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The digital business industry is well known for its uncertainty. In a rapidly changing environment, no one can be certain what will be the next technological breakthrough, or which company will establish a dominant platform. It’s impossible to gauge which company will rise up to become the next Google, or even to tell what will happen to Google itself in the coming years. With so much uncertainty, it is necessary to add some element of control into this dynamic environment. Using a strategy will provide your digital business with the ability to find its own direction in a chaotic environment. In order to determine your own strategy, it is beneficial to understand some commonly employed strategies in the world of digital businesses.
The strategy of market leadership can be a costly strategy, but one that can involve huge rewards. Market leaders must invest large amounts of money into technological research in order to develop market leading technology. An example of a digital business that uses this strategy is Google. Google is the market leader in the search engine industry due to its technological innovation (a proprietary search algorithm), furthermore, Google continues to invest large amounts of money into the development of other projects with the intention of developing other market leading technologies. The key to success with this strategy is being the first to hit the market with a new innovation and profiting from this advantage over other firms.
Using the strategy of following the market, a company can ride the coattails of the market leaders and compete on the basis of cost leadership. The objective is to spend a minimal amount of money on research and development, but instead to allow the market leader to innovate. As soon as the market leader launches a new product, the followers will work at duplicating the product and will attempt to offer it at a price below the level at which the leader can manufacture it. This makes the follower a cost leader, and can allow it to gain many customers at the expense of the market leader.
The niche strategy, for a digital business, is a combination of the leader and follower strategies. A niche strategy can involve taking an innovation from the market leader, and then tweaking it to fit the needs of a particular market niche. This allows a firm to avoid substantial research and development costs that are associated with market leadership, but to still demand the high price margins of a market leader by being the market leader in a particular segment.
E-newsletters can be personalized by knowing more about the readers. This requires more than collecting email addresses. The subscribers to the e-newsletter must feel that they are recognized as important to the cause. For example, an environmental e-newsletter should include local issues if possible to engage the reader. But this may not be enough to please a reader’s thirst for personalization. Personalizing an e-newsletter can take a number of forms.
Find the best template or create one yourself using a computer. It should reflect the topics discussed. For instance, a newsletter about green products should have some green color used within the newsletter. This indicates a connection with the theme. The goal is to make the look appear unique for the reader.
Use the name of each recipient when beginning an e-newsletter. For example, have it start with “Dear John.” This brings a level of familiarity that gives a sense of personalization. Use italics or bold type to give emphasis to the gesture.
Write about topics that the readers need or want to know about in the e-newsletter. Take suggestions from the readers and allow them to give feedback before each issue. Stay local, if possible, and list names of readers who make contributions to the e-newsletter. It will make them feel important and part of the process.
Focus on welcoming new e-newsletter subscribers. Create a contest for subscribers that join the list. Give something away, and recognize them by name in a special section of the e-newsletter. This should increase interest, and personalize the reading experience simultaneously.
- Research the geographic area of recipients of the e-newsletter to emphasis news and discussions especially applicable to their community.
Writing an informational brochure for your business or organization is simple, fun and inexpensive. In just an hour or two, you can create a colorful and valuable two- or three-fold brochure that gets your message across. Start with a computer, color printer and digital camera or scanner, and gather text, lists, logos, specific details about your message and photos. Whether you manufacture your brochures on your own printer or send them to a professional, your finished look depends on the type of paper you use–plain, glossy or cardstock.
Gather all items you want included in the information brochure. You will need at least three photographs. Have at least 100 words of text ready to use in the brochure.
Use your computer’s Microsoft Word project gallery brochure template, under business forms, to create logos, order forms, event schedules and much more. Many different brochure styles are available on Microsoft Word with a variety of options including casual and formal formats.
If your text information, order forms, schedules or other items you want to include are on your computer, they can be cut and pasted on to the brochure. Digital photos are easy to add by dragging or inserting into appropriate spots in the brochure.
Edit carefully. The more sets of eyes that read through your brochure the better. The last thing you want is a glaring typo on 500 printed copies.
Printing a limited number of brochures on your own printer is simple. Brochures are printed on both sides of the paper so printing requires a two-step process. Remove the printed front side of the brochure and reinsert it into the printer to print the back side of the brochure. Write “front/up” on a blank sheet of paper to test the process.
- For a large number of printed copies of your brochure, say 1,000 copies, you may want to save your brochure on a CD and take it to a professional printer.
I offer a simple way to create your own web page for free.
People who wish to have an Internet presence often create a website. The type of image you desire to portray to other Internet users will determine the type of website you need. You can create a website for free if you don’t mind having advertisements and a generic domain name. However, if you are a business wanting to display a professional image, you should consider investing the money to take away the ads and get your own domain name. That is where I come in.
Visit a web hosting provider that will give you a free “Sub-Domain” name and a free web hosting account. Compare the providers to find the one that is right for you. For example, view the amount of web space provided, whether or not FTP is allowed, and the type of web builder that is offered.
Register for a new user account on whichever site you choose. During the registration process you will be able to choose a username, password and sub-domain name for your website.
Log in to your new account using your new username and password. Access the “Website Builder” or “Site Builder.” The exact wording will vary by provider.
Click the “Upload” option to upload any pictures you intend to place on your website. For personal sites, people often upload pictures of themselves. For business sites, it is common to upload logos, the outside of the company building or company products.
Click on the “New File” or “New Page” option to begin creating the first page for your website. You will have the opportunity to give your page a unique name, such as “Contact Us” or “About Us.”
Enter the text you would like to appear on your page. Generally, you will also be able to customize the text and background colors to suit your taste. For example, on your “About Us” page you could type in company history and what the company does now; or if it’s a personal site, type in who you are, where you come from and your interests.
Insert images from the ones you uploaded earlier onto your page by clicking the appropriate button. The exact location of this button will vary by provider. If you’re working on the “About Us” page, consider uploading a picture of the company or logo, or a picture of yourself if it’s a personal site.
Click “Save” to save your web page if you are satisfied with the design. Click “Publish” to make your website viewable to other Internet users.
For a Fee
Purchase a domain name and web hosting account from a provider of your choice. A domain name will cost you around $10 to $15 per year. Web hosting will cost as little as $7 to $10 per month.
Log in to your web hosting account using the username and password they give you in order to access your “Control Panel.” Open the “File Directory.”
Click the “Upload” option to upload any images you will use on your website. For personal sites, people often upload pictures of themselves. For business sites, it is common to upload logos, the outside of the company building or company products.
Click on the “New File” option to begin creating pages for your website. You will then be able to enter your text, change the text and background colors, and insert images for your site. For example, on your “About Us” page you could type in company history and what the company does now, then add a logo; or if it’s a personal site, type in who you are, where you come from and your interests, then add a picture of yourself.
Click “Save” after you create each individual web page. Click “Publish” to make your website available on the Internet once the entire website has been completed.
- Submit the URL for your website to search engines to help drive traffic to your site. Integrate keywords into your web page text to help optimize your site for search engine traffic. Try to choose a domain name that contains those keywords to help with SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Some of these options may cost a fee, depending what you use.When uploading pictures, graphics or backgrounds, keep them at a low resolution (such as 72dpi) so pages do not take long to open when people are visiting your site.Stick to standard fonts, such as Arial, Verdana and Times New Roman, so users’ computers will display your site as intended.