The impact of the recession on the web and what Smart Businesses can do about it

Rather than just talk about how the recession is impacting the web this article also provides some points as to what Smart Businesses can do about it.

1. Traffic on the web will continue to increase. As people become more discretionary and price conscious they will research more and will use the web to do so. Smart Businesses will understand this and will continue to invest in their online presence to benefit from it.

2. Selling on the web will become more soft sell or relationship driven. As a result of the downturn people will not be pressured or pushed into buying. Refer point 1. Smart businesses will adapt by :
• Providing more free offers, trial offers, e-books, white papers and more relationship building activities. Publishing more and giving away more free and relevant stuff.
• Holding webinars as attendance at offsite conferences will fall and people will use the web more to ensure they are up to speed with relevant industry knowledge and skills. To protect themselves in case of job loss or retrenchment.
• Updating or building their sites to “Talk” to their customers and “guide” them over any questions or objections they have ensuring they build trust and credibility along the way.

3. There will be a continued increase in social networking on the web and people will use these networks to ask around, seek references and/or recommendations before they buy. Smart businesses will recognize this and ensure they have a social media strategy in place to benefit from it.

4. Marketing spend on websites will be impacted but should hold its own well. Compared to other mediums the web is more measurable and you can determine a ROI. In fact this downturn may turn into a catalyst for more businesses to use the web as their other sources of leads dry up, traffic on the web increases and you can actually measure your ROI. Specialist online marketing agencies will be impacted as businesses will utilise their own internal staff to conduct more campaigns such as SEO and PPC. Smart businesses will continue to invest in their online presence because they can
• Determine a ROI quickly,
• Use it as a opportunity to enter new markets
• Take advantage of the times to grab market share from less nimble competitors.
• Negotiate great advertising rates as marketing agencies fight for a smaller share.

5. Web design & development costs will come down as businesses will spend less on creative innovations and more on applications that enable them to bring control of their websites inhouse. You will see more applications that will provide greater functionality at a lesser cost. Free applications will grow and become better as well. Smart businesses will update or develop their sites so they have the ability to make changes and control it without having to engage Web developers as much.

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