marketing offers big opportunity for small firms
Internet marketing can present new business opportunities for small firms; a Website can turn your firm into a business that never closes.
But there are some guidelines to follow if you want to realize the opportunities, says John Audette, founder and president of Multimedia Marketing Group, an internationally recognized expert on Internet marketing.
Audette, who was in Wauwatosa for a multi-media seminar in June, had the following advice.
Find a niche and serve that niche well. “That’s going to be an opportunity for a long time because the larger companies usually can’t pay attention to specialized markets.”
An online company brochure. “This is an excellent place to get more information about your company to potential customers. You don’t have to have a highly technical Website to be effective.”
Customer service can be greater. Because of the 24-hour, seven-days-a-week nature of the Internet, customers can reach a company at all hours of the day. The site can list FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) or have an automated e-mail system which acknowledges the fact the company has received e-mail from a customer and someone will be in contact with him or her shortly to resolve problems or answer questions.
Content is king. “Make sure the site is interesting to the visitor. Take advantage of the interactivity of the medium – update it frequently, use monthly newsletters through e-mail. Make it proactive, instead of waiting for someone to contact you.”
Use your site to establish credibility. Put your picture and pictures of your employees on the site. List clients and have client referrals posted. Make sure the company’s contact numbers, address and e-mail address are listed.
Have a professional design the original site, but update it internally. Updating Websites is not that technical anymore; almost anyone can maintain them.
Finally, Audette stated that there is no real size limitation for companies thinking about using the Internet. “We’re almost re-defining size now,” Audette said. “Size used to be how many employees you had and how big your buildings were. Now it’s how many people are visiting your Website. You can have three employees, but if you have a million hits to your Website you can be a big player.”
Audette can be reached via e-mail at Multimedia Marketing Group’s Website is at
July 1998 Small Business Times, Milwaukee

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