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Bus and Motor Coach Library

The Global Village

Author - Brian J. Niddery (2004)

The Internet is fast proving to be the single most powerful business tool ever imagined.  At the beginning of the 20th century the telephone was equally considered a game changer that forever changed how business at that time was conducted. As a powerful communications vehicle, it enabled local businesses the opportunity to expand and sell their wares on a national scale. Within a very short period of time, even the smallest of business entities could not survive without a telephone. It became an essential business tool and the norm a mere 100 years ago!  

Just as the telephone quickly became the most powerful business tool at the beginning of the 20th century, the Internet is the most powerful business tool of our era. It in fact has reduced the entire world to a single "Global Village".

You might mistakenly believe that as a small local business, dealing with the people within your local community, that you are immune to the powerful forces of the Internet.  Think again!  The majority of people within your community and every other community throughout North America are using the Internet in many different ways, as they are in the rest of the world.  People of all ages, at all levels, including not only kids, but parents, professionals, retired people, and those in business, or with community organizations are becoming significantly heavy users of the Internet. And they use it not only to search out information globally or nationally, but increasingly for locally-based information.

As in that prior century, business people who chose to ignore the power of the telephone were quickly swept away into oblivion, the Internet is impacting business in the very same way, accelerating success for those who utilize and invest in its power, and sweeping away those who cannot or will not adopt it! Moreover the Internet is having the same has been felt to a far greater extent in the transportation and travel industries that in almost any other industry.  How many people do you know who search out vacation spots by Internet and either buy through the Internet, or make direct contact with a transportation provider already armed with destinations, accommodations, options, and pricing? 

But here’s the real crunch - the Internet is more than a powerful communications vehicle. Its great impact lies not in merely putting massive and detailed information at the fingertips of every member of the consuming public; it has transformed how trade is being conducted. It has brought an iconic truth in the old adage “Information is Power”. More than ever before buyers are literally taking control of the sales process away from the seller.  Historically the seller dictated how and when a product is presented and marketed to consumers. Traditionally sellers controlled where and how a product is sold, distributed, priced, and whether or not consumer expectations were being satisfactorily met. The informational power of the Internet has enabled buyers to take control of this buying process! Increasingly buyers now choose how and when they will enter the buying process. Most importantly, through the social media consumers are able to determine if consumer expectations are being satisfactorily met by s seller.

This transition to buyer power and control radically changes the playing field in how sellers are able to market and sell their products. No amount of marketing strategies or advertising can ultimately overcome buyer power. Sellers need to adopt market strategies that inform, support, and invite potential buyers to enter a buying process, rather than concentrating on trying to “sell” a buyer on a product or service. In many ways this may seem a subtle change, but it is an important and essential distinction to make.