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Roberto Dondi
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 DMLR*Newsletter - Since 1997  
No.21 issue -May 1999   
  • DMLR report
  • E-commerce for small business (reasons)
  • E-commerce for small business (decisions)
  • E-commerce for small business (naming & branding)
  • Who's M.F.?

  1. DMLR report.
    Through the last 4 months, personal contacts sprung from the visiting to DMLR website and the filling in the online form, produced some information of statistical importance on WWW usage in Italy. The data are compared with the last accounting on December 1998.
    - 78.9% of overall respondents are DMLR*News' subscribers (+8.9 point change).
    - 78.0% of the subscribers found DMLR web through search engines or directories (-9.2 point change); 10.2% found it by other people (+5.1); 3.4% by other web (+1.0).
    - 300% is the subscribers' increase vs. 1998 (Jan.-Apr.).
    - 9.8 is the percent of error (failed forms / overall forms).
    - 17.4 over 100 subscribers get a TIN.IT email account; other top email accounts are IOL.IT (13.0%), HOTMAIL.COM (10.9%) and YAHOO.IT or COM (4.3%). 
  2. E-commerce for small business (reasons). 

  3. Marketing practice varies between businesses according to their size, as well as the industrial sector from which they come. The difference in the threats and opportunities posed by the Internet challenge varies considerably with the size of a manufacturing company (more so than in the services markets). In the past, small businesses have often tended to dismiss the relevance of the information technology (IT) to their operations. However such a technology is becoming more important to small business for three key reasons.
    a) Small companies are often in a favorable position to take advantage of E-commerce. They can attack market niches which large companies may not find viable, they have a much smaller organization to train, and in Italy they can advantage of subsidized finance help by means of fiscal incentives to SME.
    b) The Internet has increased the demand for products coming from abroad, often by SME. Such a switch from traditionally mass-advertised goods using modern b-to-b technology can create new opportunities which small enterprise is well placed to exploit.
    c) Small companies face the threat of losing out to larger companies. Larger companies may have the resources to invest in IT to market and sell competitive products which the small supplier will find hard to match.
    Either as an offensive or defensive strategy, e-commercing is going to be an innovative strategy for many small businesses during 2000s.

  4. E-commerce for small business (decisions). 

  5. There are several common starting points for the e-commercing of marketing strategy:
    - it may be required to strength the company as competitor onto foreign markets or to step into new ones;
    - it may be adopted in the marketing strategy as a means of targeting a new market segment identified by the marketing audit;
    - it may be adopted in response to direct pressure from commitments (i.e. big distributors or retailers);
    - it may be adopted as a tactical response to a leading competitor's strategy;
    - it may be forced upon the company by... marketing consultants.

  6. E-commerce for small business (naming & branding).
    There are several ways to create a domain name that identifies the small businesses going to e-commerce.
    a) Company name. Many times companies are household names, and it is the company name that represents the brand. Unfortunately common names could have already in use as web domains.
    b) Brand name. The brand name is the one which is most usually familiar for identifying a company. For small businesses often brand names are related to the company names. If not the choice of registering domain is due to the objectives of the e-commercing strategy.
    c) Trade name. A trade name helps to differentiate between particular product types within a product range. It's not common -and surely expensive- to register all names of products! Sometimes a trade name has to be registered as web domain to avoid a possible exploitation by similar products and competitive suppliers.
    The domain naming is often the result of several pondering and maybe the developing of a new name is the best way to do it for small businesses when they decide to start an e-commercing website. The definition of a domain name may be respectful of a variety of essentials to succeed. But this will be treated on DMLR*News' next issue. Don't lose it!

  7. Who's M.F.? 

  8. Long company names are often become shortened to a set of initials. These initials are representing a more cumbersome descriptive name -RAI stands for Radio Audizioni Italiane. Others are reflecting the names of the founders -D&G are initials of designers Dolce and Gabbana. The initials of a company name are sometimes transformed into something more like a recognizable word (acronym) -see Coop or umpteen names of new merging banks groups! A domain name can denote nationality through the top level domain (.it, .in), to reflect national pride or to trade on a country's reputation in a certain market. This addition should be abandoned if the brand is already well known and internationally marketed. So an original meaning of many famous sets of initials has become lost as the initials or acronyms have become famous as a name in themselves -BMW ( from Germany, IBM ( from the USA, DNV ( from Norway, FIAT ( from Italy. There is, however, always a danger that initials will be misinterpreted or become confused. So to know more about M.F. read the Top*Four magazine of May.  
Copyright 1999 - All rights reserved (except where indicated). 
Roberto Dondi- marketing consultant.
Member of A.P.C.O. ( 

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©1997-2000 DMLR / Roberto Dondi.
Issued on: [May 3, 1999]