Weaving in Web Marketing

By Khali Henderson Comments
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Recent newspaper closings may be the most notable consequence of the recent shift toward digital media — a move that’s only hastened by the economic downturn. While readers and journalists may wax nostalgic, marketers are wasting no tears — putting more of their budgets into cheaper, measurable online tactics. More than 90 percent of marketers said they would increase or maintain their spend on e-mail advertising, according to a poll published in April by eMetrics. Seventy-five percent or more respondents also reported they would increase or maintain spending in each of these areas: online advertising, keyword search campaigns, social media and video advertising.

It seems to be working. According to Internet Retailer magazine, e-mail marketing programs are holding their own during the recession. The publication reported the results of its e-mail marketing survey in its May 2009 edition, noting consistent or increased conversion rates compared to last year.

Along with the increased digital spend comes an increased need for digital intelligence. More than 60 percent of marketers in the eMetrics poll said they would maintain spending on analytics; more than a quarter said they would increase it.

So what does this have to do with telecom agents? Aside from taking a cue on refining their own marketing mix, they can help their small and midsize customers maximize their online lead-generation programs while also selling them Internet access, hosted e-mail, Web hosting and other datacom fare.

One possible vendor is Net-Results, which offers a Web marketing automation platform specifically targeted at SMBs.

Mike Ward, president of Net-Results, said the solution enables Web sites to do what a good salesperson does — listen, customize messaging to the prospects’ needs and report back to the boss on the best leads. The Web routinely is used as a lead-generator but, said Ward, it’s the “worst salesperson.” “All you are doing is hoping. Nowhere else do you leave sales to hope,” he said.

An integrated SaaS solution, Net-Results identifies Web site visitors, tracks individual visitor activity, deploys automatic e-mail campaigns and generates new sales leads.

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