The E-Factor: Building a 24/7, Customer-Centric, Electronic Business for the Internet Age

The E-Factor: Building a 24/7, Customer-Centric, Electronic Business for the Internet Age

by Martin T. Focazio


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The E-Factor: Building a 24/7, Customer-Centric, Electronic Business for the Internet Age by Martin T. Focazio

Companies that have Internet "departments" are dinosaurs, and the position of "Webmaster" is nearly extinct! In today's successful business model, the Internet isn't just an area of business--it is a fundamental structure for how to do business. In highly-competitive companies, the "e-factor" pervades every aspect of operations.

The E-Factor shows managers and executives how to succeed in this radically altered business landscape. It examines the revolutionary impact of Web technology on traditional business operations and how to exploit the technology to transform companies into "customer-centric" entities.

The book supplies lucid answers to the strategic questions that businesspeople must ask, including:

  • How can we evolve to integrate the Internet and e-commerce universally?
  • Are we weaving the concept of "infostructure" into our business, thus managing information and knowledge on a real-time basis?
  • What business needs does our Web site address?
  • Does our site demonstrate real value to our target audience?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780814404898
Publisher: AMACOM
Publication date: 03/05/2001
Pages: 256
Product dimensions: 6.39(w) x 9.32(h) x 0.94(d)

About the Author

Martin T. Focazio (Bloomsbury, NJ) is president of Focazio.Com Enterprises, which helps organizations create practical interactive business strategies. Prior to founding his company, he was Senior Business Strategist at AGENCY.COM and Executive Producer in the online media group at VSI Communications Ltd.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1: The Electronic Economy

What the Heck Is Going on Here?

Dot-com . . . bricks and mortar . . . clicks and mortar. . . it seems like the Internet is radically affecting traditional businesses and creating a vast new economy, one of companies without profits, businesses with no discernable revenue models and staggering market valuations. The Internet has seemingly disrupted the standard way of running a profitable business. But it hasn't, actually.

The Internet itself is not causing this disruption. The use of the Internet to do business in a way that avoids additional costs, reduces current costs, and facilitates massive one-to-one communication is the driver of the new economy.

If you've picked up this book, you're probably wondering where the Internet is going to take your business over the next few years. I can't begin to answer that question for you here. What I can do is identify how you can change your thinking about how business is done to adapt to an electronic economy. This book is all about figuring out what to do first to ensure that your company both survives and thrives with the help of interactive communications and the Internet.

In this new economy there is a new way for a company or a brand to deliver value. To borrow a concept from Nicolas Negroponte, the noted author of Being Digital and a founding investor in Wired magazine, the primary value of the new economic success story is in the "bits" (that is, digital information), not in the "atoms" (that is, physical objects). A company can deliver value to the customer as bits through either interactive technologies, such as the Web or e-mail, or physical objects, such as retail outletsor catalogs.

Investors intuitively recognize that the value of the bits can often exceed that of the atoms, and thus the market valuations of companies like Yahoo! exceed their physical assets by an exponential factor. The bit-based company interacts with a customer in a new way. It is able to supply customers with what they want at the moment they have a need, whereas customers of atom-based companies must instead use a physical presence to fulfill a need (for example, go to the mall). The company that realizes that interactive technology unlocks the value in the bits will succeed. It will do so whether bits are used for better and lower-cost customer service, revenue generation from intellectual property, effective distribution of knowledge capital, or simply a more effective decision support system for a presales activity.

Interactive technologies are not just limited to Web sites and e-mail. Those are just "training wheels" for the next phase of the new economy. Wireless, ubiquitous access through a multitude of devices is already happening and will be an important part of the economy in less than three years. For example, the Palm Pilot VII, made by Palm Computing, has wireless e-mail and simple Internet access technologies and is a precursor to the portable, mobile consumer information appliance that will be as common as the television set is today. In Japan, the DoComO s-ervice, a simple and fast wireless data service, is the...

Table of Contents

1.The Electronic Economy5
What the Heck Is Going on Here?
It Is a "Bit" More Complicated Than You Might Expect
Core Concepts of the Electronic Economy
2.The Wild Kingdom49
The Landscape
Where Do You Fit In?
3.The Business Plan Begins69
Evaluating the Business Environment
Setting Business Objectives
Establishing Metrics and Measures of Success
Continually Planning
4.The Online Audience99
How the Online Audience Changes Your Business
Defining Your Audience
5.Cultural Planning113
The Real-Time Culture
Effecting a Culture Shift
6.The Infostructure131
Creating the Master Information Map
New Information Map for Customer Response
Response Management
7.Building the Initial Web Site145
The Interactive Council
Staffing for Web Site Development
Budgeting for E-Commerce
8.Getting to Real Time173
What?--Functional Content
Who?--The Role of the Traditional Web Master
How?--The Group Publishing Model
When?--Keeping the Web Site Up to Date
9.Establishing Return on Investment199
Zone 1Real-Time Information
Zone 2Transactions, Commerce, and Tools
Zone 3Relationship and Value Exchange
ROI Case Studies
10.It's Time to Act217
Step by Step
Finishing the Project
Appendix AThe Web Site Development Project Plan227

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