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Whilst observing product part of marketing mix, an Internet portal can substantially strengthens you’re firm’s current product offering. Ways that a web site can enhance your product offering are many, ranging from offering new web related products through to establishing outgoing affiliate programs. Giving customers better services that bolster appeal of core product is a great way to effectively relate products to customer needs. This usually involves creation of secondary or ancillary products that can either be sold or provided for free. These additional offerings can help to generate higher, sometimes passive, earnings as well as increase a firm’s potential differentiation. Ways in which your firm can do this include:
1.Setting up a knowledge base that your clients can have access to that includes a FAQ or query function allowing your clients to query you for information. This helps them to use service better or more efficiently. 2.Using a feedback form where clients can offer their input as to their needs and product suggestions can help you to determine valuable information about your customer’s needs 3.If you have a product that is hard to operate, providing free or subsidized training can assist your customers to overcome difficulties.
Many firms actually charge their clients for support component you will have to refer to existing competition situation to determine whether this is something that you can implement. Either way product enhancements could include increasing availability of products and services by putting order forms and support forms on your website.
The automation of some of firm’s functions using web technology usually equates to a significant saving of operational costs – that’s if you are doing it right of course! For instance having an effective inbound ordering form can reduce sales staffing costs. Because ordering online doesn’t require a sales representative to take call and then effectively turn it around this costs firm a certain amount per enquiry in staff time. Encourage clients to use web form as opposed to other methods of product ordering may be an effective means of reducing these costs. Ways that a firm may wish to do this is to reflect reduced staffing cost in price by offering a “better deal” to Internet customers. Also, this can help to establish a pattern of online behavior in your customers that can sometimes be translated to other online firm functions such as support pages.
These are just a few of ways in which an effective online strategy can turn your small web site into a virtual cost saver and income-generating machine. I challenge you to make most of what is available and remember that constant revision of new web technology is always beneficial if you decide that it may or may not be for you. Naturally, not all web technology is suitable for every firm and it is important that you are conscious that ongoing development can be costly both in terms of time and other development and infrastructure expenditure. Effective development research as well as cost, change and market analysis is paramount to ensure that benefits of any change out way any given realistic investment cost.
Alex Margarit is a Marketing Professional from Brisbane, Australia. Alex specialising in providing Internet marketing solutions for information management, legal, fashion and music industry clients.