Verizon SuperPages.com Helps Businesses Use the Internet to Compete for Customers

DALLAS - Verizon SuperPages.com and the United States Chamber of Commerce are helping small to mid-sized businesses learn how to market themselves on the Internet.

The marketing information is part of the updated Internet Learning Tutor (ILT) on www.superpages.com and the Chamber's Small Business Center on www.uschamber.com/sb/marketing.

The ILT is Verizon SuperPages.com's free online training series. Geared to busy small- business people who may not be computer experts, the marketing section offers easy-to-understand, to-the-point information about attracting new customers through online marketing. The tutorial is one of the "toolkits" on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce site.

"Let's face it -- small businesses usually don't have directors of Internet advertising or vice presidents of e-commerce," said Eric Chandler, vice president of e-commerce marketing for Verizon SuperPages.com. "Now, though, Internet Learning Tutor gives them access to the latest, best thinking on how small businesses can make a big impact on the Internet."

The content was developed for Verizon SuperPages.com by Internet marketing expert Kevin Lee, executive chairman of Did-It.com. According to Lee, "the Internet is an affordable way to compete for customers, whether in your neighborhood or around the world, and given that consumers rely on the Internet when making purchasing decisions, Web marketing is no longer an optional endeavor."

To reach as many small to mid-sized businesses as possible, the information is also being shared by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Association of Small Business Development Centers (ASBDC). "It's great to have the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and ASBDC on board," Chandler said. "That tells people this is solid information they can trust."

Linda Rozett, vice president, communications, of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said, "This adds a valuable new element to our online resources. Too many small businesses think online advertising is just for the big, national companies."

Why is Verizon SuperPages.com providing the content for free to small-business people?

"This information will help them reach new customers," Chandler said. "And when they succeed, we succeed. Plus, the more they know about effective online advertising - what makes a good Web site, what makes a good banner ad, etc. - the better we're going to be able to help them."

Verizon SuperPages.com has been committed for years to educating businesspeople about online opportunities. The ILT was launched in February 2002 with widespread support from concerned companies, government officials and small-business and consumer organizations.

"Internet Learning Tutor is a resource for Web users who have access to computers but lack the training to make effective use of the Internet's communications and Web site capabilities," Chandler said.

ILT evolved from a series of hands-on Verizon Internet Learning Day programs conducted in 25 different cities since 1998. Working with local organizations such as public libraries and work force investment boards to train more than 5,000 attendees, Verizon developed an online Internet educational curriculum.

"Along with support from our partners and feedback from users, the Internet Learning Tutor will be an ongoing source of Internet education to help small businesses market their products on the Internet, and to help consumers better navigate the Web so that they find what they want when they want it," Chandler said.

The Tutor has four sections: Internet Basics, Multimedia, Online Shopping and Online Marketing. The Tutor is available on the "Community & Education" page reached from a link on the left side of the SuperPages.com home page.

Verizon SuperPages.com

Verizon Information Services, a division of Verizon Communications Corp. (NYSE: VZ), is the nation's most advanced provider of yellow pages and related shopping information. It has $3.6 billion in revenues from products including: Verizon SuperPages yellow pages; Verizon SuperPages.com (http://www.superpages.com), the nation's best Internet directory and a leading online shopping resource; and the SuperPages On the Go information directory offered through Verizon Wireless Get It Now services and on other wireless carriers. The company is the largest publisher of Hispanic directories in the U.S. and the first to provide a Hispanic online shopping resource (http://www.superpages.com/espanol).