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Web Works Best in Combination with Other Media
The Internet has been on the skids for a while after the initial boom in the use of this new medium, but nowadvertising on the Internet is growing again. Organizations spent nearly $10 billion last year to communicate their ideas, products and services through Web sites and it will be $15 billion by 2005.

There has been a learning curve as communication specialists have learned how to get results from the Internet. It can work well on its own, but it works best in a combined campaign with other media. A new study has three findings that may be of use to you as you consider the use of Web sites in your ministry:

1. To get a good response, a Web site must inform, entertain and offer instant access to the products you want to sell. Even if your primary goal is to sell ideas, not products or services, you should provide immediate availability of something, perhaps a menu of PDF documents that explain how to get involved in your mission or implement your goals locally.

2. If you combine print and video pieces in a coordinated campaign with your web site, you will have exponential increases in your overall impact. Every communique that goes out should include some way to entice people to look at a related Web page.

3. You must constantly grow the level of creativity and innovation in your communication efforts to get people to stop and shop at your Web site. You are competing against much more sophisticated and better-funded efforts elsewhere whether you like it or not.

The new "new thing" in Web sites is media techniques which give power back to the consumer, including formats such as "AdTabs" and "page peels" which allow users to choose when they want to see an ad or not. You have to give the consumer a sense of control–not try to manipulate them–or they will simply go away and seek information elsewhere to meet their needs. Review your Web site regularly and try to put yourself in the place of a consumer: What does the site give you? How difficult is it to use? Is it fun as well as informative? Does it give you a sense of the importance of your cause?

Trend Analysis Report (2003) - Source: Gartner Group, a technology research firm – www.gartner.com