■ Develop an effective electronic marketing plan
■ Identify the resources required to develop an e-marketing campaign
■ Locate online event marketing registration providers
■ Develop a complete e-marketing strategy
■ Prepare copy for the Internet
■ Promote your Web site
■ Create banner ads
■ Measure and evaluate your return on Internet event marketing
The Computer Industry Almanac states that over 350 million people are online today. That's over 5 percent of the world's adult population. And that number will only continue to grow. The Internet is quickly becoming known as the fourth medium of advertising, next to radio, broadcast, and print media. With its ease of use and initial low cost, marketers are quickly turning to the Internet as the wave of the future.
Note that although the online community is large, its reach is far less than TV, radio, and other advertising media. This means that although the Internet has a massive audience, it does not by any means reach the entire world. With this in mind, electronic marketing, in the beginning, should only be used as a supplement to any other promotion and/or advertising you do. Because this field is ever changing and growing, this chapter will cover broad generalizations and concepts of electronic marketing. It will not cover nitty-gritty details of "how-to" create a Web site or "how-to" design a banner ad, because as soon as it would go into print, those instructions would be obsolete.
The 14th annual Communications Industry Forecast stated that, by 2004, Americans will spend more hours annually, an average of 228, using the Internet than they will spend reading newspapers (147), books (92), and magazines (77). This means that as each year passes, more and more individuals will become Web savvy. Since the entire world population is not online, it may be helpful to know who is. The following "Internet user profile" was adapted from Internet Marketing for Dummies:
■ The online world is still very American, which means online endeavors that are focused on Americans are more likely to get results.
■ Other areas of the world, including Europe and Asia, are beginning to become more Internet savvy, so be ready in a few years to target these markets.
■ English is the online language.
■ Online users are financially well off, so use the Web to target the middle class or above.
■ The majority of Internet users are between the ages of 25 and 44.
There are a variety of reasons that the Internet is the ideal marketing tool. It can reach millions of people, while also being used to target marketing at a smaller group of individuals. The 24 hours,
7 days a week availability is appealing. And there are no geographic boundaries.
Traditional marketing is often more expensive than online marketing, which makes using the Internet more cost effective. In addition, receiving instant results is very appealing. This not only allows immediate statistics, it also allows the marketer to review and adjust his or her campaign on a timely basis.
According to The George Washington University Event Management Certificate Program course, "Introduction to Event Information Systems," there are eight ways an event manager can utilize the Internet today. Jud Ashman, the professor of this course, refers to them as the eight Cs of electronic event systems.
1. Communicate. There is a large array of resources available for event managers to communicate on the Web. These include Web sites, e-mail, list serves, search engines, discussion groups, online ads, and Web site linking. All of these will be discussed throughout the book. Visit: http://www. peoplelink.com.
2. Cut Costs. The Internet offers a wide array of cost-saving methods for marketing. With no postage costs and lower phone bills, event managers can find themselves cutting costs for their event. Advertising dollars can also go farther by reaching more people on the Web.
3. Conduct Research. The Web is full of valuable resources and can provide the answer to almost any question. You can research venues, vendors, and target markets without even leaving your office. Visit: http://www.cyberatlas. internet.com; http://www.demographics.com; http://www. factfinder.census.gov.
4. Commerce. Not only can you shop for products for your event, but you can also sell items for your event, take registrations, and rent ads.
5. Current Events. You can keep abreast of trends and hot topics in your industry, as well as current events in your local area, nationally, and internationally. By using customizable Web sites and joining newsgroups, you can be updated on whatever topics or areas of interest you choose. Visit: C-Net News: http://www.news.com; Wall Street Journal: http://www.wsj.com; http://www.entrypoint.com.
6. Command Attention. By using Web resources to promote your event, you can call attention to your event. Web advertising can direct attention to your Web site. Direct e-mail campaigns can hit your target market. Add your event to industry online calendars. Visit: http://www.cvent.com; http://www.webadvantage.net.
7. Cutting-Edge Services. Event management software can help manage the many tasks associated with planning a meeting. Online registration can help keep track of attendees and payments. Stakeholders from around the world can keep in touch by holding meetings online.
8. Convenience. Major aspects of event management can be accomplished right from your desk. You have access to information from around the world without even leaving your office.
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Your online business plan needs to make sure it addresses the management and administration structure in other words your organization’s breakdown. Online businesses often have a simpler organization structure than a traditional business, but that’s not always the case, and it must be clearly defined.