First and foremost, customers, whether on the side of Business-to-business or Business-to-consumer, (B2B or B2C) are getting much more search savvy. They are spending much more time on the Internet searching out everything. B2B buyers are using the Internet to track down specialty items that would have been typically researched through Thomas Register just a few short years ago. In fact, the Internet, and specifically search engines have had a very positive affect for B2B buyers, and consumers, while at the same time have had a negative affect on old type of Manufacturing Directories and Encyclopedia book sales. Many of these Directory publishers have migrated to the Internet. However, they are actually behind in their conversion because of the abundance of online information that is published on the Web. Both buyers and consumers know how to type keywords into a search engine and get a wealth of information specific to their needs.
Consumers are doing their research into big ticket items before purchases are made. They are searching for and selling items on Craigslist and eBay, and other online classified areas, to the detriment of the local newspapers. Coverage is local, national, or International in scope. The benefits for the consumer are expanding on a daily basis as new types of solutions for buying and selling items are being developed.
From the standpoint of any business, both on the B2B and B2C side of the equation, developing a strong online presence is not an option any more. Every business that wishes to expand, either vertically or horizontally will need to come up with a strategic Internet marketing and online advertising plan.
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