Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is a great pleasure for me to open this conference on Internet Marketing --here in Smáralind today - arranged by -- e.c. Software -- in cooperation with Microsoft, the Trade Council of Iceland and ÍMARK the Icelandic marketing association.
Iceland is an ideal place to host a conference with the theme "Internet marketing" Over 93% of all Icelanders have access to the Internet through high speed connections, and according to statistics 90% of Icelanders use the web searching for goods and services. Nine out of ten use the web for communication with email, 3 out of 4 read the news from the e-media and 3 out of 4 utilise the web banks.
We live in a changing world; A world that is becoming more and more -- an open international forum, -- barriers are disappearing and the form of the communication between individuals and even government is becoming --the language of business. --In all this internationalisation the internet is becoming an important opportunity for all businesses, it establishes a direct link between the customer and the provider. Customers should be perceived as information seekers who evaluate marketers offering in terms of their own drives and needs.
Here in Iceland, somecommunities are connecting all their inhabitants with a web connection, giving people opportunities to take care of all their affairs on-line, shortening the time it takes to take care of basic things like -- transferring money,-- filing reports and -- investigating status of various accounts.
Icelandic companies are starting to harness more increasingly the possibilities and the opportunities of the internet. The Internet can in upcoming years increase our national productions dramatically and we have seen that it has been very successful for many organisations and companies for-example in the travelling industry.
The airlines in Iceland have changed their ways noticeably in operating their business, we see increasing percentage of sales via the Internet, which lowers cost at the same time as the service has improved. This means that the focus in the business have changed, sales offices have been closed down while web sites have been improved to enable customers not only to book tickets on line, but as well to choose their seats in the plane. There are several companies and organisations in Iceland that have operated their web sites with fascinating success. Among them is the Internal Revenue Directorate in Iceland. The percentage of Icelanders that file tax reports on line is now over 82% and will likely increase and be over 90% next year.
With a considerable cost, it is vital that the right content management software will be selected. In Iceland we have several influential vendors of this kind of software and e.c. Software, the organisation responsible for this conference here today, has been quite successful, not only on domestic markets but as well has the company implemented web applications for IKEA on international basis.
Ladies and Gentlemen
Web search engines, along with content management systems, will in the near future be very important in placing goods and services on line. Up to 88% percent of all web users find goods and services on the web by utilising search engines.
Here today all of you have the possibility to look thoroughly at some of the main issues you deal with while issuing successful web site marketing wise and how to optimise it for any kind of search engines.
I feel confident that this conference will be useful for all participants. Sharing experience with colleagues and listening to the experts is always of use. My wish is that you will have an interesting conference ahead of you here today.
I declare the conference open.