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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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"Marketing on the Internet" Theme for July 24 Videoconference

LAS CRUCES -- New Mexicans can learn more about using the internet to market products, services and even communities at a July 24 videoconference shown at sites across the state.

To decide if the internet is for them, participants can watch the conference from 7 to 9 p.m. at sites in Estancia, Grants, Silver City, Clovis, Portales, Artesia and Las Cruces. Videotapes and companion publications will be available after the conference.

"At a minimum, every business should look at the potential of the internet and decide whether or not it's for them today or it might be for them in a year or two," said Bob Coppedge, economic development specialist with New Mexico State University's Cooperative Extension Service. "It's just a necessary part of doing business in this age."

The videoconference will include presentations about internet trends and basic marketing ideas. Viewers also will see New Mexico sites on the World Wide Web, including some for product sales and others that promote communities, Coppedge said. The second hour will consist of a call-in question and answer session.

A recent survey showed nearly half the adult population uses the internet for business purposes such as gathering information or communicating with those at work and outside. However, selling products and services online ranked last on the list of business uses, Coppedge said.

"By some estimates, there are about 150 million personal computers but only about 6 million are connected to the internet, so there's tremendous growth potential," he said.

Although New Mexico boasts hundreds of sites on the World Wide Web, including promotions for pecans, pistachios and chile peanut butter, some marketers may be missing out on opportunities.

Coppedge recently found Texas was promoting the chile war with New Mexico online, describing salsa as a "uniquely Texas concoction" on one San Antonio home page. "Besides claiming they invented salsa, what they were implicitly saying was that New Mexico doesn't compete in that arena," Coppedge said. "We need to have a stronger internet presence."

Communities and government agencies also can tap the internet's potential to attract both tourists and prospective businesses.

"For tourism promotions, internet users tend to be higher-income and footloose -- the kind of people who travel," he said. In addition, economic development information can be part of internet marketing for communities.

"For example, a lot of hard-core economic developers are getting on the internet and promoting their communities, because some site-selection experts around the country are on the internet searching out information about prospective locations for businesses," he said.

The videoconference is funded in part by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Telecommunications Program.

For information about materials or setting up additional viewing sites for the videoconference, contact Bobbi Bowen with NMSU's Agricultural Communications Department at (505) 646-5368.