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The irony is, more than ever, this market could benefit greatly from what Internet can deliver… more customers, less expensively. So how can those of us who carry daily 'torch' of how-and-why-web-based-marketing-works - help?
Local business owners need to be re-wired on what Internet can do for them. They need to consider new statistics, new insights and new capabilities. For instance:
· 48 million adults in U.S. went online looking for local business information in last year. (How many found a competitor?)
· It's now possible to target consumers by city, even down to zip code - areas local business people KNOW they get a majority of their business from.
· They need to learn why many web sites don't have a chance to sell anything, and how they can change this problem quickly.
· They need to learn who is most likely to buy from local web sites, (and why this usually surprises local business owner.)
· They need to learn proven formulas for building local customer relationships that lead to sales.
· They need to understand why local, web-based marketing can increase profits, lower expenses and increase their customer base.
Specific facts and strategies are much more accessible today. More and more local businesses ARE seeing benefits from web-based efforts - these aren't just theories anymore. Still, majority have only outdated or partial knowledge of how they can drive new customers to their business using web-based tactics.
Like all technology-driven trends, there will be those who adapt early and those who will adapt later. THAT choice is now staring local business owner in eye, whether they recognize it or not.
Recently published reports predict that local online spending will reach $50 billion by 2006. The exact amount remains to be seen, but local business owner CAN be sure, it WILL grow, and they need to be thinking about local competitor who might do it sooner and better.
Tim Charles is an Internet marketing consultant and writer, based in Connecticut. He is the owner of IMC (Internet Marketing Communications), providing services to local, regional and national companies. For immediate information AND web site links about "How to Promote Your Local Business on the Internet" send an email to mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org.