Internet marketing also known as web marketing, online marketing and online marketing is essentially product marketing and Internet service. With the rapid evolution of Internet, marketing took on over an all new level. Marketing not only became cheaper online but it paved the way for younger, more creative online business prospects. Today information is distributed to the global audience at incredibly low prices and even cost-free at times. The interactive nature of web-based means of communication stands out as the primary reason behind its success both in responding instantly and also eliciting responses for that matter. E-marketing is one broad concept for it refers to not only emails, the wireless mails, but also management of digital customer data and electronic customer relationship management systems. It is a unique combination of both the creative as well as technical aspects of the internet. These may incorporate concept related to design and development, advertising, and sales. It extends beyond mere building and setting up a website nor is it restricting to simple banner placements on other sites. To be effective internet marketing makes use of the routine marketing theories and are only successful if a comprehensive strategy is laid down and worked over. It should synergize the business model cum sales goal of the organization and ensure that the purpose and design of the website are consistent with that. At the same time, it is also important a proper choice of advertising type, media and design is also made through. Internet marketing also involves the various stages of customer engagement cycle and appropriate placement of media across each one of these stages. It is multi-faceted and includes search engine marketing (SEM), search engine optimization (SEO), email marketing, strategies used in Web 2.0 and banner placement. (Article Marketing, n.d.) New York Times published a report in 2008 in which it made an initial estimate to quantify the amount of data collected by large Internet-based companies. The authors figured that the potential for collecting and taking data upward was 2500 times on average per user per month. (Internet Marketing n.d.)
E-marketing models have been derived from the marketing models only. They are directly or indirectly related to the business processes involved. Of the numerous business models which are used on most online sites, the few most basic ones are ecommerce, publishing, lead-based websites, and affiliate marketing. Under e-commerce goods are sold directly to customers through business to customer approaches or business to business models. Advertisements are sold in publishing which paves the way in its own right for a convenient income. Lead based websites function as organizations. They generate value through their own websites triggering sales leads. Affiliate marketing which is a popular form of marketing in the internet world involves business rewards in which one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought about by the affiliate’s marketing efforts. E-marketing involves a one-to – one approach to enable target users to browse and surf the internet on their own in most cases. Ergo, it can reach him directly and personally via marketing messages. This approach is normally applied in search marketing where most advertisements are based on search engine keywords that have been plugged in by the user himself. Currently with the emergence of Web 2.0, most users can interconnect with each other as “peers”. (Story 2008)
Internet marketing alongside geo marketing holds special emphasis on marketing that appeals to specific behavior and interests instead of reaching out to a broadly defined demographic. Marketers thus target their users by categorizing them into groups on the basis of their age, religion, ethnic backgrounds and a myriad of other factors. Marketers thus enjoy the luxury of targeting according to activity and geolocation. For instance a company that is based on Kayak can go about posting advertisements on kayaking and canoeing websites with complete knowledge of the relative interests of their audience. It should be remembered however that internet marketing varies drastically from magazine advertising. The purpose of magazine advertising is to reach the periodical’s audience. (Why Marketers are not investing online n.d.)
Geo targeting and geo marketing are two additional marketing models used when dealing with e-marketing. In this, a website visitor with geo-location software is figured out the geolocation or the physical location. The required and desired content is then delivered accordingly to the right location based on the IP address, zip code and certain other criterion. A very typical example in this regard could be the geo targeting as ventured by FedEx on its website FedEx.com. The users are free to choose their country location and then later are presented with a different site or article based on their choice. E-marketing made this possible, which was a rare distinct phenomenon if compared to tradition marketing methods. According to David Rye “The distribution of different content based on geographical location and other personal information is centralized with different content integrated in internet marketing and geomarketing.”
(Business week- Advertising Goes Off the Radio n.d.)
E-marketing is cheaper if one scales the target audience that can be addressed via this marketing form. For relatively small fractions of advertising budgets companies can address broader audience domains. At the same time, the nature of this medium gives the consumer the freedom of choice and convenience to go about purchasing products and services at their own behest. Ergo, in the same platforms such enterprises have an edge over others. It gives the consumers in their hands all the time to compare, research, try and look into the product before they actually go about it and buy it. Thus such marketing means give the marketers an upper edge promising results quickly Cost-volume-profit analysis and business goals determine the strategy and the overall impact of the marketing approach chosen. E-marketers can also trace statistics more easily and inexpensively compared to the counterpart traditional methods. Almost all nuances of an Internet marketing campaign can be traced, tabulated, measured and verified. The advertisers have innumerable methods to choose from. These might be pay by impression, pay by click, pay by play or pay by action. Marketers can easily find out which of the above modes appeals to the audience more. Performance and results of online marketing campaigns can also be easily traced at the same time. This is more so because most of these initiatives require a user to click on an advertisement, which will direct him to website and there he would perform the targeted action. Such measurements go unsaid and tracking modes will not be achieved through other means of advertising by the bill board. In this case, the individual can only obtain information later when he has the means and the mode of communication to do so. E-marketing has grown by leaps and bounds as of 2007 compared to marketing through other types of media. The kind of exposure, response and efficiency of Internet media it promises, it made it easier to track the traditional offline media. Today marketers and their prospect clients are increasingly well informed and more aware of the need to come together and measure collaborative effects of marketing instead of selling each advertising medium. (BBC-Apple makes it big n.d.)
Face book has emerged as a major social venture in the last few years. It has spread its wings by leaps and bounds and is home to millions of members today. Face book was supposed to be just any other social networking site but they cashed in on the popularity of MySpace and rout and improvised their concept into an all new more effective one of their own. The result was phenomenal. Today, face book has trespassed the likes of its counterparts, those sites which existed way before it even happened. Complete integration and continued differentiation kept working for them. The primary focal point of Face book and its users was the renewed concept of privacy it offered. It made the users administrators of their own profiles allowing them not just to control who can search them but who can see what, read what is in their respective profile.
FB, in the beginning construed for college and university students only in 2004. Today it has grown into an extremely popular social networking website that stands out as open to everyone. It has over thirty million members worldwide and is the seventh most visited site in the United States. It has almost 15 billion page views every month. (Variety 2006)
Face book hit off with member to member invites. It was started by a few students at Harvard and initially one could only become a member of the site if sent an invite by a friend. There was nothing like free sign-up which soon made face book talk of the town. From one person to another, its popularity kept growing. What face book administrators incorporated in this regard was an amalgamation of both ecommerce and affiliate marketing models. Their members were getting them more members. With the passage of time, it was decided, in the interest of the social site itself that it becomes open to all and soon free signups were incorporated. The result was phenomenal. Members came in hundreds and thousands. At the same time, work was under way with respect to the social interaction from within face book as well. (Justin n.d.)
Face book was the first social networking site to come up with the concept of “status-messages” as well. Members could now express themselves out to their, near and dear ones through simple one liners. This gave a face book a whole new dimension, a bigger chirpy more vibrant outlook than it had ever before. FB also gave privacy settings a whole new meaning. Uploading pictures and sharing them with your near and dear ones had never been this fool proof. Album privacy allowed members to ensure that only people they felt like could view their pictures. In this way they were able to continue striking that balance between colleagues and friends, friends and acquaintances, friends and family etc.
The marketing strategy applied by Face book was vigorous. It began from this word of mouth concept in the beginning and later hit off by opening the free-signup form. (The new principles of Marketing n.d.)
May 2007 marked another landmark point for face book. It took the giant leap by launching its face book platform. Face book platform allowed developers to construct third party applications that could be used and within the domains of face book. This was an exciting incentive for marketers, business men and other personalities from the corporate world. It provided them with an extremely effective way of promoting their website to the face book audience which was growing by the minute. Thus, face book with its rapidly growing and advancing member base turned into a viable more feasible means of attracting exposure for one’s brand, product or website.
Face book biggest trump card became its ability to attract marketers in turn for other websites. So it worked as a circle. “You market for us, we market for you” a concept that worked somewhere in between the affiliate marketing model and the business to business model. FB moved up through sheer hard work. It had a clear idea for the kind of services its consumers would need even before they knew what they wanted. They used their innate sense to launch their product time and again. There was also this inherent realization on their end that they had to think out of the box and go beyond the traditional approach. Because online marketing differs remarkably from the traditional means of marketing. It is never only enough to have a great email campaign, an extremely illustrative website and a list that would make even the best marketing gurus go green with envy. They not only worked on optimizing and cashing in on the usual search engines but went beyond and used FB only to launch their internet marketing business. Other prospects and current marketing folks were also offered the same incentive. With them they reasoned it, and presented FB as an opportunity. An opportunity to move beyond the line and crack those untapped potential customers without even paying a fee. The fact that millions visit FB each day was just the cherry on the topping. At the same time, it also allowed members to write blogs out there and post links to their favorite sites. Ergo if one wants to market their products through the likes of face book and MySpace, then the most important thing would be to establish and build up on a following. This is precisely what worked for face book as well. It allowed its millions of users to send and accepts friend requests in huge numbers. Face book kept growing and with that it helped other businesses grow as well. At the same time face book also offered advertisement services. Tailor made ads could be published to a pre-quailed audience. Without the tiring research work, interested clients were thus available. (Facebook Marketing Articles and Resources n.d.)
The biggest plus point amidst all this is the free availability of Face book at any time. Any marketer would know that to run an empire successfully may need some handful amount of moolah. Thus from advertising to developing products to purchasing eBooks on the latest products, cash keeps running and flowing in and out. But face book came across as free of cost with no overheads. Ego, one could get the maximum advertising impact without spending too much in the bid. Social networking websites like face book center around increasing their visibility on the web. It kept cashing in on it, first through email invites, then free signups, then offering marketing incentives to prospect business men, next through its cheap almost free of cost over head costs. It turned out as one dynamic force that not just established its presence on the web but also helped establish the presence of other websites on the net. For those who marketed their products and services through face book, realized that it only added to their reputation as most of their competitors were not established on these sites. (eMarketer 2007)
Another popular site that has fared extremely well on the social networking front is my space. Today its signing up new members at record speed. However my space continues being the target of a controversy revolving around the safety of its users, a core group of whom are minors. (Internet Advertising shoots past estimates 2006) (Internet Marketing 2007)
My space has piled up almost 67 million members. It was launched in 2004 and is growing up at an average 250,000 new members daily according Danny Dudeck who is a MySpace spokes woman. It’s phenomenal growth rate has pushed its popularity along the lines of more notable players such as yahoo and Google. This is yet another social networking site which has cashed in on the most viable popular marketing models and built up its establishment on the network. The primary purpose of MySpace was communication. It provided a means to communicate and establish one’s own little corner on the internet solely dedicated to work and build up on their interests. When that had been done, friends and family members who had similar interest could quickly be welcomed to the board and the conversation started off. The MySpace marketers cashed in on the points above and opted for aggressive marketing. It continues to grow today, and is projected in the near future to step beyond that. (Center for Responsive Poltics n.d.) At the same time, marketers also went up and told their users and other prospect users that MySpace gave more freedom and space to look around and look for profiles in comparison with its competitors. It is host to dozens of forums and groups which belong to certain specific niches. This gave them the opportunity to look and spot the exact kind of people they wanted and even invite friends to sell a particular product or service. MySpace in its marketing endeavors also promised superior communication mechanisms. It came up with large scale colorful bulletins and private messages that allowed one to choose the right medium that they needed in order to convey whatever the message or pitch the produce chose for himself. The quantity of images, information and videos uploaded are never restricted. This indicates that one can plug in as much amount of information as they want without worrying about space. Even more lucrative was the fact that they offered it free of cost without involving any overheads in the process. MySpace cashed in on all these features and marketed itself aggressively across the globe. However today its marketing strategies are under question and my space is increasingly scrutinized. The marketing models it incorporated have been widely exploited. The affiliate marketing led to sexual contact of two men with minors. They got to know each other through MySpace only. They were 14 and 11 years old respectively.
Thus e-marketing comes on the board with its own set of pros and cons. If used effectively on social networking sites,the results can be phenomenal and may even bring about remarkable developments.
Also Study: Online Business Marketing Idea
- Article Marketing,. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Article_marketing (accessed 03 01, 2009).
- BBC-Apple makes it big. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/7329886.stm (accessed Mar 01, 2009).
- Business week- Advertising Goes Off the Radio. http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/dec2006/tc20061207_485162.htm (accessed Mar 01, 2009).
- Center for Responsive Poltics. http://www.opensecrets.org/pres08/summary.php?id=N00009638 (accessed 03 01, 2009).
- Digital Marketing. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_marketing (accessed 03 01, 2009).
- eMarketer. 2 28, 2007. http://www.emarketer.com/Article.aspx?1004635 (accessed Mar 1, 2009).
- Facebook Marketing Articles and Resources. file:///E:/papers%20unlimited/Facebook%20Marketing%20%20Articles%20and%20Resources.htm (accessed Mar 01, 2009).
- Internet Advertising shoots past estimates. 09 29, 2006. http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/09/29/internet_advertising_booms/ (accessed Mar 01, 2009).
- Internet Marketing. file:///E:/papers%20unlimited/Internet_marketing.htm (accessed Mar 01, 2009).
- Internet Marketing. 06 18, 2007. http://www.iabuk.net/en/1/iabknowledgebankadspend.html (accessed 03 01, 2009).
- Justin. Internet Marketers, Advertising and Social Networking. file:///E:/papers%20unlimited/internet-marketers-social-networking.html (accessed Mar 01, 2009).
- Story, Louise and comScore. “”They Know More Than You Think” (JPEG) “To Aim Ads, Web Is Keeping Closer Eye on You”.” Ny times. Mar 10, 2008. . http://www.nytimes.com/imagepages/2008/03/10/technology/20080310_PRIVACY_GRAPHIC.html. (accessed Mar 01, 2009).
- The new principles of Marketing. file:///E:/papers%20unlimited/the-new-principles-of-internet-marketing.htm (accessed Mar 01, 2009).
- Variety, Ian Mohr Daily. Reed Business Information . 2006.
- Why Marketers are not investing online. http://blogs.mediapost.com/omd_commentary/?p=692 (accessed Mar 01, 2009).