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Marketing 101

Times are tough, and so is the competition. How can you make sure your company stands out in the crowd? The answer is simple: establish your presence on the Internet.

In this technological age, where business-to-business transactions via the Internet are a growing trend, web sites give companies an abundance of benefits in this digital arena that no other marketing program can provide.

Benefits of Web Site Marketing
The following is just a taste of some of the advantages that an Internet marketing strategy can provide your company.

Unlimited Audience
There are a few out there who haven't "surfed the 'Net," but the majority of people have some form of access to the World Wide Web. According to a November 2003 Neilson/NetRatings report, over 46 million workers and 131 million home users in the U.S. utilize the Internet. The only other marketing strategy that can come close to claiming a potential audience of this size is broadcast advertising during the Super Bowl — which, by the way, will set you back about $2.2 million for a 30-second slot.

Cost
Other advertising opportunities can have a limited shelf life — once a company brochure or mass mailing lines the bottom of a trashcan, there's little hope of it being productive in the future.

The initial cost of developing a web design for your company can be about the same as other marketing strategies, but web sites are a long-term strategy that you can benefit from for years, giving you an immediate and continuous Return on Investment (ROI) that far outreaches any other.

Information Tool
One of the greatest advantages of a web site is the interaction between your business and the viewer. You can display critical business information, completed work and industry accomplishments in ways you would never be able to in print or broadcast.

For instance, an advertisement only allows you a limited amount of space and provides static information — if your customer or prospect wants to know more, they'll have to look elsewhere. On the other hand, your web site can accommodate a plethora of information that is ready and available at the viewer's demand.

Also, the Internet is starting to gain influence in the business world. A September 2003 study by Survey.com for Forbes substantiates the web as the preferred medium among business owners and executive staff, with 51% naming it as the most important business information resource.

24-7
Web sites not only allow you to access a broader audience with more information, but also allows you to do it 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It's like having an additional customer service staff member on hand at all hours to assist your prospects and customers.

Employee Communications
Web sites can create new channels of communication, with not only customers, but also employees and suppliers. For example, you can display information on benefits, staff changes, "Employee of the Month," schedules and much more. The options are wide open!

Professional
People know you're serious about your business when you have a web site. Customers will be able to see that you have spent the time and money to show that you care about what you do.

Your Company's Web Site
Now that you know some of the benefits of having a web site, how do you go about getting one? Thanks to the new web site design services provided by the Mason Contractors Association of America (MCAA), it's now easier than ever.

For a flat fee of only $2,000 for members ($2,500 for non-members), the MCAA offers an affordable and trustworthy option for your web design needs. Your web site will be fully customized the way you want it. It can be as flashy or as simple as you need it to be. Along with fully customized web site design (including graphic design), you will also receive domain registration (i.e. www.your-company.com), e-mail addresses, one year of hosting and two hours of free updates per month for up to one year (members only).

Once you sign up, the MCAA will send you a starter kit that will include simple instructions, information forms and a digital camera. Once your information is gathered and your pictures are taken, send them back to us and we will begin to build your web site. Throughout the entire design process, you will have access to your company's web site to see how the development is coming along. Within a few weeks, your company will be ready to market online.

Figure 1 is an example of what your web site could look like. This is only an example — your web site will look exactly how you want and need it look. The only limitation is your imagination.

Figure 1

To view an example online, please visit our web site, www.masoncontractors.org, and click on "Website Design Services" under the "Resources" section.

Remember: if your prospects cannot find your company online, they will find your competition.

For additional information about our web site design services, please feel free to contact Tim O'Toole toll-free at 800-536-2225, or by e-mail at totoole@masoncontractors.org.







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