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Internet Promotion -
Advantages and Disadvantages
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Internet Promotion -
Advantages and Disadvantages
Internet Promotion - Advantages and
Disadvantages by Carla Lendor
The emergence of globalize trade, increase in foreign investment and
cross-border transactions have put many small businesses under pressure to
find innovative ways to continue to market their products and services. This
is especially difficult given that they often operate on tight marketing
In the quest for cheap marketing alternatives, these small businesses
continue to use conventional marketing tools such as newspaper, magazine,
radio and television advertisements, unaware of the advantages that Internet
Promotion offers. All too often, these entrepreneurs focus on the
disadvantages of Internet Promotion and fail to adequately take advantage of
the opportunities that it presents. Moreover, their preoccupation with
conventional marketing strategies is driven by a misconception that these
are cheaper than Internet Promotion.
To most small business entrepreneurs, marketing or promoting their products
or services via the Internet can be a daunting task. However, with adequate
information small businesses can benefit significantly from Internet
Promotion while minimizing the disadvantages that it presents. In fact, it
may prove to be the marketing strategy that generates the highest return on
Cost Effective and Enduring Marketing Strategies
The Internet has become the information superhighway for the buying public.
Most persons prefer the hassle free transactions that Internet shopping can
offer. As a result, the Internet has become the most powerful selling tool.
Internet Promotion offers cost effective ways for small businesses to
enhance their product or service distribution networks. For example, the use
of portals can help create new marketing channels and logistics, or provide
better or faster product access for customers.
In comparison to other forms of marketing, Internet Promotion presents the
advantage of reduced budget and storage costs, when compared with printing
brochures, producing television or radio advertisements or managing a call
centre. It presents a fast and cost effective option for penetrating new
With millions of person using the Internet to search for products and
services, small businesses can penetrate other markets at a fraction of the
cost of traditional marketing methods.
Websites act as virtual storefronts, allowing businesses to stay open 24/7.
Internet Promotion gives a business greater visibility, thereby creating
more opportunities for increasing its customers at relatively low cost.
Never before has it been easier for an upstart business to be able to reach
out to literally millions of potential customers and to position themselves
for success, without the need for costly infrastructure and overwhelming
marketing costs. Thanks to the Internet, new businesses can become popular
Low Cost, Instant Communication
Email makes business communications instant, whether the customer or
business affiliate is across the street or across the globe. It makes it
easier for customers to maintain contact and readily facilitates repeat
purchasing. An effective online strategy can therefore turn a small web
business into a virtual cost saver and income-generating machine. The net
result is that the small business can gain significant competitive advantage
in a given market.
Many online businesses have therefore resorted to the use of ezines, blogs,
pop-up ads and other online marketing tools to let customers know about new
products or services as well as provide information relevant to their
respective industry. The benefits of this strategy are two fold. Marketers
can effectively heighten brand awareness for relatively new products on the
market whilst strengthening customer relationships, with shorter time
Content is Timeless
Internet Promotion also provides the advantage of being enduring. Whereas
participation at a trade fair or conference loses sales impact, once it is
over, and an advertisement in a newspaper or business magazine may quickly
lose its sales generating value within a day or two or as soon as the next
issue is released; Internet Promotion is often timeless. Apart from the
dates and sometimes prices, much of your website content remains valid years
Real Time Statistics For Measuring Success of Promotion Campaign
One of the most significant advantages of Internet Promotion is that its
success is measurable. Marketers can use tools that provide real time
statistics, on unique visitors, repeat visitors, click through rates (CTR)
on advertisements, thereby allowing them to evaluate the effectiveness of a
promotion campaign. This enables marketers to determine what works for their
particular market and to make timely changes in their marketing strategies.
Another important advantage of Internet Promotion is that it saves time
since it generally does away with counselling on product uses and benefits,
service information and sales administration. Visitors can access
"frequently asked questions" to help themselves, and can buy online, without
the involvement of staff. This saves time and money. So, whether 10 or
10,000 visitors visit the site, the increased cost is marginal whilst the
savings can be immense.
But like any business approach, Internet Promotion is not without its risks
Difficulty in Attracting Customers
Small business may not have the resources to pay for paid directory
inclusion, pay per click inclusions and often have to rely solely on search
engine optimization or word of mouth to drive traffic to their sites. With
millions of businesses selling the same product and services, competing with
more established businesses can be frustrating and costly venture for small
On the other hand, larger companies can offer promotions, pay for directory
inclusions, implement pay per click campaigns as well as employ the “who is
who” in internet marketing to develop campaigns that generate traffic and
Difficulty in Evaluating Legitimacy of Transaction
Another notable disadvantage of doing promoting businesses online is that it
may be difficult for the businesspersons and consumers to thoroughly
evaluate the legitimacy of a transaction. Small businesses are particularly
vulnerable to thieves using stolen credit cards and stolen information to do
With Internet credit card and identity fraud on the rise, small businesses
are forced to finance costly security measures to reduce their vulnerability
to fraudulent transactions.
Salespersons and Customers are Isolated
Another disadvantage of promotion via the Internet is that the customers and
businesspersons are isolated. There is little personal contact between
customer and salesperson prior to and after the sales is closed. Thus, the
prospect for repeat sales may thus be diminished. Entrepreneurs are
therefore compelled to adopt marketing strategies to drive online users back
to their site.
From all indications, it appears that the advantages of Internet promotion,
far exceed the disadvantages. With adequate knowledge, entrepreneur can
benefit significantly from Internet promotion, especially small business
More and more, the growth and outreach of the Internet’s, its ease and
accessibility for customers is becoming inevitable. Small business would
therefore be well advised to start their web advertising function in order
to improve their competitiveness online.
About the Author
Carla Lendor has been involved in Internet Marketing from 2000. She is a
co-publisher of eXplosion!, a newsletter which offers guidance to small
online businesses. She is the co-founder of
a blog with discusses the challenges faced by Caribbean businesses in the
Caribbean Single Market and Economy (CSME) environment. Visit
for more information.
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