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Subject: RE: UKNM: What is e-business?
From: Marshall, Jeff
Date: Thu, 13 Apr 2000 22:53:46 +0100

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Ray Taylor said:
> e-business is fundamental, and I would like to ask for
> others' views.

Here's my 2 centsworth:

Any business (b2b or b2c) needs to meet 3 fundamental objectives (apologies
to Don Pepper et al):

- acquire new customers
- retain existing customers
- increase the profitability of every customer.

The web/net/newmedia can support any of these fundamental business
objectives, and any business that uses web/net/newmedia to help meet any or
all of these, is in my view, an e-business to a larger or smaller extent.

Examples of how net/web/new media support each are below - but you can make
up your own, and the examples for each grow every day as the incredibly
inventive and fertile minds of the new media community invent new

Acquisition - everything from a simple brochure site to raise awareness to
fully integrated on and off-line campaigns, channel management through the
web, etc., etc.

Retention - best achieved through being able to offer increased / new levels
of service. If I can go on-line at my barbers and book my appointment from
my desktop (seeing what's available, rather than asking question after
question over the phone), or if I can use the bulletin board at my local
pub's web site to arrange in impromptu piss-up to celebrate the quiz teams
win in a competition (extending the community, the essence of the pub
experience, to outside opening hours), then I am more likely to remain
hooked into my supplier/customer relationship, less likely to churn.

Profitability - do it better, cheaper. Reduce the cost of
printing/delivering documents by giving me on-line access to the
information, millions of examples here.

Notice, I have not mentioned e-commerce. In my world (not universal, I
know) e-business does not equate to e-commerce. e-commerce is another way
of doing one or all of these 3 basics.

I fully expect some of you to disagree with my definition, and to take issue
with it, but I'm happy where I am. An e-business (to me)is one that uses
web/net/newmedia/wap/whatever to acquire and/or retain and/or increase the
profitability of customers.

Fire away!

Jeff Marshall
WorldWide Web Services Limited
(a member of VIA Net Works Inc.)

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