The Passing Lane: Passing the Competition Online by Marnie Perhson

Issue #22 Monday, March 1, 1999

About the Author:

Marnie Perhson
Marnie Pehrson, founder of C.E.S. Business Consultants and the
International Association of Computer Professionals, develops products that help computer professionals market and manage their businesses.

She is author of
How to Run a Successful Computer Training Business,

How to Get & Keep Customers for Your Computer-based Business

Keeping Your Sanity in a Home Business.

Marnie is an Internet strategist and content developer for community-based Web sites. Her plans and strategies have garnered clients an average of $100,000 each in seed capital. She also offers ghost writing services and content delivery for your Web site or e-zine.

Marnie lives on a Georgia farm with her husband and their six children .

C.E.S. Business Consultants
Ringgold, Georgia
TEL: 706-866-2295


Promoting Your Web Site Off-line

Many of us who are heavily involved in on-line projects forget that there is actually a whole other world out there that doesn't spend their day working on-line or in front of a computer. If you're generating revenue from banner ads or other "virtual means," you might be thinking, "Yeah, but people who aren't on-line aren't my prospects anyway." That may be true, but there are lots of people who have access to the Internet, who do not spend a significant amount of time searching for places to visit on-line.

Most people with Net access will never even know about your web site -- no matter how adept you are at marketing, advertising and networking on-line. How do you reach these people? You reach them through traditional means -- offline.

A prime example of offline advertising driving on-line success is the recent Victoria's Secret SuperBowl ad that invited people to the live Webcast of its Spring Fashion Show. The site was flooded with over one million hits within the first hour after the company's 30-second spot. People actually got up from the SuperBowl and logged on to their web site -- setting an unprecedented record in Internet history.

Of course, most of our sites don't have the obvious attraction one would find from Victoria's Secret -- glamour, beautiful women, sex appeal, etc., but there are lessons to be learned from their phenomenal success.

Know Your Market

First, they knew their market. My first thought when I heard about this was. "Why are they advertising lingerie to men?" But, then I realized that women watch the SuperBowl too. And more importantly, most women wear lingerie for men. Matter of fact, I bet a significant percentage of lingerie is actually purchased by men for women. (If you're curious about that whole male visual thing talk to David LeClair.) If Victoria's Secret hadn't known their market, and just assumed who their market was, they never would have thought to run an ad during the SuperBowl.

Target Your Market

Victoria's Secret found the biggest congregation of people that fit their prospect profile and hit them with a commercial that they would find irresistible.

Be Prepared for Success - Maybe?

Some industry experts say that Victoria bit off more than she could chew. Thousands of users experienced delays or simply never got on-line when the one million plus visitors flocked to the site. The actual Webcast was no different -- again setting record attendance, many were unable to log on, and those who did found the reception jumpy. But then again, who cares? Out of this debate about whether the Web was ready for throngs of visitors to simultaneously access a single web site, Victoria's Secret received untold value in free promotion! For a couple weeks, it was a favorite topic of on-line and off-line debate.

Use off-line advertising

Notice Victoria Secret would never have pulled as many visitors to their web site, and would never have had all the free PR for weeks if they had only promoted their Webcast on-line. No amount of Web promotion can reach the audience available off-line. Maybe one day -- but not yet. Radio, TV, newspapers, and direct mail are all viable means of reaching your target audience. Consider cost effective ways of promoting your products, services, and web site in these media. Come back next week and I'll give you some strategies for cost-effective offline promotion.

Text Copyright © 1999, Marnie Pehrson. Part of the original Sideroad.
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