Contrary to popular belief, a place in cyberspace would not cost the earth and New Zealand companies and entrepreneurs should keep pace with the evolving technology for improved market exposure and profitability, says an IT and advertising expert.
According to Auckland based Inmedia Concepts Limited Managing Director Sriram (Ram) Gudipoodi, online presence, online applications and such other digital technology have become not only essential components of all business activities, but also affordable for small and owner-operated enterprises that often face cash constraints.
He said that a good, smart and easy-to-navigate website forms the basis for entrepreneurial success, allowing businesses to operate from anywhere in the world, even away from their own offices.
“Online presence is affordable with low start-up costs. It saves you time, money and energy usually spent on printing of brochures, flyers and pamphlets. Websites are excellent platforms for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), providing companies access to local, national and international markets. They are cost-effective means of reaching the global audience,” he said.
Ram has a rare combination of experience and expertise in print and online advertising and marketing, consumer products and services, IT industry, website development and online promotions. As well as being a part of the team that launched the Friday Business Herald (New Zealand Herald) a few years ago, he was until recently with The National Business Review, helping the weekly publication to grow its online advertising, and building its revenues and strategy options. He was also associated with Fairfax Media (Suburban Newspapers and Sunday Star-Times),
NetGuide, Telecommunications Review, The Channel, IT Brief and Yellow Pages.
Ram said that the cost of developing a website could be as low as $1000 but would depend on the need and budget of the company. Websites are developed using the latest technology and multi-platform visibility, allowing prospective buyers to find them on desktops, tablets, smartphones and other equipment.
“People search online for information and click on links that match their search. Businesses that have the appropriate website with the right message can expect high levels of growth, productivity and profitability,” he said.
According to him, retail businesses should consider e-commerce websites with shopping carts, providing customers online facility to purchase goods or services.
He said that with its back office in Hyderabad in India, Inmedia Concepts has a team of highly qualified and competent programmers with worldwide exposure, catering to the US and European markets.
Ram said that while ecommerce has become an important source of national and international trading, companies must ensure that their websites have compelling and easy-to-navigate processes.
“One of the factors that should be considered is Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). This is a process that helps to enhance online visibility. We work on key words that online browsers use to visit websites. With properly executed SEO, websites will be visible on search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing,” he said.
Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is a paid service for online marketing, offering the benefits of faster and cost-effective results.
According to Ram, social media marketing is a new way of connecting businesses with their prospects. Social Media sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Pintrest allow businesses to access customers globally.
“We help in constant interaction, which in turn helps companies to build confidence and trust. We help businesses invent and or reinvent their brand, communicating with and reaching their target audience,” he said.