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Marketing a Business Online - benefits and the legal framework.

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Introduction

'Pud Pud' Marketing Online Why Businesses Market Themselves Online People now expect businesses and organisations to have a website, one that can supply basic information and a means of getting in contact. A website has become nearly more essential as a telephone, fax machine and printed brochures. Apart from fulfilling the publics expectations, a website will also help us increase our profit, make it easier for potential customers to find us, save time and expand the effect of a print ad. Marketing our business online will reduce the amount of money we need to spend on advertising, will also help to reduce the cost of running an office e.g. insurance, heating and water etc. Advertising costs for a newspaper can start at �500 and can rise to anything up to �5000 down to location of the paper; we then have a problem of how many people read our ad. Online marketing will benefit our business as it will allow us to focus on advertising to who are actively looking for our product. Targeted internet marketing means that we will get a better return on our investment. We can put our business in front of thousands of people a month around the world. Hopefully the internet can bring our business to consumers and company buyers around the world helping in take some business away from our competitors. ...read more.

Middle

We will provide a help desk and not just a 'contact us' number. We will provide quick email feedback or as our company grows a telephone service, something extra to make our customers make enquiries about our products, we could also do a frequently asked question section. To help with promotion of our website we will register our company with several 'search engines' such as Google and Yahoo, registering with these companies is free and it will make us more accessible as a company. To make sure we are 'picked up' by potential customers we will use 'key words' that will highlight our companies name taking it higher up the list. Some sites like Yahoo will allow us to promote our business in several categories, this can be a long process and it can take up to six weeks for these search engines to check our application. Although our products will not be suitable to sell online it allows us to promote the products we sell, were they can be bought such as store location and availability in stores. It will also allow us to provide images, video clips and animations of our products, printable vouchers which can be used in part payment for our products - especially new products. Being online we can also update/delete/change prices of our products as necessary. ...read more.

Conclusion

We will require a 'web master' to do all our maintenance on the net - someone with specialised knowledge, these can be expensive ranging from anything from as little as �12.50 - �250 depending on the company used. The 'web master' can check that our site works: * On all relevant versions of Internet Explorer * Works well on windows and Macintosh systems * Making sure all links work correctly * Making sure all menus work correctly * Making sure content is current * Analysed statistics and information to improve and maximise performance. Legislation in Marketing a Business On-Line UK businesses operating over the internet are all subject to all UK laws as with any other trader. For example copyrite issues when using graphics and music, also when registering domain names. There are some laws that are designed for the consumer that will still apply to a business online. * Competition Act 1998 * Consumer Credit Act 1974 * The Enterprise Act 2002 * Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999 * Sale and Supply of Goods 2002 * Data Protection Act 1998 - Control of Stored Personal information * The Electronic Commerce Regulations 2002 * Trade Description Act 1968 * Directive on Privacy and Electronic Communications Codes of practice are a business's form of self-regulation. There are organisations which monitor business behaviour on the internet, company's such as www.safebuy.org.uk to qualify for membership of this scheme internet businesses are required to adhere to certain regulations and codes for their online business ...read more.

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