Internet marketing solution
To arrive at a workable Internet marketing solution you must first decide how to get customers to visit your site, and find out who your potential users are. It is unlikely that everyone will have a need or interest in your service or product, so don't waste money pitching to them.
Your first step to building a user profile for your Internet marketing solution is to research some statistics on general web usage in the USA and worldwide. A good source for this is eTForecasts (www.etforecasts.com), who gather research on the PC and Internet industries. It can cost over a thousand dollars for a full report from eTForecasts, but their online press releases have useful summaries and information: for example, at the end of 2004, America had the highest number of web-users in the world, totaling 185 million. Within the next five years eTForecasts believes that many of these web-users will substitute their PC for smartphone or mobile phone Internet access. Information like this tells you much about your user already - they're English-speaking, technologically savvy and have a reasonably high disposable income (and are unlikely to be retired) - and what technology your company may need to interact with in the coming years.
You can supplement general user research from companies like etForecasts with your own research about your potential customers gathered from industry and trade shows and via direct feedback from your own existing customers. Brainstorm your thoughts on your ideal customer. How old are they? How much do they earn? What is their profession? What are their online habits and media consumption?
The end result will not be a perfect model of every customer that will ever use your service but it should show you where much of your initial and repeat business should come from. You should then pitch trying to sell to this person (your ideal customer), and then less ideal customers. You should also then think about the things your ideal customer might also want; imagine you run a soccer product website selling the latest in boots, clothing and soccer DVDs. In theory the majority of your customers will be aged between 15-30, are likely to be male and may be good at other sports too - so where do they buy their other products, and how can you advertise to them? Are there any sites you could link from? And is there way you can advertise your presence at organized events or leagues, and their club websites? Could you seek permission to include registered users of sites like these on your emailouts?