Magazine article Management Today

Lessons from Web Alley

Magazine article Management Today

Lessons from Web Alley

Article excerpt

WEB OF FEAR The message is still not getting through to estate agents, car dealers and the like that the internet can actually help them acquire new customers. The very businesses that have the most to gain from the web feel the most threatened by it. Yet the internet will never spell the end of estate agents or car dealers. It simply heralds a better way for businesses to reach new customers. Unfortunately, this mixture of fear and opportunity makes agents slow to react and mistrustful of cyberspace. When they finally get on the net they have often failed to understand why they're there in the first place.

FICKLE FUNDING I read last week that the dot.com sector is now about as fashionable as the chicken-skinning business. I welcome this. Nothing is more dangerous than the fickle fancies of fashion. When a sector is touched by fashion, silly ideas get funded.

KEEPING UP IS HARD TO DO The biggest falsehood about the internet is the notion that it has a low barrier to entry -- that it's easy to get into and 'anyone can do it'. However, technology moves so quickly that unless you have very deep pockets you will be quickly left behind. That's one of the reasons that some businesses are beginning to realise how outsourcing the management of their web site to a dedicated third party is now the way forward.

So, whenever rivals say they can generate more enquiries than us, I simply tell them they will probably have to refit their entire database into an XML format to allow them to distribute their information on digital TV, WAP devices and affiliates. …

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