Use different approaches for your online business

in Internet Marketing Strategy

Most brick-and-mortar businesses that establish a presence on the Internet tend to replicate an online version of their physical business.  Nothing wrong with that – it’s the logical place to start and should be your first point of presence on the Internet.  But don’t stop there – the Internet is so much more powerful and flexible for doing much more than just creating an online version of your physical business.

Here’s a great example to start thinking more creatively about your online presence.  NBC launched an educational resource called NBC Learn using their existing NBC News archives.  The NBC News archives were already online as part of their core traditional business.  NBC Learn is a completely different product delivered using innovative technology (HotChalk) for a completely different audience (schools) using an on-demand paid subscription model ($2,000 per school building).  NBC Learn is a successful business extension.

There’s more to this story.  A couple of years after launching NBC Learn, they were exploring how to create demand directly with students.  The service is sold to schools (initial marketing focus) and used by students.  NBC developed ‘What’s Your iCue?’ video quiz games as a promotional campaign aimed at students on Facebook.  The iCue promotion was setup with advertising sponsorships.  NBC disclosed at a recent Internet strategy forum that the iCue sponsorship revenues now exceed the NBC Learn subscription revenue.

To recap, NBC starts with putting their traditional news business online.  They then parlay those existing assets into the new NBC Learn business as an additional revenue source.  To promote the new business they create a sponsored promotional campaign on Facebook that becomes another revenue source on its own.

How to use this information to benefit your business

  • Hopefully this gets your attention to think about what you could do to create additional businesses and revenue sources.
  • Think outside the box for different variants of your business online.  You have a totally different environment on the Internet to do things you can’t do in your brick-and-mortar business.
  • Consider a different audience for selling your product/service/solution.
  • Consider how to promote your product/service/solution to those who ultimately use it but don’t necessarily buy it.
  • Think about different formats to present your business and/or product/service/solution using ideas like games, quizzes, video, competitions, fun elements, etc.

Copyright © 2009 Ingistics LLC and Marketance™

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