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Lesson Four -
E-Marketing Strategies

Lesson Goals

        Learn about Available E-Marketing Resources and Strategies

        Develop a Strategy to Identify New Markets and Products

        Promoting a Community's Ecommerce Web Sites

Searching for What Is Already Working

If you're in a rural area and have access to the Internet, there's no reason you can't be as informed as someone in a big city. But, you have to be proactive and get out and about to see how others are succeeding. Using available resources, you can market your products or web site globally just as effectively as anyone in a big city - once you know how.

Use search engines to find web sites with products similar to yours to see what you can learn from them about marketing strategies. Subscribe to one or more of the many e-marketing newsletters to receive highlights on the best e-marketing practices on a regular basis. Become familiar with the extensive e-marketing resources available. Keep in mind many are outdated and poorly organized - so what you are really looking for is the best-of-the-best. Particularly note those which regularly summarize emerging trends.

As people grow more comfortable using the Internet, new markets for products and services will naturally emerge. Many businesses are spending huge amounts of money on research, collecting resources, and building web-based collaborative tools and strategies. You will be able to directly benefit by simply reviewing their best online strategies and accessing their free collected resources. Ecommerce businesses monitor their competition's web sites carefully - always watching to copy good ideas. 

Promoting a Community's Web Sites

From a community perspective it makes sense to market all local web sites as a community initiative rather than leaving everyone on their own.  Avoiding duplication of effort and realizing economies of scale just make sense. Plus, if all local web sites are in one place it facilitates local web shopping. Take the time to enjoy the following GREAT examples, or just look at the first page of each of the following sites.

Delta Discovery
http://www.deltadiscovery.com/
>From Bethel, Alaska, here's a community web site where locals provide most of the news and content. They have a business directory that clearly shows all the businesses web pages in just one or two screens.
http://deltadiscovery.com/Shopping/shoppingalpha.html  This makes it very easy to shop locally via the Internet! Montpelier, Idaho, copied this effective model, below.

The Clover Creek Mall Business Directory for Montpelier, Idaho.
http://www.clovercreekmall.com/business.html

Caithness, Scotland, Community Site
http://www.caithness.org/ 
A community site showcasing web sites for local organizations, businesses and providing many convenient ways to share local information and available services.

Lumby, British Columbia, Canada, Community Site
http://www.monashee.com/
Another great community site showing many innovative ways to share local information. 

It is very typical for a rural community to not list local business web sites conveniently in a single place that encourages local online shopping. It is also common not to recognize or celebrate local Ecommerce successes or those with valuable Ecommerce expertise to share. However, more and more community organizations are beginning to look at how best to market their communities online as is the case in Ely, Nevada.

Ely, Nevada, Community Site
http://www.elynevada.com/
The Chamber of Commerce offers a free multi-media mini-CDROM on Ely's attractions.

Hands-on Activities

Access Ecommerce Guide
http://www.access-ecom.info/section.cfm?sid=wp&xid=MN
Read through the lesson on promoting your website

E-Marketing (You built it and nobody came?)

E-Marketing Association
http://www.emarketingassociation.com/
Briefly look over the e-courses page, the resources page, and the links directory page.

Netpreneur.org
http://netpreneur.org/
The best regional entrepreneurship site in the country, from Washington DC - the most electronically wired, educated, wealthy, and politically charged community in the world. Here are sophisticated and advanced resources for learning how to grow an online business. See the Research Desk at http://netpreneur.org/Resources/researchdesk.html

Netpreneur ad-marketing
http://www.netpreneur.org/connect/am/email_mktg/ 
Look over the first page, then go to their main ad-marketing page http://www.netpreneur.org/connect/am/default.html

The following marketing resources were collected by Malcolm Dell of http://www.giftmarketing.org/
We found his e-marketing workshop very useful. He says most crafters are not marketers and would do better having someone else do their marketing for them.

Search Engine Promotion Tips

You can submit specific information about your web site to top search engines so more people will find your website in their search results.

Self Promotion
http://www.selfpromotion.com/
Look at what's on the first page. This is an excellent place to start learning about using search engines to promote your web site.

Search Engine Watch
http://www.searchenginewatch.com/ 
Click on the Search Engine Submission Tips just to see what's there. You can always pay someone to submit your information to search engines but it helps to understand the process.  This site is invaluable as nearly everything you'd ever wanted to learn about search engines can be found here. Note their departments are listed at the bottom of the page. Web Searching Tips is a good place to start.

General E-Marketing

There are dozens of tools, tricks, and tips for e-marketing. Many free e-marketing newsletters are available along with extensive resource web sites.

Wilson Web
http://wilsonweb.com/
Look over the first page, then click on the Web Marketing tab at the top of the page and look over the available resources. At the bottom of this page you can subscribe to a free email newsletter for regular updates on web marketing.

Internet Marketing Resource Center
http://i-m-r-c.com/resources/index.htm
Appreciate the less overwhelming design.

The Internet Marketing Index
http://internetmarketingindex.com/ 
Look over the 250 essential Internet and web marketing resources on one handy banner free page.

To Complete This Lesson

1.      Send an email to your instructor stating what strategies you're planning to adopt.

 

2.      Send an email to the listserv (send to isu-ecommerce@mm.isu.edu ) with the web address for at least one interesting e-marketing article or resource.

Optional Skill-Builders

Search http://google.com/ for tutorials, lessons, and online courses on any topic:

If you'd like to try a neat "trick" for finding tutorials, lessons, and online courses on any given topic, just enter the phrase below substituting YOUR topic within the quotes for "Web Marketing."  (Such as "e-marketing" or "Ecommerce marketing")

"web marketing" AND lesson* OR tutorial* OR course*

The "*" character tells the search engine to find anything with the initial letters regardless of what follows after the "*" such as both lesson and lessons.