Marketing Online

Internet marketing, also referred to as digital marketing, web marketing, online marketing, or e-marketing, is the marketing of products or services over the Internet.

The Internet has brought media to a global audience. The interactive nature of Internet marketing in terms of providing instant responses and eliciting responses are the unique qualities of the medium. Internet marketing is sometimes considered to be broad in scope because it not only refers to marketing on the Internet, but also includes marketing done via e-mail and wireless media. Management of digital customer data and electronic customer relationship management (ECRM) systems are also often grouped together under internet marketing.

Internet marketing ties together creative and technical aspects of the Internet, including: design, development, advertising, and sales.

Internet marketing also refers to the placement of media along many different stages of the customer engagement cycle through search engine marketing (SEM), search engine optimization (SEO), banner ads on specific websites, email marketing, and Web 2.0 strategies.

Business models
Internet marketing is associated with several business models:

1. e-Commerce – In this model, goods are sold directly to consumers (B2C) or businesses (B2B) or consumer to consumer(c2c)
2. Lead-based Websites – Strategy where an organization generates value by acquiring sales leads from its website
3. Affiliate Marketing – The process in which a product or service developed by one entity (e-commerce business, single person, or a combination) is sold by other active sellers for a share of profits. The entity of the product may provide some marketing material (sales letter, affiliate link, tracking facility), however, the vast majority of affiliate marketing relationships come from e-commerce businesses that offer affiliate programs.

Advantages
Internet marketing is relatively inexpensive when compared to the ratio of cost against the reach of the target audience. Companies can reach a wide audience for a small fraction of traditional advertising budgets. The nature of the medium allows consumers to research and purchase products and services at their own convenience. Therefore, businesses have the advantage of appealing to consumers in a medium that can bring results quickly. The strategy and overall effectiveness of marketing campaigns depend on business goals and cost-volume-profit (CVP) analysis.

Internet marketers also have the advantage of measuring statistics easily and inexpensively. Nearly all aspects of an Internet marketing campaign can be traced, measured, and tested. The advertisers can use a variety of methods: pay per impression, pay per click, pay per play, or pay per action. Therefore, marketers can determine which messages or offerings are more appealing to the audience. The results of campaigns can be measured and tracked immediately because online marketing initiatives usually require users to click on an advertisement, visit a website, and perform a targeted action. Such measurement cannot be achieved through billboard advertising, where an individual will at best be interested, then decide to obtain more information at a later time.

Because exposure, response, and overall efficiency of Internet media are easier to track than traditional off-line media—through the use of web analytics for instance—Internet marketing can offer a greater sense of accountability for advertisers. Marketers and their clients are becoming aware of the need to measure the collaborative effects of marketing (i.e., how the Internet affects in-store sales) rather than siloing each advertising medium. The effects of multichannel marketing can be difficult to determine, but are an important part of ascertaining the value of media campaigns. Internet marketing refers the online marketing methods that are related to email, social networks and wireless devices.

Limitations
From the buyer’s perspective, the inability of shoppers to touch, smell, taste or “try on” tangible goods before making an online purchase can be limiting. However, there is an industry standard for e-commerce vendors to reassure customers by having liberal return policies as well as providing in-store pick-up services.

The buyer can also be biased in case there is not sufficiently reliable product information available online.

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