With the rise of internet technologies, it's predictable for business people to hail their marketing superiority over older and more traditional offline methods. This can even be more likely in the case of software companies who are obviously in tune with the latest trends in technology. However, that doesn't mean online tactics are not without their own flaws.
First off though, perhaps a discussion of online marketing's advantages is in order. One of the first advantages of any internet-dependent method is wide coverage. You can reach to other people from virtually anywhere on the planet. This means that with just a single website, your product can get the sort of international exposure that rivals global television. Speaking of which, another way to gain your site more exposure is via interenet advertising. You also have e-mail marketing which, using an acquired list, can also send information about your product to a wide variety of people. Webinars are now possible so you can discuss products with an inquiring software prospect from the comfort of your own office (or even home).
In the case of software, a second advantage that internet marketing has is availability. Since software is essentially raw data, sending your product via the IT highway is just a click away for your prospect. No longer will they have to wait days before the package arrives.
Okay, now that you know the advantages, here come the disadvantages that you might not know about.
Despite the wide coverage, you're not the only one who sees this advantage. The internet has simply become yet another territory contested amongst competitors. Even if you've got a well-designed and well-functioning website, that means nothing if people don't see it (or even the ads linking to it). Yes, you're reading this right. Despite the internet's capacity to expose your product everywhere, your competitors can still be able to block the view with their own websites.
As for e-mail marketing, well the only thing you need to know is that the spam filters are sending their regards. Due to the massive amounts of mail you keep sending to your list of prospects, it's not surprising that your marketing letters might be recognized as spam.
Avoiding the above obstacles could take a specialized team of IT experts so that's more than enough to say that a dependence on internet methods isn't always healthy. However, this isn't to say that going the other extreme and depending on offline methods is also any better. If you're a software company that sells something heavily B2B-oriented such an SCM computer tool, then you might even be able to verify this. Your target market comprises of far too few people to make something like advertising even worth it.
What you need to do is put them together. Create easily accessible content for everyone with an interet connection to see but at the same time, use offline methods to direct people to your site. Tell people you know where to find you on the web. Pass out fliers or business cards with printed with your website. It's quite simple really.
For B2B businesses, telemarketing is actually a good option to try. Unlike e-mail invites, actual telephone calls won't easily go into the spam filter. At worst, they go into voice mail but even that has a higher chance of being heard out. Good telemarketers also know how to follow-up on your prospects as well as help you refine your lead lists so why not give them a call and see what they can do for you?
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Article Added on Thursday, March 22, 2012
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