Internet marketing to be topic at 2003 Telepower conference

To help small business owners in rural America understand the importance of marketing and Internet marketing, Telepower 2003 will feature a session titled "Enticing Customers from Afar" on Oct. 15-16 in Salina.

Telepower, an annual conference sponsored by Fort Hays State University's Docking Institute of Public Affairs, helps rural community leaders and business owners use information technology as a tool for economic development.

The Internet marketing session will provide information about the usefulness of marketing, the demand for a strong marketing plan, and the unique way the Internet and marketing work together.

Susan Bittel, director of the FHSU Small Business Development Center, believes that marketing is the essential link between a successful business and its customers.

"A business can make, sell or provide a quality product, but without a viable marketing plan in place, the business will fail, because its primary customers do not know about it," she said. "If a business is striving to prosper, it is essential to identify the audience and learn how to most effectively communicate with them."

If a business is trying to prosper, it is essential that business owners identify their target audience and learn how to appeal to them.

"With the competitiveness between businesses today, it will be beneficial for conference attendees to listen to the input and expertise of our panel speakers," said Casey Rackaway, special events coordinator for the Docking Institute.

According to Tonja Vallin, marketing specialist for FHSU and Telepower panel speaker, comparable products and services are just a click away so today's business owners need to develop their niche, and communicate it with their customers often. The Internet is a powerful tool for small business, and business owners need to give their current and potential customers a reason to visit their site.

The session offered at Telepower will discuss ways to attract new customers and strategies to entice existing customers to shop more and spend more.

"The information which will be presented at Telepower will be beneficial to all attendees, because in our rural environments where we are faced with a shrinking population, businesses are able to grow and target new audiences through Internet use," said Rackaway.

For more information or to register, contact Jodie Wear-Leiker at (785) 628-5949 or visit the Docking Institute's Web site at

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