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By Published on .

For the World Wide Web to become a significant commercial conduit, there needs to be more SAS--speed, availability and security.

That was a key finding of two surveys conducted exclusively for Internet Marketing by IntelliQuest, the market researcher in Austin, Texas. One survey targeted senior management and marketing executives at U.S. business locations; the other was sent to Web users worldwide.

Both groups listed the ability to perform secure transactions and the speed of the Web as obstacles to the successful development of the Web as a business-to-business marketing tool.

In terms of availability, however, it depended on which side of the table you were on: Senior managers and marketers cited a lack of customer access as a problem, while Web users noted there were few supplier Web sites they could visit.

That gap should narrow in the coming months. While one-fifth of the senior managers and marketers surveyed currently have a Web site, another third said they plan to launch one within the next six months.

Once the site is launched, however, don't expect the MIS department to keep control.

Among those that have or plan to have a Web site, the marketing department had full or partial responsibility for content development 31% of the time; the sales department was cited 22% of the time; and marketing communications, 11%. (Multiple responses were permitted; the average respondent mentioned 1.5 departments.)

The Web users survey underscored the potential of the network as a marketing and sales medium. About two-fifths of the Web users said they had purchased computers and computer-related products because of information and advertising found online; one-fourth had purchased other products after surfing the Web.

In terms of online transactions, almost one-third of the Web users said they had purchased information directly over the network; one-fourth had purchased computers and computer-related products. That would explain why more than four-fifths of the senior managers and marketers that have or plan to have a Web site said they plan to increase their Web budgets in 1996.

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