We started years ago to offer some parts of our OnlineOffice for free. We have not been alone in the past years, but in what I see as a momentous shift the big boys are joining in. At the same time we are getting back to what the internet was supposed to be, a portal to free information and services.
Even Rupert Murdoch is jumping onto the bandwagon, he has just closed a deal to buy Dow Jones. Having learned from his MySpace investment, he is planning to make the online Wall Street Journal, the most successful paid-for media website, free of charge. This is just one example, the Financial Times is probably following suite.
While I still believe that most “Free” offers are made for the wrong reasons, they never the less represent a growing trend. This trend will offer new ways to cut cost and reduce overheads. Small business owners need to be savvy about these offers and make them work for themselves. “FREE” is no longer synonymous for inferior, but a big revolution in customer relations and the new marketing standard in our drive away from “PUSH” to “PULL” marketing.
Whenever you search online, don’t forget to include the little word “FREE” in your search, it could be all the competitive edge you need! ST.