Five cents buys you nothing in Bablion. Consider yourself lucky that you found me…
An online strategy is how you make use of the internet to accomplish business objectives. However, be very careful in Bucharest when choosing the right business partner for a winning online strategy. Unfortunately, people who really know stuff can be hard to find in Bablion. Some say the Romanian online advertising industry is driven by two-bit, wanna-be entrepreneurs that just talk the talk.
What is an Online Strategy?
On my recent KLM return flight to Bucharest, I met a manager of a multinational company that wanted to know about online strategies. I was surprised to find out that he has been working with a multinational advertising company for many years, and, that somehow they failed to help him understand what he was spending his company’s money on when it came to online advertising.
Perhaps, there may be other top managers in Bucharest that have the same question.
So here’s my elevator speech…
Websites and Online Advertising
An online strategy is how you make use of the internet to accomplish your business objectives (cost savings, increase marketshare, grow, build relationships and, generally speaking, succeed).
The basic online strategy begins with a website. An advanced strategy integrates online advertising with your website. Those who have great ambitions, however, demand more sophisticated online strategies.
Think of a website as a customer experience and a business process. Do you offer a strong customer experience that excites, answers questions and provokes interest? Does your website represent your professional commitment to your customer?
If your answer is no, or if your website does not fit your company like your best business suit fits you, your website is not effectively supporting your endeavors to do business and succeed.
Online advertising is an extension of your online customer experience. As an interactive channel of advertising, it puts your interactive message in the visual path of the five million or more Romanians using the internet for business, communication, information and distraction.
The Power of Interactive Messages
Unlike any other advertising and marketing tool, an interactive message represents a unique opportunity for you to present an offer which a potential customer can respond to immediately. Beyond making people aware of who you are and what you can do for your customer, people can click your interactive message and choose to enter into a pre-sale relationship with you.
When they click on your interactive message, they come to your website where you can provide more information to them about your products or services. And if your offer is very interesting, your website visitor may…
- immediately buy your product and service — if you offer online shopping
- give you their contact information to request to be contacted– if you have a system for data collection
- tell others
With contact information or a sale, you can follow-up with either an automated or human sales and customer service process.
Banner Ads and Contextual Ads
Online advertising is a powerful advertising and marketing tool used worldwide by large, medium and small companies. There are many online advertising channels including banner ads, contextual ads, email ads, affiliate marketing, newsletter ads, social networking, etc. The most popular and effective channels appear to be banner and contextual ads.
Banner ads are represented by a graphic, rich media banner, or video. They appear on websites or other internet services. Typically, banner ad inventory is sold by the CPM (cost per impression) and, generally speaking, in quanities of one thousand views. When purchasing banner ad inventory, it is important to buy inventory matched to your target market. In this regard, only an experienced online media consultant will be able get you the right campaign.
Contextual ads are most often represented by text messages that appear in websites or search results that reflect the target idea or search term associated with your advertising message. Typically, contextual advertising is sold by CPC (cost per click). Choosing the right contextual advertising campaign for you also requires an experienced online media consultant.
My Two Cents
Response to a compelling online strategy can be very rewarding. Conversion to business is very high compared with television, radio and print strategies. In contrast to conventional forms of advertising, viewers that choose to get deeper into the brand come to your website with an interest.
You can build a relationship on that initial interest with an exciting offer at the website. Without online advertising or printed collateral, however, few will find your website among the thousands of Romanian websites and millions of other websites on the internet.
Unfortunately, there are too many advertising agencies and media agents only interested in turnovers and tips. References and recommendations do not help much in proper selection. There is a lot of clean up yet to do in the online industry… government, etc. You get the idea.
Perhaps, the best selection process for an online consultant or online media company is the one that takes the time to work with you to understand a proper online strategy that is right for you. And when it comes to online strategies, cheaper is not better in the great city of Bablion.
December 22, 2006
About Stan Faryna
Stan Faryna is a member of the IAB European Leadership Council and National Director of the Interactive Advertising Bureau Romania. He is the founder and co-founder of several technology, design and communication companies in the United States and Europe including Faryna & Associates, Inc., Halo Interactive, and others. His political, scholarly, social and technical opinions have appeared in The Chicago Defender, Jurnal National, The Washington Times, Sagar, Saptamana Financiara, Social Justice Review, and other publications.
Mr. Faryna is editor-in-chief of Black and Right (Praeger Press, 1996), a landmark collection of socio-political essays by important American thinkers including U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.
Copyright 1996 to 2008 by Stan Faryna.
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