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Internet Marketing

15 December 2006

Organisations should focus on using the internet to market their products and provide online video and audio training information for their customers. David Leppard explains how FMx Ltd has maximised the web for marketing and training on its CAFM software.

THE LAST FIVE YEARS HAVE SEEN SOME GIANT LEAPS in the world of technology and by far one of the biggest impacts has been made by the progression of the Internet. With high speed internet connections now in the majority of homes and workplaces many opportunities which would not have been possible a few years ago are now taken for granted.

Speed aside however there are simply now just more people wanting to use the Internet, and more importantly for businesses, there are more people using the internet to buy products and services. Last year alone in the UK internet sales grew by 51 per cent with an estimated £6.69bn spent online, more than any other European country. Factors which have assisted in these huge increases are the convenience now of online shopping, helped by more and more high-speed connections and also increased security online.

Perhaps the most interesting opportunities with the Internet in recent years though have come with the explosion of online marketing. Up until a few years ago many firms would have allocated minimal spending if any to their online marketing campaigns. During the dot com boom of the 1990’s many companies were quick to setup their home on the web but drove traffic mainly from offline marketing such as magazines, exhibitions and telesales.

Today things are very different. For many products and services, not having a productive online marketing campaign can be the difference between major success and failure. One of the key turning points in the world of online marketing was the rise of Google, a US company now responsible for driving over 43 per cent of all search engine traffic from over 90million web searches performed every single day from their site.

In 2002 Google launched their Adwords Select programme. For many people understanding how they could get their website to rank on the first page of Google’s search results was baffling. Google’s Adwords programme suddenly opened up the door for businesses to bid on sponsored listings alongside the search results themselves. Now businesses could not only guarantee they would feature when a potential client typed in keywords related to their business, but they would only pay the click fee if that potential customer actually visited their site. The Adwords programme is now a multi-billion pound operation for Google and in the last year or two has been embraced by many FM related businesses wishing to gain extra targeted leads.

Google are not the only Search Engine to be offering such Pay Per Click (PPC) services though, and with Microsoft battling for a slice of Google’s search engine dominance they have also launched a similar programme called adCenter. Another big player, Yahoo! Also offer their own online marketing system as well, Yahoo! Search marketing, and by utilising all three of these programmes with effective campaigns, businesses have seen huge rises in online sales.

Last year by focusing our efforts on online marketing, we saw a substantial increase in sales leads generated by working to increase the awareness of our products to targeted online audiences. By focusing on building a quality website and effective online marketing campaign around our product we have exceeded all our expectations in generating new business.

The use of technology doesn’t stop there though. Once the visitors have clicked onto a website they now expect more than a few pages of text and a couple of photos from your corporate brochure. Advances in technology now allow businesses to provide more than just some basic marketing material online.

FMx has always strived to be one step ahead in the world of online marketing and we are constantly looking for new and innovative ways to market our software, CAFM Explorer. Being a technology company ourselves has ensured that we provide potential clients with the best experience possible when visiting our website. We have invested a lot of time in creating a website which not only provides text and image based information, as you would get from a brochure but also provides users with streaming video content which allows users to evaluate our software products without having to request information to be mailed. Our website is further backed up by the wealth of information we have put together in the product itself. Rather than simply providing a standard help file within CAFM Explorer we have put together over 200 video tutorials covering every aspect of the product which can be streamed online from our website by clients training to use the software.

Michael Priestley, Head of Business Services at Withers LLP in London was one of the first clients to fully embrace the new online training system for CAFM Explorer. “'We are always investing in training our staff and looking out for new and innovative learning tools. By offering us tutorial videos and an interactive help system in their software, FMx enable us to pickup and learn more about the software at arms reach. Whilst the videos are not a substitute for conventional classroom courses, they do complement the training courses and allow users to help themselves and work at their own pace through the systems comprehensive functionality.”

By embracing the use of streaming video online we have complemented our existing marketing inventory to offer our potential clients an instant demo of the software without them having to request brochures or demo CD’s to be posted to them. The entire structure behind the CAFM Explorer software is now based on a large network of tutorials. From the first time customers use our Website to familiarise themselves with CAFM Explorer, right through to a customer who is looking to get productive with the system, we have an online tutorial centre which caters for every stage. The online tutorial centre is offered to all of our clients who have purchased the software and so far we have had exceptional feedback on the system.

Too many companies still seem extremely shy about giving away pricing or detailed product information and this is one of areas companies should be embracing to give their visitors a greater experience and impression of their company when visiting their website. Whilst brochures and sales literature still play a large part in any companies marketing plans, to give potential clients the option of detailed information they need instantly from your website is becoming more and more important to ensure companies retain the visitors interest.

More information on Internet PPC
marketing services can be found at
http://adwords.google.com,
http://adcenter.microsoft.com and
http://searchmarketing.yahoo.com

● David Leppard is marketing manager for FMx, one of the first companies in the CAFM market to have fully utilised PPC services to gain a major increase in new business. Examples of FMx’s demonstration videos for CAFM Explorer can be found in their online theatre at http://www.cafmexplorer.com




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