Having spoken of the main characteristics of the website, now we will pass on to its main corporate functions, which are three. Their names will sound familiar to you, as they are well-known marketing terms –which is logical enough, given that a Web page is a wonderful marketing tool.
Advertising: Web advertising is quite different from traditional advertising. As a matter of fact, Web ads lack that “advertising logic” which is so important in traditional ones.
Traditional advertisements can be divided into two different types: those in which the product is exalted and those in which the plot is the most important. The first case is typical of cleaning products’ commercials (e.g. a dishwasher), where the product in question is shown cleaning in an extraordinary, beyond-belief way. The logic here is “although people are aware that what they are seeing cannot be true, they will be amazed and willing to buy this product.” The second case consists in a story including values that somehow will move the target public. The intention here is to convey the striking feeling produced by the story to the product itself, in order to make it look desirable. Yet the very product is only shown at the end of the commercial, together with the logo of the company producing the commercial in question.
In short, we might say that traditional advertising is not about showing products in a veracious way. Things on the Internet, however, work exactly the other way round. Web ads’ aim is just to make a website known to the public –nothing else. What is important here is the very thing advertised (i.e. the website) rather than its advertisement. Generally, Web ads are little, austere links without any design at all, just a few words informing about the existence of a certain Web page that take the users to it in a straight way (they just need to click on the ad itself). Therefore, the only aim is inform people, not move them. Now then, where in Web advertising is that striking, moving feature of traditional advertising? Well, in the website itself, as it is its design that should strike, attract, and persuade people. This is why Web design is so extremely important.
Promotion: promoting a product is adding it something, so as to make it more desirable. A website, if cleverly used, is a wonderful promotion tool. Let’s see some ideas.
You can publish monthly special offers exclusively in your website. This way of promoting, even when it appears to be a bit limited, is really good, given the large number of visitors a finely-designed Web page gets. However, those who come across these offers will think they are the only ones who know about them (a website being something virtual, their reasoning, quite strange by the way, goes like this: “I’m not seeing anyone over here, so I must be the only one”). This, of course, is not true, but all the same these people will want to take advantage of their “good luck”. Hence they will rush towards the promoted products.
You can include a section in your website offering ready-to-print discount coupons to promote certain products. By doing this you will be promoting your products and at the same time increasing the number of visitors to your website. For further benefit, what you can do is require that those interested in getting the coupons write their names and e-mail addresses, and consent to be sent information about your company on a regular basis. Thus, you are closer to your clients. Yet, if you decide on this, remember to include in your e-mails an option enabling the users to stop getting your e-mails. Otherwise, you will be infringing the anti-SPAM law.
You can include a section requiring an access key, which is to be found by clients in the labels of the promoted products. Those who buy these products will be able to enter this section and print free tickets to the cinema, the theater, etc.
Sales channels: every marketing campaign is intended to expand, improve, and even create sales channels. The Internet is the newest and most impressive of the sales channels a company can aspire after. The only thing you need is an e-commerce website, that is an automatic online-selling website. It works like this: the client chooses all the products he wants, which he accumulates in a virtual “supermarket cart”. Afterwards, he can buy what he has chosen just by entering his credit card number. There are quite a few companies dedicated exclusively to online selling, and they are certainly successful.
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