Marketing on the Internet involves online advertising to reach out to potential customers. It requires creativity like designing, development and technical aspects like marketing and advertising. Affiliate marketing, email marketing, search engine marketing and interactive advertising are all different facets of Internet marketing. It also includes sales, public relations, information management and customer service. Ever since the advent of Internet, it is widely used for all kind of purposes. Among the advantages of Internet, some helps in doing business, shopping, etc, from the comfort of the house. According to a research, a quarter of the Internet users shop online. It has also helped grow electronic commerce and Internet marketing is a part of electronic commerce.
Direct marketing techniques like radio and television commercials, mails, and newsletters are the inspirations for Internet marketing, which involves direct response marketing strategies and is rapidly growing. Business-to-business, also known as B2B, and business-to-consumer, also known as B2C, are the two business models to which Internet marketing can be linked. B2C companies were the first to start when Internet marketing originated. They are companies that sell directly to the customers. B2B companies are meant to do business with each other.
Websites built for Internet marketing are slightly different than others. There are peer-to-peer modeled websites which are used to exchange products and services between each other. Other is name-your-price, where the customers have to specify their price range that they can spend and select products that fall in that price range. Priceline.com is an example of such a website. Amazon.com is a website which is based on find-the-best-price model, where customers can find the lowest prices. Last are online auctions sites, where items are bid. Ebay.com is an example.
The companies who use Internet marketing are at an advantage. They don’t need to put in huge amounts of energy and time in Internet Marketing like other traditional methods. With the help of only few resources national and international markets can be reached. Because of very low investment, even small businesses are turning to online marketing. Websites and blogs have been developed for this purpose. Internet marketing is advantageous in the sense that the data is easily available on the Internet. Newsletters can be directly sent to customers and if it doesn’t contain the information they are looking for, they can search for information about the product online, make a decision and purchase it online itself.
One of the factors that hinder the growth of online marketing is delayed loading of the page. The web pages that take a lot of time to download test the patience of the consumer. To add to that, if the businesses design complex web pages with lots of graphics and animations, it will slow down the speed even more. Another minus point of online marketing is that the customers cannot feel, taste, smell or try products in order to make a good decision. To over come this, some of the online stores have created liberal return policies with the help of which the customer satisfaction is guaranteed.
Another biggest threat of online shopping is identity theft. Paying online using credit cards, e-checks are susceptible to hackers and information can be stolen and used. Many hackers and websites have been caught who were involved in buying and selling of personal information. Most of the websites have taken measures and incorporated good security on their websites. One of the best methods is encryption. When the data is being transferred between two computers; there is a possibility of a hacker intercepting it. So the data is changed by applying some encryption algorithm and is sent through the network and upon receiving, the decryption algorithm is applied to bring back the data to its original form.
Online selling is influencing all kinds of businesses like banking, advertising, music, etc. Instead of going to a store for buying cassettes and CDs, music can be bought online. Bank transactions like depositing, withdrawing, transferring funds, and paying bills are all performed online. Billions of dollars are invested every year in online advertising alone.
Marketing strategy helps organizations to focus their attention to complete resource utilization to increase sales and win over their competitors. Every company applies some kind of marketing strategies to maintain existing customers, attract potential customers and also to maintain and enhance their reputation in the market.
When designing a marketing plan, first a marketing strategy is taken into consideration. The marketing plan consists of steps to be taken so as to attain success in the implementation of the marketing strategy chosen. Big projects involve selection of different strategies at different levels. Usually a strategy consists of well-sketched tactics. They are meant to meet the needs and finally reach marketing objectives. Each of the strategies has pre-calculated results because when a particular strategy is chosen at a particular level, its outcome becomes the goal of that particular level. If there is an absence of a well thought strategy in a marketing plan means it is supposedly lacking a good foundation. A reasonable marketing strategy should not only facilitate marketing goals, but also the action sequence of a campaign.
At regular time intervals the firm should analyze the marketing decision. This is done with the help of strategic models and the 3C’s model is considered for this purpose. To calculate the company’s strategic position, Ansoff matrix is used. The 3C’s model determines the factors, which leads to the success of a marketing campaign. There are three key parties involved in this model the corporation, the customer and the competitors. The involvement of all the three key parties leads to positive results and this involvement is known as the 3C’s or strategic triangle.
The role of the corporation is to increase the strength of the company in the success critical areas, when compared to that of the competitor. The customer and his interest form the basis of any strategy. The competitor also plays a vital part. The competitor-based strategies are based on the functioning of business competitors like design and engineering, sales and servicing, and purchasing.
When making a marketing plan depending on some particular strategies known as mix strategies are used. 4P’s model is used to calculate whether the plan is sticking to the strategies or not. The four Ps stand for product, price, place and promotion. Products are goods produced by the company on a huge scale for the purpose of selling them and earning profit. Price is the money paid for a product by the customer. The price is based on many factors like competition, market share, customer perception and product identity. Place where the product is sold can be either physical store or store on the Internet. It is also known as distribution channel. To make the customer knowledgeable about a product, the marketer does promotion. It involves advertising, public relation and point of sale.
There are different types of marketing strategies based on some criteria. Challenger, Leader and Follower are types of market dominance strategies. Market dominance strategies are used to dominate the market. Cost leadership, Market segmentation and Product differentiation are types of porter generic strategies. Porter generic strategies are built on strategic strength or competing abilities and strategic scope or market penetration. Close followers, late follower and Pioneers are types of innovation strategies. Innovation strategies are meant to trigger the rate of product development and model innovation. It helps the firm to incorporate latest technologies. Intensification, Diversification, Vertical integration and Horizontal integration are types of growth strategies. Growth strategies facilitate the growth of the organization. Marketing warfare strategies are conjunction of marketing strategies and military strategies.
A marketing strategy or a mix of them is chosen only after thorough market research. A marketer should always be ready to face any kind of situations like if the strategy is changed in the middle, he should be able to perform another market research so as to choose the proper strategy, within a short period of time. This can be done easily if you have experience.
Marketing management involves choosing target markets that not only get new customers but also retain the existing ones. It is a business subject, which is based on research and study of practical applications of marketing techniques and management of the marketing resources. The one who excels in this field is known as marketing manager. The job of the marketing manager is to influence the timing and level of customer demand so as to help the sales. It actually depends on the size of the business and environment in the corporate industry. Like if he is working in a huge production company, he will be the general manager of a particular product category assigned to him and he will be responsible for profit and loss with respect to the product. And in small business there is no marketing manager as his job is taken over by the partners of the company.
Creating and communicating best customer values can increase the number of customers. The steps taken and resources utilized to maintain existing customers and get new customers fall under marketing management. The scope is quite large because it not only consists of developing a product, but also retaining it. The term marketing management has many definitions. It actually depends on individual firms and how the marketing department functions and activities of other departments like operations finance, pricing and sales.
Before deciding about a marketing strategy, the company must do an in-depth study about their business, and the market. This is where marketing management merges with strategic planning. Usually the marketing strategies are of three types, customer analysis, company analysis and competitor analysis. Using the customer analysis, the market is broken down into different types of customers. The marketing management realizes the characteristics and other variables of each group. They are geographical location, demographic, customer behavior pattern and need. Like a group of people can be recognized who can be less price sensitive, purchases often and are growing. Such groups can be worked on by heavy investments as they are worth the money and time. They cannot only retain such customers and make new customers in this group but they can go to the very extent of turning back customers who don’t belong to this group. Understanding the needs makes customer’s expectations to be met per their satisfaction, better than the competitors, which will lead to higher sales and obvious profit.
Company analysis highlights the cost structure and resources of the company and cost position when compared to competitors. The accounting executives use it to learn about the profit earned by a particular product. From time to time, audits are conducted to study about the strengths of various brands of the company.
Marketers using competitor analysis build detail customer profiles. It gives a clear picture about the strengths and weaknesses of the firm, when compared to a competitor. The competitor’s cost structure, resources, competitive positioning, degree of vertical integration, product differentiation, and profits are studied in detail and are compared to what company is doing in those regards.
The marketing management to do marketing analysis carries out marketing research. The most common of such researches are qualitative marketing research, quantitative marketing research, experimental techniques and observational techniques.
After all the studies and researches are conducted, its easier for the marketing manager to make strategic decisions and they then can design a marketing strategy to increase the profits and revenues of their company. The other goals can be profit over the long run, market share, and revenue growth.