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III.  Sharing Information

As previously stated, one problem with traditional advertising is the lack of information provided to the consumer. This problem can easily be solved by using the Internet as a means of sharing such pertinent information, as well as enhancing the overall effectiveness of traditional advertising.

Let us say that you own a restaurant. The hours of operation for your business is: Sunday 12-8 PM; Monday - Thursday 12-10 PM; Friday and Saturday 12-11 PM. You have a Happy Hour from 4-7 PM Monday through Friday, and you offer different specials on a daily basis during the lunch time hours. Obviously this would be far too much information to fit on a business card (not to mention that you couldn’t change the business card every day to reflect the lunch specials), and remembering all of these details would be difficult for a consumer when they only see or hear them for a few seconds during a television or radio spot. There must be a way to convey this information to the consumer. There is! Utilizing the Internet can easily accomplish this task. The consumer can simply go to your web site, view your hours of operation, your happy hour times, and also any other specials or promotions you may be running at that time. They can view this information for any desired length of time and even print a copy of it for future reference, if they so choose.

Combining conventional marketing strategy with a web site will help to make your advertising more effective. Though these details may be too much to add to a business card, you can still use your business card to convey these details to the consumer; next time you have business cards printed (or any other thing for that matter), add your web site address (http://www.yourbusinessname.com). The customer will then see the web site address on your business card or other printed material and receive more information about your business by visiting your web site.

Another example of sharing information on the Internet is a listing of products available from your business. Again using the restaurant example, assume that a husband and wife would like to go out for dinner. The husband wants steak and the wife wants veal. Maybe the husband has dined at your establishment before, but only vaguely remembers the menu selection. Since he knows you have the best steaks in town, he desperately wants to convince his wife to dine at your restaurant. He knows she wants veal, but he does not know if you have veal on the menu. Rather than calling your restaurant to ask if in fact you do serve veal, he jumps online and goes to your web site. He is pleased to find that you have an online menu listing, and you do serve veal. As a result of learning this information, he takes his wife to your restaurant for dinner that evening. Having made your menu selection readily available to the consumer has helped to bring in business that may not have been otherwise. Also note that the husband found the information on your web site rather than calling, saving an employee at your restaurant the time of answering the call, therefore becoming more efficient and saving you money. It was the use of the Internet which made it all possible.

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