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The advertising
industry is on
the verge of
being shattered
into a thousand
fragments due to
the knowledge explosion
and the proliferation
of new technologies.
There are no
more grand theories
that hold sway
over the entire
Michael Strangelove

Advertising is
one of the minor
arts, so don't
be intimidated
by it. Try
not to lose
your sense of
Keep it fun.
Robert Bly

is more
it seems.
John Gall

The System
is its own
John Gall

It's better to
do a few things
really well than
than to do
a lot of things
If you can't
make the necessary
commitments of
time and energy
to your
scale back
your plan.
John Sumser


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All material on
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© 1995. 1996 by IBN



C l i c k   o n c e   t o   r e c e i v e   o u r   o c c a s i o n a l   N e w s l e t t e r

October 18, 1996

Complaining About The SOS

(SOS = same old s#&!)

Earlier this week, we stumbled on a great product. Sold exclusively on the web, the software solved several significant problems in our production departments. We spent a day testing it and were ready to buy. Price wasn't the issue since the product worked so well. But, as a business, we try to pay our bills by check.

We spent 45 minutes plowing through the product website looking for an address or a phone number. There was none. We ended up sending email that asked the company for its basic business information.

This is bad business practice. Each of your web pages should offer your company's name, address and email. You just have to make it easy for customers to send you money.

October 17, 1996

Do You Need A Website?

It's not a rhetorical question.

The Web looks like an attic in a house lived in by three generations of the same family. They probably weren't accountants. The cost of making your website discoverable is rising in proportion to the volume of clutter.

Good design, though necessary, is not enough. Marketing of the site, after it's developed, isn't enough. Fresh content and regular redesign are just the cost of entry.

We're finding that the best way to guarantee that your site is effective is by slowly building and testing the features. Before you start, try using the Web as a marketing vehicle without a site. Use email and web research to find your competitors, customers and their regular haunts.

Then, build a temporary (probably shabby) Website, just to further test the notion that you can attract customers. Sell your product or service online before you invest heavily in site development. Query your potential customers about their needs and fill them with your ultimate site.

Given 60,000,000 discrete URLs, the market planning, publicity, traffic development and pure marketing costs of your site will take an increasingly large hunk of your outlay. We're currently advising customers that marketing expense is something like 60% of an overall site development budget.

Most of all, think hard. Do you really need a website?

October 16, 1996

Big Boys Build "Personal" Internets

Is the Web the be-all and end-all? It's increasingly unlikely. The Web, in its current incarnations, is liable to be remembered as the ham-radio of its time.

Remember what made the web explode:

  • Standard addressing (URLs)
  • A Global network
  • Universal standards for information transfer
  • Relatively standardized "browsing" software
Combined, these features create a distribution framework that enables market development.

As net traffic gets more unpredictable (surely you've seen the doom-saying articles about brownouts), we expect to see the development of large-industry Internet surrogates. Functionally, they're like "intranets" but they operate throughout an industry. The "firewall" is industry specific information formats. They standardize communication protocols between players in an arena. This is the playing field of professional associations.

An interesting example of this approach is the Automotive Network Exchange (ANX) currently being promoted by the Automotive Industry Action Group (AIAG). By designing an industry specific Internet, AIAG hopes to increase productivity throughout the industry while removing traffic problems. We expect to see more movement in this arena in the near future.

Initially, the efforts will be oriented towards taking a whole industry into the digital age. Ultimately, they will transform the landscape.

October 15, 1996

Watch Who You Call

Thanks to Len Duffy for alerting us to the latest scam floating around the Net. (We interviewed Len during the last week in September). The scam works like this: You get a piece of email that includes a return phone number in the 809 area code. You call the number. You get a huge bill. For more details, we've included the note from Len describing the scam in our archives. Marketing departments are particularly vulnerable to this particular scheme.

October 14, 1996

More Advertising Resources

Take a solid look at:

  • Advertising In Cyberspace: A searchable index about advertising on the Web.

  • Advertising Media Internet Center: ask their Media Guru, or subscribe to their new media planning, buying and research email list.

  • Internet Advertising Resource Guide: Useful links.

    Take a look at the Archives. We've indexed all the past issues with topic pointers.

    Try Freeloader

    Check out the Archives....54 Weeks of Back issues including:

    Week Ending October 20, 1996 Including:
    • The SOS
    • Do You Need A Website?
    • Big Boy Internets
    • 809 Phone Scam
    • Advertising Resources
    Week Ending October 13, 1996 Including:
    • Little Email Things
    • Snorkeling The Web
    • Red Herring
    • Webmaster, Inc
    Week Ending October 6, 1996 Including:
    • Len Duffy Interview
      • Marketing On The Web
      • Small Competitors
      • The Personal Touch
      • Integrating The Web Into Your Marketing
    Week Ending September 29, 1996 Including:
    • How Much Will Your Website Cost?
    • The Jimmy Stewart Approach
    • Product Development
    • Components of Marketing
    • Back In The Saddle Again
    • Much, Much More
    Two Weeks Ending September 22, 1996 Including:
    • Negotiating Website Agreements
    • Personal Agents
    • Link Auction
    • The Customer's Heart
    • Thunder Lizard
    • Much, Much More
    September 07, 1996 Including:
    • AT&T Business Network
    • Placing
    • Comparing Ad Brokers
    • Direct Email Marketer's Association
    • Lots of Tidbits
    • Much, Much More
    August 24 1996 Including:
    • Search Voyeur
    • Who's Making Money
    • Simplicity In Design
    • New Thinking
    • Design For Navigation
    • International Usability
  • August 17 1996 Including:
    • Regional Yahoos
    • Big Dreams
    • Copy Editors
    • Cool Net Statistics Presentations
    • Browser Search
    • Give It Away To Keep It
  • August 10 1996 Including:
    • Useful Page Tools
    • Web Nuggets
    • Tropical Jim: Web Hero
    • Snafus And Apologies
    • Bright Spots At Apple
    • Mediums Are Not Markets
  • August 03 1996 (two weeks) Including:
    • Net Business Daily
    • The Project Oriented Economy
    • The Importance Of Customers
    • Computer Law Observer
    • 8 Corners Of ECommerce
    • Who's Doing Business
  • July 20 1996 Including:
    • Paying Viewers To See Ads
    • Grumpy About Apple
    • More Net Statistics
    • How Not To: I-Watch
    • Godzilla Uber Alles
  • July 13 1996 Including:
    • Multimedia Web
    • Selling Ads
    • An SIG Pidgin
    • News From The Front
    • Absolut-ly Fabulous
    • Tripod Redux
    • Jobs For Web Designers
  • July 06 1996 Including:
    • Makeovers R Us
    • JAvaScript Tip Of the Week
    • Microsoft Viruses
    • Sega Surfing
    • Jobs For Web Designers
    • Informant
    • IDML

    Contacting Us
    Call, fax, write, email. We'd love to talk about your project.

    All material on this site is © 1995, 1996 by IBN (The Internet Business Network), Mill Valley, CA 94941