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One Thing!

Focus Is More Important Than Any Combination Of Elements Or Tactics By Charles Broersma
Success online is the result of one thing! Recently, a colleague and I were talking about success. Since he has given me good advice and friendly council over the years, he had my rapt attention while sharing pearls of wisdom from his 40-year technology and business career.

My friend asked me, ?Do you know what the secret to success is? Almost without letting him get the words out I said, ?No What? After a dramatic pause he said, ?One thing. Remarkably, my friends appearance began to change to that of Jack Palance (Curly), in his Oscar winning performance in the 1991 classic City Slickers. So I waited, with bated breath, for him to share this life changing secret.

Nothing happened. He wasnt saying anything. We were just looking at each other in silence, until finally I asked; ?And that ?One Thing would be..? A wry smile crept across his face. ?I have no idea, he said. ?Thats for you to figure out. Whatever you decide, do it with all your heart and do it better than anyone else! I got the point. My friend had reinforced a principal so basic and so true.

The principal of One Thing, or Focus, is especially relevant when applied to the Internet. A singular focus is fundamental to answering the question; ?whats it going to take to do business on the Internet? The numerous elements, tactics really, that go into the development of an effective e-Strategy for your business are important, without question. However, Focus is more important than any combination of elements or tactics.

Your focus, or lack thereof, will determine if you succeed or fail online. By definition, the Internet is huge. Its hugeness can contribute to tremendous success or abysmal failure. When you approach the Internet, do so with the objective of identifying and attracting the attention of the prospects and customers of your particular product or service (note the singular reference), specifically.


Your e-Strategy should communicate your solution to the particular problem that you know your prospects and customers have. This is your unique value proposition (UVP). Unlike traditional ?target marketing, doing business online provides you with an effective and efficient way to realize the dream of establishing a true, real-time, one-to-one relationship with your customers and prospects. The availability of information and the speed of communication on the worldwide web are the primary factors in the accomplishment of this goal.

Practically speaking, a large percentage of a small group is a ?bigger and more meaningful number, than a small percentage of a large group. Gaining this large percentage of a highly targeted group of customers, or market segment -- commonly referred to as market share -- is the primary objective of any business. The success of your e-Strategy is defined by your ability to 1) find this highly targeted group of customers, 2) communicate with them, and 3) get them to make a purchase.

In the past this level of marketing focus was restricted to those companies that had the research, advertising, and direct response budgets to support it. Not anymore! No longer do you have to be a Fortune 500 company with a multimillion dollar budget to market effectively to a highly targeted group of customers and prospects. In this case, the Internet is the great equalizer. The major direct response marketing agencies realize this fact too. They are currently busying themselves with the conversion of their traditional services to online services.

The more you know about your customers and the better you understand them, the more likely you are to find them online. More important is getting them to find you. There are several methods that you can use online to do this. One in particular involves both traditional and pay-for-placement search engines.

Communicating with your customers and prospects is a fairly straightforward proposition. As indicated in previous articles, there are numerous highly targeted online methods including e-Zines, e-Pubs, Communities and e-Mail campaigns, to name a few, which you can use to reach out to your market segment.

The Internet provides tremendous versatility in the accomplishment of one-to-one marketing. For example, it is now possible, based on information known about a customer or prospect, to automatically create and distribute an interactive personalized electronic newsletter that addresses customer needs on an individual basis. The ability to select variable data elements, dynamically construct, and automatically distribute this electronic document is made possible by advances in database technology.

Doing business successfully online is all about focus. If you do the appropriate amount of work on the ?front-end finding your customers and communicating with them -- the ?back-end getting them to buy your products or services -- will take care of itself. Ultimately, if you focus your e-Strategy towards the specific identification of your target customers and prospects, communicating your UVP (unique value proposition) to them in response to their needs, they will buy your products or services!

Charles B. Broersma is the CEO of CTHorizons, LLC (www.cthorizons.com), an Internet Marketing Firm, specializing in helping small to medium sized businesses take full advantage of the Internet. Charles can be reached directly at (585) 703-4342, or via email at charles@cthorizons.com.

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Related Keywords:internet, e-business, strategy, Charles B. Broersma, marketing

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