Posts Tagged ‘Approach’

Ethical Issues in Business: A Philosophical Approach

Product Description

This widely used business ethics book begins by introducing students/readers to moral reasoning. A collection of readings and cases from both philosophical literature and business articles apply ethical theory to real-life business situations. Well-known scandals involving companies like Enron, WorldCom, Tyco, Merrill Lynch, and Parmalat have increased public awareness of business ethics, underscored its importance, and ushered in a new era of increased corporate regulation and governance.

Now, more than ever, a student planning on entering the business world, and anyone working for a corporation, investing in stock, or even interacting with businesses will benefit from a basic understanding of business ethics.

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Internet Advertising: a Community Based Approach

To find out what makes advertising on the Internet far more “interesting” than any other type of advertising, let’s take a look at some of the underlying assumptions that go into traditional advertising, in order to see how our current mindset affects the way we communicate with our potential customers. Let begin by looking at the following important points:

1) A business will initially decide to disseminate some sort of promotional material to the public

2) They will either go directly to an advertiser (TV or Radio Station, Magazine, Newspaper etc) in order to place their ad, or

3) They will hire a firm to perform a market analysis, draw up a campaign and execute and run this campaign on their behalf

4) Finally, the advertisement is exposed to the market

This all makes a lot of sense and is exactly how businesses have reached their customers for hundreds of years now. The problem is it’s based on the assumption that the client is simply the recipient of the advert and can not participate or interact with said material. You know what’s coming next…

The Internet, of course, has changed everything and turned conventional marketing conventions on their heads! Or, has it? Actually, so inured in the standard way of doing things are we that we have simply transferred the advertising convention from traditional media to the Internet, without any regard for how we can utilize the unique opportunities that the World-wide Web provides.

The “unique” opportunities I am referring to in this instance arise from the fact that unlike television, for example, the Internet is fully inter-active. In other words, if I see an advert on TV, I can either buy the product or not, the advertiser has no way of telling whether I was sleeping through the ad, listening intently, or doing something else entirely. With the Internet, however, I can respond to the ad, endorse the product, sell it onwards, or affiliate with the company, buy the product, critique it, ignore it… whatever!

What’s more, using the Internet as a medium for advertising gives us the ability to accurately measure the impact and visibility of the advert. So how precisely are we using the Internet at present? The following list will show you the “slight” evolution in the way we do things. The main improvements over the old way of doing things really boil down to a few important points:

1) Increased ability to isolate target audience that is predisposed to buying certain products (i.e. Google Ads)

2) Enhanced ability to track advert coverage and exposure

3) Ability to engage customers interactively through forms and links

Advertising on the Internet obviously has some advantages that make it worthwhile for companies to divert marketing dollars online. It’s easy to say this because everyone knows that the Internet advertising industry is growing rapidly and already represents billions of dollars each year. But why does this method still fall short of the actual “potential” of the Internet as a medium for advertising?

The answer lies in the unique way the Internet has developed. People find the information they need, by and large, through search engines such as Yahoo and Google. As a result of this it has become important to feature highly on these search engines in order to maintain a certain level of visibility on the Internet. But, no one really knows exactly what makes a site rank number one because no one is privy to the exact algorithms that Yahoo and Google use to rank pages.

What we do know is that there are a variety of factors which are “important” if you wish to compete in the rankings stakes. One of the most important factors is linking – the more links you have coming into your site, the higher your perceived popularity. To stop everyone cheating, the search engines analyze the relation the linking sites have to each other and the perceived quality of all the sites involved. What this means is in order to fare well in the search engine rankings you need a plethora of high quality links coming into your Website.

Now, as many of you will appreciate, this is not an easy thing to accomplish. For many small businesses, just one link from a well know, popular site could make all the difference between success and failure. A site which has millions of visitors a month that links to small business could ostensibly send thousands of potential customers over to their linking partners – and thousands of customers visiting anyone’s site is a licence to print money (provided they pick up what you put down).

But, the catch is that big businesses are not inclined to just link to any old site – especially when they are charging thousands of dollars for people to place ads on their WebPages that link to their Websites. So how in the world does one go about obtaining high quality links from big Websites? The answer is:

You have to make your own big Website and have it link to you!

At this point, you may be growling something to the effect of “If I could build my own big Website, I wouldn’t be reading this article”. Well, I’ll admit that it probably isn’t too easy to build one by yourself, but you and five thousand other people in the same position could. All you would need is a central meeting point that you could all link to – this central meeting point would then have tens of thousands of incoming links from businesses all over the show. Ask anyone how highly ranked a site with say 5000 incoming links would be and I’m sure they would jump at the chance to link to it.

But where is there such a site? Well, to my knowledge there is only one – (along with its sister sites). lists adverts from customers who have to submit to a certain code of standards and encourages its advertisers to link back to them. In this way, as the number of customers grows, so the number of incoming links grow, and in turn the popularity of the site blooms.

As the popularity of the site increases, so does the visibility of the adverts because starts showing up in more and more searches. With the increased popularity in search ranking comes the inevitable increase in traffic, which in turns benefits the advertiser. So the cycle continues – more and more links from more and more advertisers means more and more traffic and everyone benefits.

Looking at how this affects the previous lists, we can see that in this case, the following points are important:

1) Customers use search engines to locate what they want

2) Search engines return the popular websites on their front pages

3) These popular websites are visited and recommend the businesses that are advertised

4) These businesses in turn are linked to the popular Website and refer their own customers to the Marquee, increasing the overall traffic of the community

This “tent or marquee” principle that relies on reciprocal linking from thousands of advertisers is going to revolutionize the way in which advertising is done because it works on a community basis. In other words, it builds up a community of advertisers who would otherwise be excluded from the Internet mainstream because of their lack of funds or size. is the Internet’s way of levelling the playing field between those large organizations with large budgets and those with more modest means.

In order to encourage participation in the Marquee, they offer up to $80 000 in refunds for their top clients as a way of rewarding those community members who evangelize the Website the most. Using a referral system, measures who has brought in the most money and at the end of the buying period (the site should be over 80% full) refunds them a set amount – regardless of whether they have spent $50 or $5000 in advertising on the site.

If you are not convinced then all I have to say is “Have a little faith – it will work if everyone acts together.”

For more information, visit:

David Mercer
"davidm at contechst dot com"
Drupal: Creating Blogs, Forums, Portals & Community Websites
osCommerce: Professional Edition


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