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This chapter is from the book

The internet is a powerful piece of the branding campaign

The Internet, like any other communication channel, is not a total and complete branding strategy. First, think of your audiences. How do they break down on the Web? Sure, there are the audiences that spend more time on the Internet choosing online media and interaction rather than the traditional media. But there will always be audiences that split Internet time with traditional media. And let's not forget the Internet disbelievers who don't spend any time surfing the Web—are there any that still exist? In an interview with Eric Straus, president of Straus Media Group of Poughkeepsie, New York, the issue of offline and online branding surfaced (see the Straus Media Group mini-case study at the conclusion of Chapter 2). Straus bought his first radio station from his father in 1989 and since then has acquired nine more stations to assemble the largest media network in the Hudson Valley. When discussing brands and cyber-brands, Straus stated, "Mainstream media will always be a key to branding success. Banner ads will only get you so far. Take radio, for example. It did well in 1999 because of the dot-com business." However, an article on branding appearing in CEO Conference magazine in February 2000 mentioned how many of the dot-com startups were not making savvy decisions on television advertising and were spending money foolishly. The article, entitled, "Branding on the Internet," goes as far as saying, "Reserving dollars to improve site functionality may be more important in the long run than pouring money into advertising." This statement touches upon issues and certainly raises significant questions. However, both achieving the balance between offline and online advertising and site functionality are key factors to the success of the online effort.

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