There are many advantages of advertising on the World Wide Web. In traditional advertising, a prospect who wants to buy or get more information about a product or service advertised on TV, radio, or print media, responds by calling, mailing, or faxing a coupon or letter. These responses take time and effort. In some instances, e-mail is used for responding, but generally it takes time to respond to the advertisement and time for the business to get back to the prospect.
Sometimes, especially when a prospect is asking for literature about a product or service and the business is responding by mailing an information packet, it can take weeks or even months to get a response. By contrast, if the Web site is designed correctly, the prospect can get all the information he or she wants about your products or services immediately, even if it's 3:00 a.m. in London and your business is in St. Maarten. There are no radio or TV time slot limitations to communicate your message. It is on 24/7.
Unlike brochures, direct mail ads, and space ads where additional information could be expensive, adding information to your Web site is relatively inexpensive. Therefore, all the information that a prospect could possibly need to make a buying decision can be included in the Web site. Although the Web site may be brimming with content, the prospect doesn't have to read everything. He or she can select what to read by clicking on links and going only to pages of interest.
Speed in Information changes
One important advantage of marketing through the Web site is that you can make advertising and information changes very quickly and fine tune the information on your website. You can add, delete, or revise information and upload the updates to your Web site the same day, where it will be available for the world to see. Also, there is the ability to include in your Web site a large amount of information, using as much color as you like at a very reasonable price.
With print advertising, you have to throw away obsolete promotional items in stock, re-design them, and wait for the printer to produce them. It's considerably more expensive and time-consuming to revise traditional advertising than it is to upload revisions to your Web site.
Interactivity is another great value in advertising online. Unlike print and broadcast media, your clients can actually interact with your products. They can check out dimensions, read up on product specifications, compare prices, and submit request for information immediately, things that they cannot do with print and broadcast advertisement.
With your website, your audience can interact with your product or services and experience them at their own pace. They can decide what they want to see and spend the time that they need to experience it themselves. They have the ability on your site to experience your product or service to a degree that could allow them to make an informed decision before buying from you. When they make that call to you, the next step is to buy. That kind of interactivity cannot take place through broadcast media.
One great disadvantage of mass media is that they offer the lowest level of trust with customers, even though many companies continue to use them successfully. The cost of mass media advertising can spread over the many people in its large audience. For example, the cost of creating a television ad can be a few to several thousand dollars, but that ad will be viewed by thousands or millions or viewers depending on the geography, thus the cost of advertising are very low. That low cost makes mass media advertising very attractive for many companies.
After many years of being barraged by television and radio commercials, many people have developed a resistance to the message conveyed in the mass media. The impact on an audience of the shouted expression "New and improved" has diminished to almost nothing in most cases. The overuse of these sales pitches has caused most people to distrust or just outright ignore the messages altogether. Attempts to recreate such message on the Web are doomed to fail for the same reason. Many people will ignore or resist messages that lack content of any specific personal interest to them.
Your company can use the Web to capture some of the benefits of personal contact; they avoid some of the cost inherent in that approach. Most experts agree that it is better to scale up the trust-based model of personal contact selling to the Web than to scale down the mass media approach.
Your web marketing initiatives however, should always be coordinated with existing marketing strategy. For example, print ads, radio and television commercials should always include your company's website address, "www.yourcompany.com".