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The Buzz about Selling/Advertising vs. Keeping and Growing Relationships

By Terry Roberts

If you follow the media and e-mail discussion groups about the Internet, you've no doubt seen that much of the buzz is about selling things and advertising on the Internet.

I think there are primarily two reasons for this:

1. There are many Web site owners who are looking for ways to finance their site maintenance, if not the initial development, and the big bucks spent on advertising in other media is an obvious target for them to go after.

Most, however, are finding that it takes a great deal of traffic to justify much in the way of advertising revenue, and that the bulk of the advertising dollars are being spent with a small group of sites at the top of the Internet "food chain", like major search engines, large content publishers and large virtual communities.

2. We are witnessing the ironic law of new technology at work. The law says,"any new technology is first used in the way the old technology was, ignoring the very things that make the new technology worth using."

For the first time in history, organizations have at their disposal a tool which offers platform independence (it can be used from any kind of computer, cutting through a nightmare of network compatibility problems with other information systems), inexpensive access, easy access, global scope, multi-media rich content, interactivity, ability to survive natural or man-made disasters, easy and seamless navigation through the content on millions of computers, unlimited ultimate capacity, and the ability to change content quickly and easily to keep it dynamic and worth re-visiting.

Never before has there been a tool so ideal for keeping and growing relationships. And yet, so much of the current focus is on selling and advertising because we're using the technology at this point in the way old technology was, ignoring the very things that make the new technology worth using.

In the next few years, I predict we will see a dramatic awakening to the greater potential of Internet technology to keep and grow relationships. The benefits will be so great, that many organizations will find that alone justifies their Internet investment, even if they don't sell a thing or generate new customers via the Internet (but they will do that as well!).

NetNurturing is the name I've given to this concept of keeping and growing relationships via high-value Internet applications. The broad objectives of NetNurturing are to build preference and loyalty for your organization, to obtain greater share of customer, and to move customers from mere acceptance of your organization to advocacy for your organization.

Those concepts will be the on-going focus of the NetNurturing Letter. With your feedback, my goal is to make these ideas as concrete and relevant as possible. The principles behind the ideas we will explore will be relevant to marketing even if you aren't actively involved in the Internet yet. I hope you enjoy the ride!

I look forward to your contributions, questions and suggestions.

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Copyright 1997 All rights reserved. Terry Roberts Consulting & Services. Excerpts may be used if the preceeding copyright language is attached to the excerpt in all cases. Please inform the author of any use. Thank you.

"NetNurturing" and "Terry Roberts Consulting & Services" are registered service marks of Terry Roberts Consulting & Services.

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Tags: Sales and Marketing


 

 

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