I was on Walmart’s website a few weeks ago looking at grocery products and I thought about how many times I’ve hopped online to check out a review of something. Just the other day, after receiving one of my many Eat This, Not That emails, I decided to visit the Post website to compare cereals to those that are made by Kashi. I found this little bit of research to be very useful when it came time to decide which cereal was the healthiest choice for me. Now this may sound incredibly boring, but it actually was kind of neat checking the small nutritional differences. I also found online product research useful this past December when I was trying to decide what laptop to purchase. Having access to product info, consumer reports and other data made the decision a lot easier. What I’m getting at, besides the fact that I’m a total dork, is that businesses need to keep their websites up and functional, because consumers really care. Thankfully, a recent survey showed that businesses are recognizing their demand for web access and are taking it seriously.
The 2010 Business Website and Interactive Marketing Usage Survey conducted by interactive marketing and consulting company AIS Media (www.aismedia.com) found the following results:
- 91% of respondents have a website
- 64% of businesses plan to invest in improving their website design
- 70% plan to invest in improving functionality
- 91% plan to either decrease their traditional advertising budget or keep it the same
- Only 9% plan to increase their traditional advertising budget
- 71% of respondents indicate that their web site will play a larger or the same role in their overall business and/or marketing strategy as it did in 2009.
This is so crucial for businesses, because traditional advertising just isn’t cutting it anymore. More and more people are spending their leisure and business time online, which means this is time they aren’t listening to the radio or watching television. By expanding to the web, businesses are opening themselves up to all sorts of new opportunities that can be cost efficient for them as well. The Internet is such a great way to advertise and it’s relatively cheap. Take what I’m doing for instance. Just as I publish this very blog I’m giving myself free press. I’m creating something for others to read that is reasonably priced. The point is, by utilizing this growing medium, businesses are helping their growth immensely.