Online marketing leads the way… Do your staff think you are ineffective?… Wine exports at record levels… Shop fit-out trends…

Online marketing leads the way

The internet is now most important marketing tool for many businesses, according to a new survey of US entrepreneurs reported in

A website or entry on an internet directory was seen as the number one method for business marketing, ahead of such traditional tools as networking, public relations and print and radio advertising, by 250 business owners polled for the Capital Access Network Small Business Barometer.

Despite the importance of the web to online marketing, however, respondents said their top two online business-related activities are checking e-mail and researching business solutions.

The survey uncovered a fairly high level of sophistication among small business owners, with 59% saying they use online ads and 68% utilising search engine optimisation “sometimes” or “often”. Overall, 46% of respondents say they derive at least some of their revenue from online sales.

Online social tools such as blogs and message boards, however, are not as popular an option for business marketing. Almost half of small business owners had never used a blog, 37% never visit message boards or chat rooms, and 59% have never tried the Second Life virtual world.

Business owners are making efforts to increase their internet presence. Close to half say they plan on spending more on their online marketing or sales this year compared to 2006, while 27% plan to spend the same amount as last year. That doesn’t necessarily mean they are planning to spend up big, however: 45% say they are spending less than $2500 on online tools, while 25% say they don’t plan to spend a cent.

Do your staff think you are ineffective?

A massive 57.7% of Australians believe their boss is completely ineffective on the job, according to a survey of 1987 people by recruiting firm Talent2.

Men have less confidence in their boss than women: 43.7% say their boss is really no good at their job and 39.8% of women believing their employer could improve drastically.

John Rawlinson, CEO of Talent2, says: “Interestingly, though, it’s the 35-plus age group who have less respect for their boss’ capability than the younger age bracket.” Maybe that’s because they wish they had their boss’s job?

Wine exports at record levels

Australian exports of wine for 2006-07 rose by eight per cent to 798 million litres, according to the Australian Wine & Brandy Corporation.

This represents record export volumes for the wine industry, while the value of wine exports, up 7% to $A2.99 billion, was also a record, reports The Weekly Times.

The UK was Australia’s biggest customer in 2006-07, both for volume and value of wine imported, followed by the US and Canada. China and Ireland were two of Australia’s fastest-growing wine markets in 2006-07, with exports to China and Ireland up 136% and 30% respectively in terms of value.

Shop fit-out trends

International design and branding agency Dalziel-Pow has identified the key issues and concepts likely to impact store design at World Retail Congress 2007 in Barcelona, reports Inside Retailing.

He argues the store of the future is in a mall and it is large, at 1500 square metres. The big issues are:

  • Deflation: Prices are falling below sustainable levels for fashion.
  • Fast Fashion: Retailers tying themselves in knots chasing very fast fashion trends.
  • Definition: Finding a way to stand out.
  • Open shopfronts inviting the customer in.
  • Flexible structures that can change with fashion and consumer desires.
  • Stretch to understand what your consumers want in all their moods.
  • Hold more events in store.
  • More staff and more terminals for sale.
  • Respond to environmental concerns by using paper, not plastic, and less power per square metre.

Quote of the Day

When you are arguing with a fool, make sure he isn’t doing the same thing.



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