In the previous section we have seen the general characteristics of a website. Here we will be dealing with its three main functions where corporate image is concerned. Their names will be familiar to you, as it should be, given that these are well-known marketing terms -which is pretty logical, as, if intelligently exploited, a website is a wonderful marketing tool.

Advertising:

Web advertising is quite different from traditional advertising, as each focuses on different things. The former concentrates on the thing advertised, whereas the latter on the advertisement. Let's make this clear.

Traditional advertising can be divided into two types of commercials: 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, where the product in question is shown cleaning in an extraordinary, beyond-belief way. Although we are aware that what we are seeing cannot be true, we are amazed and willing to buy this product. So the very product is an accessory here. The second case consists in a story including values which are regarded as very important by the target public, i.e. the people whom the commercial is aimed at. The intention here is to convey the striking feeling produced by the story to the product itself. Yet the product is even less relevant in this case than in the previous one, as it is only shown at the end of the commercial so that people associate them both with a single idea.

However, things are not the same on the Internet. Web ads are just simple, austere, even unattractive links. So it is the very website, through its design, that should strike, attract, and persuade people. This is why Web design is so extremely important.

Promotion:

promotion consists in adding something "extra" to a product in order to make it more interesting. Your company's website can be the best place to launch a very profitable promotion campaign -all you need is good ideas and good Web positioning. Let's see how to do this.

  • You can include a section in your website offering discount coupons to promote certain products. (These coupons should be ready to be printed and shown later on where it corresponds.) By doing this you will be promoting your products, but also 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 the company on a regular basis. Thus, you are close to your clients, so as to keep them informed about your company's promotions, special offers, and last arrivals.
  • You can label the products you want to promote. The labels should include the conditions for taking part in the stated promotion, plus your company's e-mail address and an alphanumeric code -to be entered by those who have bought some labeled product in the corresponding section of your website in order to get free tickets to the movies, the theater, etc. In this way, you will both promote your products and attract new Web visitors (which is a good thing, considering the representative power of the website).
  • You can publish monthly or weekly special offers exclusively in your website, so as to "force" people to visit it. However, this is not just to increase the number of Web visitors, but to increase the promotion's power, too. In which way? Well, those who come across these offers will think they are the only ones who know about them. As a result, these people will want to take advantage of their "good luck" and good sense as buyers. Hence they will rush towards the promoted products.

Sales channel:

every marketing campaign is based on the sales channels -on how to multiply them and make them more profitable. Well, the Internet can be the major and most profitable of all the sales channels. Take e-commerce websites (those selling products by themselves, without any human participation). E-commerce websites make it possible for you to sell your products anywhere in the world, regardless of what time it is -no restrictions at all. Even when they are much too expensive, it is worth it to have one. Now, you might be a bit reluctant about this, but many companies have met with success by selling their products on the Internet. Besides, research has been done which shows that sales on the Internet are on the increase year after year.


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