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World Wide Web Marketing - Second Edition
Integrating the Web Into Your Marketing Strategy

Sterne, Jim
Publisher:  John Wiley & Sons Canada Ltd., Toronto, Canada
Year Published:  1999  
Pages:  392pp   Price:  $46.50   ISBN:  0-471-31561-3
Library of Congress Number:  HF5415.1265.S742   Dewey:  658-8'4

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Jim Sterne knows marketing and he knows the World Wide Web. He has toured extensively speaking about "Marketing on the Internet" as an Internet marketing strategy consultant. An internationally recognized speaker, he has been introduced to audiences in Germany as a "Web-meister" and to audiences in India as a "Web-guru".

So it's no surprise that this book reads like an enthusiastic, high energy speech, rather than a dry technical manual. The author asserts, "This is not a technical treatise; it's about marketing", although it provides "advanced thinking about using the Web for business and where the Web is headed".

This book is designed for those whose jobs involve creating and maintaining corporate web sites. It is also entertaining for those of us who know little about marketing, but find that ubiquitous phenomenon oddly fascinating. There is little marketing jargon and no computer jargon to alienate the uninitiated. Explanations are clear, accompanied by helpful analogies, useful figures, and plenty of interesting real-life examples and statistics.

"The World Wide Web is the most important invention since Velcro." Business Week, February 27, 1995. So begins the introduction. The author wants to make sure you are completely convinced of the indispensability of the World Wide Web as a marketing tool in the introductory section of the book, lest you stumble into Chapter One a non-believer.

After a very brief and painless introduction to the nuts and bolts of the World Wide Web (DOS, FTP) the first chapter provides a clear overview of the chapters to come.

Chapter Two is devoted solely to the net. Its "How the Internet Got Started" section is pleasantly concise, and "How the Internet Works" provides the simplest, clearest explanation of file transfer protocol I've ever come across. Also mentioned are E-mail, newsgroups, lists, IRC and other net- related concepts.

After an interesting introduction to the World Wide Web, Chapter Four narrows in on the Web's unique potential as a marketing tool. The next few chapters are friendly, fun and filled with tested advice on how to attract potential customers and treat them well. The dozens of real-life examples of do's and don'ts are clearly the result of many years' experience evaluating Web sites.

Chapter Eight addresses that indispensable component of any marketing mix - feedback. After discussing the survey process (what to ask and how to ask it) Sterne explains how best to respond to your users. Also addressed are the sensitive issues of buying demographic information and trading knowledge for information and money.

Chapter Nine reminds the reader that a fun, interesting and useful website is a value-added Web site, while Chapter Ten suggests, with comedy and poetry, ways to attract attention to the Web site, and what to avoid.

Chapter Eleven explains how to evaluate the success of a Web site by employing a variety of indicators.

Briefly addressing such important issues as international trade law and intellectual property considerations, Chapter Twelve also provides practical tidbits like the varied, and in many cases contrary, interpretations of various symbols, colours, and gestures around the world.

A technical 'To Do List' called, "Chapter 13: Where Do You Start?" leads the reader from his armchair to his computer desk. Two appendices complete the substantial information base. The incredible breadth of thoughtful, expert information, the wealth of interesting pictures, poems, articles and anecdotes, and the humour, understanding and personability that make World Wide Web Marketing an indispensable marketing tool, also make it a pleasure to read.

[Review by Kirsten Cowan]


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